Case study: Grupo Petersen

Contentful and Aerolab team up for the digital renovation of Argentina’s digital banking leader, Grupo Petersen

Grupo Petersen is a conglomerate of Argentinian companies representing all regions of the country. It is one of the most important economic groups in Argentina, active in finance, fintech solutions, engineering and construction, agribusiness and urban services. It is their mission to become the digital banking leader in the region, and the four banks that currently form Grupo Petersen are: Banco Santa Fe, Banco Entre Rios, Banco Santa Cruz and Banco San Juan. Together, they service nearly two million clients throughout the country.

Aerolab is a digital product agency that helps startups and large companies deliver meaningful experiences to users all over the world. They redesigned and developed four new banking websites for Grupo Petersen, using tools such as progressive web apps, modular design with components and Contentful as the management platform to unify the content, as well as speed up the time to market of new products.

When Grupo Petersen, one of Argentina’s largest financial groups, wanted to unify their company’s websites for their bank members, but maintain the regional diversity of each bank, they turned to Aerolab to get the job done. Aerolab, working in partnership with Contentful, was able to deliver a new content management platform that not only represents Grupo Petersen as a whole, but allows each bank to maintain its unique regional diversity and make updates to its local website quickly while saving money in the process.

At GP we always seek to provide the best customer experience. We worked with Aerolab with the most demanding levels of quality and it was an overcoming experience. - Luciana Della Croce, Chief Digital Officer, Digital Corporate Management

When an outdated website stands between you and your customers

Daniel Miranda is the corporate manager of digital channels with Grupo Petersen and is responsible for all of the company’s digital channels and products. Websites are one of the main business tools Grupo Petersen uses to stay in touch with their customers — and potential customers — and Miranda’s job is to provide meaningful content at the right moment and make it easy for customers to quickly solve their banking issues.

Daniel Miranda, corporate manager of Digital Channels, Grupo Petersen

Contentful is the tool we chose to manage content at the corporate level while keeping the flexibility and speed we needed to manage a mix of common and local content in the banks at each region.

The issue Grupo Petersen was facing was twofold — it not only needed to create a centralized national content platform, but also maintain the regional identity of each of the four banks. Another issue Aerolab needed to address was that the old websites and the home-banking systems were not part of the same digital ecosystem, and that needed to change for the convenience of the millions of Grupo Petersen customers. Miranda says they were also interested in streamlining their customers’ ability to access accounts through cell phones and other mobile devices.

Centralizing content nationally, while maintaining localized service

When Aerolab centralized the content of the four member banks in Grupo Petersen, the newly redesigned websites — with more than 160 pages of content — went live eight months after the start of their architectural and digital renovation. “The timing was fast and agile, as planned,” said Miranda. “Thanks to the Contentful API, we can make changes from mobile devices. We could not do this before.”

In Grupo Petersen’s existing websites, there were some services that needed to be integrated in the front end, like forms, benefits, a quotes generator and maps of the local branches. Aerolab was able to use some of the backend material and adopt it to the front end for the existing structure of the content platform, but the rest of the content was created from scratch. While Aerolab had an internal custom administrator for the backend, it used other tools to optimize the rest of the pipeline like GitLab.

During the digital renovation, Miranda says Grupo Petersen “brought people from different states of Argentina — members of different areas of the banks — to teach them agile methodologies, and they adapted perfectly to the flexibility of Contentful. They were really impressed by the fast speed of the time-to-market implementation. Before, making a change on the websites could take weeks. Now we do it on the same day.”

Miranda and his team saw a clear improvement in the unification of the content and design for each website, while maintaining the brand consistency and regional diversity of each bank.

We can now present personalized content for each client depending on their interests and profiles. - Daniel Miranda, corporate manager of digital channels, Grupo Petersen

The new platform: faster, easier, and friendlier

Before Contentful’s content management platform, Grupo Petersen would routinely see a loss of as many as 330,000 views from frustrating navigation when its customers accessed specific content, but those days are over. The landing page that used to be a choice between personal and corporate banking is now set up just for personal accounts, and also shows users more content and offers. Users can then click through to the corporate site or any other page more quickly because levels of complexity across the website have been removed — where it used to take four clicks to access the credit card page, it now takes one.

“With the redesign, the new distribution and architecture proposed by Aerolab made the navigation of our website faster, easier and friendlier for any type of user,” Miranda says. “This distribution and new architecture were integrated easily and seamlessly with the modular design of Contentful.”

In fact, by May 2020, during the third month of the project, Miranda and his team were already seeing the potential of this type of modular design, how flexible Contentful is and how easy it is to rearrange components on the page. This ease of use was felt throughout Grupo Petersen, as members of the banks were brought in from different states to learn how to use the new platform. “They adapted perfectly to the flexibility of Contentful,” Miranda says.

The architecture redesign resulted in increased revenue, greater engagement, repeat purchase and loyalty value. Banco Santa Fe, a member bank of Grupo Petersen, conducted a survey in the third week of implementation and 68% of users said they found what they were looking for.

Cell phones and other mobile devices are now more compatible with the new system. “We have to take into account that our clients are used to a desktop,” Miranda says, because the web experience used to not translate well to mobile devices. And their time to market also improved by the substantial rate of 500% — before Contentful, a new product would have taken 10 days to launch, but now Miranda’s team is looking at a two-day launch. “Before, every time we had to change a layout or a banner we needed a developer from the IT team, taking five to seven days. Now it takes only one day.”

Aerolab and Contentful have given Grupo Petersen the ability to scale across its entire content management platform, giving it the flexibility to reutilize everything any of the four banks need to update its individual site. The sites are also now able to adapt to any mobile device, which results in increased traffic capacity and interaction with users. Miranda and his team changed their work methodologies to create an agile process with all the sectors involved in creating content, which allows for proactive content creation.

Not even a pandemic could slow them down

Aerolab’s update of Grupo Petersen’s platform began in January of 2020. By March, when the pandemic hit, Aerolab, Contentful and Miranda and his team were able to continue their work remotely and seamlessly through the next seven months.

While Covid changed their work methodology, their group collaboration game was strong, aided by technological support from Contentful and other Saas platforms. While the new ways of working took some getting used to, they didn’t delay their project. By June 2020, Miranda’s team reached the growth goal they had set for 2022, the adoption of home banking doubled and web sessions tripled.

Grupo Petersen’s next step for their banks? To create personalized content for each client — all two million of them.

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