Pitney Bowes Business Insight

Navigating the Web Challenges of a Corporate Merger

  • Pitney Bowes
  • Pitney Bowes
  • Pitney Bowes

TBG & Pitney Bowes Business Insight

Pitney Bowes Business Insight (PBBI) is a division of Pitney Bowes, a leading global technology solutions provider best known for their shipping and mailing solutions. Pitney Bowes’ solutions and software enable billions of digital and physical commerce transactions conducted by 90% of Fortune 500 companies and over two million customers worldwide.

PBBI engaged TBG (The Berndt Group) for digital and Web services during the acquisition and merger of MapInfo and Group 1 Software. By acquiring leading providers of location intelligence and geographic information system (GIS) solutions, PBBI would be at the forefront of an emerging market that allows businesses to organize and understand interconnected economic influences such as labor, healthcare, education, and lifestyle within complex business ecosystems, and to use this data to support critical business decisions from financial and insurance risk management to retail customer analysis and expansion planning.

TBG guided PBBI through a digital communications strategy and process that would seamlessly roll-out the new company’s untested brand while maintaining visibility of MapInfo’s and Group 1 Software’s enormously popular products and accumulated brand equity.

As an intermediary step, TBG first redesigned the MapInfo website to focus on C-Level decision makers and to position the new company as a consultative-oriented business offering enterprise solutions. TBG’s content strategy appealed to C-Level audiences by communicating the value of PBBI services through topical journalistic articles, news, partnership information, case studies, and multimedia pieces that explained location services to a non-technical audience. Simultaneously, audience segmentation within the site’s navigation structure, Web 2.0. features like tabbed content and taxonomically driven related links and product cross-selling provided easy access to technical and knowledgebase resources for existing customers.

Following on the success of this project, TBG was retained by PBBI to provide strategic and design services for their next generation website, an important branding tool that would market the unified product and solutions offerings from MapInfo and Group 1 Software.

Through a quickly and intelligently executed collaborative process involving digital teams from PBBI, MapInfo and Group 1 Software, TBG developed a Web strategy that addressed key PBBI challenges, including:

  • PBBI’s site must position the company as an enterprise technology solutions provider and industry thought-leader by marketing to C-Level executives a broader narrative about location intelligence solutions. TBG’s recommendation to use topical and journalistic content, case studies and partner content, and homepage movies, expressed PBBI’s value propositions with supporting, real-world examples.
  • To market PBBI’s complex mix of different products and solutions, a unified structure of solutions lines and associated products needed to be defined internally, and then reiterated through the site structure. Product cross-selling, using related multimedia and demo content, and writing non-technical product copy are just a few of TBG’s solutions.
  • The new site needed to retain existing MapInfo and Group 1 Software customers by providing excellent on-demand technical support, detailed product information, knowledgebase resources, and customer service.

TBG’s longstanding partnerships with global technology and consulting companies (including GE, Raytheon, and RWD) brought considerable insight and experience to PBBI’s project. First and foremost, TBG understood the challenges of marketing large, heterogeneous products to diverse customer bases, mainly the balancing of marketing (delivering focused, clear, resonate messages based around business priories) with information on demand (allowing all users to find what they need). However, perhaps more importantly, we accomplished this in the redesign through quality graphic design, usability best practices, and holistic content strategies geared towards site longevity and support of PPBI’s overall business strategy.

Positioning & Marketing a New Multichannel Brand

Positioning & Marketing a New Multichannel Brand

As an untested brand in the emerging “location intelligence” market, PBBI was in the unique position of needing to simultaneously define their market, position themselves within that market, and effectively market that company to existing and future customers. TBG’s online branding solution for PBBI established a clear messaging hierarchy from the very first page a visitor encounter. Visitors would first see the Pitney Bowes globally recognized brand, followed by the PBBI brand, and (at least initially) the MapInfo and Group 1 Software brands. Imagery that immediately expressed technology, data, and geography/map concepts along with the tagline “Locate, Connect, Communicate” would ensure that visitors immediately understood PBBI’s area of expertise.  

Another challenging dimension of PBBI’s brand was a shift in focus to C-Level executives purchasing enterprise solutions and away from technology specialists and engineers who were the primary customers for MapInfo and Group 1 Software products. TBG’s design supports these multiple goals by providing a clear experience for existing customers through audience segmented navigation, persistent customer service and support calls to action, developer tools, technical bulletins, white papers, and knowledgebase resources through the main navigation and related links on product and solution pages. To appeal to a new C-Level audience, the site communicates key value propositions including the breadth of PBBI’s offerings; the diversity of the vertical markets who benefit from PBBI solutions; and PBBI as the de facto leader in the location intelligence market.

To build visitors’ perception of PBBI as a thought-leader, TBG worked with PBBI writers to develop topical, journalistic “third-party” articles and news features, multimedia videos or “guide” content describing PBBI products to non-technical audiences, and case studies that highlighted success stories with large well known brands.

Recognizing that the PBBI website would be continuously evolving as the business grew, TBG developed a Web governance plan that would help PBBI establish a committee responsible for determining policies and procedures, determine the theme and concept of new homepage and site content, and direct editors, site coordinators and other staff responsible for ongoing maintenance.  In addition, the site was implemented in a multilingual, multichannel CMS platform to support expansion into international markets.

Usability & Cross-Selling for Complex Product Lines

Usability & Cross-Selling for Complex Product Lines

As a result of the merger, PBBI’s product and solution lines were complex and inherently overwhelming to new customers who often would not be able to self-select products. Because MapInfo and Group 1 Software had been successfully selling these products for years, a complete overhaul of product names, demos and product design risked confusing and alienating the existing customer base.

TBG helped PBBI identify and clearly articulate solutions packages consisting of hardware bundles, consulting, and other services. The site’s design and product copy leads from this approach, conveying the value proposition and context of various solutions vividly, and creating various pathways for users to get to them including a new information architecture separating product and solution offerings, vertical market navigation from the homepage, labels and headers that intuitively express the product offering, and site features like topical news and articles that promote individual solutions for specific industries.

Utilizing CMS taxonomy features, PBBI products and solutions were automatically related to each other and cross-sold on each product and solution page. Given the complex nature of PBBI’s products, the site’s ability to relate and communicate the “whole picture” of each solution through contextual content, significantly decreased customer confusion. In addition, links to related content like demonstration videos, multimedia spots, technical bulletins, news articles, case studies, and white papers both validated and explained the product or solutions line.

To retain and service existing customers, the site prioritized developer resources, knowledge base, and support in the main and sub navigation options, used persistent customer service calls-to-action across the site, and integrated a more powerful site search feature. Standard usability best practices like consistently using a limited number of design layouts, context indication and breadcrumb navigation, shallow site depth, and user, rather than internal, facing language help site visitors contextualize and quickly understand where they are in the PBBI site and how to access the desired information.

Lead Generation & Conversion

Lead Generation & Conversion

Online research via a company’s website is often the first step executives take when evaluating new vendors. In addition to having a world-class website design, effective and persuasive conversion funnels and lead generation features are crucial for business-to-business corporations. A website generates leads by providing meaningful, engaging, and informative content that easily guides users through various aspects of your business and products and by doing so persuades them to submit an RFP or sales contact form.

PBBI’s website encourages interaction on every page of the site, with the goal of eventually bringing visitors to a contact form. Persistent calls-to-action in the form of eye-catching portlets allows users to contact customer support, access user forums, download white papers, learn more about related products, or read latest news items. Prominent tools for sharing content through popular bookmarking and social media sites both promote PBBI’s business and deepen customer engagement with the site. Highly desirable and specialized content such as white papers and demonstration videos require entering an email to download and also provide the option to sign up for newsletter and PBBI updates.

Using PBBI’s CMS solution, TBG also integrated web analytics tools that track visitor conversion funnels and enable PBBI to adjust website content and copy for the most effective lead generation.