New B2B marketing for high-tech champion
BY DR GUNNAR FUELLE & ALEXANDER PIRCHER
(Published in The Produktkulturmagazin issue 3 2015)
Innovative products for innovative customers need contemporary and creative marketing. It is this convicition that drives the Binder GmbH, the world market leader for environmental simulation chambers, to consistently align their marketing with the omni-channel approach.
The Binder GmbH, the world‘s largest specialist in simulation chambers for scientific and industrial laboratories, is a typical South German “Hidden Champion” - innovative, successful, solid and social. The Swabian family company from Tuttlingen, a city that with more than 600 companies from the industry is often referred to as the “world’s capital of medical technology,” produces more than 22,000 serial units per year and thus has a turnover of more than 60 million euros. Hence, the innovative company has equally innovative clients: climate simulation chambers and incubators made in Tuttlingen can be found in research institutes, universities, R&D departments and test laboratories from the pharmaceutical, biotech, medicine, food, electrical engineering, art and building materials as well as the automotive sector worldwide.
Innovative products for innovative customers also ask for innovative marketing. Therefore, Binder opted for the adoption of a consistent omni-channel strategy for marketing and sales information. This initiative ranges from the redesign of the corporate design or professional conception and technical implementation to the introduction of a new system environment. The Tuttlingen enterprise received support for the complex project from infolox. “Together with our contact person at Binder, we initially performed a comprehensive inventory,” reports Alexander Pircher, Director of infolox. “The existing print and online publications as well as all related processes and systems were analysed. In addition, we surveyed internal and external target groups on-site about their requirements.”
The results helped the project team define the requirements for the new omni-channel solution. The cornerstones of future publications across the different channels were identified as well as technological demands. In the next step, the service provider worked out the required information architecture, the required functionality and the contents of the most important publications in detail. For price lists, catalogues and the website containing the online catalogue, information modules were defined and wireframes created. At the same time, the design agency of the Tuttlingen company, mono page, developed a new corporate design for the core publications.
Based on this, now the gradual implementation of the omni-channel strategy was to follow. As the conception of the required variable software products in the fields of Product Information Management (PIM), Media Asset Management (MAM) and Dynamic Print Publishing went ahead at the same time as they were evaluated, selected and introduced, Binder staff could already start with the data maintenance. With the implementation of the automated print price lists, such as Pilotpublication from the PIM system by Contentserv, a positive interim summary could be presented only six months after the installation of the system. “Thanks to the extensive experience of a full service provider like infolox, and an equally comprehensive as well as sophisticated methodology, we were able to implement the project efficiently,” says Peter Wimmer, vice president of marketing and services at Binder. “Our marketing and sales documents are now designed uniformly across all channels, our product communication is future-safe for the coming years, and the first publication, our price list 2015, has been implemented successfully.”
In the next step, the relaunch of the web presence was carried out. This milestone includes the online catalogue in the the omni-channel communication as well as the Download Center and Product Finder. “Obviously, for us this was a feat of strength, to introduce a new PIM system and a new CMS while redesigning all important print communication as well as the website and to relaunch them in the new corporate design all at the same time. We were therefore looking for an omni-channel service provider which would be able to master print and online alike. This decision has proven spot on during the course of the project,” Peter Wimmer concludes.
The new website is fresh, clear, informative and intuitive to use. It is thus in line with the project’s motto “Everything at one glance and one click.” The most important main navigation points each offer a wide menu bar providing a direct overview of all relevant sub-themes like options, accessories, and services for products for example.
The technical implementation of the website is based on the Enterprise Open Source CMS eZ Publish, enlarged with several extensions by infolox. Product data is imported from the PIM / MAM system via such an extension by eZ Publish. In the dynamic product search, an extension for finding or rather filtering products and other objects on the basis of freely configurable attribute sets is used. The thus optimised search functions make it easier to get to the right product on the new website. Besides the classical access via product groups, the product finder helps to reach the correct device in just three clicks. The full text search also provides a filterable result for all content including the Download Center. However, filling in an article number leads straight to the respective product detail page. Here, further filters show the available variants. In addition to technical data and downloads, more options, equipment and services are directly accessible. In a protected area, customers are enabled to create their personal account to enjoy many benefits and more convenience. This includes the display of target prices for products, pre-filled forms and specific access to white papers and other expertise. With the new notepad function, customers can save not only their desired products but also mark additional options and services and send these as an inquiry directly to distribution.
A wide range of interactive online forms not only facilitates the entry of service requests and product registrations for existing and potential clients, but also supports Binder employees in the generation of leads. A special interface imports data from a form in a template, from where the data can then be imported in the CRM system with a single click.
The automatic creation of the data sheets relieves the employees further. An automated solution by infolox generates the data sheets from the product data in the PIM system before making them available in the download center to customers. The next step is the implementation of the print catalogue from the PIM system.
“With the relaunch of our website, we have achieved yet another milestone of our omni-channel strategy. Working with a full-service provider such as infolox allows us to relaunch our crucial print and online communication tools in a very short time, while introducing future-safe and strong omni-channel technologies,” Peter Wimmer sums up the project.
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Picture credits © Binder GmbH