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The British Heart Foundation’s four steps to digital transformation



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December 2, 2014 | 5 min read

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The British Heart Foundation’s Four Steps to Digital Transformation

The British Heart Foundation’s Four Steps to Digital Transformation

The British Heart Foundation’s (BHF) new 2020 strategy is boldly singular: fund more cutting-edge medical research and eradicate heart disease once and for all.

Last year we partnered with the BHF to create the new digital platform that’s going to ensure it achieves this new strategy, and it’s resulted in a transformation for BHF both inside and out.

The new digital platform launched this week, and the digital transformation it represents for the charity can be summed up in four parts.

1. Users driving the user journey – not departments.

You only have to compare the BHF’s old home page to the new to see how it has modernised its communications approach.

The website’s old department-driven navigation and over-cluttered home page with competing calls to action is gone, and the content that remains now speaks directly to the individual visitor’s needs.

Because the new digital presence is built on the Sitecore CMS, it will be able to learn from user behaviour and in the future, use automatic personalisation to help visitors find what they’re looking for faster, based on factors like how they arrived on the site, what content they’ve viewed and how engaged they are.

2. Integrating all systems for a Single Customer View.

The BHF’s new digital platform is now the hub of their entire business, following extensive integration of Sitecore with all of the BHF’s third-party and business systems.

This gives it a complete view, with real-time insights, of user interactions, allowing them to identify ways to further enhance and support visitors in activities like fundraising, finding heart health resources, and accessing support.

The system integration also cuts down on administrative costs and human error, as entire business processes can now be conducted and managed entirely online.

3. Defragmenting the digital experience – even on external sites.

Not only can visitors and the BHF members now access all services and heart health tools online, they can do it from any device and with one set of log-in credentials.

More than just responsive design, the new digital presence uses Sitecore’s adaptive design feature to detect the user’s actual device type and serve up the correct content, functionality and layout to match.

Single sign-on has also been built into the new digital platform connecting it to BHF’s many external sites, allowing the user to move seamlessly between different sites and online communities with only one log-in and user account to manage.

4. Empowering and enabling people to do more, to raise more.

The new 2020 strategy means that fundraising for cutting edge medical research is now business critical for the BHF.

In order to ensure this is achieved, fundamental changes have been made to the online processes. The new focus is no longer based on data capture alone, but on recognising supporters’ motivations for donating in the first place. Equally, another big change has been elevating the social side of their fundraising events. Now, rather than having to opt to sign up to an event as an individual, anyone interested in participating in an event can register online, manage their account, search for teams to join or create and manage their own fundraising teams with ease.

It’s features like these that help take the fear out of fundraising and making as powerful as any major marketing campaign to get as many people as possible to join the fight against heart disease.

The launch of is only the beginning

Chris Thorn, Interim Head of Digital at the BHF, said “Scalability is key to match our strategic ambition for growth, and we now have a platform that gives us the flexibility and tools to grow a digital-first approach within the organisation. The launch of is just the beginning of our digital journey. After launch we will be working with Precedent to deploy new features to the site, as testing with our visitors’ reveals new opportunities to improve what we do.”

If you’d like to know more about the BHF’s new site, as well as examples of other organisations using digital to deliver amazing customer experiences that drive business objectives, download Precedent’s latest report ‘CX: Survival of the Fittest’ for free here.

Lindsay Herbert, global head of digital, Precedent

Tel: 020 7426 8900



Twitter: @precedentcomms

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