This post is a part of our Marketer's Guide to Drupal 8 series. We created this guide to walk you through considerations for choosing an open source CMS, plus case studies and CMO advice to bring your site to the next level.
Lynne Capozzi is the Chief Marketing Officer for Acquia, the organization behind the success of some of the world’s leading Drupal-based brands, including Princess Cruises, Warner Music Group, Pegasystems, and Stanford University. Thousands of brands are using Acquia’s solutions for digital experience management.
As Acquia’s chief marketing officer, Lynne oversees all global marketing functions including digital marketing, demand generation, operations, regional and field marketing, customer and partner marketing, events, vertical strategy, analyst relations, content and corporate communications.
Lynne is one of Acquia’s boomerang stories, first serving as Acquia CMO in 2009. Lynne left Acquia in 2011 to pursue her nonprofit work full-time. She returned to Acquia in late 2016 to lead the marketing organization into its next stage of growth.
We sat down with Lynne to hear how her team drove impressive results — a 50% improvement in conversion rate! — and led the rebranding and re-platforming of Acquia.com on Drupal 8.
Mediacurrent Interview with Lynne Capozzi
Mediacurrent: What does “digital transformation” mean for you at Acquia?
LC: I think there are many ways to answer this question. For me, digital transformation is the intersection between business processes and digital technology. It’s continually building and optimizing for a full 360-view of a customer, -- the journey from prospect to customer and maintaining that relationship at every touchpoint along the way for each individual customer.
Mediacurrent: What are your top 3 initiatives/goals right now in general and for your website?
LC: In general, a couple of my top initiatives right now are:
We are going through putting the final touches on our redesign and refreshing our brand for Acquia. It’s a new look and feel for us which is more contemporary. I am super excited about it - our brand is ever evolving. We are a 10-year-old company, and the goal is to enhance the brand. We have been calling it a brand evolution.
Our in-person customer conference Acquia Engage is the biggest conference we do for the year. We use our site to drive attendance and registrations for the event.
Last November, we went through a D7 to D8 re-platforming of our site. We are about eight months into that process, and it’s going extremely well. We are now in the process of adding new Acquia videos and new product demonstrations directly onto the site. One of the things I want to do is to have more self-service directly from the site - so someone can come to the site and get more of a feel of what is Acquia, what do we do, and they are more prone to do that and absorb that information through video.
Mediacurrent: Do you think re-platforming to Drupal 8 was the smart decision for Acquia?
LC: Yes, absolutely. Replatforming to Drupal 8 was the best decision we ever made.
Mediacurrent: What are 2 current challenges are you trying to solve for?
LC: I think we have the same challenge as every other marketing team. Thinking of the marketing funnel and conversion of prospect through the funnel. How to improve funnel conversion is always top of mind for me.
One of the things that is directly related to that is - how do we feed the right content to our prospects at various phases of the funnel. So for instance, for someone who has shown interest in us, raised their hand and come to our site - it’s up to us to determine the best ways to put out content and make sure to feed the right content through the funnel at the right time.
We are looking at other non-touch ways such as enhancing chat through the site. We are also exploring ways to have those prospects continuously go through the funnel and work on conversion through the funnel at each stage.
Mediacurrent: Building off that thought, I know Mediacurrent has become an Acquia Journey and Lift partner. And I was wondering, do you think Journey & Lift will help you enhance that process?
LC: Absolutely. We have already seen that Acquia Lift has enhanced our process. We implemented Acquia Lift when we re-platformed from Drupal 7 to D8 and we have already seen a 50% conversion rate improvement - so we already know by putting personalization on the site, it helps us with conversions. The pages that have Lift convert a lot better than those that do not and it’s a more personalized experienced for someone coming in.
And the Journey mapping is beneficial as well. It ties back to the importance of having a 360 view of the customer and Journey brings it all together.
Mediacurrent: How are you using Drupal 8 to reach those goals?
LC: Drupal 8 provides easier content authoring and content creation. The fact that my team can now author content more easily, and have a more efficient workflow process for content allows us to tie back to have funnel conversions at the right stage. So the content authoring, creation and workflow improvements in Drupal 8 have helped us a lot.
We are also expanding our global reach so translation for us has become a bigger part of our strategy. Out of the box Drupal 8 Core has multilingual capabilities and as we go to expand globally and translate our sites, the core capabilities make it easier for us to expand.
Mediacurrent: What was your biggest influence in moving to Drupal 8?
LC: We always want to be on the forefront and be on the latest and greatest and be able to use that technology. I wanted to be a showcase for our customers on what is possible for Drupal 8 - that was one of the biggest reasons. I wanted to be able to show that you can have a sexy site that has all the authoring and content management advantages of Drupal 8.
We strive to live the life of our customers and the best way to do that is to be practitioners ourselves. My team was anxious for the user interface enhancements it provided, and they also told me they were looking forward to an increase in speed.
Mediacurrent: Has this been your first experience with Drupal or have you worked with previous versions of Drupal in the past?
LC: I will tell you that I was here in Acquia in 2009 and at that point, we were using D6. The changes from D6 to D8, are just amazing.
Mediacurrent: What was the experience like upgrading from D7 - D8?
LC: We learned a lot. We did a complete redesign from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8 and it involved a lot of content restructuring. It was a massive undertaking just from the amount of content we had.
First, we took an analyze, choose, and purge approach to our content. We looked at all the data from Google Analytics and other tools in order to make better decisions on the content that would really capture our audience’s attention.
We really took a strategic approach and used it as an opportunity to redefine our content strategy. We migrated and rearranged the content to better appeal to our customers rather than using our site for an internal sales tool. When you come to our site now, it’s really an experience. That’s what we were going for.
It went well from my perspective because we were able to stay on budget, and keep to the launch timeline, and meet our initial goals in order to become a showcase for our customers.
Mediacurrent: Since launching on Drupal 8 have you noticed an increase in website conversions? What would you attribute to that success (or lack of success)?
LC: We do have a couple of metrics.
As I mentioned our overall our conversion rates have increased by 50%. When I first wrote the brief to re-platform, this was my biggest goal and I’m proud to say we accomplished what we set out to do.
Our overall site traffic is down, which was to be expected because we pruned the content. We have more relevant content, it’s updated, the quality is better, the end user experience is better, and that is what it’s all about.
The other thing that we saw was because we used personalization, we saw an increase in conversions with Acquia Lift. For instance, now, we have personalized industry case studies.
Mediacurrent: What's your involvement in the procurement process of new technology for Acquia?
LC: I own it. I own the budget for technology products that impact the site and our martech stack. My team and I decide on what technologies we are going to purchase.
Mediacurrent: Is it usually your team coming to you? Or you going to your team with technology?
LC: It’s definitely both. 75% it is my team coming to me and 25% me going to my team.
Mediacurrent: What advice would you give other CMO’s/VP’s/Director’s who are hesitant to move to Drupal 8?
LC: I would say don’t hesitate. My VP of Digital, Eric Williamson, he always describes our move to Drupal 8 as redesigning our sun or as our north star to aim for. For us, our site is our biggest single source of top of funnel leads for the company. There is an enormous pressure that comes with that and to do it with as few mistakes as possible. So this is what we did and the advice I give to people:
- Write a brief. My team did this in the beginning and it became our guiding light in what we wanted to accomplish. And in times when we wanted to add something, we came back to the brief to ask “Does it meet our strategic goals?” - is it what we laid out in the beginning and “Does it fit in our MVP?” or can it be pushed to later?
- I wrote an investment case internally within the company for the execs. I put in there that my biggest goal was around conversions. I provided them a template which showed if we make this investment to re-platform from D7 to D8, what would our bottom line improvement be based on these new conversion rates. It made it easy for the exec team to look and say “yes, it is a worthwhile investment.” So that investment case was key and it helped me with the full C-suite.
- Don’t go at it alone. We tapped into our partner network and got a great partner to work with us around it. That partner resource, tagged with our internal resource team and the teamwork was great. We were able to come together and meet our objectives.
- Decide on a Digital Asset Management System from the outset. The other thing in terms of advice that we did not do but wish we had - we did not have a Digital Asset Management (DAM) product. Looking in the rearview mirror, it would have been easier to install that in the beginning prior to migrating. If I was to do this again, I would have installed the damn DAM first.
Mediacurrent: What online sources do you use for thought leadership?
LC: I use a lot! Some online sources as my “go to’s” are:
- SiriusDecisions, a marketing analytics company
- CMSWire, of course!
- Whitepapers and webinars where I see customers and even non-Acquia customers -describe what they did for their digital transformation -- the how, why, and what they got in return from that. That’s the biggest source for me.
- Analyst community - Gartner, Forrester, etc.
Mediacurrent: What conferences are you attending, if any, this year?
LC: We have Acquia Engage coming up in November! -- Mediacurrent is sponsoring!
I am also leading a panel discussion at Martech here in Boston at the beginning of October. I will be sitting with a few of our customers, Pegasystems and The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, to talk about the challenges they are facing in digital, and how they are partnering with Acquia to drive their own digital transformation.