The American Ceramic Society – Case Study
This case study focuses on the use of an online directory to increase engagement in a member driven association or not for profit. The directory is not only helpful for those in the industry to reach out to colleagues in other organizations, but it also is a critical component to further marketing the listings (companies) that make up the site.
About our client
The American Ceramic Society
Location: Westerville, Ohio
Industry: Non Profit (member based organization)
The American Ceramic Society is a member based non-profit organization designed to bring together a community involved in both the arts and science of ceramic materials. ACerS is comprised of over 9,500 members, including scientists, researchers, engineers, manufacturers, plant personnel, educations, students and marketing professionals alike from more than 70 different countries.
Their members vary in background, some working at universities, government agencies or small businesses, while others represent large global corporations like Toyota.
After having used both an inhouse solution as well as eSyndicat in the past, their goal was to create a system that was more user friendly, both to their staff as well as their end users. They also needed a solution that would seamlessly export their data and import that data it into graphic layout applications like InDesign or Illustrator in order to take the entire directory from online to print for their yearly Ceramic Source publication.
After developing an in house solution developed in SAP, which quickly became outdated and difficult to manage, the American Ceramic Society moved to a formal directory solution, eSyndicat where they hoped to make the content more manageable and develop a robust directory site to showcase their members, educational organizations or any other member of the ceramic community.
“eSyndicat wasn’t as robust as we had expected, the back end was a bit confusing and we had trouble organizing the data the way we wanted to — we have hundreds of categories we use to organize each business,” said Scott Freshour, Web Manager.
After two iterations of directory solutions that didn’t meet their requirements or expectations, The ACeRs moved to eDirectory to manage their directory publication.
Upon migrating to eDirectory The American Ceramic Society was able to reach out to their members and other members within their industry in an effort to engage them more in the directory. They used eDirectory’s multi-level listing feature to offer corporate members higher level listings in the system, thus giving the more exposure in the directory. They emailed members to send emails to listing holders encouraging them to update their information.
“eDirectory was easy to use and much more modern. We took what the solution offered out of the box and developed a quality product. We were able to make modifications with ease and make the site our own,” Freshour added.
With the export feature, the American Ceramic Society was able to better format the directory listings to be more compatible with graphical applications like InDesign or Illustrator.
The American Ceramic Society found success in using eDirectory having used both an internal proprietary solution as well as one of eDirectory’s competitors, eSyndicat. With an easy to use interface, robust feature and a customizable look and feel, ACeRs were able to leverage their online directory to not only further engage with their members and offer an advertising platform to increase their exposure, but work within an easy to use, manageable systems both for their internal staff, as well as those that held listings on their site.
If you’re a non profit organization and want to learn how an online directory can increase membership, advertising funds and overall engagement, please send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (703) 914-0770.