A monolithic CMS delayed releases and led to degraded site performance.
BMI Group’s 40 market-specific sites weren’t connected or cohesive, creating disjointed and confusing customer experiences.
A Drupal-powered LMS failed to connect with the larger marketing ecosystem and had limited functionalities.
A composable content platform supports a lightweight API-first, language-agnostic digital presence.
Content models templatize content for reuse to support consistent, connected, and localized content experiences.
Migrating its LMS to Contentful enables BMI Group to better resource roofers for optimal client experiences.
“With time, people have taken to Contentful quite well. Most will tell you the best part is its flexibility. They can now do what they couldn’t before — piecing together different modules and content to build something new or iterative.”
“We started to look for alternatives that supported smaller site releases. We wanted the ability to iterate more frequently — with the flexibility to do multiple releases per day. A traditional monolith wasn’t going to help with this.”
One of the most basic needs is a roof over your head. No one understands that better than BMI Group. As a residential and commercial roofing manufacturer, it’s what they do. Since 2009, their stylish yet ultra-functional offerings have attracted customers from 40 countries across Europe, Asia, and Africa.
BMI Group built a library of localized sites to support these markets but lacked a central platform from which to manage them. The result: A disjointed, disorienting customer experience as potential buyers were rerouted from a crisp central site to less polished, market-specific sites. Inconsistencies in design and content told a story of siloed marketing efforts. BMI Group wanted to tell a different story.
“Everything is becoming digital — there’s no other choice. If done right, our website should balance out more conventional ways of selling where merchants and customers interact in person,” Yesim Mathanaraj-Erbay, a Senior Product Owner at BMI Group, explained. “We don’t anticipate that in-person option going away, but we want to open the door for more modern customers,“ she added.
To attract these modern customers and unite its disconnected sites, BMI Group needed a more flexible content management system (CMS).
Fixing a leaky, monolithic CMS
Early on, a monolithic CMS served as the foundation for BMI Group's main marketing site. The company even successfully added 17 market-specific sites to the platform before it began experiencing technical limitations.
According to Mahesh Warnasooriya, Digital Architecture Lead, releases took several days, preventing any form of content agility and closing the door on additional market-specific sites. The all-in-one platform’s extensive capabilities and heavy frontend were to blame. BMI Group was left to consider whether its content solution was really a solution at all.
To hurdle its technology-tied shortcomings, the company shopped for a new solution. A third-party implementation partner supported them, narrowing the options to those capable of connecting localized sites and enabling faster releases. From those, BMI Group selected Contentful — and not just because it was highly recommended.
“We selected Contentful for two reasons. First, we could combine different frameworks. Second, we could easily integrate other tools,” Warnasooriya pointed out.
Hammering away at content models and integrations
BMI Group wasted no time migrating content to Contentful. However, engineers quickly realized that to take full advantage of Contentful’s reuse capabilities, they would need to build several solid content models. They started small, using their Norwegian site as the beta.
Once this site was launched, BMI Group continued to take an iterative approach to expansion, using Norway’s site as a “template” for those that followed. The company built out a master site and four additional country-specific sites including Germany, Finland, Australia, and Italy, within the year. That following year, production ramped up — an additional 20 country-specific sites were built.
To enhance its platform further, BMI Group took a build/buy approach, mixing purpose-built, third-party tools with several custom-built ones. The company integrated a handful of third-party services including Google Cloud Platform and SAP (both available in the Contentful Marketplace). It also built several custom apps using the App Framework. The growing list includes an app that collects and organizes roofer information.
The growing list includes an app that collects and organizes roofer information.
The resulting tech stack — which includes React and Gatsby frameworks for the frontend provides engineers and content creators with everything they need (and nothing they don’t), keeping things as powerful and lightweight as possible.
Nailing marketing with composable content
Like other companies that transition from monolithic to composable solutions, engineers and marketers at BMI Group had to reframe their understanding of and approach to content to use their new tool effectively. As the resident Contentful product owner, Mathanaraj-Erbay was (and still is) devoted to providing onboarding resources to help internal team members master Contentful’s interface — a process with timelines that vary from country to country.
Regardless of how long it takes team members to grasp structured content and content modeling, Contentful offered BMI Group real business value out of the box. “Teams can quickly build content experiences that are visually stunning and accessible while optimizing them with analytics and A/B testing,” Mathanaraj-Erbay shared. With a more direct path through the site content, customers are visiting more pages and staying on the site for longer periods.
Moreover, Contentful is helping BMI Group expand the types of content it offers roofers and its clients. “Contentful really lays the groundwork for creativity. We’re constantly amazed by what team members come up with while using it,” Mathanaraj-Erbay said.
One example of this is a homeowner’s guide BMI Group’s Marketing team in Italy built with Contentful. This resource outlines local roofing terms to help customers make an informed decision about which product they select and how to best maintain it. The guide is so well structured that other country-specific marketing teams have been cloning and customizing it to reflect localized offerings and best practices. This project and others position BMI Group as an expert in its field while building customer knowledge and confidence to encourage movement throughout the buyer’s journey.
Constructing a loyalty and learning portal
Perhaps more impressive than the homeowner’s guide is the company’s learning management system (LMS) — which was migrated from Drupal to Contentful. This move was inspired by a desire to weave content between the marketing site and LMS — which includes video training, certifications, downloadable resources, and rewards (all available to companies and individuals who sign up for a BMI RoofPro™ membership).
This connectivity also establishes trust. “When people go from our marketing site to our LMS, it’s familiar. Plus the design and content are easier to manage,” Benjamin Sproule, Digital DevOps Lead, shared.
Roughly 1,000 companies from 11 markets have joined the BMI RoofPro program. Aside from training and certification, members receive information on the newest roofing materials and access to marketing materials to share with customers. BMI Group has even made it possible for these materials to be localized.
The LMS also serves as a means of communication, enabling roofers to ask BMI Group questions for on-the-job support. To decrease response time and limit the work required to address queries, BMI’s Marketing team built out a library of customizable responses within Contentful.
“Our LMS is a one-stop-shop for roofers to do their jobs better and with less of a lift on their end. It's become the digital heart of our business and even the industry,” Sproule added.
Blueprints for future builds
With BMI RoofPro up and running and most of the company’s country-specific sites migrated to Contentful, BMI Group can break ground on a new project: uncovering Contentful’s full capabilities — specifically those relating to editorial processes.
“We want to implement governance and workflows. Right now, everyone has the same permission to edit and publish content — and that shouldn’t necessarily be the case,” Mathanaraj-Erbay shared. “Once we figure that out we’ll explore other Contentful features we can leverage to make the creation-to-publishing even flow smoother.”
In the realm of improvements that promise to benefit roofers and their customers, BMI Group has something big on the horizon. It plans to build a roofer directory. This project will integrate the company’s marketing site and LMS to an even greater extent, pulling in roofer data originally reported in BMI RoofPro, Spoule hinted.