Building a Web Presence That Delivers Results

By Samuel Greengard Print this article Print

As mobility, social media, cloud computing, big data and analytics become increasingly intertwined, organizations face the challenge of building a Web presence that works with a spate of tools, technologies and platforms to deliver real-world results.

Rethinking Customer Interactions

Putting all the pieces together and building a 21st century enterprise requires both a big picture focus and an eye for detail. It also requires business and IT executives to truly understand the business and what it needs to achieve.

At Gruppo Amadori, a wholesale producer and distributor of food products in Italy with €1.2 billion in annual revenue, the desire for leading-edge tools and features has led to rethinking how best to interact with customers. It is especially important for the company’s executives to communicate directly with younger consumers and engage in contextual marketing.

Beginning in 2010, the company began rolling out mini-Websites that enable it to target specific groups and market segments. When a small button is moved to select a desired option, the site automatically adjusts and provides relevant content. As part of the initiative, the company also put monitoring and analytics tools into play and then plugged in social media, including blogs, digital newsletters, and sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube.

From the beginning, Gruppo Amadori's IT and marketing executives worked together on a cross-functional team to design a strategy and build a viable technology platform. "We wanted to develop a robust system for listening, monitoring and measuring customer feedback and needs," says CIO Gianluca Giovannetti.

The company turned to IBM WebSphere Portal and IBM Web Content Management to run the sites. It also relies on IBM SPSS text-mining technology and Google Analytics to assess how consumers view products and better understand fluctuations in sentiment and brand image. The result, Giovannetti says, has been a 30 percent rise in brand awareness since embarking on this initiative.

Make no mistake, the business and IT demands placed on today's organizations are daunting. Increasingly, the ability to develop a holistic and cohesive approach to technology, while simultaneously tying together seemingly disparate systems, is the key to success. Enterprises that drive this thinking throughout the organization—while unleashing innovation through collaboration and new management structures—are far more likely to achieve strategic goals and objectives.

In the end, Accenture's Breed says, it's not about IT, marketing or operations singlehandedly spearheading change. It's about the entire organization marching forward with a new outlook and a new mindset about how to use the Web as the center of everything.

"Today, the focus must be on customer relevance and customer-centricity,” Breed advises. “For many organizations, this represents a huge leap forward. There are huge risks, but there are even greater rewards for those that succeed."

This article was originally published on 2012-10-05
Samuel Greengard is a freelance writer for Baseline.
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