How Avis created a new digital strategy
with Magnolia

Avis Budget Group, Inc. is a leading global provider of vehicle rental services. Its Avis and Budget brands have more than 10,000 rental locations in approximately 175 countries around the world. 

In 2011, Avis Budget Group US acquired Avis Budget EMEA, creating a new global business entity. Then the company also acquired Zipcar and Payless. With multiple brands serving different customer segments, the company wanted a more centralized approach to business and a unified digital presence. By implementing Magnolia with Xaeus Blue, Avis Budget created a flexible digital platform that provides compelling multi-channel customer experiences across markets. This has contributed to a significant improvement in commercial performance.

Industry: Automotive
Country: United Kingdom
Implemented by: Xaeus Blue

Why Avis chose Magnolia


Editor independence

The editorial team can flexibly and quickly change and publish content, as well as create new content by reusing templates.



Avis enjoys more consistent branding standardization across the company for digital content and e-commerce.



Content adheres to Avis Budget’s rules - and if something goes wrong, it’s quick and easy to roll back to an earlier version.



With Magnolia, it's easy to flexibly change and integrate tools, including Avis Budget’s e-commerce engine.



Avis can customize and extend the system, while supporting the company's architectural IT principles.


Core CMS functionality

Avis needs the capability to create, edit and publish content using formal workflows.


Magnolia stood out in the evaluation process because it not only provided core content management functionality, but also served as a content platform. It has changed the way content is created and published for Avis Budget EMEA. Editors have a great deal of freedom to create content, and Magnolia's templating systems ensure that the content is displayed in an agreed standard way.

The challenge

Create an integrated, international digital presence

In 2011, Avis Budget Group US acquired Avis Budget EMEA, creating a new global business entity, which grew again when the group bought Zipcar and Payless. With multiple brands serving different customer segments, the company took a strategic decision to move away from its previous federated business model in the EMEA region to a more centralized approach that promoted integration, collaborative working and operational efficiency. 

The old Avis and Budget websites ran on a mix of bespoke CMS solutions which were cumbersome to manage and required specialized domain knowledge as well as significant ongoing IT team involvement for effective maintenance. Avis Budget EMEA engaged Xaeus Blue to create a unified digital presence that would allow users to experience the various brands seamlessly, across multiple channels, devices and platforms. 

Xaeus Blue and Avis Budget agreed that for the new digital strategy to succeed, a key component was required: a standardized, centralized platform that supported core content management and content delivery functionality, yet that was easy to integrate and customize to the needs of specific markets, brands, channels and touchpoints.

Avis Budget and Xaeus Blue agreed that the new system should be able to cost-effectively scale up to meet demand



Magnolia enabled the new Avis UK website to work smoothly on desktops, tablets and smartphones, using responsive and adaptive design

The solution

CMS functionality, ease of use, scalability and extensibility

As part of its evaluation process, Xaeus Blue investigated approximately 20 different CMSs for Avis Budget EMEA. Of these, 12 were commercial solutions and the remainder were a mix of open source solutions and custom tooling used elsewhere in the organization.

When performing their evaluation, Xaeus Blue looked for a system that could provide core CMS functionality, ease of use, scalability and extensibility. Magnolia ticked all the boxes. The team also realized that Magnolia's use of open APIs and data standards created rich integration and customization opportunities that would simplify sharing and customizing content across multiple touchpoints.

Following the selection of Magnolia, Xaeus Blue helped Avis Budget develop a program of work, giving special attention to the task of content migration. The team migrated tens of thousands of pages from the previous Avis and Budget websites, making changes to match the refreshed Avis and Budget brand identities and new sales and marketing objectives. To avoid disruption to existing business activities, the team also planned and synchronized the migration operations with other business teams within the company. Magnolia's modular architecture was useful during the implementation process, as it allowed the team to quickly implement important new functionality using existing modules.

The result

A seamless, multi-channel digital presence

In June 2014, after a six-month implementation period, the new Avis UK website was launched and in late 2013 it was followed by the Budget website. The use of Magnolia changed the way content is created and published for both brands, enabling them to offer compelling customer experiences across devices and markets. 

The new websites clearly distinguish between the premium Avis brand and the more informal Budget brand using appropriate imagery, layout, content and tone of voice. The websites also include a number of interactive features, making it easier for customers to book cars. In addition, the Avis site smoothly integrates the brand's loyalty program - Avis Preferred -  into the booking process.

Magnolia's workflow features are critical to the operation of the new sites, ensuring that access is properly controlled and managed by the right stakeholders.

Avis Budget EMEA plans to roll out to other country sites and migrate from Magnolia 4.5 to Magnolia 5.


Independent analyst review of Magnolia

Magnolia has earned deservedly high marks for extensibility and integration potential. Few systems can claim to be as open or as amenable to custom app development.

Kas ThomasJ. Boye

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