Re-platforming an industry leading trade association
The Pharmaceutical Marketing (PM) Society is a not-for-profit organisation that is passionate in the belief that excellent healthcare communications leads to better outcomes for patients. The society was established over 40 years ago to serve the needs of the pharmaceutical industry and its service agencies. It currently has over 230 companies as members, including pharma and biotech companies.
By 2019 the PM Society website had evolved into a platform providing a wide variety of digital services including; membership subscriptions, events signup and ticket sales, award entry and judging. However, the website was built on a proprietary PHP codebase, with no underlying framework or structure. As a result, as the site capabilities had grown; management, administration and extension of the website and its codebase had become increasingly difficult.
The Pharmaceutical Marketing (PM) Society is a not-for-profit organisation that is passionate in the belief that excellent healthcare communications leads to better outcomes for patients.The society was established over 40 years ago to serve the needs of the pharmaceutical industry and its service agencies. It currently has over Following a competitive pitch bbd were awarded the contract to provide an alternative online vision for the society. The following were the key considerations that informed our proposal:
- The solution needs to be; robust, flexible, scalable and future-proof
- The solution needs to be easy for site administrators to use
- Broadly replicating the capabilities of the old site
- Implementation of a more contemporary look and feel
Based on the above objectives we decided to go with a “configuration-type strategy” utilising off the shelf products where possible, rather than writing code from the ground up or work within the current system. We wanted to focus our efforts on where we could add value; frontend, performance, UX and creative, not reinvent the currently-available-infrastructure wheel. We selected WordPress CMS as the platform for the new site for all the usual reasons. Not least its ease of use and the fact that as the platform delivers 30%+ of all websites means it’s not going away anytime soon and therefore provides a highly robust and future-proof platform.
On top of the core CMS we used a number of sponsored or commercial 3rd party modules to deliver the ecommerce capability, events management and the majority of the awards entry and judging functionality.
Bbd delivered the entire solution from the initial concept through design and UX, development and ongoing support. While it is too soon to gauge the impact of the new site, the initial findings have been wholly positive:
- A substantial increase in events and training signups
- Site now hosted on a future proof platform and is wholly responsive
- New contemporary look and feel
- Average page load time has been reduced by 25%*
- Enhanced Accessibility – working towards WCAG 2.1 level A compliance
* As measured by Google Lighthouse