Interview: James Norwood, Episerver: “We put CMS, Marketing and Commerce on one screen”

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James Norwood, Executive Vice President Strategy, Chief Marketing Officer at Episerver in Chicago at the Internet Retail Conference.


« Amazing buying experience, created with ease ». With such a claim, no doubt a talk with Episerver was unavoidable.

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I met James Norwood, Executive Vice President Strategy, Chief Marketing Officer at Episerver in Chicago at the Internet Retail Conference. In its very popular booth, James Norwood explained to me in detail how Episerver, founded in 1994, with offices in Australia, Denmark, Finland, The Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, UAE, UK and the USA, debuted this past March in the “Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce.

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:: According to Fit For Commerce « In today’s omnichannel landscape, discovery, research and purchase are part of the same process[1] ». Do you agree?

James Norwood: Yes, today more than ever! The web content management market has evolved these last months – thanks to highly mature technology – in order to meet ambitious goals of line-of-business users’ digital strategies.

The collision of content and commerce has opened up new and exciting ways to acquire, engage, convert and retain customers.

To be honest, customers do not need to be dazzled by you. What they want is a smooth online experience. They want to be able to find what they want when they want it. This might mean finding the right product for their situation, resolving a support issue without having to call the support desk, or being able to make a purchase on mobile. Marketers have long been held back by tools that complicate this process rather than make it easier. At Episerver, we’re committed to changing this.

:: What is the mission of Episerver?

James Norwood: We connect digital commerce and digital marketing to create unique digital experiences, with measurable business results. The Episerver Digital Experience Cloud™ combines content, commerce, multi-channel marketing, and predictive analytics in a single platform to work full-circle for businesses online – from intelligent real-time personalization and lead-generation through to conversion and repeat business – with unprecedented ease-of-use.


:: Regarding personalization, what are the main benefits of Episerver ?

James Norwood: It is all about personalization, persistent profiles, and contextual recommendations.

With Episerver, a marketer can personalize everything: a page, an image, a video, or even a sentence and can do it in a matter of seconds.

And as every action counts, Episerver connects to your marketing automation system and combines it with behavioral data, so you can easily create highly individualized campaign content, for Persistent profiles.

We make sure also to engage a new visitor with content that is automatically tailored to them, based on behavioral, contextual and campaign data. The result: more click-through, an increase in brand affinity, lower bounce rates and a higher conversions – every time.

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Episerver™, debuted in Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce this past March, as one of 21 vendors evaluated in the latest Gartner®, Inc. Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce.

:: For your client Pizza Hut, does this level of personalization explain the success you encounter?

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James Norwood: Certainly. We helped Pizza Hut Restaurants to launch a new website – with Amaze, a leading marketing and technology consultancy – providing a completely fresh online experience with the brand for its customers. The main benefits are:

  • Fully responsive: the website has been designed to be fully responsive and accessible on all devices
  • Proximity marketing: it delivers personalized content based on the device used and locality of the user.
  • CRM-based personalization: the customer journey is based on previous interactions with the site, via the Pizza Hut Restaurants CRM system. The site takes into account users’ history and pre-loaded selections depending on usage.
  • Real-time: when restaurants are usually full at a specific time, do not drive diners to them with discounts.


:: What are the benefits for the Pizza Hut customer?

James Norwood: Customer locations are detected to identify the closest restaurant to the user, so the communications sent to this customer – menus and offers – are relevant.

Also, the site is integrated with a number of data systems including sales statistics. For example, the ‘top five pizza’ choices are displayed by each restaurant, city and region. In the highly competitive casual dining market, Pizza Hut Restaurants show the importance of locality into a clever and very personal user’s journey.




[1] Is Your Platform Ready for the Content & Commerce Collision?



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