Case Study

Mars

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Engage Awards 2021 Doers
50 %

reduction in development time

40 %

reduction in maintenance costs across all sites

20 %

initial cost savings

Highlights

Situation

Mars realized it needed to develop a unified strategy for providing customers with more engaging digital brand experiences.

Challenge

The company wanted a way to quickly develop new brand experiences but was concerned about consistency, maintenance and costs.

Our Solution

Acquia Site Factory, Acquia Content Hub, Acquia BLT

 

Results

Mars has brought consistency to its digital platforms while simultaneously achieving:

  • 50% reduction in development time by assembling brand sites with the starter kit instead of building/developing from scratch 
  • 40% reduction in ongoing maintenance costs across all sites on the platform
  • 20% initial overall cost savings, expected to increase continuously as the platform scales with additional sites

The Client

Mars produces some of the world's most beloved and well-known brands. Mars Wrigley is the world-leading manufacturer of chocolate, chewing gum, mints and fruity confections, and its iconic products like M&M’S‚ SNICKERS, ORBIT, EXTRA and SKITTLES are enjoyed in more than 180 countries. Likewise, Mars Food has 13 favorite dinnertime brands produced across the world and available in more than 30 countries.

The Situation

With a desire to grow digital demand and reimagine how consumers could interact with its brands, Mars realized it needed to develop a unified strategy for providing customers with more engaging digital brand experiences. 

The Challenge

Mars wanted to develop a platform and set of processes that would allow the company to create new brand experiences rapidly. But concerns about ensuring consistency, supporting ease-of-maintenance and controlling costs proved challenging. 

The Solution

Mars worked with digital partner EPAM to realize its vision of the “starter kit,” a constantly growing toolkit of shared components that provided all Mars brands with a well-defined process and consistent starting point for building brand and campaign pages. This infrastructure, which included shared core functionality, flexible and configurable front-end display components and a library of pre-built integrations, allowed internal development teams and third-party agencies to easily launch, manage and enhance Mars sites.

Starter kit-based sites begin with out-of-the-box features common to all Mars properties (e.g., navigation structure, content localization and search). With a shared, configurable theme, site builders can easily apply brand-specific design guidelines into each property, maintaining the individual identity while benefiting from a consistent structure. A library of similarly configurable front-end components like carousels, accordions, newsletters and reviews provide a robust set of building blocks for site builders. Additional features and components in the starter kit include:

  • Integration with Smartling for translation services
  • Product data and nutritional information drawn from Salsify PIM
  • Where to Buy functionality from PriceSpider, Commerce Connector and Smart Commerce
  • CRM integration with Salesforce Marketing Cloud
  • GDPR and cookie consent management with OneTrust
  • Product reviews from Bazaarvoice
  • Social media feed integration with Juicer
  • Mars Lighthouse DAM integration for extended media management capabilities

 

Acquia Site Factory provides the underlying infrastructure to drive the entire portfolio of sites from a single codebase managed by the platform development team, and the interface to empower separate site construction teams to easily create, build and manage new sites independently, without the need for developer intervention. The Site Factory management dashboard also allows for a clear overview of all sites hosted on the platform and simplifies the corresponding access control, governance and reporting.

 

The team’s development and deployment processes relied heavily on the Acquia Build and Launch Tool (BLT), which provided a standardized development workflow while ensuring developer work met coding standards and passed automated tests before being committed. Additionally, the teams used Acquia Content Hub to manage content shared across sites, further ensuring consistency and removing the need for repetitive content changes across multiple sites.

The Results

Mars’ starter kit platform achieved its primary goal of bringing consistency to its digital systems, processes and experiences across multiple markets, elevating them to match the standards of the company’s world-class brands. And by using shared technologies, reducing duplicate efforts and streamlining technologies and services, the company has been able to reduce costs. In essence, the new platform empowers Mars to select vendors and tools that best align with its goals while ensuring continued compliance through automation and efficiency. Specifically, Mars has realized:

  • 50% reduction in development time by assembling brand sites with the starter kit instead of building/developing from scratch 
  • 40% reduction in ongoing maintenance costs across all sites on the platform
  • 20% initial overall cost savings, expected to increase continuously as the platform scales with additional sites

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