A Digital Renewal
Campaign: A Digital Renewal
Digital Agency: Reactive
Digital agency, Reactive was engaged in November 2009 to comprehensively overhaul NEC’s web presence in Australia. The new site was to reflect the information and communications technology provider’s change in corporate strategy to focus solely on the B2B sector and also to comply with NEC’s new global brand image.
The new NEC Australia website went live at the end of April 2010 and is now focused solely on the business and government sectors, moving away from the company’s consumer product portfolio, which previously included fridges, microwaves, televisions and laptop computers.
NEC took the decision to completely rebuild its former website, which was five years old and incorporated a legacy Content Management System (CMS). It was no longer appropriate for handling the content required for NEC’s current business and did not allow staff to instantly publish new content to the live site.
In addition, the old site did not offer a user-friendly experience for its customers, partners and prospects, the site had developed ‘organically’ over time, with more and more content being added, which eventually resulted in poor navigation. The site also looked much the same as the rest of the IT industry’s websites, using blues and greys rather than the fresh and vibrant colour palette that formed the basis of NEC’s new branding.
NEC’s new website needed to:
- Reflect NEC’s change in corporate strategy to focus solely on business and government and move the company away from its former consumer product portfolio
- Comply with NEC’s new vivid and dynamic global brand image
- Work as a sales generation and marketing tool, so the NEC team were proud to direct prospects to the website for more information on its products and services
- Be built with the user’s needs in mind, to make finding things very easy, and to make visiting the NEC website an enjoyable experience
- Clearly position NEC ahead of competitors like IBM, Cisco and Alcatel-Lucent
- Incorporate a support section to enable customers to post support queries for existing and legacy consumer products online
- Work to support NEC’s print and online advertising activities, with the development of specific areas of the site to support campaigns and track performance, and
- Increase the impact of its social media strategy via Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Flickr.
To reflect NEC’s new brand image, the development team needed to clearly understand the company’s corporate philosophy that would underpin the new style. In the process of refreshing its brand, NEC reaffirmed its corporate philosophy, which it refers to as ‘The NEC Way’.
To express its new personality, NEC introduced a new colour palette of vibrant, modern colours and new expression guidelines for text and images based around three words: simple, vivid and dynamic.
In terms of offering a great user experience online, the Reactive/NEC development team was able to create the right content structure to meet that objective. The team chose a very flat structure, which it believed would make the site very easy to use and navigate and would ensure users enjoyed being on the site for longer periods.
“NEC required a site which accurately reflected our market position and the breadth and depth of our service and product offering. Our fantastic new site now clearly differentiates us from our competitors, not only in terms of the amazing user experience, but it also takes us away from the old-style greys and blues of the rest of the industry,” says Craig Norton, general manager marketing, NEC Australia.
Reactive was tasked with web design and development, as well as user profiling, moderated usability testing, website optimisation, and implementing the cManager CMS from Codagenic. The project took six months from start to finish; it progressed smoothly and was delivered on time and within budget.
Since the user profiling identified that most of the website users would be IT professionals in different business and government sectors, usability testing was conducted amongst this group to ensure the site that was being developed was engaging and simple to navigate.
The use of NEC’s new colour palette, as well as the introduction of a colour coding system for each of the different sections of the site, helped to identify the different areas to the user.
The NEC Australia website has been a great success, both the feedback and results have been extremely encouraging and there hasn’t been a single complaint about the site since it went live in April.
Much to the delight of the marketing department, the number of enquiries generated by the website has been in the hundreds. Perhaps even more significantly, these enquiries have generated more than 40 solid sales leads, meaning a conversion rate of around ten percent is now being achieved. Few direct sales leads were generated by the previous site, but now the sales force are actively using the site as a sales tool.
Social media engagement has grown dramatically since the website’s launch, with every page linking to NEC’s Twitter, YouTube and Flickr pages. Video is a major part of the site and NEC’s new YouTube channel has proven extremely popular, incorporating product demos, video news releases and ‘talking heads’. Twitter users have grown by over 40 percent and the company is now using it to answer support queries, as well as to communicate about new products and to engage with its followers.
Other key results for NEC’s website include:
- Engagement, with time spent per visitor increasing by an average of 20 percent, and
- Support enquiries have dramatically increased by over 500 percent, with 410 support questions submitted since the website’s launch. Support is now the site’s third-most trafficked area and one which NEC is looking to develop due to its popularity.
“Our new site was built with the users’ needs firmly in mind and by working with Reactive we have been able to develop a website to be proud of that provides deep user engagement that has translated to a large number of solid sales leads,” concludes Craig Norton.