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CAS, a Division of the American Chemical Society Moves to Drupal 8

Using a “customer-first” approach, the world’s leading authority on chemical information brought a new consumer engagement strategy to market in only 2 ½ months. 

Project Highlights

CAS, the World’s Authority on Chemical information, is an organization of scientists, technologists and business leaders who facilitate innovation: enabling breakthroughs and empowering discovery around the globe. CAS created the CAS Registry®, which is analogous to our SSN number, only for chemicals. Instead of unique SSN to identify individuals, the CAS Registry assigns a specific CAS Registry Number®, index name, and graphic representation of every chemical structure. As part of cataloging and providing access to this Chemistry data, CAS develops research solutions that Scientists, Patent Professionals and other decision-makers around the world rely on to enable Discovery and facilitate workflows.

A new responsive design and significant improvements to site speed and layout were achieved within a tight launch timeline. Early metrics indicate an increase in engagement - the direct result of Mediacurrent’s UX focus on engaging with B2B and B2C audiences to drive conversions.

The project took 3 months to complete and was 13% under budget. 

  • 47 %

     faster page load time on desktop
     

  • 24 %

    faster page load time on mobile and tablet devices

  • 16 K

    keywords with Google rankings for desktop - and growing!

QuoteIcon of Quotation Marks.

My hats off to your team for your professionalism and flexibility in helping us move forward. Mediacurrent’s ability to take feedback, adjust to changing requirements, and keep a creative, strategic approach — all while maintaining a high level of positivity, cohesiveness, and professionalism — is really fantastic.
 

Chess_Challenges

Challenges

To build a robust lead generation strategy, CAS chose a new Content Management System, Drupal 8, that could integrate seamlessly with existing systems and new marketing technologies. Ready to begin a new customer-focused chapter, CAS partnered with Mediacurrent for the redesign of CAS.org. 
 

Computer Code

Why Drupal

  • Flexibility and scalability
  • Ease of use for non-technical content editors
  • Search engine optimization capabilities
  • No software costs or licensing fees
  • CRM & Marketing Automation integration

Solution

First, the Drupal 8 Platform required a content and UX Strategy focused on addressing the individual needs of their primary buyer personas and a platform for raising brand awareness around the globe. Second, an integration with Eloqua, their new marketing automation platform, and Salesforce were an integral part of the solution of driving consumer engagement with messaging targeted to the appropriate stage in the buying process. Lead scoring models and more quantitative assessment of the revenue contribution of the website were also developed. Finally, a new, more modern, and visitor-focused site design and UX and a more disciplined approach to search engine optimization techniques complete the transformation.

Strategy

Content Strategy and Structure

To support a drastic shift from current customers to focusing on generating new leads, our goal with the new site was to provide an easier way to learn about CAS and the many products and solutions they offer. Instead of basing our opinion on our ‘gut,’ we used data to drive our decisions. Now, a reimagined Information Architecture allows users to quickly find what they are looking for and will be expandable as the website grows.

Content Strategy

Findable Content

To make it easy for users to discover content, we designed a logical content hierarchy and evaluated URL patterning for each page. An XML Sitemap helps the website connect with search engines more effectively.

Engaging UX

Navigation for Great UX

‘Tree testing’ asked site users to rate the usability of two proposed site structures in a simplified text format.

Publishing

Organized Content

With content tagged by-product, need, audience, and topic, the new website taxonomy lays the building blocks to support personalization and drive logic for recommended articles and future marketing automation strategies.

Scientific_Photo

Raising Brand Awareness

With a focus on content and UX strategy, the new design addresses the individual needs of CAS’ primary buyer personas and raises brand awareness around the globe. With the new Drupal 8 platform, the CAS team can customize how pages look when shared on social networks and optimize posts so they are easy to share and more visually appealing to users.
 

Marketing and Lead Generation

One of the primary goals for the new site was to support lead generation, increasing the quantity and quality of marketing qualified leads. We facilitated an integration between Drupal, Marketing Automation (Eloqua), and CRM (Salesforce), to drive consumer engagement with messaging targeted to the appropriate stage in the buying process. Lead scoring models and more quantitative assessment of the revenue contribution of the website were developed to prove ROI.
 

Chemicals In Hand

Project Management

With a deep knowledge of Drupal extending across all disciplines (design, development, and strategy), Mediacurrent was able to deliver a resource-efficient team and uphold Drupal best practices. Mediacurrent took an Agile approach to project management, delivering the final project 13% under budget.

Design

To complete the transformation of CAS.org from an informational repository to a lead generation platform focused on decision-maker personas, we updated the website’s old look with a modern design.

Before:

  • Functioned poorly on mobile
  • Penalized in mobile search results by lack of a mobile friendly, responsive design
  • Made use of stale/outdated conventions such as fixed width layouts, and a persistent sidebar region
  • Cluttered with little hierarchy and obscure CTAs

 

After:

  • Contemporary visual design that works on all devices
  • The new responsive design makes it easier than ever for to access and browse the site from any device
  • The overall approach taken was a modern, scrolling layout that tells a story as sections of relevant information are revealed to the user as they progress down the page.
  • Clean and concise with clear hierarchy and CTAs
cas.org Drupal 8 redesign before and after

Key Modules

Drupal 8: Building a Foundation for the Future

The new Drupal 8 foundation and infrastructure for CAS.org was designed to support future functionality and features with minimal disruption. Mediacurrent leveraged a base install profile that pre-configured many of the modules we use on every project (eg Paragraphs, Metatag, Media modules, etc.). This install profile saved us setup time which allowed our team to focus on specific business tasks like custom theming and Eloqua integration.
 

Guardr

We were able to leverage the work done with the Guardr distribution to harden security for the CAS project.

CAS Eloqua

This module integrates Drupal with Eloqua forms and uses the Eloqua REST API module as a dependency. With this module editors have a simple dropdown field that can use on any content type (or entity) to select a form that has been created in Eloqua. We plan to refactor and push up as a generic solution on Drupal.org.
 

Paragraphs

This module was used extensively as a replacement for the body field. Our approach gives the CAS team maximum flexibility, allowing editors to use any of the components we built on any page, in any order.
 

Community Contributions

  • Simple Sitemap XSL for better readability - https://www.drupal.org/node/2834406
  • Security:
    • Guardr updates - https://www.drupal.org/project/guardr_core/issues/2913322
    • Eloqua REST API encryption for better security - https://www.drupal.org/node/2920351
  • Plan to push Eloqua forms integration as a sandbox project
     
Chemical Abstract Services Computer

Final Thoughts

Mediacurrent’s digital strategy and focus on ease of use (both in content and compatibility) made an immediate positive impact for CAS. The new, flexible Drupal 8 platform provides a strong foundation for future functionality from e-commerce initiatives to remarketing and personalization.

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