Rattleback partnered with Schenck (now part of CliftonLarsonAllen), one of the 50 largest accounting and consulting firms in the U.S. by revenue, in 2015 to redesign its corporate website. In the 14 months directly following the site’s launch, the website helped the firm:
Portraying a Leading Firm
Schenck (acquired by CliftonLarsonAllen in 2018) takes an integrated approach to delivering services to clients, with service line and industry specialists working in collaboration. An important component of the redesign of the site was reflecting this team approach and a dedication to not just meeting clients’ compliance needs, but helping them grow and achieve their vision for their organization.
The Constraints of the Previous Website
Simultaneously, the marketing team was literally hemmed in by its existing website. The site’s navigation had become cumbersome. It wasn’t responsive or at all mobile-friendly. The CMS they were using was no longer supported. And, the site was unable to accept credit card payments despite the fact the firm ran a lot of paid events and workshops. Processing payments for the firm’s growing list of events was pulling people away from higher-value activities.
Senior Marketing Manager
Making the case for a website redesign was fairly straightforward given the myriad of challenges. That said, while the need to redesign the site was simple, the effort to actually do it was much less so.
The firm had an extremely aggressive content marketing program with 16 different newsletters that cut across 26 different topics, 10 industries and 4 content formats. The new site needed to better present this range of thought leadership as well as the firm’s core practice areas and more than 600 professionals in a logical and intuitive way. And, of course, it needed to improve upon the firm’s search outcomes and lead generation efforts.
A Website Design that Reflects the Vision for the Firm
The firm partnered with Rattleback for the website redesign due to our expertise in marketing professional services firms and our highly inclusive design/development process. To start, we led the firm’s marketers through a comprehensive prototyping process. During the prototyping phase we sought input from both inside and outside the firm about how the site should be structured and present information.
With the prototype as our guide for site structure, we needed to develop the look-and-feel for the site’s new design. For that, we led members of the Schenck marketing and leadership team through our moodboarding process. The moodboarding process is used to invite non-marketers into the design process in a highly inclusive way. We use it to explore new directions for the brand and to learn what key leaders would like (and not like) to see in their new design solution. We also use it to facilitate decision-making. By enabling senior leaders to make lots of simple, small decisions (gut reactions to colors, types and photo treatments), we make it easier for them to make bigger decisions later (homepage designs and design templates).
Together, the prototyping and moodboarding process make the actual design and development of a new website much more efficient. Design templates are measured against the moodboard. Functional website pages reference the working prototype for functionality and structure. As a result, the site launch, rather than being a moment of stress becomes more of a non-event.
Elements of the New Web Solution
Built on a .NET platform, the new site provided the firm with a robust set of marketing tools. A mega-menu connected visitors with thought leadership content by topic, format or industry right through the main navigation. Thought leadership pages invited visitors to subscribe to relevant newsletters using clear calls-to-action. The event tool enables the marketing team to publish both free and paid events and collect payments directly through the site.
Each service and industry page clearly connected potential clients with the firm’s subject matter experts. The people section provided easy filtering of professionals by location, by industry and by expertise. And, the profile of each professional dynamically connected potential clients with their authored thought leadership content.
Most importantly, the system provided both easy-to-use SEO tools to search optimize each site page and dynamic call-to-action tools that enabled the firm to shape a client’s journey sequentially as they move through the site.
Driving Offline Design Decisions
The new site, which was launched in December 2015, became the catalyst for a comprehensive rebrand.
15 Months Later
After driving the firm’s aggressive content marketing agenda against its new site over the 15 months following the December 2015 site launch, the website helped the firm: