The Nissan Motor Company Australia manages the sales and manufacture of Nissan and Renault vehicles in Australia and New Zealand. The car sales business focuses on design, performance, technology and safety. With car sales increasingly being driven through the internet, Nissan determined they needed to create a rich and dynamic online user experience. Furthermore with a large, continuously changing range of vehicles it was essential that any changes to or addition of new vehicles could be facilitated by brand managers within the Marketing department. “The existing website was very inconsistent between models due to the fact that all website changes were 100% external agency lead. It was expensive and took a long time to get a new product to market” said Adrian Givoye Online Markeing Manager, Nissan Australia.
Following an evaluation of solutions and providers Seed was chosen to provide Alfresco Web Content Management within Nissan. The business challenge was to create a new website design that was consistent, fun and would allow the customer to quickly find information about a vehicle. The solution had to allow a user to build a consistent picture for a model but also give the flexibility for re-organising information and layout to suit the vehicle being marketed. For example, a Nissan Navara needed to have a heavy focus on safety information, whereas a Nissan Xtrail had lots of video footage to display its rugged credentials.
Another imperative was to ensure that the marketing department could easily manage all of their web pages without the need for a web agency. This was essential to cut the cost and time to market for launching and maintenance for a new vehicle. Part of this initiative was the solution had to support publishing of multiple website formats to suit different delivery mechanisms such as mobile devices, iPads and browsers without brand managers having to reenter the vehicle information. A secondary but important aspect was that the solution had to fit within Nissans SOA architecture so that applications such as “Book a Test Drive” could be easily integrated within the websites. Deadlines were tight, with an initial POC for Nissan Finance given a 6 week timeframe followed by a full Nissan.com.au relaunch 3 months later.
Why Seed Was Chosen
Seed presented to Nissan during the evaluation phase and were chosen for their understanding of Information Management and implementation capabilities. Another key factor was Seeds Agile delivery methodology and ability to collaborate in order to ensure a successful outcome. Nissan IT had been looking at agile for a while and were keen to see how it worked in the real world. “Throughout the project Seed demonstrated great ability when managing the Marketing teams requirements and buy-in for this vital project” said Mikhail Anossovitch Development Manager at Nissan. “Seed was also chosen because they showed a thorough understanding of the importance of enabling the business users to manage their own content. This was something that had always been lacking when working with our web agencies” said Mikhail Anosovitch, IT Manager, Nissan Australia.
Nissan asked Seed to implement the WCM solution in a multiphase approach. The project required multiple organisations to deliver the outcome. Seed worked with the three main business areas responsible for the web- sites, Marketing, Aftersales and Finance to determine the information management requirements and manage the website design process. We also worked with the IT department and a web design company to develop the finished site. Using agile to deliver the project created a collaborative approach, we focused the business on their requirements and iteratively built up a solution that has proven to be very versatile.
Seed implemented a Site Template that allows business users to create web pages from mashups of individually managed web parts (tabs). Once created, a tab is reusable across multiple pages allowing for updates to be simultaneously applied to all pages. For example a user can create a safety tab containing a video on “Brake Assist” and display it on a series of vehicles. The Site Template has since been used to roll out multiple micro sites and also Brand Torque (a dealer focused communication website) and Launch Torque (an intranet about upcoming model initiatives).
Other solution highlights were a custom workflow that allowed for review and approval from a pool of users determined by their business unit, integration with Nissan web services for applications such as Request a brochure, publishing to multiple locations and implementation of a search engine optimisation framework.
Following on from the release of www.nissan.com.au Seed developed a mobile version of the website that was designed specifically for the iPad. The most important aspect of this solution was that the mobile site was rendered from the same data and assets that were already input by marketing. The brand managers built a web page once and it produced two parallel websites. “This has majorly reduced the effort and cost involved in providing multichannel online support for the Nissan Brand” said Adrian Givoye Online Markeing Manager, Nissan Australia.
Benefits & Outcomes
The major benefits to the business were that all website changes can now be managed in-house. This saved in the order of $500,000 per annum in agency costs, allowing the agencies to focus on creative material and not infrastructure and development. “Our brand managers now have full ownership of their brands online.” said Mikhail Anossovitch, IT Manager, Nissan Australia. The solution also ensured a standardised look and feel across all its models with a consistent user experience for navigation and information aggregation. The SEO changes implemented in the solution also have significantly increased the ranking of Nissan web pages.
Seed continues to support Nissan in managing their increasing online presence using Alfresco. Our current work for Nissan is focused on helping Nissan manage their engagement with customers through Social Network systems such as Youtube and Facebook. We are also implementing an iphone/android site for Nissan, once again reusing their existing data to reach a new target audience with a presentation format that suits the device.