C3 Creative Code and Content is an international agency that brings together content, creativity, and code into attention-grabbing online experiences, boasting offices in nine cities across five European countries. One of their clients is Giesecke+Devrient, a large group of companies centered around currency and payment solutions, mobile and data security products, and identity protection. As experts in content marketing, C3 was entrusted with launching a hub to position G+D as a thought leader and channel users to their core business.
C3 + b13 = TYPO3
As a large, international enterprise, G+D has many independent departments. Each had different requirements and expectations that needed to be addressed and reflected in the concept design.
C3 surveyed potential CMSs, including Adobe Experience Manager and WordPress. By December 2019, G+D decided to work with TYPO3 and recommended b13 as the technical partner, having worked with b13 before.
The C3 project lead, Sarah-Mira Ruder, described bringing in b13, “From the first kick-off meeting, we got on really well. It can be difficult to work with external technical partners, but with b13 everything went smoothly right from the start. They are dependable, honest about potential risks and challenges, flexible, and respond to enquiries fast.”
Ambitious content-marketing strategy
C3’s creative team had already begun working on their ambitious concept for the portal, with mouthwatering visual design pulling in engaging graphics and videos. Sarah-Mira picks out the content tagging as a standout feature. Alongside tagging and categories, the search function and category filters give users numerous ways to slice and dice content any way they like. “This gives the user an alternative to the menu navigation,” she enthuses. Add to that attractive and useful UI elements, like an audio player with a spoken recording at the top of each article, and estimates of reading time, which add depth to the experience.
As a specialist agency in high-performing content, C3 have a formidable team of experts who need to sign everything off from an SEO perspective. As Sarah-Mira explains, “Many technical details have to go through the Performance Team. We had many requirements relating to SEO.”
The TYPO3 backend is great for SEO and editor experience
“TYPO3 offered most of the project’s required features out of the box, especially when it came to SEO,” explains Claus-Peter Eberwein, Project Lead on b13’s side.
Sarah-Mira was pleasantly surprised, “b13 didn’t charge for many of the extras other agencies often charge for. When our creative team has big ideas, the tech sometimes stops them in their tracks, but that wasn’t the case this time. They were open to our ideas and really agile.” C3 Creative Director Gregor Myszor adds, “We translated G+D brand values into a state-of-the-art user experience and unique visual appeal and b13 seamlessly translated our vision into code.”
While the frontend is beautifully designed for visitors, C3 put lots of thought into speccing out an intuitive backend that serves the needs of their editors and neatly structures content, which is essential for SEO performance. C3 had been hesitant about TYPO3 initially. UX-Designer Marcus Bließ, was pleasantly surprised in the end, “In contrast to the content management systems I have worked with before, TYPO3 is super flexible. It opens up a lot more possibilities. The user interface is eye catching, easy to use, and has helped a lot for this project.”
Apart from TYPO3 core features, b13 custom-coded some extensions. “The editor article bar gives backend users a clear overview of data about the article they’re working on,” explains Claus-Peter. “We used the b13 image extension to add support for high-performance webP images in all necessary sizes for any device, and pulled in videos from Wistia at the client’s request.”
TYPO3’s meticulously structured content plays well with C3’s exacting SEO requirements, as it cleanly separates content—including meta data—from presentation. The system can then output it perfectly for search engines and content previews on social media.
Quick delivery and ongoing partnership
The perfect combination of a leading creative agency, a powerful CMS, and an experienced, expert technical team made the project run smoothly and deliver right on time at the end of May 2020. By the launch, the feature backlog was all but empty. “In other projects, it can take a month until you solve all the problems you didn’t expect,” adds Sarah-Mira.
“We’re pleased to continue working on the project with b13,” says Sarah-Mira. There are plans to continue developing the website, adding more languages and an interactive “scrollytelling” feature.
We’re glad we could show TYPO3 in the best light and deliver on time, on spec, and on budget! We’ll leave the last word to C3’s Junior PM Lea Förster, who has been doing lots of editing before and since the launch: “I wish that other CMSs were as well-structured as TYPO3 and as easy to work with.”