BRINGING THE HEAT
Winning in every category in which it was nominated, Worcester Bosch and DRPG’s digitisation programme for the manufacturer was among the best digital projects in Europe. How did it achieve Digital Impact Awards gold while garnering real results for key stakeholders?
It started out with the challenging dream of uniting digital with offline communications, serving B2B and B2C customers while meeting the needs of service providers and sales teams. It resulted in the winningest project in the 2019 Digital Impact Awards.
No, it’s not a company that sells lifestyle products or soft drinks or even pharmaceuticals. It’s Worcester Bosch, which sells boiler installations. Not boilers; boiler installations. Taking the UK-based domestic heating and hot water products manufacturer online proved to be a challenge met by the implementation of a custom app, a bespoke KPI dashboard and an integrated content management system.
Crafting products that would work for a multitude of audiences with differing needs and address key challenges in the communications process along the way required a long-term strategy form the team at Worcester and agency DRPG.
Customisation was the way forward. DRPG worked with Worcester to create a bespoke CMS, app and digital platform to digitise the company’s operations and ensure the implementation of future-proof tools and technologies.
DRPG’s head of digital operations, Matt Evans, says, “It’s an enormous project and to start with, Worcester had many objectives in place for this. There was an existing platform to work from, which was no longer fit for purpose. It was a lot of planning. It was about identifying where the opportunities were, what could be improved, what were the objectives that we’d need to meet along the way. And then from there, it was a case of what solutions could meet those needs."
One of the stars of the digitisation was the MyWorcester app. The winner of the gold award in the ‘Best use of digital from the engineering and manufacturing sector,’ and from the ‘energy and utilities sector,’ MyWorcester wowed judges as well as its target audiences. The app was targeted at internal sales teams as well as external partners and homeowners. The app itself is simple, with the integration of calendars, product information, individual product guarantees, a fault finder and more. But its success lay in its ability to speak to the what the audience wanted.
In the development process, the user experience was tested with customers, yielding insights that influenced the final product. Ian Swindlehurst, digital marketing manager found that companies might have accounts Worcester, but that most only had a master login, thereby holding up the process of registering a product against a guarantee. Streamlining this through testing allowed MyWorcester to offer a master login, alongside individual logins for engineers, thereby reducing that bottleneck. “This is a great example of a development that came through talking to the customer and the intuitive process that we ran,” says Swindlehurst.
By linking the UX with the CMS, MyWorcester allows customers to select a product and installation date, which is then seamlessly translated into the Worcester CMS, the purchase journey is simpler for both the user and for Worcester Bosch.
The product itself is revolutionary for a simplicity of use that belies the complexity of the processes being carried out. But communicating that to Worcester’s many stakeholders was also a complex challenge. “At least half of my time is spent communicating internally and it is absolutely a challenge,” Swindlehurst says. “Our web platform touches on so many areas of our business and supports so many other areas of our business. So keeping people in the loop and abreast of what we’ve actually done, what we’re planning to do, and how it’s changing the customer experience was a real challenge.”
For the internal audience, Swindlehurst ran monthly digital discussions to facilitate understanding of the new web platform. Board briefings were also implemented to keep leaders updated throughout the development process. The team was also charged with getting the message out to the 60 plus strong salesforce. “If an installer has any issues, they’ll likely to go their local sales rep and not us. They have to become technical ambassadors for the product.”
Reaching customers required a multifaceted approach that could encompass the different types of rewards and loyalty programmes of which customers are part and the ability to personalise the app experience to different customer types. “Actually a great achievement has been putting this platform together with its tools and portals and delivering a personalised customer experience across all the different business areas and customer types,” Swindlehurst says. “The complexity of our route to market has provided a challenge, coming up with a solution to that has been at times tough, but really rewarding.”
But the long process has paid off. Over 1,000 orders have been placed through the express process and app usage is up to 6,000 active users per month, with a further communications push to be made this year.
And the digitisation was a hit with judges as well. One called it, “A fantastic use of an app, that’s a no-brainer for fitters to download,” while another said, “I really liked the approach here to what sounds like a nightmare challenge.”
Worcester Bosch went on to win the gold in the ‘Best use of data’ category as well as a bronze in the ‘Best use of online video’ category. That stunning showing led to DRPG being named the ‘Agency of the year’ for 2019.
“We kind of feel like we’ve been blazing a train in our industry and the gold awards were the nice finishing touches and the rewards for the hard work that’s gone into this,” Swindlehurst says. “It really meant a lot to everyone, not just in our local organisation here in Worcester, but in our central organisation within Bosch in Germany as well.”
The recognition means Worcester Bosch’s digitiasation is the best in its sector, and now, among the best digital projects in Europe.