CarCare News Service: Under the Hood

CarCare News Service: Under the Hood


Car Care News Service came to us in a bind—their Drupal site’s security had been compromised in April of 2017 and we needed to get them back online — fast. With a quick pit stop, we changed the tires and tuned the engine. CCNS was back on the road to impress sponsors and floor it to the next curve. Facet partnered with CCNS to usher in a new era of online content strategy, driving demographic data collection, and routing it to CCNS sponsors.


Car Care News Service was sorely out of date, both in Drupal version and branding. Fortunately CCNS had completed some branding work, and had a new look and feel. However, we had to work with CCNS to make sure every dollar spent counted towards earning new sponsorships. We had to build a digital foundations roadmap to prioritize revenue-earning features, then move on to the bells and whistles.

CarCare News Service Case Study

Their ability to identify an issue before I’m aware it exists makes them a great asset.


Car Care News Service offers a freemium content strategy for its visitors. Repair shops, wholesalers, and mass media publications turn to CCNS to get timely reminders of car care, and repurpose the content on their websites, social media, and newsletters in order to drive engagement for their brand. No attribution is required. Of course, this kind of freemium reuse allows big brands to get eyeballs that help them sell their products at the repair shop counters. Need to know the difference between wiper blades right before rainy season? Well why not distribute a free content piece on how to test your wiper blades to see if they’re old? 

In building up this network of freemium content users, progressive profiling of customers allows CCNS to offer targeted sponsorships for specific auto news categories. Knowing the media distribution, network, and reach of each contact that visits CCNS, and the difference between audiences where there is an opportunity to sell, and an opportunity for public relations, is key to landing the right sponsors.


Hacked Drupal 7 Remedy & Patching

Facet quickly addressed security issues by iteratively rebuilding the Drupal 7 site using code scaffolding (Drush make). By ensuring that the site’s code was rebuildable using open source contrib modules and libraries, we could iteratively re-build the site and see where code differed due to injected hacked code in our `git diff`.

To address risk around DDoS attacks, we consolidated brands into a Cloudflare DNS free tier, and enabled 2FA across the business’ digital properties. 

Rapid Pantheon Onboarding

Once our Drupal 7 best practices were applied, we pushed our code to Pantheon. Fortunately Pantheon’s detection scripts for hacked code are even better than ours, as we had missed some bad files in the `sites/default/files` directory. 

We quickly patched those, pointed DNS, and CCNS was on its way. 

Digital Strategy Workshop

With the site patched and stable, CCNS asked us to turn our attention to acquiring new sponsors. 

“What features does the site need in order to provide more value to our business customers?”

Facet mapped out the business strategy and sales pitch for automotive industry sponsors, and helped identify a roadmap of customer intelligence data acquisition that would help us to provide solid return on investment (ROI) to sponsors. 

Mautic Open Source Marketing Automation 

To collect information, segment customers, drive engagement, and surface personalized information with sponsors—we recommended and launched Mautic. Mautic allowed us to rollout sitewide surveys on content, and centralize our email newsletters in a way that would more easily track engagement. 

Progressive Profiling Visitors with Mautic

Facet built progressive profiling forms to incrementally identify information about members of the media, auto shops, distributors, and other users who would come to the site to copy and re-use the CCNS content. 

Once visitors were profiled, we could aggregate audience statistics for sponsors to get them to engage with CCNS. Once engaged with CCNS, we used small popup surveys to ask visitors if they planned to use the site content. Identifying which users planned to reuse the content, and what their specific segment and customer profile information was, gave CCNS the ammo it needed to acquire sponsor’s buy in. They could now promote content on the site and get information back about the users who were reusing their content. 

We successfully created a win-win-win triangle here between the brands, customers, and CCNS. 

Digital Foundations Summary

  • Analytics

    • Configured appropriate segmentation reporting for Google Analytics.

    • Setup Mautic as a marketing automation suite that will serve as our rolodex of media distributors, repair shops, and wholesalers.

    • Built reports in Mautic to surface aggregate media distribution, and counts of subscriptions across categories.

    • (planned) Build reporting for category subscription media reach. Allow sponsors to get live reporting on the visibility of their articles, by which media companies or repair shops, and report the aggregate reach.

  • Tooling

    • Refactor the Drupal 7 site to rebuild from Drush Make, Features, and reinstall all modules, patch files, and customizations while cleaning up the hacked Drupal instance. 

    • Install Mautic with tracking pixels on site to keep track of active user browsing experience, and whether users reuse specific articles for themselves with a simple “Yes/No” popup question.

  • Process

    • Introduce value-driven development in order to prioritize the features that will drive the most revenue for CCNS. 

    • Create an agile digital strategy to roll out new changes over time with email marketing automation and progressive profiling.

  • Automation

    • Automate Drupal deployment operations with Pantheon Quicksilver hook best practices.

    • Automate progressive profiling with email drips to ask contacts to fill out more information as they engage with the site more often.


Car Care News Service has been humming along, building up readership and engaging sponsors as it prepares for the next phase of CCNS with a branding update. In the digital world, data is king, and so our priority remains to collect more and more.


Growth of Readership EOY 2017