Unifying omni-channel messaging to improve UX and publishing efficiency

Challenge:

West Marine had a fragmented content ecosystem, (accompanied by an out-of-date technology stack), that prevented its digital experiences from living up to the brand’s high standards of expertise and authority. 

Approach:

In order to understand how and why the organization had drifted into a fragmented content ecosystem with multiple conflicting processes, Factor conducted stakeholder interviews and a comprehensive assessment of West Marine’s information assets, workflows, content production processes, governance, and reporting requirements.

Discovery:

  • Each channel –web, print, in-store, etc.– relied on a different platform, requiring the content team to work with half a dozen windows open at a time, copying and pasting between them. 
  • In one example that made several executives groan, every time a certain lifejacket appeared, the product had a different name, despite being the same item. This is a nightmare for an omnichannel retailer, and quickly leads to lost revenue.
  • In another example, Factor found the same product in the store and in a catalog with two completely different product descriptions:

Solution:

  • Developed an information model that helped connect products with non-product content. 
  • Guided the implementation of the model into their newly replatformed content ecosystem.
  • Created a Roadmap to translate the insights from the assessments into actionable recommendations for widespread organizational change.

Returns:

  • Increased productivity and efficiency while reducing effort and the potential for errors during the process of producing, developing, publishing and managing content and product information.
  • Aligned the brand with customer-experience expectations across all platforms. West Marine now programmatically combines detailed, accurate, and relevant product information with the rich educational content that has made them an industry leader.
  • Content can be reused across all of West Marine’s consumer channels in a manner befitting the context and customer state of mind within all channels.
  • Got the organization to align on “One View, One Voice, One Workflow.”