Content management, Whirlpool’s strategy

Roberto Ghislanzoni
Senior Manager Digital Center of Excellence @Whirlpool EMEA

Digital proliferation poses some really pressing challenges to companies. They must be able to grab the attention of consumers, who not only do use multiple channels and devices, but they use them at the same time. If a company looks disconnected and fragmented, how can it hope to succeed? That's why the whole customer experience must be rebuilt, starting from content.

That’s what the international brand Whirlpool did, by implementing, a few years ago, content management strategies whose effectiveness in terms of economic results has been demonstrated by a recent research conducted by Forrester Consulting. Let's see how:

  • Centralized distribution of content

The first step was centralizing digital content. For Whirlpool, given the complexity of its distribution infrastructure - with a presence on the market counting more than 40 countries and over 180 websites to manage - it was a necessary step. The process of centralization of all digital content, in an adequate, scalable system that feeds all proprietary and partners websites from a single point, initially required a huge effort.

  • Digital content ownership

However, the centralization was a fundamental pillar to ensure that content, and the data it brings, has a single "master", and thus ensure its quality. What does this mean? With this process, the company regained full ownership over the content workflow, from creation to delivery across proprietary websites and the channels of partners / dealers, and it can intervene in case of mistakes. It is an internal certification process that guarantees the release of quality contents.

  • Automation and repurposing of digital content

With more than 180 websites to manage, to even think of performing interventions manually had become impractical; Whirlpool has automated its publishing processes, choosing to manage digital content starting from the information it contains.

The creation and delivery of digital content require investments, but thanks to automated algorithms it is enriched with metadata that makes it searchable (and therefore reusable), so a single digital asset (photo, video, document etc..) is linked to as many products as possible. With a centralized database, the brand can distribute content in 30 different languages, making the user's shopping experience more complete.

Eventually, this solves the problems of scalability and limits the investment necessary for the creation of digital assets: instead of creating multimedia material for each product, the system automatically serves different products, thus ensuring a higher return on investment.

This was crucial because automated systems can count on a real treasure of data, with which they feed the different websites. Before arriving to a conversion (and therefore, to turnover), it is essential that the consumer is exposed to content that motivates their purchase of Whirlpool products. The brand must be present across its online channels with quality content, updated in real time: this is possible with a centralized system for the distribution of content, which automatically updates it across all websites.

The digital presence allows the collection of analytics, which enable optimized profiling about the use of content and ensure a constant data flow, which in turn enables an improved customization to meet the needs of the consumer. It’s the era of Interactive Marketing: the product is no longer conceived in the traditional way, but as an innovative, continuous dialogue with the consumer, linked as it is to a series of services / benefits, only possible thanks to new digital technologies.