Case study: How Optimizely publishes faster with Contentful

How the world’s leading experimentation platform moves faster using Contentful

Optimizely helps teams continuously design, iterate, analyze, release and optimize their business from product development to customer experience. Through its Progressive Delivery and Experimentation Platform, Optimizely empowers the most innovative businesses to move quickly with confidence, experimenting across the entire user journey. But a cumbersome content publication process was slowing Optimizely down — until Contentful came along.

The challenge: cumbersome content operations

Before partnering with Contentful, Optimizely used two systems for its marketing site: a static site generator for product pages and the case study page, and Marketo for campaign landing pages. The team didn’t have a CMS, so content operations tended to be lengthy and resource-intensive. Previously, all content and updates needed to go through the marketing engineering team, so even a change as minor as adding an apostrophe would result in a 40-minute build process. This setup blocked the marketing team’s ability to grow and scale their content efforts. They needed a solution that would help them manage their content operations while freeing up the engineering team. The team planned to bring campaign landing pages out of Marketo and in-house, and needed a solution to support this. As Optimizely is a global company with offices across the world, it needed to be able to execute localization efforts with more control than their previous system provided, allowing for human translation instead of machine translation alone.

From inflexible templates to extensible modules

Optimizely has helped marketers, developers and product managers deliver over 700 billion experiences tailored to the needs of their customers.

Bryce Wellington, of Optimizely’s front-end development team, led the migration to Contentful in 2017 in order to decrease content build times and increase extensibility. Teams including demand generation, events, SEO and product marketing all use Contentful to power their online content. Thanks to the design system Bryce and his team built, known internally as the Contentful module library, content owners can easily spin up digital experiences without having to engage with the web team.

Elsa Giraudineau is a campaign manager for EMEA and owns and manages landing pages for webinars and other web-based campaigns. Prior to Contentful, Elsa was managing campaigns directly in Marketo. The inflexible templates posed challenges with branding and styling consistency. HTML and CSS knowledge was required to make any changes to landing page styling, so Elsa had no choice but to work with templates as they were, or else request time with the web team weeks in advance.

Now Elsa can easily construct landing pages using the module library. She can choose from different pre-styled and brand-aligned components, but has the flexibility to make image and color changes. Now, if Elsa is going to the web team, it’s to explore expanding the module library to expand the library of reusable components, rather than to troubleshoot a unique issue that has limited long-term benefit.

Rapid prototyping and future-proof flexibility

David Isquick, director of product marketing, is responsible for delivering products like Optimizely Rollouts to developer audiences. With Contentful, David and his team can rapidly prototype content, dragging and dropping cards around to try out different concepts. Contentful’s reusable content structure allows him to easily duplicate content such as shared value propositions across different web properties and avoid messaging inconsistencies. David’s team values the ability to make changes quickly in Contentful — it means they can test out concepts, monitor performance and rapidly respond with changes. David also values the platform’s extensibility.

"One of the things I find most helpful about the Contentful platform is how extensible it is. As a code-savvy product marketer, I’m able to extend the functionality of our Contentful instance by simply adding in a little of my own custom CSS and HTML."

Optimizely uses Contentful across most of its digital properties, including its marketing sites, academy and internal team enablement sites. The organization plans to bring more and more content onto the platform, making Contentful an integral part of Optimizely’s web development infrastructure.

Learn more

If your team would like to decouple content, design and development to move faster and be more innovative, download our eBook: Breaking the Content Bottleneck.

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