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IT and marketing collaborate to sweeten websites for digital natives

Clint Boulton | March 23, 2016
Ferrara Candy, which aims to double in revenues by 2020, is revamping its websites and social media strategy for the 30-and-under crowd.

Marketing teams will often race to implement cloud technologies and ask for help from the CIOs later. Such is not the case at Ferrara, where Paschall and the marketing team evaluated Web content management providers together. In November, they selected Episerver, whose .NET-based digital marketing and ecommerce platform runs in Microsoft’s Azure public cloud.

In January, Ferrara rolled out its new Black Forest website, featuring a card-style layout that plays well on almost any Web browser running on PCs, smartphones and tablets. In a nod to the perennial reality TV phenomenon, Ferrara has also created digital content such as “The Real Gummies of the Black Forrest,” a riff on the Real Housewives of Orange County. More video marketing content is coming to the Black Forest site, which Kranz says is designed to appeal to “millennial moms who are always on the phone and tablets.”

Ferrara girds for more digital overhauls

Ferrara’s other brands are getting a makeover, too. Its Trolli gummy candy line has tabbed Houston Rocket basketball star James Harden as its brand ambassador. Upgrades to Trolli’s weirdly website are among the dozen brand upgrades on tap this year. Revamping the corporate site is of particular importance, as the company hopes to attract prospective employees, Paschall says.

While Paschall’s team has proven adept at responding to the business’ needs, she wants to better anticipate trends to help drive the digital strategy. “I don’t think we’re reactive, but we’re not as proactive as I would like to see us get to.”

The work will lay the foundation for Ferrara's rather ambitious goals: Topping $2 billion revenues in four years. "Our goal is to double in size through 2020, which we'll do through organic growth and acquisitions, among other things," Paschall says.


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