Playing with digital content.

Sony Interactive Entertainment Japan Asia delivers more content, faster with Adobe Marketing Cloud.

Company Logo

Established

1993

Tokyo, Japan
www.sie.com

800%

FASTER website production with in-house team

Objectives

Provide greater support for website access from desktop computers, gaming devices and mobile devices

Attract visitors by delivering more frequent updates to websites and content

Simplify creation and management of website content to bring updates in-house

Results

Increased the number of updates by allowing SIE to quickly create websites accessible on multiple devices

Optimised websites 5 times faster and improved user satisfaction by delivering fresh content

Simplified creation and support of personalised content by integrating Adobe Experience Manager and Adobe Target

800% FASTER website production with in-house team

Reaching fans across more devices

In 1993, Sony Group founded Sony Computer Entertainment Inc., which was later renamed Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE), to handle its video game business. SIE oversees the planning, development and sales of PlayStation products. The PlayStation brand leads the gaming industry, recording top sales worldwide for home gaming devices from 2013 to 2014.

SIE began operating under the name Sony Interactive Entertainment in April 2016, when Sony Computer Entertainment combined with Sony Network Entertainment International. At present, SIE reorganised to better handle the global nature of its business. Headquarters were transferred to the United States, with Japan focusing on development and manufacturing and Europe focusing on core marketing operations.

SIE is constantly pushing the envelope to find new ways to entertain customers. Since the first PlayStation device went on sale in 1994, SIE has developed several generations of its home gaming device through PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. SIE also helped customers enjoy games outside of the home with the mobile gaming devices PlayStation Portable and PlayStation Vita. In October 2016, SIE started bringing virtual reality to customers through PlayStation VR.

According Takehiro Akiba from Sony Interactive Entertainment Japan Asia (SIEJA), as gaming devices and technologies continue to evolve, the ways that consumers enjoy games also change.

“Previously, most people would buy a game and simply play it until they reached the end,” says Akiba. “But now, people can play online with other players and download more content, so people have more ways to enjoy their games. We’re no longer just providing hardware and software. We need to clearly communicate to customers the many ways to play games through network services.”

SIEJA delivers many types of information through its website, email newsletters and mobile apps. But the most important way for SIEJA to share information is through the PlayStation official website. New games are constantly released and to keep customers up to date on the latest releases and provide information before other plug sockets, the PlayStation official website needed to be updated frequently. But that was not always easy.

First, SIEJA found itself needing to update the website for a growing number of devices. Starting with the PlayStation 3 in 2006, customers can access websites directly through their gaming devices. The number of visitors from gaming devices surged in 2011 after the release of the PlayStation Vita. To handle more devices, SIEJA developed an original content management system and created separate websites for desktop computers and gaming devices. In recent years, the number of visitors from smartphones and tablets has also exploded.

“Previously, we just had to check whether websites were displaying properly on computer and PlayStation browsers,” says Akiba. “But now we have to check all models of mobile devices as well. This process takes a lot of time and effort. It also increased the burden on content management and it makes it harder to deliver updates in a timely manner.”

Another issue arose around the website’s organisation. Under the previous content management system, adding a new section required help from outside developers. Therefore, even the smallest changes could take at least a month and a full-scale site redesign could take close to a year. There was no easy way to quickly apply customer and industry trends to the website. SIEJA decided that it needed to change processes to keep customer satisfaction and website appeal high.



“Another reason for choosing Adobe Experience Manager was that we had already implemented Adobe Analytics and Adobe Target. By integrating these solutions, we can achieve more advanced marketing.”

 

Takehiro Akiba,
Director of Web Management, Marketing Communications Department and Director of CRM, Strategy Planning Department, Sony Interactive Entertainment Japan Asia


Emphasize mobility, creativity and flexibility

SIEJA began looking into a new site management system. After comparing multiple solutions, the company decided on Adobe Experience Manager.

At first, SIEJA considered a competitor’s solution that focused largely on content management. However, to communicate the appeal and fun of the PlayStation brand, SIEJA determined that it needed a system that could also prioritise speed and flexibility. After reconsidering its options, SIEJA chose Adobe Experience Manager.

“For the solution that emphasize management, we had to construct a database beforehand and develop the website based on the database,” says Akiba. “This restricted our agility and flexibility in many ways. We thought that we wouldn’t be able to solve our original problem with this method.”

Adobe Experience Manager, on the other hand, uses responsive design templates to adapt webpages to multiple devices, making it much more efficient to create websites for desktop computers, PlayStation devices and mobile devices. Experience Manager is also very intuitive, as new content can be added easily just by dragging and dropping components. SIEJA gave it high marks for its ability to quickly create appealing content for multiple devices.

Furthermore, Adobe Experience Manager Assets allows SIEJA to centrally manage all digital assets for the site, from images to forms. By leveraging existing components and advanced features such as image zoom, SIEJA can create rich website content easily.

“Another reason for choosing Adobe Experience Manager was that we had already implemented Adobe Analytics and Adobe Target,” says Akiba. “By integrating these solutions, we can achieve more advanced marketing.”


Faster updates, better performance

By using the Adobe Experience Manager, Adobe Analytics and Adobe Target solutions, SIEJA is achieving sophisticated marketing programmes and efficiently delivering content to multiple devices.

Working with Adobe Experience Manager, SIEJA can easily create and update websites in-house with rich media content. This dramatically accelerates delivering updated content. Combined with analytics results from Adobe Analytics, SIEJA can quickly make changes and improvements to website structure or content. Adobe Experience Manager and Adobe Target also work together to help SIEJA segment content depending on the user attributes.


Shortening lead time

Through Adobe Experience Manager, SIEJA can prepare website content for multiple devices in a short period of time.

Previously, when creating or updating websites, SIEJA would first contact a development company and set a time for a meeting. Actual development only started after submitting a request for work, receiving an estimate and circulating the proposal through in-house approvals. Simply adding a new section to the homepage could take at least 40 days, even up to 3 months in some cases. Creating a small section for featured content would take about 30 days, with an additional 20 days needed to adapt the content for multiple devices.

With Adobe Experience Manager, websites are created and updated by in-house staff.

“Adding a new section to the website homepage can now be completed in about 5 days or 800% faster with Adobe Experience Manager,” says Akiba. “The time to produce featured content sections has been shortened from 30 days to 15 days and we can adapt the design for multiple devices in about 10 days.”

While these metrics demonstrate the improvement for average lead times, some content can be created even faster. One featured content section was created in just two days, showing what can be achieved with Adobe Experience Manager.


Optimising the website

Through faster website development, SIEJA has accelerated the PDCA (plan-do-check-act) cycle for website improvements. The PDCA cycle is a cycle of optimisation that involves planning the objectives, implementing (doing) the plan, checking results and deciding how to act based on how well the results help meet objectives. By repeatedly completing these steps, SIEJA can continuously improve its website.

Before Experience Manager, SIEJA featured special promotions on its biggest titles just three times in five months. In the five months after implementing Experience Manager, SIEJA ran six special promotions, added or renewed sections five times and added three features that target users based on their attributes. That means the website was improved 14 times over 5 months, achieving updates at 5 times the pace compared to before Experience Manager.

“By maintaining fresh content, we’ve seen a change in visitor trends,” says Akiba. “First, the bounce rate of visitors to the homepage or visitors who leave the website without moving on to other pages, was improved from 40% to 35%. According to analysis, by delivering new and changed content more frequently, we can better attract the interest and attention of users.”

In addition, the number of comments on the site’s blog, “PlayStation.Blog”, rose 37%. By adjusting the positioning of the member sign in field, SIEJA also increased the number of visitors who sign in by more than eight times.

Previously, SIEJA could look at these types of analytic results from Adobe Analytics and build a hypothesis about user trends, but verifying the hypothesis on the website took a great deal of time. During that time, the newest games and trends would change, making it difficult to validate a hypothesis.

“Using Adobe Experience Manager with Adobe Analytics, we can quickly move through optimisation cycles and improve the quality and efficiency of web content,” says Akiba. “As digital channels become an essential point of contact for customers, it becomes more important that we establish such a fast and flexible internal workflow.”


Improving user satisfaction

By making website updates and PDCA cycles easier, SIEJA can focus more resources on analysing website content.

“We renewed the PlayStation official site on 2015 June,” says Akiba. “We started with the homepage, as 50% of our website visitors start their journey there. Looking carefully at the analysis from Adobe Analytics, we were able to identify the type of information that users want to know and what types of layouts were easier to use. Ultimately, we decided to re-design the website to highlight a smaller amount of content, which greatly improved user satisfaction.”

Specifically, SIEJA calculates user satisfaction by measuring the Net Promoter Score (NPS), which measures consumer loyalty based on surveys asking visitors whether they would recommend the website to other users. The average NPS before the site redesign was -35%, but this number rose 9 percentage points to -26% after the redesign.

Some within SIEJA thought that by limiting the amount of content on the homepage, SIEJA would reduce clicks and lower user satisfaction. But based on analysis from the site operations team and after discussing results with Adobe consultants, SIEJA determined that the previous homepage had too much information, which made it difficult for visitors to find the information that they were looking for. 

“Just as when we first implemented Adobe Analytics and Adobe Target, we’ve found that Adobe provides much more than just solutions,” says Akiba. “Adobe helps us to determine how to achieve the best results with our Adobe solutions by looking at results from the customer’s point of view. For this homepage redesign, the support of Adobe consultants helped us to achieve great results.”
 



“Now that we can create flexible websites with Adobe Experience Manager, we don’t have to worry about system limitations, development cost or lead times when considering website improvements.”

 

Takehiro Akiba,
Director of Web Management, Marketing Communications Department and Director of CRM, Strategy Planning Department, Sony Interactive Entertainment Japan Asia




Developing a flexible, creative website

Working with Adobe Experience Manager, SIEJA dramatically improved creativity and flexibility for the website. The company started using new marketing techniques, such as a storytelling approach to game marketing where SIEJA would start with a teaser website and gradually add content to build anticipation. These types of techniques could be very difficult to do previously, but Experience Manager has made it much easier to add content.

“By gradually raising user interest in a game, we can introduce shopping links or detailed information at just the right time to improve conversion rates,” says Akiba. “This method was essentially impossible with previous systems. Now that we can create flexible websites with Adobe Experience Manager, we don’t have to worry about system limitations, development cost or lead times when considering website improvements. We can focus on planning and design instead. We would like to push through regular website improvements from now on.”


Personalising experiences

By integrating Adobe Experience Manager and Adobe Target, SIEJA can personalise website content.

When users currently visit the PlayStation Store, they are segmented into different groups and shown different information. Some may be shown ads for the latest games, while others are encouraged to learn more about the privileges that come with the membership service PlayStation Plus. Other users may be introduced to the streaming game service PlayStation Now. By delivering the right type of information to each customer, SIEJA increased the click-through rates from the homepage to the PlayStation Store by more than 15%.

After re-designing the homepage, SIEJA also dramatically improved the number of sign-ins from members, encouraging SIEJA to consider even more personalisation tactics.

“For example, we can recommend additional content to go with a game that we previously recommended or we can send an email reminder to users who haven’t played games in a while,” says Akiba. “One of our goals is to optimise communications with users through personalisation.”

In the future, SIEJA hopes to continue working with Adobe consulting and Adobe Marketing Cloud to express the appeal of PlayStation through the website.
 


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