How Cushman & Wakefield successfully migrated 900 global users from different legacy systems to a new unified Concep email marketing platform within 12 months
Cushman & Wakefield is a leading global real estate services firm with 48,000 employees and 2017 revenue of $6.9 billion.Headquartered in Chicago, the firm has regional headquarters in New York City, London and Sydney. In September 2015, the firm merged with real estate rival DTZ and now operates under the Cushman & Wakefield brand with a new identity and logo.
The merger of Cushman & Wakefield and DTZ created a number of logistical challenges globally. A major issue was the sheer size and scope of bringing together such a diverse range of real estate service firms – some six in total - with thousands of employees across the world.
A key part of this ambitious migration and merger process is the adoption of an advanced B2B communication platform for email marketing and client communication. Each region used its own B2B platform with different levels of maturity and disparate legacy systems. A key goal was to get all staff onto the same platform to standardise processes and procedures.
Philip Santo, Global Leader, Marketing Operations & Analytics at Cushman & Wakefield, is part of a small global team that supports the marketing functions within the three different regions – the Americas, EMEA and Asia Pacific.
“It is our role to own the digital and technology global platform, define the roadmap and to work within the regions to ensure everyone’s in sync,” says Philip Santo. This core marketing team intimately understood the firm’s legacy history and what was needed to define and shape its future B2B communication requirements. The team then went out into the field to talk to different types of users across the company and in the regions to ascertain fully what they were doing day-to-day and to help them accomplish their goals. This was then fed into a vision for a new consolidated B2B communication platform.
“We decided there were certain issues we couldn’t tackle immediately head on. It’s never realistic to say that we are going to integrate all of our data as we integrate our platforms. It is more important that the chosen platform can handle the data in the right way,” says Santo.
In early 2017, Cushman & Wakefield turned to B2B marketing technology specialists, Concep, to help deliver its vision of a single platform for all its future email and client communication requirements. The ambitious migration plan meant switching all their legacy users over to the Concep SEND unified marketing platform.
“The relationship with Concep has been critical to the success of the project. During the evaluation stage, Cushman & Wakefield chose the provider based on what it felt the future relationship would be, how well it understood the firm and its overall proactivity. In terms of its delivery, Concep really stood out. They worked with us closely every step of the way and have contributed to our successful implementation,” says Philip Santo.
A key challenge in the migration and adoption process was ensuring successful take-up. To achieve this, the central marketing team rolled out the new platform in a series of planned phases. “The migration plan was co-ordinated and planned according to specific user groups and what legacy tools they had been using. We then moved onto the next user group whose requirements are slightly different.This approach ensured a controlled and successful roll-out.”
A series of workshops were organised throughout the company to help train and educate users about the key functionality and benefits of the Concep SEND platform. Philip Santo and his team talked to many users one-on-one to understand how they utilised the technology so they fully appreciated their requirements and what the needs would be. This ensured a successful transition process. To help educate users, the firm used recorded sessions for Yammer as an internal resource for on-boarding, providing an online content repository and teaching webinars.
Cushman & Wakefield succeeded in migrating 900 users from different legacy systems to the new unified Concep SEND marketing platform comfortably within 12 months.
The general feedback and types of questions asked by users indicates that they have quickly mastered the general functionality of the new platform and quickly incorporated it. “The relationship with Concep has been a critical to the success of the project." During the evaluation stage, Cushman & Wakefield chose the provider based on what it felt the future relationship would be, how well it understood the firm and its overall proactivity. In terms of its delivery, Concep really stood out. They worked with us closely every step of the way and have contributed to our successful implementation.”
“From the use of extensive workshop programmes and after listening to user issues, we know that Concep is delivering things to staff they didn’t have before. Some of these were simply pain points. To maximise success, we focused on significantly improving a few, key areas of functionality. It means users can now achieve things that just weren’t possible before using their incumbent marketing and email solutions,” comments Philip Santo.
An example of additional functionality is the Content Library and the ability to upload content files – such as fliers and PDF documents - and then link them right inside the new email platform. Prior to Concep, many legacy users were simply not able to achieve this and had to through an outside party. This added an additional layer of complexity.
Philip Santo and the marketing team have directly monitored data usage since the new platform’s implementation. External facing brokers and agents use Concep for marketing properties to clients. Typically, they tend to simply measure success by the email campaign’s reach. Concep delivers collateral and email campaign templates that are much easier to use than before. Therefore, brokers and agents are creating better looking, more effective collateral to market their commercial properties to client prospects.
A few brokers are analysing success at the next level – ie click through and open rates. For the core broker users, Concep has matched, or even increased, the level of activity when directly compared to the legacy systems. The new integrated platform is much better able to cope with the exponential growth in email volume usage – from some 20 million emails annually to a predicted near 40 million emails a year by the end of 2018.
In addition to client communication, Cushman & Wakefield use Concep SEND for internal communication too.
“In our US offices, the new B2B platform has enabled more effective internal communication. One of the big wins is the ability to deliver new responsive templates that create a much better mobile experience for internal user and, therefore, enable better engagement.”
If you are looking to roll out a unified B2B Communications platform that is integrated with your CRM, talk to Concep.