Herschend Family Entertainment2018-12-05T10:15:41+00:00

Entertainment
CMS
Peachtree Corners, GA

Est. 1950

Herschend Family Entertainment

“Herschend is currently rolling out changes to their other properties to begin personalization and managing content consistently. We already knew we’d be using Sitecore as our platform. We needed someone that could take us to the point where we were using the platform in the right way with best practices to bring more value by leveraging all the features and functionality.”

“If someone asked who should they work with on their websites or other technology platforms I would certainly recommend Arke.”

Bryan Hardman, Director of Interactive Marketing, Herschend Family Entertainment

Goal

Utilize a CMS’s robust personalization capabilities to improve customer experience and increase mobile web conversion with Sitecore.

Herschend Family Entertainment is considered the largest family-owned themed attractions corporation. Their parks and attractions are from coast to coast. Their team of more than 10,000 employees creates, develops, and operates entertainment, tourism and hospitality properties that currently span 26 locations in ten states.

Challenge

Herschend Family Entertainment is the parent company for six destination brands, with Dollywood being the largest. Herschend wanted to implement the latest version of their Content Management System (CMS), Sitecore, to empower the individual properties to take advantage of its functionality. They also wanted to improve their ability to manage content, implement personalization, and more effectively align business goals with their websites. The customer mobile experience was also a key focus. Dollywood was the first of the brands to utilize personalization in the new implementation.

The overall goals of the solution were to offer a new, more relevant and unified visual experience tied to each property and the associated brand, and drive a significant increase in eCommerce, especially sales of packages and season passes.

Challenges included:

  • Not having ideally architected sites
  • Inability to optimize for a better mobile experience
  • Site performance
  • Difficulties measuring KPIs based on site performance

Offering a consistent experience between brands, improving the user experience, increasing eCommerce revenue, implementing mobile optimization and personalization, and driving conversions to purchase became key goals in delivering the best experience.

Looking for a fresh perspective on your Sitecore implementation?

Connect with an Arke MVP

Hershend asked Arke to enhance their digital customer experience and drive ecommerce sales

The vision included the following goals:

  • Create a responsive/ adaptive design with emphasis on increasing sales
  • Capture the essence of visiting a Herschend property
  • Increase permission-based email and social media subscribers
  • Offer a new, more relevant, and unified visual experience tied to each property and the brands
  • Simplify the purchase process

Solution: CMS Update

Herschend Family Entertainment was using a previous Sitecore version 6.5, implemented by a different partner. Herschend selected Sitecore for its robust content management and personalization capabilities. Because its family of properties have varying sized staffs with a range of abilities to manage technology, the platform needed to allow each team to work fluently within its sites without relying on the corporate IT team or an outside vendor.

By integrating Sitecore (CMS) with CRM Microsoft Dynamics, Herschend captures additional customer insight around interactions. All this information is tracked in Sitecore through “Goals”.

The Sitecore implementation focused on mobile optimization, user experience, and CMS. The Arke team, Herschend’s Sitecore Platinum Partner, engaged with three squared, a dedicated design partner with extensive experience with enterprise Sitecore projects. The close alignment of design and development has contributed to the success of the project.

Because it’s extremely important to keep customers informed about the properties the increased ability to drive content changes, manipulate the look and feel of site pages, and manage key areas of the site, such as calendars is beneficial to Herschend.

Herschend’s Corporate team is empowering the individual properties to take more control of their individual sites and how they interact with customers and integrated platforms. They are gaining knowledge around analytics and reporting in the new Sitecore 8.1 platform. They can then better understand and determine how to connect with their target audiences to drive both increased engagement and improve business KPIs. A mobile-first approach was a significant part of this solution since mobile is has proven to be a major focus for customer-driven markets.

Dollywood is currently using data to track user experience with the CRM integration. They are building customer profiles with workflows to follow conversions through a third-party e-commerce platform. Max Mind GEO IP is used to personalize site pages based on user location which all six brands will begin using.

Herschend has made a long-term, multi-phased investment in its Sitecore platform and integrated technologies supported all the way through the highest levels of the organization. Working with Lars Petersen, Vice President, Business Optimization at Sitecore — the Arke and Herschend team has developed strategies for implementing personalization across the brands. Herschend was also a Sitecore 8 Lighthouse customer, giving them the opportunity to develop strategies for optimizing engagement and aligning business and marketing goals.

Herschend has seen growth in mobile conversions and will continue making strides to reach their goals of pursuing personalization across all the other brands and offering the very best customer experience.

Future plans include continuing to build upon the mobile experience, implementation and integration of a new eCommerce platform, and improving integration with CRM and other technologies that will allow for an enhanced ability to personalize the experience for customers.

Herschend is currently rolling out changes to their other properties to begin personalization and managing content consistently.

Results included:

  • Increased mobile conversions since implementation of the Dollywood site
  • Herschend has seen growth in mobile conversions with improvements to eCommerce
  • Expects to see increases in revenue with more site releases
  • Web traffic has increased with over 88,000 visits
  • Personalization is a key component in digital strategy
  • Value per visit increased 7 times over the previous website traffic
  • Double the average visitor time spent on the Dollywood site

Results

In early 2016, Herschend and the Arke team successfully released two new brand property websites including Wild Adventures and Silver Dollar City.

Herschend has seen growth in mobile conversions and will continue making strides to reach their goals of pursuing personalization across all the other brands and offering the very best customer experience.

Future plans include continuing to build upon the mobile experience, implementation and integration of a new eCommerce platform, and improving integration with CRM and other technologies that will allow for an enhanced ability to personalize the experience for customers.

Herschend is currently rolling out changes to their other properties to begin personalization and managing content consistently.