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Website Strategy & User Research

Conducting a series of UX and website strategy projects for Salesforce (then it was still ExactTarget) 

I was hired as a consultant to work within the ExactTarget team to set a direction for the public website, their most powerful marketing and lead generation property. A few months later, they hired me to come back and conduct user research as step one in accomplishing the roadmap I had laid out.


The Problem

Many tech companies who grow rapidly experience growing pains in the form of scattered product ownership, teams working in non-transparent silos, and communication from leadership getting muffled or lost. These are solvable problems, especially if you allow research and data to amplify the user's voice and to get your internal strategies into alignment. 

These two extensive research and strategy projects were a way for ExactTarget to move forward with clear guidance in hand as they embarked on a total redesign of

The Goals

The goals of the website strategy roadmap were to provide a starting point and next steps for redesigning that the internal Marketing Team could plan for and follow.

The goals of the website user research were to gain a better understanding of visitors (specifically two of the primary audiences: prospective customers and existing customers), including who they are, why they come to the website, what kind of information they want, and key pain points.

The Team & My Role

I was a UX team of one, collaborating with ExactTarget's Director of Digital Marketing and their chief Content Marketer.

My Approach

Website Strategy Roadmap

The Roadmap was very much about doing a deep analysis of ExactTarget's existing website, the goals of the leadership team for the website, their team structure and internal processes, the competitive landscape, and the existing customer knowledge, combining all of that information with my expert opinion and producing a document that they could rally behind. The roadmap was intended to provide a starting point and next steps for redesigning

My methodology included a discovery process:

  • Interviewing the C-level leadership team about their vision and goals for the website.

  • Interviewing the digital strategy team members to understand their processes.

  • Analyzing the state of the website, including its information architecture and the technology that supported it.

I also spent a great deal of time auditing the existing public website, and learning about their international customer base.

Website User Research

I employed multiple research methods in order to gain the most complete picture possible, within the scope and budget alotted:

  • User “surrogate” interviews. “Surrogates” are ExactTarget sales and relationship management staff who can speak on behalf of customers.

  • A user surrogate online survey. This survey went out to all of ExactTargets hundreds of sales and relationship management staff across many countries.

  • An intercept survey on for website visitors.

  • Website visitor session data via click tracking software (Mouseflow).


I enhanced the research by referring to the Google Analytics metrics.


These two documents, Website Strategy Roadmap and Website User Research, were embraced by the Marketing Team at ExactTarget. In fact, the Marketing Director told me a couple of months later that he handed printed copies to all new hires in order to help them get up-to-speed on the public website and its audiences.

Within one year of this work being completed, Salesforce acquired ExactTarget and a different team took ownership of the website.

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