Making Leaders Successful Every Day
November 16, 2009
Case Study: Hunter Douglas
Europe Grows Via Distributed
Content Mana...
© 2009, Forrester Research, Inc. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited. Information is bas...
© 2009, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction ProhibitedNovember 16, 2009
Case Study: Hunter Douglas Europe Grows Via Dist...
© 2009, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited November 16, 2009
Case Study: Hunter Douglas Europe Grows Via Dis...
© 2009, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction ProhibitedNovember 16, 2009
Case Study: Hunter Douglas Europe Grows Via Dist...
© 2009, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited November 16, 2009
Case Study: Hunter Douglas Europe Grows Via Dis...
© 2009, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction ProhibitedNovember 16, 2009
Case Study: Hunter Douglas Europe Grows Via Dist...
© 2009, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited November 16, 2009
Case Study: Hunter Douglas Europe Grows Via Dis...
© 2009, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction ProhibitedNovember 16, 2009
Case Study: Hunter Douglas Europe Grows Via Dist...
© 2009, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited November 16, 2009
Case Study: Hunter Douglas Europe Grows Via Dis...
© 2009, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction ProhibitedNovember 16, 2009
Case Study: Hunter Douglas Europe Grows Via Dist...
Forrester Research, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR)
is an independent research company
that provides pragmatic and forward-
thinking a...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Hunter douglas-europe-grows-via-channelnet-distributed-content-management-platform

2,263 views

Published on

Hunter Douglas, a leading manufacturer of window coverings and architectural products, distributes its products through thousands of local dealers. Hunter Douglas saw an expanding online consumer retail market in Europe and wanted to use eBusiness to generate more sales leads for its dealer partners. The firm needed to cater to 25 different countries with multiple languages and allow local customization while maintaining brand consistency. To solve the problem, the firm implemented a distributed content management solution from ChannelNet that helps manage its brand and create consistent customer experiences while giving local dealers customized content and promotions — and has generated €600,000 in sales from leads generated for local dealers in the first half of 2009.

Published in: Business
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
2,263
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
12
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
0
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Hunter douglas-europe-grows-via-channelnet-distributed-content-management-platform

  1. 1. Making Leaders Successful Every Day November 16, 2009 Case Study: Hunter Douglas Europe Grows Via Distributed Content Management Platform by Chad Mitchell for eBusiness & Channel Strategy Professionals
  2. 2. © 2009, Forrester Research, Inc. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited. Information is based on best available resources. Opinions reflect judgment at the time and are subject to change. Forrester®, Technographics®, Forrester Wave, RoleView, TechRadar, and Total Economic Impact are trademarks of Forrester Research, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective companies. To purchase reprints of this document, please email clientsupport@forrester.com. For additional information, go to www.forrester.com. For eBusiness & Channel Strategy Professionals Executive Summary Hunter Douglas, a leading manufacturer of window coverings and architectural products, distributes its products through thousands of local dealers. Hunter Douglas saw an expanding online consumer retail market in Europe and wanted to use eBusiness to generate more sales leads for its dealer partners. The firm needed to cater to 25 different countries with multiple languages and allow local customization while maintaining brand consistency. To solve the problem, the firm implemented a distributed content management solution from ChannelNet that helps manage its brand and create consistent customer experiences while giving local dealers customized content and promotions — and has generated €600,000 in sales from leads generated for local dealers in the first half of 2009. table of Contents Situation: Hunter Douglas Seeks To Capture European Online Growth Problem: Complexity Threatened To Overwhelm Brand Consistency Action: Hunter Douglas Europe Implements Distributed Content Management Results: DCM Grows Sales And Improves Many Areas Of Channel Marketing WHAT IT MEANS DCM Empowers Global eBusiness And Channel Managers NOTES & RESOURCES Forrester interviewed Ronald Blok, Dealer Alliance manager for Hunter Douglas Europe, and Paula Tompkins, chief executive officer and founder of ChannelNet. Related Research Documents “Tactics To Attract Recession-Weary Online Buyers Around The Globe” September 4, 2009 “Web Site Localization” January 16, 2008 “Managing Web Content For Global And Local Markets Requires A Distributed Approach” June 6, 2001 November 16, 2009 Case Study: Hunter Douglas Europe Grows Via Distributed Content Management Platform ChannelNet Solution Improves Network Of Web Sites For Local Dealers by Chad Mitchell with Benjamin Ensor, Zia Daniell Wigder, and Courtney Tincher 2 2 3 8 8
  3. 3. © 2009, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction ProhibitedNovember 16, 2009 Case Study: Hunter Douglas Europe Grows Via Distributed Content Management Platform For eBusiness & Channel Strategy Professionals 2 situation: hunter douglas seeks to capture european online growth Hunter Douglas, based in the Netherlands, sells high-end, residential, custom window fashions worldwide under the brand name Luxaflex in Europe.1 The firm distributes its products through multitiered sales and service channels referred to as Alliance dealers (e.g., home decorating resellers).2 Hunter Douglas saw an expanding online consumer retail market in Europe.3 It wanted to leverage eBusiness to generate more sales leads for its dealer partners and provide decentralized site content and promotional tools.4 Forrester spoke with Ronald Blok, Dealer Alliance manager for Hunter Douglas Europe, to learn more about the company’s European eBusiness and channel strategy. He told us that the firm wanted to quickly deploy a network of Web sites to serve its European markets and provide its dealers with a significant competitive advantage.5 Blok understood the need to add a strong eBusiness component to the firm’s channel marketing strategy to leverage the strength of the firm’s dealer sales channel. problem: complexity threatened to overwhelm brand consistency Hunter Douglas’s eBusiness strategy is to create a consistent, global sales and service experience for residential customers that focuses on the in-store and in-home consultation with an Alliance dealer. “Given broad adoption of the Web in Europe, it is essential that we seamlessly connect customers with dealers no matter what country they live in,” says Blok. This requires Hunter Douglas to ensure that members of the Dealer Alliance program who are the most knowledgeable and reputable dealers in their respective market respond to consumer inquires. But at the same time, Hunter Douglas has to support differentiation for individual local dealers competing in the same market for the same customers. The firm faced several challenges as it tried to use eBusiness to support its distributed network of dealers, including: · Geographic complexity. Hunter Douglas needed to integrate a pan-European Web presence for 25 countries in Eastern and Western Europe. A primary issue for Hunter Douglas is managing multiple Web sites across its global footprint. Typical country brand Web sites require language localization with an XML platform supporting multiple languages. The firm needed multilingual Web sites in the UK, Netherlands, Ireland, Spain, Belgium, Switzerland, and France. · Decentralized marketing. Hunter Douglas has a decentralized marketing workforce and process. Each worldwide region of Hunter Douglas operates as an independent business with its own marketing, product, distribution, manufacturing, and budget. There is no central corporate marketing or IT organization across all the firm’s worldwide regions. The saying goes, “corporate down and local up,” because country and local managers have people responsible for local marketing. There are national, regional, and local marketing promotions and strategies all targeting the same customers. Hunter Douglas dealer managers needed to leverage current local marketing content. This is cost-effective because Hunter Douglas does not have to hire new local marketing people or pay the cost of translation.6
  4. 4. © 2009, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited November 16, 2009 Case Study: Hunter Douglas Europe Grows Via Distributed Content Management Platform For eBusiness & Channel Strategy Professionals 3 · Brand consistency. Independent dealers developed individual Web sites, but Hunter Douglas was not their only product or brand. Hunter Douglas was unable to control the message, content, leads, functionality, or branding across these local dealer Web sites. Hunter Douglas’ European marketing strategy of Luxaflex brand consistency to customers required a content management system that delivered brand guidelines at the local level. · Local customization. The Alliance dealers compete for local customers and cannot afford online storefronts with no differentiation versus other dealers. The firm needed to give each country and dealer the ability to localize its Web site to accommodate this differentiation. These challenges created the need for a system that accommodated corporate content with local customization.7 action: hunter douglas europe implements distributed content management Hunter Douglas needed a global solution that offered content management at the local dealer level.8 The firm implemented a distributed content management (DCM) solution from ChannelNet based on a successful implementation at Hunter Douglas North America.9 ChannelNet’s global SiteBuilder DCM platform enables each country and dealer to modify its site to account for differences in products, languages, and cultures across all markets (see Figure 1). The tool does not include online transactional capabilities because the eBusiness strategy is to use the Web site to arrange in-home consultations between the dealer and consumer. Hunter Douglas was able to implement a solution more quickly with added benefits versus traditional content management systems (CMSes).10 Each national Hunter Douglas operation in Europe can deploy a network of brand and dealer Web sites, which present the Luxaflex brand consistently at the local market level (see Figure 2, see Figure 3, and see Figure 4). The network of Web sites is optimized to connect online shoppers with local dealers through a new lead management feature. The solution offers several benefits, including: · Dealer portal functionality. Hunter Douglas also needed a CMS that offered dealers an online administration site including discussion boards, training information about marketing programs, and secure-site lead management functionality. The network of Web sites includes a secure communications portal where authorized Luxaflex dealers retrieve and manage their sales leads, participate in eLearning programs, and conduct day-to-day business with Hunter Douglas. · Country-based marketing functionality. Country-based marketing representatives and their local dealers are able to manage content on their site using a Web site administration tool. This allows business managers to make real-time changes to their Web sites. The tool allows changes and updates using brand-compliant content, which can be modified, as well as a host of optional content, such as the ability to promote local sales events, custom services, and customer testimonials.
  5. 5. © 2009, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction ProhibitedNovember 16, 2009 Case Study: Hunter Douglas Europe Grows Via Distributed Content Management Platform For eBusiness & Channel Strategy Professionals 4 · Equal treatment of dealers on the brand Web site. Hunter Douglas has to manage the inevitable conflict between local dealers as more customers use showroom locators on the Luxaflex brand sites to search for Alliance dealers. For example, Luxaflex dealers want guarantees as to how Hunter Douglas will distribute leads and who will show up at the top of the showroom locator search results. This conflict created the need for a solution that would rotate different dealers at the local level. Figure 1 Hunter Douglas’Decentralized Dealer Content Manager Console From ChannelNet Source: Forrester Research, Inc.55125 Source: Hunter Douglas Web site
  6. 6. © 2009, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited November 16, 2009 Case Study: Hunter Douglas Europe Grows Via Distributed Content Management Platform For eBusiness & Channel Strategy Professionals 5 Figure 2 Hunter Douglas European Regional Landing Page For Luxaflex-Branded Web Sites Source: Forrester Research, Inc.55125 Source: Hunter Douglas Web site
  7. 7. © 2009, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction ProhibitedNovember 16, 2009 Case Study: Hunter Douglas Europe Grows Via Distributed Content Management Platform For eBusiness & Channel Strategy Professionals 6 Figure 3 Hunter Douglas Dutch Brand Site Customized To Local Market Source: Forrester Research, Inc.55125 Source: Hunter Douglas Web site
  8. 8. © 2009, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited November 16, 2009 Case Study: Hunter Douglas Europe Grows Via Distributed Content Management Platform For eBusiness & Channel Strategy Professionals 7 Figure 4 Hunter Douglas Spain Brand Site Customized To Local Market Source: Forrester Research, Inc.55125 Source: Hunter Douglas Web site
  9. 9. © 2009, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction ProhibitedNovember 16, 2009 Case Study: Hunter Douglas Europe Grows Via Distributed Content Management Platform For eBusiness & Channel Strategy Professionals 8 results: DCM grows sales AND IMPROVES many areas of channel marketing Hunter Douglas has achieved substantial return on its investment and other tangible benefits from the ChannelNet distributed content management solution, including: · €600,000 in sales generated from eBusiness. From January to June 2009, 100,000 unique visitors used the dealer locator across Europe, with 6% of those consumers visiting a dealer. Of those customers who visited a dealer, the firm converted 20%, or 1,200 unique visitors, into sales. Hunter Douglas attributes €600,000 in sales for the first half of 2009 directly to leads generated via eBusiness. · Increased site traffic. Hunter Douglas achieved a 548% increase in overall brand site traffic from 2007 to 2008 as a result of implementing the improved eBusiness brand portal at the local level in local languages. The positive trend continued into the first half of 2009, with Web site traffic up 225% versus the first half of 2008. · Increased brochure downloads. Hunter Douglas measures overall consumer engagement through the Web site based on the total number of product brochure downloads. The European brands saw an increase of 13.5% year-over-year in brochure downloads because of promotional offers managed through the ChannelNet platform. · Improved marketing measurement. Managing local dealer Web sites across European countries requires integrated measurement and reporting. The ChannelNet platform integrates with critical Omniture analytics and Hunter Douglas customer databases tracking dealer and customer Web behavior. The platform allows Hunter Douglas to measure search engine optimization and search engine marketing results and adjust cost per acquisition with advertisers. W H AT IT M E A N S dcm empowers global ebusiness And channel managers Hunter Douglas faced the daunting challenge of delivering customized site content across 25 European countries for thousands of local dealers. Language customization, lead management, and local marketing requirements necessitated a global DCM solution with centralized and decentralized elements. eBusiness and channel managers should consider a DCM solution when expanding internationally to reduce costs of localization. Executives in industries like automotive, consumer goods, and financial services that sell to consumers through third-party distributors, franchises, or agents can leverage DCM. A distributed content management system achieves the efficiency and consistency of a centralized approach while maintaining relevance to users in local or national markets. It requires centralized management, infrastructure investment, and communication between global teams. But the benefits of the model outweigh any cons. eBusiness and channel managers should consider the following when evaluating a DCM:
  10. 10. © 2009, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited November 16, 2009 Case Study: Hunter Douglas Europe Grows Via Distributed Content Management Platform For eBusiness & Channel Strategy Professionals 9 · Balance central versus local. Find the balance between central and local control with business and organizational needs in each region, matching the scope of localization efforts with global and local business needs. Localization is expensive, and businesses must determine where localization dollars are best spent to match global business priorities.11 · Establish Web site guidelines early on for channel partners. It is essential for eBusiness managers to create Web site guidelines in international markets. A DCM solution can help control brand consistency through templates. But a set of guidelines should be listed and updated consistently to local distributors to ensure that a firm is compliant with local marketing and consumer laws and regulations. Endnotes 1 Hunter Douglas’ products are marketed under different brand names across the world, depending on the geographic region. 2 These dealers are typically independent, small, or midsize businesses that sell multiple brands and products. The Luxaflex brand focuses intensely on the in-store and in-home consultation experience for residential customers delivered through local dealers. 3 The European eCommerce market, which includes the EU-17 (Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, Spain, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, and the UK), will grow at a CAGR of 8% over the six-year forecast period. Business-to-consumer (B2C) and consumer-to-consumer (C2C) eCommerce continue their double-digit year-over-year growth rate, in part because sales are shifting away from stores, the number of new online shoppers is rising, and online shoppers are less sensitive to adverse economic conditions than the average European consumer. Europeans will spend an annual average of €942 per person in 2009, and this amount will grow to €1,086 in 2014. See the March 16, 2009, “Western European Online Retail And Travel Forecast, 2008 To 2014” report. 4 Hunter Douglas is following a trend as other European businesses leverage the eBusiness to capture growth through local distributors and share information. In Europe, one apparel vendor that does not yet sell direct is evaluating an online community platform that would link its distributors across the continent. The platform would provide a way for the company to push information to local distributors online as well as for distributors to share best practices. See the September 4, 2009, “Tactics To Attract Recession-Weary Online Buyers Around The Globe” report. 5 Hunter Douglas’ European competitors, typically geographically situated in a particular country or region, do not have the marketing resources or scale to compete with the Luxaflex brand. The firm’s ability to provide a consistently branded, low-cost, yet comprehensive, Web site strategy was a key competitive advantage over more localized smaller competitors. 6 A challenge of translation is ensuring that content created for one market broadly translates into others. In many cases, companies developed their Web site content before they decided to internationally expand. As a result, the content may include terminology and cultural references that require not only translation
  11. 11. © 2009, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction ProhibitedNovember 16, 2009 Case Study: Hunter Douglas Europe Grows Via Distributed Content Management Platform For eBusiness & Channel Strategy Professionals 10 but also adjustment. This additional level of input can be both pricey and complex: All content developed for one market must be reviewed for its cultural suitability for others. See the January 16, 2008, “Web Site Localization” report. 7 The most successful companies in the long term will not simply apply a uniform template to all global markets. Instead, they will develop unique sites that take advantage of users’ different behavior and expectations. Given the limited budgets for consumer research and lack of data on some global markets, companies must position themselves to rapidly collect, analyze, and act on analytics data from international Web sites. See the January 16, 2008, “Web Site Localization” report. 8 Blok stated, “We recognized that our internal IT organization did not have the expertise to develop the Web site system for us, and we would need a vendor that understood our complex sales and service channel strategy, had implemented similar systems in the past, had a flexible Web-based technology platform that could carry us into the future, and would be cost-effective to implement and manage.” 9 When Hunter Douglas initiated the launch of the Dealer Alliance program in Europe, it wanted to leverage the success achieved by implementing a similar program in the US. ChannelNet had developed a network of dealer Web sites for more than 1,500 gallery and showcase Alliance dealers in the US, beginning in 2003. The overall success of the US Alliance program drove the decision to adopt the same business strategy in Europe and other parts of the world by top management. The US formula was modified and adopted by residential divisions in key regions around the globe and is critical to the positioning of Hunter Douglas brands. 10 Paula Tompkins, chief executive officer and founder of ChannelNet, provided some background on other decentralized content management systems. “Most large global firms spend two to three years trying to execute a global brand Web site strategy,” she said. “These firms use technology platform like a traditional content management solutions. At best they generate a multilingual cookie-cutter approach. The Web site is then managed centrally by a staff, and functional changes and updates can take from six to nine months.” 11 Localization is expensive, and businesses must determine where localization dollars are best spent to match global business priorities. It may make sense for certain businesses or countries if a firm is trying to grow in specific emerging markets. See the June 26, 2001, “Managing Web Content For Global And Local Markets Requires A Distributed Approach” report.
  12. 12. Forrester Research, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR) is an independent research company that provides pragmatic and forward- thinking advice to global leaders in business and technology. Forrester works with professionals in 20 key roles at major companies providing proprietary research, customer insight, consulting, events, and peer-to-peer executive programs. For more than 26 years, Forrester has been making IT, marketing, and technology industry leaders successful every day. For more information, visit www.forrester.com. Australia Brazil Canada Denmark France Germany Hong Kong India Israel Japan Korea The Netherlands Switzerland United Kingdom United States Headquarters Forrester Research, Inc. 400 Technology Square Cambridge, MA 02139 USA Tel: +1 617.613.6000 Fax: +1 617.613.5000 Email: forrester@forrester.com Nasdaq symbol: FORR www.forrester.com M a k i n g L e a d e r s S u c c e s s f u l E v e r y D a y For a complete list of worldwide locations, visit www.forrester.com/about. Research and Sales Offices 55125 For information on hard-copy or electronic reprints, please contact Client Support at +1 866.367.7378, +1 617.613.5730, or clientsupport@forrester.com. We offer quantity discounts and special pricing for academic and nonprofit institutions.

×