Case study: Samsara

Samsara expands to 16 markets in two years

Samsara creates industrial internet-of-things (IOT) solutions used by more than 15,000 organizations around the world to prevent accidents, lower their fuel consumption, automate manual processes and improve product quality. Samsara’s offerings include comprehensive solutions for vehicle telematics, driver safety, mobile workflow and compliance, asset tracking, and industrial process controls, delivering all this data in real time. Headquartered in San Francisco, Samsara has offices in London, Atlanta and San Jose, California.

We didn’t have a CMS, and we weren’t going to settle for a clunky, out-of-date DMS that’s been around for decades. We needed a next-generation DMS that would scale with our team.” – Will Ginsberg, manager of growth engineering

Back in May 2018, Samsara had ambitious growth plans. The industrial internet-of-things company was growing quickly within the United States, had just opened its London office and planned to expand across 10 countries in the next 12 months.

Two years after launching Contentful, Samsara is serving 15,000 customers in multiple countries. Samsara’s Contentful implementation has grown from two locales – that is, localized versions of their site – to 16.

Marketers can now rapidly create new website pages. “We moved from usually a couple of days to build a page to just a couple of hours, and sometimes even less than an hour,” says Edvard Eriksson, a growth engineer at Samsara.

Choosing a new CMS to support Samsara’s ambitions

To assure success for its rapid expansion, Samsara needed a CMS that could support not just the initial one-year growth plan, but also scale for future growth. It had to be intuitive and easy for marketers to use in every region where Samsara operates, enabling not just text translation, but also localization of other content such as images or pricing.

Marketers weren’t the only group to be accommodated: company executives, the legal team and the product team also need to create content. The growth engineering team wanted to make sure all content creators across the company could quickly find the tools and pages they need to build and publish content themselves — without any help from developers.

Samsara’s new CMS also had to fit in with Samsara’s existing technology. “We didn’t have time to rip out and replace our entire stack,” says Will.

The CMS had to be highly performant, fast and reliable. “We've found that every single millisecond on samsara.com matters,” Will says. Any solution would have to meet Samsara’s high performance standards, “and Contentful definitely fit the bill.”

Samsara’s modular architecture is designed to scale

In the first year of its Contentful implementation, Samsara started with two locales and grew quickly to seven, building 25 different content types to support marketing efforts. To date, Samsara’s growth engineering team has built more than 60 content types to support its ongoing expansion.

Contentful’s modular structure enables this kind of rapid development. Instead of building individual pages for samsara.com, the engineering team built modular pages, as well as modules for different types of content. Now a content creator can simply drag a module onto a page template to get what they want — for example, a call-to-action button — and all the coding and styling associated with that element are automatically loaded as well.

The modular approach makes Contentful easy for a new employee to learn, an important advantage for a fast-growing company.

Fully reusable content is key

Contentful makes both developers and content creators more efficient by enabling reuse of modular elements. For example, Samsara can build a page in German, and content creators can modify specific elements such as images, pricing and portions of text to create separate versions for Germany, Austria and German-speaking locations in Switzerland. Nearly everything is localized at the field level so that content creators have the creative control to modify almost any element on a page on a per country basis.

The ability to reuse and repurpose elements speeds up both development and content creation, and also makes it easier for creators to quickly locate content types they need. Rather than building lots of separate new content types for every possible purpose, developers reuse types whenever possible, building in flexibility so creators can use a single type for different pages. As Samsara’s business and website expand, the number of content types does not have to grow as rapidly.

Testing is easy with Contentful

Contentful’s modular structure enables easy A/B testing, encouraging more frequent experimentation. Creating test pages based on existing pages is quick, and because Contentful automatically shows creators how their content will look on the page, they can see exactly what site visitors will see. Once the test is over, it’s easy to pull down the less successful page and leave the winner in place.
With an efficient system for building content modules, a modular page design and fully enabled content creators, Samsara is well positioned to continue scaling its web presence efficiently, helping the company achieve its growth targets.

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