SAFC and SAFC Hitech are moving forward with the debut of a new Web presence. The final touches are being made to integrate both sites into the website of parent company Sigma-Aldrich, and it is expected to go live in early September. The incorporated site for Sigma-Aldrich, SAFC and SAFC Hitech will also contain an external link to the BioReliance life science services offering. Here, SAFC Live takes some time to sit down with Deborah (Deb) Slagle, vice president of SAFC Marketing and R&D; Cathy Danahy, Marketing Operations, Sigma-Aldrich; and Elizabeth (Liz) Grach, supervisor of SAFC Marketing Communications, to talk about what the new site has to offer and how this fits into the company’s overall drive toward customer intimacy.
SAFC Live: Thanks for joining us today. Let’s start off with a glimpse into this Web project. How did it start, and why the integration?
Deb: In the initial stages of research, we identified the digital journey a current and potential customer would have when using the website. From these studies, we realized that the existing SAFC site did not establish a relevant experience for how visitors are looking to navigate and consume information. As SAFC continues to strive toward a more customer-centric strategy, we felt it was imperative to enhance the website experience as a key channel in gaining customer intimacy.
Liz: Exactly. Customers will now be able to visit one site that offers a wealth of relevant information and that also “connects the dots” for them regarding personalized solutions. Through this site, customers can easily find resources that detail our capabilities from drug discovery through commercialization, and they’ll be able to clearly identify how to contact SAFC for product and/or purchase inquires. The experience is much more streamlined than before.
Cathy: In reality, this website overhaul has long been an objective for the marketing team at SAFC. As the project started to come to fruition in the past two years, it became clear that we needed to leverage equity and visitor traffic from the Sigma-Aldrich site, while creating a “one company” approach to the digital experience for our customers; hence, the integration of SAFC and SAFC Hitech into the Sigma-Aldrich website.
SAFC Live: What stood out during the initial research phases of the site integration project?
Cathy: Our research supported a lot of what you hear on various social platforms: This is a content-driven market. Customers want to know that they can find what they’re looking for in an efficient manner. So I guess what stood out the most for us was that we needed to refine our content to support the customer journey.
Liz: In addition, we learned that our customers use the site for validation, including validation of expertise in the services and technologies we provide, and the quality of our products and facilities. This helped us understand how to refine the content on the site and streamline the navigation architecture in order for customers to find it earlier in their journey. Whether visitors are looking for application-based solutions and services or know the actual product they need for their manufacturing process, we’ve ensured that relevant content is easy to locate and addresses where they are in their buying journey.
SAFC Live: What are the core differentiators of this integrated site?
Deb: Added functionality and simplicity are the two greatest differentiators. We agreed early on in the project that the integrated site should be easy to navigate and should offer relevant content in a format that’s practical and to the point.
Liz: I believe people are going to be very pleased with the improved visual design and layout of the content pages. A lot of work was done by various internal departments to make sure these new areas for SAFC and SAFC Hitech under Sigma-Aldrich.com incorporate a clean and fresh new look and design; this visual aspect lends to the goal of simplicity and allows for more relevant information to be found on top-level pages.
SAFC Live: Thanks so much for your time, ladies. This is exciting news and a great accomplishment for the organization. We appreciate this first glimpse into the project and look forward to offering more Web integration news in the coming weeks.
For a look back at an exclusive interview with Deb Slagle, please click here.
To read about Sigma-Aldrich’s market-focused business units, please click here.