Western Digital drives marketing innovation with Adobe Experience Cloud.

The manufacturer and direct seller of advanced storage devices adopts a comprehensive suite of Adobe solutions to meet the emerging trends of the digital economy.

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Established

1970

63,800 employees worldwide
San Jose, California.
www.westerndigital.com

100% growth

in e-commerce transactions

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Objectives

Enhance customer engagement by developing a relationship with customers

Expand A/B testing for marketing

Consolidate data from 39 locations and sites, including numerous microsites

Boost clicks and views for products

Improve customization and personalization at the commerce site and in emails

Create capabilities for marketing teams to rapidly generate relevant experiences on all channels

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Results

Western Digital corporate websites are using Adobe tools to produce new experiences and capabilities every 4-6 weeks

Western Digital increased velocity from an average of 1.46 tests a month to 22

A single source for data and content now exists and it’s available across all channels in the company

The company has increased e-commerce transaction growth by 100% using machine learning and AI, the company has witnessed a 15% spike in cross-sell/upsell purchases

Adobe tools and technologies help marketing teams unleash their creativity and introduce new experiences across channels (websites, emails, and more) in days without any dependence on IT

The Internet has radically changed the way companies do business. It’s no longer sufficient to sell products solely through retailers, resellers and service providers. Today, many consumers and businesses prefer to buy direct from the manufacturer. 

 

This direct-to-market model introduces enormous opportunities, but also formidable challenges. Ensuring that potential buyers receive the best possible experience and view only the most relevant content is remarkably difficult. Yet, it’s critical for maximizing sales and boosting brand affinity.

 

Western Digital, a leading producer of hard drives, solid state drives, USB storage devices and cloud services, recognized how profoundly things were changing a few years back. With hundreds of products available under the SanDisk and Western Digital brands, “We required a single source of truth in order to use analytics to maximum advantage across the company,” states Tim Furlow, Senior Manager, Optimization Analytics at Western Digital.

A Modern Spin on Data

In the past, the company presented the same web pages and product recommendations to everyone. There simply wasn’t a way to measure results or adapt pages and messages to fit the customer journey. This made marketing and sales more difficult—it was impossible to run A/B tests and measure results, for example—but it also made it more challenging for customers to view things that mattered to them.

 

The data storage giant, which has a long history of innovation, embarked on an initiative to modernize its content and data framework to build a more powerful marketing and sales platform. The goal was to create a true 360-degree view of customers which allows teams at Western Digital to make data driven decisions. The unified platform would accommodate targeting, segmentation, content, and campaign automation and allow Western Digital to personalize content in real-time.

 

Tapping Adobe Experience Manager, Assets, Adobe Analytics, Adobe Audience Manager, Marketo, Workfront and other solutions, Western Digital has eliminated data silos and connected a myriad of data points. For millions of web visitors per month, this has transformed the way they interact with the company. It also has led to improved customer insights, lower costs and higher sales on both the B2B and B2C sides of the business.

 

Western Digital tuned into a critical fact: the strength of any initiative doesn’t derive from a single product or technology. It’s about how various components integrate to produce a framework that supports innovation and insight. How Adobe products complement each other and unlock business opportunities was a starting point.

 

“The goal was to bring together information sources and websites to act in a more coordinated way. We finally had a single solution to tie all the products, brands and business requirements together,” says Akshay Sharma, Senior Director, IT-Web Technologies & Advanced Services at Western Digital.

Breaking Down the Silos

Digital technology giveth and taketh. Despite increasingly powerful digital tools, a growing challenge for marketing and sales organizations is cutting through all the clutter. It’s no secret that as consumers and businesses are bombarded with marketing content, they are likely to ignore generic web pages and irrelevant emails.


“We required a single source of truth in order to use analytics to maximum advantage across the company.”

 
Tim Furlow

Senior Manager, Optimization Analytics, Western Digital


In 2016, Western Digital began a transition to a more modern, agile and flexible data architecture that would support next-generation marketing and commerce. Previously, data resided mostly in silos. “Understanding the customer experience used to be a huge challenge,” Furlow says. 

 

The goal? Create a framework for data governance and set up a series of dashboards that are easy to comprehend connecting critical data sources within the organization, including marketing, web analytics, commerce and finance. An interdisciplinary team set out to construct an analytics framework that would span the company and deliver consistent information. 

 

Western Digital began integrating data within Adobe Experience Cloud, including Experience Manager and Marketo Engage. “We wanted to centralize logic so we could have reliable insights across departments, teams and groups,” Furlow explains.

Western Digital Gets Personal

In the end, a new era of personalization was born. With 39 major sites and various microsites containing upwards of 44,000 assets finally connected, marketing and sales teams had powerful capabilities at their fingertips. They could suddenly generate customized emails and deliver highly targeted web pages.

 

Using Adobe Target features powered by Adobe Sensei, marketing groups can apply target tests on the fly and adapt and adjust recommendations as business and market trends change—or in different geographies. Instead of conducting only one or two A/B tests per month, Western Digital runs as many as 22 tests monthly to see what works best. This has produced an uptick of 15% in supplemental purchases and 100% overall e-commerce transaction growth. 

 

What’s more, using machine learning and AI, Western Digital delivers website recommendations based on the specific buyer and what’s in a person’s shopping cart. For example, if someone is purchasing a portable SSD drive, a protective case might appear as an option. Says Furlow: “We’re displaying products that benefit customers while driving revenues for the business. It’s a win for everyone.”

Real-Time Insights Emerge

With Adobe technologies at its core, Western Digital has put in place a framework to align with changing business conditions quickly and seamlessly. Creative teams produce new content within a couple of weeks rather than over a span of months. In addition, a new site visitor is greeted with a simple and uncluttered experience. As Western Digital learns what the person is interested in through machine learning and AI, it adapts and personalizes the site dynamically.


“We finally had a single solution to tie all the products, brands and business requirements together.”

 
Akshay Sharma

Sr. Director, IT-Web Technologies & Advanced Services, Western Digital


With this 360-degree view and a single source of data, teams have a clear view of 3-, 6- and 9-month goals. Various functional units can work in unison to fully leverage data, experiment with different marketing and commerce methods, and discover what ultimately lowers costs and drives revenues. The framework also supports complex multilevel nurture campaigns; it’s possible to generate 90% of its content across 31 locales and 21 languages. 

 

Moreover, through a combination of technology and compelling internal success stories Western Digital has built in a positive reinforcement loop that encourages further adoption and more advanced used cases. Sharma says that Adobe has been there every step of the way—and helped drive successful execution.

 

Yet, the journey continues. Western Digital is now implementing Adobe’s Real-time Customer Data Platform. This will deliver additional benefits, including deeper supply chain analytics and improved campaign and engagement velocity across both B2B and B2C segments. Says Furlow: “We have a mindset to keep improving and continue optimizing data. As business needs evolve it’s critical to adapt. We now have the technology and data analytics foundation to support the business.”

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