Business Australia Relaunches Just In Time To Help Businesses Cope During COVID-19

When the new Business Australia website went live on Feb. 24, 2020, it did so with a greater sense of urgency and purpose than it initially intended. That’s because COVID-19 was spreading around the globe, and the organisation got right to work helping Australian businesses respond to the pandemic’s local impact.

Formerly known as the NSW Business Chamber, Business Australia has been supporting business owners for nearly 195 years. Its services include marketing consultations, access to government grants, HR legal documents, and cash flow support. The organization’s rebranding reflects its vision to work beyond New South Wales, providing business advice and resources to all of Australia’s business community. The effort included a new website and move to a free membership model.

In the few short months since the new website went live, Business Australia’s guidance has helped companies navigate the unchartered territory of closures, restrictions, and relief programs.

“What we’re hearing from the business community is that Business Australia has really helped them respond to the COVID-19 crisis, and that’s very satisfying,” says Conrad Mackenzie, chief digital officer (CDO) at Business Australia. “We strive to make complex regulations and government programs easy to understand so members can run their businesses successfully.”

Integrated technology ecosystem

Since its relaunch, Business Australia has added 3,500 new members to its database of over 20,000. Mackenzie believes that rapid growth is a direct result of the powerful engagement engine powering the site and providing a host of new, integrated capabilities.

“We built an integrated technology ecosystem to support the Business Australia venture and its online presence,” says Mackenzie. Key to the success of Business Australia was the role of the Chief Experience Officer Richard Spencer. “Richard designed the customer-facing assets and is driving the publication of content. The new web platforms enabled us to launch fast, start spinning up new content, and do things that previously weren’t possible, such as podcasts, streaming video, and targeted marketing.”

Behind the scenes, Mackenzie and his technology team combined Adobe Experience Cloud with Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM and Azure Active Directory B2C, using Microsoft Azure API Manager for integration. That gives Business Australia a holistic view of its members as they log in online or engage in other ways. The organisation runs over 400 events a year, so the team also integrated a leading event management platform, CVent, into both the CRM and Adobe solutions, enabling members to book events wherever they are held across Australia.

In addition, the team established a central “data lake” repository that captures data streams from every platform in the business. That means Business Australia can slice and dice member data to better understand who to target and how to make campaigns more relevant.

Moreover, because Business Australia sells a range of services, all of the web transactions must be properly recorded in the CRM and then passed to the finance management system, TechnologyOne, for invoicing. The organisation is also bringing together third-party online services for members. The first is Automio, which offers simple, automated creation of the legal documents business owners most commonly need.

Keeping content flowing

Content is one of Business Australia’s most valuable services—everything from informational articles and legal documents to podcasts and videos. Team members use the Adobe Experience Manager content management system to publish new content to its website, and they’ve published over 650 pages so far, some multi-lingual. Adobe Experience Manager makes it easy to create, approve, publish, and manage content, so the team can move fast and keep the website fresh—which became important as the COVID-19 outbreak forced Business Australia to revise all of its messaging just before launch.

“When the COVID-19 crisis broke, we suddenly had to switch to a more serious tone, with a whole new set of resources for the business community,” Mackenzie says. “We couldn’t have done that without a streamlined process for creating, approving, and publishing content. And this has been central to driving interest in our membership offerings.”

Business Australia uses Adobe Campaign to get the word out to members about its services and events, addressing topics such as understanding and adapting to new workplace legislation. Through Adobe Analytics, the organisation collects website and campaign activity and passes it to the central data lake, where it informs both digital marketing decisions and high-level business strategy.

“We want to explore applying data from third-party sources, such as the Australian Bureau of Statistics, into the data lake and then cross-reference it with our member database,” Mackenzie says. “That will enable us to target our campaigns by postcode and present members with more relevant information. It will also provide insights on service gaps, which may be opportunities for us as we continue to mature the digital service portfolio for members.”

Supporting members beyond COVID-19

As Business Australia looks beyond the COVID-19 crisis, it sees opportunity. It’s looking to drive dynamic website personalisation, expand member services, and use Adobe Commerce Cloud for e-commerce capabilities.

“This powerful engagement engine has galvanised the business because it shows how much we can accomplish for our members, even in hard times,” Mackenzie says. “Our next challenge is to empower other teams across Business Australia to publish their own content, so they can move even faster as they introduce new services.”

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