This blog post is guest-written by Jacob Salamon, Bazaarvoice’s European Marketing Manager.
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Econsultancy, the UK’s leading source of insight on digital marketing and e-commerce, has been a partner and resource to Bazaarvoice in the UK for over two years and is now launching its US office in New York City, so we sat down with Rebecca Lieb, Econsultancy’s Vice President of North America. Look for more insights in the coming weeks in this three-part blog series.

Q: I understand Econsultancy has recently opened a New York office to service e-commerce professionals in the United States.  Tell us more about your plans for the US market, and about any upcoming events or opportunities our readers should know about.

A: In the US, Econsultancy is oxymoronic: a 10 year-old start-up. In the UK, we’re by far the leading source of information on digital marketing and e-commerce, but as a brand on this side of the pond, we’re much less well-known. Nevertheless, without any effort, a significant and growing number of users and subscribers began coming to us from the US, logical, given our content is in English and our search rankings are good. The goal of having a US presence is to expand everything into North America: our publications, research, events, training and membership.

Already we’ve had strong success with expanding our coverage of the US market, content-wise. We’ve just run our first training course on social media, and we’re planning some smaller, informal roundtable events in the coming week. In October, we’re really ratcheting things up with our Peer Summit,  a larger and very networking-focused event in New York. I’ve been producing conferences for years and am personally very excited about the format of this event, which focuses much more on interaction and knowledge exchange, and much less on PowerPoint.

Q: Tell us about your recent rebranding, the success you’ve had with it, and some of the learning you’ve uncovered along the way.

A: The redesigned Econsultancy website soft-launched just as I joined the company early this year, so I wasn’t part of the rather onerous 18 or so month slog toward its completion. Basically, a 10-year-old site couldn’t keep up with our growth, or with the new products and services we offer — and plan to offer — our members. We needed new technological underpinnings, a better taxonomy, APIs and a whole host of functionalities that just weren’t possible with the old site. So, as an exception to the rule, the cobbler’s children actually got new shoes.

It was certainly a process, considering everything from URL structure to metadata and international functionality. Very fortunately, we have seen an increase in conversions. We don’t just function as a publisher, of course, but also as an e-commerce play in terms of sales of memberships, conferences and training — all important metrics that we track. The most difficult part of the rebranding – at least, the one I experienced, was the precipitous, if temporary, drop in our search rankings once the new site went live. We expected that to happen, of course, but we didn’t know how severely or for how long we’d be affected. Fortunately, after a month or so, we fully recovered. During that period, it was critical to get the 301 redirects right, not just to ensure users landed on the desired pages, but also to maintain the authority of our inbound links.

Q: What’s next for Econsultancy?

A: Why, we conquer America of course! At least our target slice of America, which are this country’s interactive marketers and online retailers. Our short-term goal is to deliver both the quality and quantity of great content to our readers and members here as we do in the UK. But it’s also to help build community and forums, both online and off, where people can share ideas and best practices that will help them to succeed with their businesses online.

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