As Wood Mackenzie-owned Greentech Media grew, so did its content, commerce, traffic, and client base. Happy Cog partnered with the green experts early to serve the company’s expanding tech needs. Since our partnership began in 2008, Happy Cog has led Greentech Media through three redesigns and remains their technology experts.
Creating an Infrastructure That Focuses on Scalability to Grow with the Company
Founded in 2007, Greentech Media (GTM) has grown to become the leading source of information in the clean energy marketplace. As GTM’s long-standing development agency partner, we are trusted to keep up-to-speed with the latest in technology in order to allow their company to focus on the renewable energy market. Our development team designed and built a comprehensive CMS using the ExpressionEngine content management platform to power their dynamic publishing model and react to traffic bursts.
The new CMS integrated thousands of articles, research reports, industry news, and blog posts. The events feed into an interactive calendar through a set of dynamic XML feeds. As GTM’s clients and leads continued to grow, our team compiled, tracked, and connected their database of names through a custom Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. The dashboard customization and reporting tools allowed each user to navigate easily and access information strategically. On the back end, the advanced permission and authority structure that was created ensured the integrity of the publishing process by approved stakeholders. Having these provisions in place resulted in an improved information architecture and enhanced the content’s marketing impact and performance.
We built all this on top of AWS (The Amazon Cloud), and take advantage of many AWS services such as automatically scaling server capacity (instances) in response to traffic, multiple availability zones, and more.
Creating a Custom eCommerce Platform and Integrating Marketing Automation
When Greentech Media’s research reports and events took off, the second need of the growing company was a custom eCommerce system. Our team knew that scaling securely was critical, and we were able to create a comprehensive solution using our award-winning CartThrob ExpressionEngine eCommerce platform. By building with CartThrob, we were able to increase the secure billing and storage capabilities of their online purchases. CartThrob’s inherent flexibility allowed us to fit the specific needs of GTM. Some of the features we implemented included a full tracking of user behavior, subscription products, company/team accounts, different license type variants, and secure downloadable PDFs locked to logged-in users that have completed payment.
Our team also suggested that GTM implement a marketing automation platform. We used our past experiences to help GTM evaluate different vendors and choose the platform that worked best for them. After looking at the different features and APIs, GTM chose Pardot as their marketing automation platform and our team fully integrated it on their site with all of the action touchpoints. All site behavior is now logged to Pardot, including visits, whitepaper downloads, newsletter signups, event registrations, and purchases. GTM is now able to target their marketing campaigns by pushing content tailored to the user and creating email drip campaigns for follow up information. In addition to pushing data out, the data is also synced back in to ensure that the site is properly targeting the user as their experience changes.
Translating Audience Growth into New Revenue for the Client
Since our development team works within many business verticals, we are able to monitor technology trends and make recommendations based on our findings. One relevant industry trend that we noticed was a web-wide decline in display ad sales revenue despite audience growth. GTM’s team saw that other sites were experiencing this as well, and so our teams worked together to come up with a preemptive solution to get in front of this problem.
By providing audience analytics to GTM and assisting them with customer research, we were able to help them launch GTM Squared, a premium content subscription offering. This service offers exclusive content, including research briefings, podcasts, and articles not available to visitors of the free website. Our expertise in helping publishers better monetize their content has resulted in increased revenue for GTM and placed a greater value on our successful partnership.
Maintaining a Successful Partnership
Our experiences with multiple industries have helped Greentech Media reach success faster than if they had they done the work internally. By integrating and streamlining their systems for news, ecommerce, blogs, events, and others, Happy Cog was able to help GTM focus on their market and plan towards the future. With the team at GTM offering a clear understanding of their audience, our ongoing relationship has flourished. Every week, our project managers and developers meet with their team to plan new features and talk about upcoming initiatives to continue to help them achieve their goals effectively.
“Greentech Media has worked with Happy Cog for development services for several years as we’ve continued to grow our brand, technology platform, audience, and ultimately revenue. The relationship between our organizations has been extremely symbiotic, almost as if they were internal resources. The communication flow has been very strong, leading to successful, timely, and high-quality product releases for Greentech Media. As we continue to grow, we plan to work even more closely with Happy Cog.”
– Rick Thompson, President & Co-Founder