Case Study

BIO: Newsroom

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BIO wanted to develop a single, unified platform across channels while strengthening its customer engagement through personalization.


With outdated, disjointed websites and a wildly successful event that wasn’t tied into the main brand, BIO needed to streamline its approach.

Our Solution

Acquia Cloud Platform, Acquia Cloud Edge


More content was created in 3 months than the previous 3 years.

The Client

BIO is the world's largest trade association representing biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the BIO International Convention, the world’s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry. 

The Situation

BIO’s main business goal was to tell the entire story of BIO and the breadth and depth of its work in totality, not just in relation to an event or policy position. But with more than 120 policy committees working every day to advance biotechnology and five websites, BIO staff had difficulty understanding the message, so how could users? It was clear to BIO staff that they needed to develop a single unified platform across channels, that they needed to strengthen customer engagement and relationships through personalization, and that they had to give their members and staff what they needed when they needed it. 

The Challenge

BIO faced a number of challenges. First, it was dealing with five outdated and disjointed websites, all of which were at or near the end of their useful lives. Additionally, it was facing a brand challenge, with an entirely different brand and platform for its organization and its 17,000-person event, the BIO International Convention. It was clear that while consolidating all websites onto one scalable platform may not be the easy choice, it was the necessary choice, especially to help convert event attendees to advocates and vice versa. 

The Solution

BIO partnered with Publicis Sapient to conduct a deep-dive discovery process to understand user behavior and create a content strategy and roadmap for the new platform. After understanding the customer and organization priorities, BIO and Publicis Sapient decided to leverage the Acquia Cloud Platform and Dev Desktop, plus professional services and support, to create optimal site functionality and user experience. 

BIO leveraged several APIs to populate content on the site, including Salesforce, HUBB (event speaker management), Inova (BIO’s One-on-One Partnering™ System) and MapYourShow (exhibitor management). These data repositories provided rich, up-to-date data sources to build a robust front-end, filterable and searchable user experience.  

BIO chose a unique architecture to accomplish the objective, atomic design. By creating a library of reusable web components, BIO staff was empowered to create compelling digital content experiences without having to rely on a developer or call on deep technical expertise. With over 70 web components, content creators now simply select the web components they need, quickly search, sort, filter and promote content, and add filters and tags to media to promote critical industry projects. This has helped unite content authoring, user experience and overall content governance.

The Results

BIO’s digital transformation reimagined and consolidated five websites into one scalable platform, allowing the organization to pivot from being a reactive organization to a proactive content-centric newsroom.  

The robust platform has positioned the organization to communicate with member companies, scientists, policymakers and the public in real time on how biotech is responding to the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the progress of over 700 vaccines and therapeutics in the pipeline. Averaging over 10,000 pageviews a week to BIO’s online coronavirus resource center, the platform has been the backbone to the organization’s response to the pandemic. 

BIO’s digital transformation allowed the organization to quickly reimagine its annual 17,000-person event, the BIO International Convention, to an entirely online event, BIO Digital. In a matter of days, BIO created a new landing page and brand for the event, including a curated selection of the best sessions from the event and a live blog with over 55 rich media posts. Usability and scalability were key; the company attracted more than 57,900 users to the website during the week of the event and the event traffic accounted for 44% of all traffic during a 10-week period.

Finally, in addition to enhancing user experience, the platform has increased the efficiency of how the BIO team works. The new platform has allowed the BIO team to work faster and more efficiently, allowing more content authors to get access to the system because of its ease of use. As a result, BIO staff was able to create more content faster. In three months, they published more content than they did in the previous three years, all while staff adjusted to working from home.