Charting a Clear Path for Website Redesign

CMS selection, user research and an overall website design road map

Process & Results

As an industry leader in email marketing and digital marketing automation, ExactTarget — now Salesforce Marketing Cloud — had outgrown its website in 2012. They observed a lack of engagement with site visitors, lower-than-desired lead-generation numbers, a lack of mobile-friendliness, and they were trying to appease divergent website goals from internal teams. ExactTarget also felt that their website was not aligning with the company’s brand or reputation as a technology leader. They wanted their website to perform better as a sales tool, as a lead generator, and to exemplify their role as a thought leader in digital marketing. Essentially, ExactTarget wanted a clear road map—based on sound research and solid data—about how to redesign their website and manage the site into the future.

In 2012 and 2013, as ExactTarget’s strategy partner, Williams Randall planned and executed three important initiatives to help guide the future of the ExactTarget website:

  1. conducting a website Content Management System (CMS) comparison study,
  2. compiling a comprehensive website strategy road map and
  3. planning, executing and reporting the results of user research through multiple research methodologies.

Process & Results

The process

In the website strategy road map, we laid the groundwork for the ExactTarget Digital Marketing team for planning the new website strategy. This report covered the full breadth of website user experience for the new, including the importance of starting with user research, successfully reaching multiple audience groups, building site navigation, integrating video and content strategy, prioritizing social media integration, strategically promoting lead generation, and executing SEO.

As a direct result of the recommendation to conduct user research within the strategy road map, the next phase of our work with ExactTarget focused on planning, executing and reporting the results of user research. Williams Randall conducted research via multiple methodologies. We then compiled and analyzed the results and reported them in a final deliverable which was used by the ExactTarget Digital Marketing team to align internal and departmental goals and make final strategy and design decisions on the new, redesigned website.

The user-focused strategic plan for overhauling ExactTarget’s website and its content resulted in a stronger brand message, increased customer engagement and spurred return visits leading to sales.

The results

ExactTarget’s in-house marketing, content, design and development teams relied upon the CMS comparison study, strategy road map and user research report from Williams Randall to plan and redesign their main corporate website. It launched just a few months after the completion of our final report. Williams Randall’s strategy expertise and user research guided ExactTarget’s redesign from start to finish. In year-to-year comparison of the same month’s traffic, before and after the launch:

  • Traffic was up 45% for new visitors and 156% for returning visitors
  • Bounce rate was down 29% for new visitors and 52% for returning visitors
  • Average visit duration was up 113% for new visitors and 197% for returning visitors


Our Responsibilities: Strategy, Technology Consulting, User Research

Client: ExactTarget

Industry: Technology