case study

FARO website talks to customers in 15 regions and 12 languages with one voice

Background

Like many B2B enterprises, FARO Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: FARO) has challenging communications eeds. As a world-leading manufacturer of 3D measurement devices and software, its highly technical market is dispersed around the globe. Purchasing cycles are quite complex, so reaching the right decision makers with the right message is critical to the company’s success.

FARO has offices where its customers are. There are 23 FARO regional divisions, some with more than one office, and four branches in China alone. The FARO website is the heart of the company’s marketing strategy, so localizing web content is a key activity for all regional marketing managers.

Challenge

As FARO grew and became more successful, so too did its marketing infrastructure. By 2007, the company had multiple websites. A central FARO.com site hosted information about events, and was augmented by regionally built websites running on different CMS platforms. Over time, these sites failed to meet requirements, so FARO also created microsites for their products.

Coordinating content between the sites was laborintensive and hard to manage efficiently. Translating
and localizing content was a constant challenge for the marketing teams. The challenge was to keep all sites in the same layout and maintain the different plattforms.

“The web sites were hard to manage,” says Erik Schradi, Senior Web Developer at FARO Europe. “A marketing manager would have to involve a webmaster to set up or change a page because there had to be changes to the JavaScript and the CSS, or hand-coded adjustments to get images in the right place.”

There was a clear need to create a modern, unified online presence—one with the capability to deliver content globally while supporting local variations.

Solution

The project’s primary focus was to make it easy for business users to make updates to the site quickly and easily. FARO regional marketing managers access the site using an intuitive CMS ack end. Custom-built modules automatically pull-in easy to pick pieces of content, making layout creation a simple matter of dragging and dropping elements into editable templates.

“Setting up landing pages is simple,” says Alberto Castiglioni, Marketing Team Leader at FARO Europe. “When I was introduced to the solution, I said ‘That’s easy —I can do this myself without being a technician!’ Our marketing managers are usually up and running with the CMS inside of an hour.”

FARO staff, including the regional marketing managers, can now make their own landing pages using established templates and widgets, which makes the website more responsive to business needs. “When the marketing department wants to launch a new campaign, they can do this in as little as one to two days. This was not possible before.”

A granular permissions system safeguards FARO web properties against inadvertent changes and enables business users to safely optimize pages for SEO. “The priority is to allow people to make changes without being able to break anything.”

The system also leverages Sitefinity’s support for Windows Workflow Foundation to help managers keep content in sync by triggering notifications when new content needs to be localized.

FARO relies on an automated marketing platform to manage the lead generation process. The CMS solution is built with integration in mind and FARO has exploited this to provide a seamless interaction between the marketing platform and the website.

For example, a site visitor may be asked to register with a form in order to attend an event. The solution provides contextual information so that the form is generated in the right language, and data is then pushed back into the marketing platform to register the visitor for the event with appropriate follow up emails being sent out. Data is also pushed into FARO’s CRM.

 

United Experts provided us with outstanding service that brought our complex project back on track.

Erik Schradi

Faro Europe GMBH