Travelport

Mediacurrent Travelport Case Study header

Travelport

Known as “the world’s only true Travel Commerce Platform,” Travelport provides distribution, technology, payment and other solutions for the $8 trillion global travel and tourism industry.

Travelport needed a website that could perform at the enterprise level and evolve to meet their future-ready business objectives. They teamed with Mediacurrent to replace their proprietary, license-based Content Management System (CMS) with a brand new site on a dynamic, open source platform: Drupal.

In the search for a new CMS, Travelport wanted a platform with superb flexibility and scalability.“Our team realized that Drupal could meet our needs, not just in our dot-com solution but also as we extend to other projects in the future,” said Noel Holmes, VP of Customer Experience at Travelport.

With timing of the project as a major consideration, Travelport also sought a web development and digital strategy agency to partner with in order to meet established deadlines for launch. “Travelport had to launch the new website in six months, so we were looking for an agency who could scale up quickly,” said Gordon Nardini, Travelport’s Senior Director of Marketing. “Mediacurrent had the skills, the people, and the desire to do that. Mediacurrent’s track record with other companies and the trusted relationships we saw with other partners were key to us selecting them.”

With Mediacurrent’s support, Travelport launched a new Drupal-based website delivering a stable platform to support future growth, a more fluid user experience to satisfy their customer base, and a digital strategy roadmap to expand the Travelport brand. 

Video Interview

In their own words, Travelport's Senior Director of Marketing and VP of Customer Experience share their experience working with Mediacurrent. 

 

 

Travelport.com: before and after
Project Highlights

A first look at analytics shows a strong increase in visitors as well as increased user engagement, including:

  • The average session duration shows a 85% increase

  • The number of pages visited per session increased by 65%

  • Bounce rates decreased by more than half

“We’ve seen some fantastic results in just three months,” said Nardini. “We’re getting some really good leads through the site that the sales team in our commercial organization are now working to qualify."


Travelport Case Study: Project Goals
Project Goals

Create a Targeted Content Plan: One of Travelport’s overarching goals was to present clear and effective articulation of their brand, products, and services on the site. Their unique value proposition centered around their Travel Commerce Platform, a B2B travel marketplace that is “redefining the way we search, share, buy and sell travel.” The Mediacurrent team helped to develop and guide Travelport’s content strategy throughout the wireframing, design, and build phases of the project.

Refocus Digital Strategy: In order to stand out from the competition and raise brand awareness among their core audiences, Travelport needed an impactful way to tell their story. "We wanted to take our site from being a broadcast website to one that we could listen, talk, and engage with our customers," Nardini said. A clear window into their site analytics was crucial to gauge customer interaction and demonstrate the ROI of their content marketing efforts. Mediacurrent’s Digital Strategy team helped to streamline analytics reporting with goal tracking and custom dashboards.

Establish Clear “Calls to Action” and Conversion Paths: Another objective was to increase form conversions. To achieve this goal, Mediacurrent set up pathways to connect different site visitors to the most relevant information and directed the placement of CTA buttons. Travelport conducted extensive user testing to support these assumptions.  

Previously, Travelport had multiple versions of contact forms embedded throughout their site. Mediacurrent consolidated these forms into one global “contact us” form and used a custom script to set up an email routing system that directs inbound forms to the appropriate internal department.  

Empower Drupal Users Across the Organization: Mediacurrent’s Digital Strategy team conducted weekly one-hour training sessions to introduce the Travelport team to the power of Drupal. The goals for training were threefold: to empower users to navigate the functional aspects of the site, to provide a deeper understanding of what each page is meant to achieve, and to reduce the risk of content stagnation. The 8-week training phase was timed to coincide with the latter half of the development phase in Travelport’s flagship corporate site redesign. As editors learned how to enter content that was required for the redesign, they were empowered to effectively create and edit content post-launch, reducing the risk of content stagnation that would have otherwise occurred if training were delayed until after launch.


Mediacurrent's Drupal theming for Travelport.com
Theming

Living Styleguide: Travelport experienced document control challenges inherent to any static styleguide— it was a challenge to edit, distribute, and keep the document up to date. To solve for this, Mediacurrent produced a living styleguide to easily view code and represent the codebase as a UI component toolkit. “The Mediacurrent styleguide gets very high marks from our team,” Holmes said. “It’s not only a visual styleguide that says, ‘here’s how things should look,’ the code snippets that are included with that make it super easy to pick up a particular element, module, or piece and create a new version."

Displaying each element separately served to complement modular development methods and encouraged the team to view each component as an independent building block, creating flexibility within the system for current and future needs of the site. Travelport’s living styleguide unified the relationship between design and theming by displaying the core colors, typography and components that the website styles were being built from.

The living styleguide was generated using Knyle Style Sheets (KSS), a method of documentation for CSS. It’s human-readable and machine-parsable, which is where the automated style guide comes in. It scans the files and pulls out these comments formatted in KSS documentation syntax. It uses those to build a style guide that stays current with your site. The benefit of a tool like this is that the style guide stays up to date. Since it uses the documentation you provide directly in the code, it’s easier to keep it up to date and therefore keep your style guide up to date too. The style guide was an invaluable resource for developers, themers, designers, content editors and marketers.

Styleguide-Driven Development: Mediacurrent used a styleguide-driven development methodology, first establishing the markup and theme for pages so it can be seen earlier in the project, and Drupal can be made to output content into the established markup formats. Thus, the KSS Style Guide pages were tested for browser compatibility, accessibility, etc while the development of the CMS was still in progress rather than at the end of the development cycle.

Challenges and Solutions

SEO Optimization: One of Travelport’s challenges was maintaining a website that is easily searchable and understood. Mediacurrent ensured SEO best practices were implemented to achieve a higher search engine ranking. The approach involved researching keywords and building a sitemap to direct search engines to crawl the site more quickly. Mediacurrent also crafted effective page titles and meta descriptions.

Content Mapping to Support Buyer Goals: It was critical for Travelport to be able to communicate effectively in a digital medium and appeal to all three segments of their audience base: potential customers, actual customers, and non-customers such as future investors. To meet this challenge, Mediacurrent provided consultation to help guide a content strategy that would resonate with their audience. Mediacurrent consulted on the development of user personas, which was critical to the foundation of Travelport’s marketing strategy. These user personas provide greater depth and context to Travelport’s target audience segmentation by focusing on one character who embodies the predominant qualities of the larger group.

Responsive Design: The legacy Travelport site was not responsive on mobile—a stumbling block for customers and prospects. Their SEO ranking was also at stake, as the latest Google Algorithm weighs heavily in favor of mobile friendly design. Now, when editors enter the content for a page on the new Travelport website, the Drupal system automatically displays the appropriate layout based on the user’s device (desktop, tablet, mobile, etc.)

Information Architecture: Prior to the redesign, Travelport’s content structure needed improvement to help users navigate through the site and reach an appropriate destination.Mediacurrent helped cut redundant pages to create more streamlined click paths. To further enhance user experience, Mediacurrent modified Travelport’s information architecture to improve navigation and search options.

Analytics Tracking: Travelport had unique folders and views for every site page which made it difficult to navigate their Google Analytics. Mediacurrent customized and improved Travelport’s analytics view by implementing goal tracking to help pull meaningful information from their website. Now, Travelport can monitor the ROI of their content efforts with a comprehensive dashboard of their brand and customer interactions.


Drupal Development

Modules: Mediacurrent constructed the site primarily with Drupal community contributed modules in order to minimize the amount of custom code and promote ease of maintenance and support for the life of the site.

Panels with Fieldable Panels Panes provide content administrators with the ability to assemble landing pages with flexible layout options by mixing-and-matching collections of components found in the living style guide. For example, a single “Media Pane” with fields for title, description and links was created and reused throughout the site for a variety of displays. The approach allows for editors to easily make changes to image and video components on the site without editing the entire page. This flexibility allows Travelport to highlight its solutions to a wide range of audience segments visiting the site.

List of major contrib modules used on the site:

Administration menu
Chaos tools
Date
Entity API
Entity Reference
Features
Fieldable Panels Panes
File Entity
Global Redirect
Inline Entity Form
Internationalization
Link
Linkit
Media
Media: YouTube
Metatag
Module filter
Panels
Pathauto
Redirect
Views
Webform
Wysiwyg
XML sitemap

Configuration Management: Mediacurrent organized the site’s configuration into Drupal Features, allowing for daily code releases in a git workflow to take place in parallel with content entry during the project. The site’s content types, panels layouts, views, permissions and other settings are all stored into code via Features, helping to prevent regressions when updates are pushed to production.

Final Thoughts

This project was truly a team effort, as Mediacurrent and Travelport engaged in deep collaboration to meet the challenges of an evolving digital landscape head on. “The most important thing to me personally was that our teams and cultures fit; the way Mediacurrent worked and the way we worked was a perfect match,” Nardini said. 

Travelport embraced Drupal’s highly customizable platform and freedom from the initial and ongoing license fees of their legacy proprietary software. The end result is a website that stands out from the competition by combining the flexibility of Drupal with a forward thinking digital strategy.

Customer quote

Travelport had to launch the new website in six months, so we were looking for an agency who could scale up quickly. Mediacurrent had the skills, the people, and the desire to do that. Mediacurrent’s track record with other companies and the trusted relationships we saw with other partners were key to us selecting them.
Gordon Nardini
Senior Director of Marketing, Travelport