Episerver Solutions for Associations
In only a few short years, Episerver has grown from a mid-market CMS platform that was in relative obscurity in the US, to a best of breed CMS and Commerce engine. Due to continuous improvements and innovations from Episerver, the Episerver Digital Experience Cloud (Epi DXC) is consistently named a Leader in both the Gartner Magic Quadrant and Forrester Wave reports. Episerver solutions like Find (web search and personalization) and Commerce allow for better member and site visitor experiences. In the association space, the Epi DXC can be particularly beneficial, as it has the power to “talk both ways” with commonly used association technology platforms like their AMS (member management software), marketing automation, eLearning, and more.
Bring Content & Commerce Together
Ecommerce for associations can be a little tricky. Many choose to handle all ecommerce transactions directly through their AMS, resulting in a cost effective option and typically a fragmented user experience. In some cases, for example with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), we were faced with the challenge of different products being sold via different platforms. Books and eBooks were in one place, live events were in another, and courses were in yet another. In addition, the AAP’s AMS processed all transactions. That kind of user experience will lead to an immense amount of confusion and user frustration.
Episerver Commerce gives associations the ability to consolidate the shopping experience for users. The ecommerce store houses products, and through APIs, transactions pass seamlessly to the AMS. There is no need to bounce users to different sites to visit your online store or complete transactions.
An additional benefit is that Epi Commerce allows for future flexibility. Anyone who has undertaken a new AMS implementation, or even an upgrade, knows what a daunting task it can be. Even so, associations face the reality of moving from one AMS to another. Adage’s technical team recommends storing products and product information in Epi Commerce. Relying less on the AMS to do the heavy lifting means transitioning to another AMS will be far less painful.
Search – Personalized & Powerful
As I have discussed before, a frequent pain point of association members is their inability to find the content that they are looking for. What we often see in a member journey is that they visit the flagship website, search for what they are looking for, can’t find it, and then leave for google or Wikipedia. Episerver Find was built to solve this problem.
Think about how much content is stored in the vast number of platforms at your association.
- Patient Care
Episerver Find has the ability to pull ALL content from ALL platforms/apps/websites into one search index. Adding facets and filtering makes it even easier. An example I like to point to is www.orthoinfo.org, the work Adage completed for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). This site contains thousands of pieces of content under hundreds of categories.
Say I have an orthopaedic concern. The most trusted source to find information would be the authority on orthopaedics. Once there, if I find is too much clutter and a confusing user experience, I’m headed straight to google or Wikipedia. The user experience is better, yet I’m left with untrustworthy sources and misinformation. Now, with Epi Find, AAOS provides the general public with the information they need quickly and seamlessly from the most trusted source in the business.
AMS Driven Personalization
An association’s technology stack starts with the AMS which stores all member data. Episerver allows us to easily integrate multiple platforms using the AMS API. An association can then leverage member data to personalize communications. A 2016 study from Abila (February, 2018, http://www.abila.com/resource-library/) outlined the importance of age when communicating to association members.
The Episerver DXC enables an association to use information that they already have to push appropriate and personalized content to different types of members. Gone are the days of member frustration because of irrelevant content.
Episerver + relevant / contextual content = happy, engaged members.
Leveraging member data for content on your website is just the beginning of connecting with and engaging your members. The ability to integrate with marketing automation platforms is a key feature of the Episerver DXC. Let’s look at a couple options.
Episerver Campaign is Episerver’s Enterprise Marketing Automation platform. It enables you to easily manage campaigns across web, mobile, email and text messages. You can connect with customers wherever they are, with messages based on real-time behavior.
Another option is integrating DXC with a platform like Real Magnet, which is popular in the association world. Real Magnet by Higher Logic is an easy-to-implement marketing automation platform that fully integrates the capabilities associations need to create effective cross-channel marketing campaigns.