Building a strong Web presence for ‘a disruptor’ in the telco world
Marketing @ ngena – Part II
In part 1 of this series of articles I published four weeks ago on my blog and my Linkedin profile, I described how my team and I have built a strong Corporate Branding for a new entrant in the Telco world: ngena. Founded in 2016 by Deutsche Telekom, Cisco and multiple other telco providers, I joined the company in August 2017 to kick-off the Marketing work, which by that time was done very rudimentary and with no dedicated resources.
While my initial focus remained on developing a comprehensive Corporate Design Guide with all necessary design and Office Application elements (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook etc.) aiming to give the company a strong and consistent visual identity, the second “big project” my team and I had to tackle in early 2018 was the relaunch of our Corporate Website.
The old site was created in a very short time frame in 2016 by Ligalux – a design agency that is part of FischerAppelt Group – and consisted of only one page that started off with a video in auto-run mode, contained some basic content about the ngena mission, a brief 50-words service description and some links to few PDFs like the Corporate Brochure and a Corporate Presentation that we had designed. Additionally, some analyst quotes and some job vacancies could be found there and it contained several external links to our alliance partners and had about 50 blog posts, that we had published by that time. A contact form at the end of the page was the only possibility offered to get in touch with ngena. But that was all that was live.
Missing information and technical descriptions
So most of the information that ngena actually stands for like the technical set-up of our platform, the global network infrastructure, the benefits that the modern network approach brings to corporate customers, our USPs, customer references and a detailed description of our partners or the management team that stand behind the idea was missing. Also, from a technical point of view, the website had no https-certificate, which as a result made some browsers even block the access to the site and was completely unsatisfying for a telco provider for whom IT security is a crucial part of its service.
Next to this, the site did not contain:
- any webforms for lead capturing
- no social media sharing capabilities
- no state-of-the-art blog functionalities
- no press room or media library
- no video library and content download functionalities (e.g. for Whitepapers, eBooks etc.)
- no site search, no Google analytics and Cookie banners
To summarize, it was time to build a new site from scratch!
The journey started
So, in Summer 2018 we got the approval from our Management team to start our Website project and finally in November, after we reviewed several offers from different web agencies and clarified some legal and technical issues, we kicked-off the project with a meeting in Bielefeld (Yes, for those of you who know the German map and this little joke: Bielefeld really exists! ;-)). The meeting took place at one of my most trusted suppliers if it comes to web design: the agency seitenweise. As every good web agency, I have to admit, they have a very humble website themselves and do not show many of their competences there, but the team – with whom I work since several years – is really excellent. All in all, they also offered the best price-performance ratio, so why not continuing to work with them?
After a long and productive kick-off meeting with the seitenweise-team and an even longer travel back to Frankfurt, we had everything we needed: an idea how to start, a strategy that would differentiate our website from those of our competitors, a rough timeline, some Corporate Design Guidelines, and a lot of enthusiasm to bring this new site to life.
“People want to do business with people, not brands”
When looking at the website of our competitors, one thing became crystal clear: all vendors of telco equipment try to “show-off” with highly complicated technical descriptions, countless tech terms, three letter codes and abbreviations, and some incomprehensible ugly technical drawings. Thus, it became obvious: almost none of them showed the people that bring this really complicated technology to life. So, we decided to be different: the website was meant to be aesthetically very clean and simple, using a lot of white space and huge images and colorful design elements. While attempting to not just show the technology but rather show the people behind the technology – the experts that have built a global network with an innovative technology setup! (For those of you who want to know what I am talking about: it’s Software-Defined Wide Area Networking technology, a pretty new and really innovative game-changer in the telco world – learn more here what SD-WAN actually is or watch the ngena video here).
The design work was started by seitenweise in the Invision App (https://www.invisionapp.com/): a design tool to easily create web-designs before actually programming them. This process was very smooth and many different design templates were created before they actually got programmed.
So, following the idea, that “people want to do business with people, not brands”, we tried to show the experts at ngena across many areas of the new site. Moreover, as a company that is growing and hiring, we had to have an attractive Human Resources section on the site, so we started to write content for and design the Careers section, where my colleague Alisha who joined ngena in April 2018, and the members of the ngena HR team made a huge contribution to the project.
You can see many of our colleagues in the Careers section…
…and the fun and the enthusiasm the team enjoys is shown in a series of pictures from Company events, meetings and parties.
Experts in motion – a series of video interviews
Another key element of the new site was the idea to show the experts in very short 60-90 second video interviews talking about their subject matters. Thus, a series of 7 videos was planned, in which the key people managing the ngena solution are shown: as experts but also as humans with whom it is fun to do business with. As everybody in the telco world knows that building global corporate networks in dozens of countries and maybe hundreds of sites can be a very labourous and sometimes painful project, you have to have trust in the people that you have assigned to do the job. By showing our Head of Operations, our Head of Product Management, our Heads of Business IT & Processes, etc., our intend was to help building trust in ngena for our future customers. If you are already looking for these videos on our website, then let me alert you, they are still work in progress, but they will be a key element on our website in the near future.
Furthermore, we created an “About us” section with an introduction to ngena, our alliance and our business model, and a dedicated “Management page” in which we also tried to show the expertise and the deep industry knowledge of our colleagues.
Content, content and even more content
Next to our people, our partners are a key part of our global alliance: so, they had to become an integral part of our website. Therefore, we had to create a lot of new content, to introduce our alliance partners to our website visitors. Their logos appear directly on our homepage along with a dedicated “Our Partners” section, where we have linked about 25 partner profiles showing their company size, revenue, main fields of business and much more. In addition, a “History” section was developed to graphically represent ngena’s history: from its founding to the first customer and more to come.
It almost goes without saying that due to the complex nature of our technical product, we had to create the deep dive overview in our technology platform: the “Product” page. Since, not every decision-maker in the industry is yet familiar with the concept of SD-WAN, we developed an overview page with a dedicated introduction to our innovative networking approach. Using graphics and our brand designs, we displayed our USPs as flip cards: text boxes that you can “flip” to see more details. And we created an interactive table to explain our competitive advantages.
To break down the complexity of our technology, we showed our “Technology Platform & Access Designs” and our “Portfolio at a Glance” in two interactive infographics: in every part of the different clickable parts, the graphic and an accompanying text shows the different parts of our solution and global backbone. To change the flow and to give the viewer some easier to digest content, we also embedded our introductory video in the Product page.
Finally, at the end of the Product section, the reader is invited to download additional resources like brochures, white papers etc. and he can read through our 14 Common Questions: a long-form content that answers the most important questions, decision-makers will have when looking for a new network solution.
PR, Blog and Visual Communications
A third big section on your website that is targeting journalists & bloggers is the “News” section, which contains our first “Customer Stories”, a “Company News & Media Centre” including our “Blog”, an “Image Library” to download press photography like screenshots, infographics, our management team, events, our latest “Press Releases” and our “Video Centre” with ca. 20 embedded videos from YouTube.
This area also contains our “White Paper Download Center” that contains a number of long form content like ebooks, whitepapers and brochures. All these collaterals can be downloaded by users after registering via our webform and we have integrated a mechanism to capture their data in our Cloud-based e-Mail- and Marketing Automation System called Cleverreach. While I am writing this article, this area of our website is completely new and I am curious to see what the results in regards to Leads will look like.
Great work pays off – increasing Web KPIs all over the place
After 3 months of the launch of our new page (on the 15th of March) it is already great to see, that hard work really pays off: all key performance indicators of our web performance have heavily increased. As you can see in the graphs below, especially the number of Page Views (+115%), the number of Pages per Session (+88%) and the Average Session Duration (+120%) have increased significantly in a year on year comparison. Also, the Bounce Rates, which indicates the percentage of the people using the website jump-off on the first page has decreased by 36% from 83% to a quite good 53%, which is a great quality achievement.
Furthermore, especially in the past weeks, we see some nice increases in the number of Users (5,3%) and New Users (5,9%) coming to the site. Numbers that hopefully will accelerate to grow over time as our Google rank goes up and we can attract more and more users on site.
Another great team work
It goes without saying that such achievements can only be made by a great team: So I want to thank explicitly our agency’s project lead Marcel Pietsch and web designer André Schwarzer and the entire team at seitenweise for their great dedication, fantastic design concepts, and innovative and agile way of working. A big thanks also goes to the entire ngena team, especially Alisha Attarwala, Dietmar Geiler and his Product Management team, Lars Schütt and his Partner Management team, and the entire ngena HR (incognito) team – all of them have invested a great amount of time and resources to bring this new page with all its awesome content to life. You guys are Rockstars!
In my next article, I will be sharing some insights about the implementation of a Social Media Management tool at ngena and what effects this had on our Social Media performance.
All the best for now,