CHALLENGE
American Management Association (AMA), a leading training and professional development company offering seminars, conferences, lectures, and publications on multiple business-related topics, made the decision to shift the bulk of their business from print to digital and conduct their transactions via a new e-commerce platform.

APPROACH
A comprehensive research and discovery phase conducted over a period of five months yielded key insights into AMA’s users, business practices, organizational infrastructure, skills set, and technology platforms. It was imperative to leverage existing systems and talent in order to achieve efficiencies; to that end, it was determined that a series of parallel tracks be established, over which key infrastructure projects would be developed, while a new brand strategy and communication plan was rolled out. The goal was to reposition the company as a multi-channel brand and prepare internally for the new business model.

SOLUTION
The new business model was fully integrated across all the customer’s touch points; from technology infrastructure, product development, marketing and customer support, to customer service applications and customer service staff as key components of the integration. Integrating internal systems and processes between offline and online environments was key to success because most of the transactions move from print and telephone, via the customer rep, to the online platform. We designed an end-to-end customer experience that engaged with the customer at multiple touch points: Print advertising, direct marketing, catalogue marketing, e-commerce, and call center.

Partnering with Endeca for the search solution, improvements were immediately manifested in the percentage of completed site sessions, from product finding to add-to-cart activity, which, in the past, had been difficult to complete; the eBusiness solution resulted in a 400% growth in new customer acquisition during the first year of launch. Included as part of the solution’s infrastructure was a content management and publishing system that allowed AMA to publish its own content and adding it to its existing product line.

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