An independent investment firm with a superb track record and outstanding performance that deserve to be showcased online.

Arrow Capital

As an independent, employee-owned investment firm, Arrow Capital (Arrow) is focused on providing active portfolio management that seeks to generate attractive returns while mitigating downside risk. Arrow offers a platform of unique investment strategies intended to address a diverse range of investor priorities. Since its inception in 1999, Arrow has grown to become one of the largest independent wealth management firms in Canada.

However, Arrow was convinced that there were opportunities to more closely align its website with marketplace expectations in order to better support its excellent reputation. The site was too narrowly focused on what Arrow wanted to ‘say’ rather than what its target audience needed to ‘hear.’ The time had come for Arrow’s website to evolve.

Our team saw the challenge as an opportunity to put our financial services expertise to work in creating an enhanced online experience that would support Arrow’s continuing growth.

Challenge

For visitors, the lack of clarity and cohesion in the structure, navigation, and content layout of the Arrow website resulted in short visits and limited click-throughs. Prospects would often leave feeling overwhelmed and lost.

In addition, Arrow’s marketing and sales team had to rely on a confusing CMS tool that was intended to make managing content easy, but actually made it more complicated. An oversupply of editing widgets and tools provided too much latitude in adding or modifying content. This caused some content to appear randomly in areas where it did not belong, with sections of the site rendered unresponsive.

We could see that the home page incorporated too many design elements, a myriad of mixed messages, and multiple media formats (such as videos, banners, and images) all of which delivered a confusing message. While the home page welcomed visitors, it did not focus their attention on Arrow’s core offering: investment solutions. Most importantly, there was no clear path for financial advisors or potential investors to find information about Arrow’s investment strategy or select a suitable fund solution for their investment priorities.

We quickly realized that there was a strong case for more than just a redesign; a thorough restructuring of the content, along with the customization of a robust CMS tool, was necessary to enable this content-rich website to offer visitors more consistent messaging and intuitive navigation. Our team began with a comprehensive planning stage.

The Transformation

The need for a robust customized back-end solution was clear, particularly because the dynamic population of fund data was a requirement. It was also the key to improving the user experience. By reorganizing the information architecture, our goal was to create a more cohesive and informative navigation experience that would support Arrow’s business objectives. 

We started by having our team meet with Arrow’s senior management in order to gain a clear understanding of the company’s founding principles, values, vision, and future plans. This enabled us to establish a point of view that would help guide all strategic and creative decisions — affecting not only the new website, but informing all future marketing initiatives. We conducted interviews that provided us with raw material for formulating key messaging and generating strategic content for the website.

“Adler Toronto provided us with guidance and sound advice when it came to making strategic decisions. They demonstrated commitment and delivered a great product for us. Arrow’s website is now a better representation of our company’s brand.”

Mark Purdy, CIO

Next, the comprehensive site architecture phase began. Working closely with the Arrow team, we first completely dissected the website, cataloging types of content, resources, media, fund data, and related collateral and disclosure information. During this process, we identified much valuable content and many resources, and we developed a simplified menu structure to house it all. We also linked fund offerings to investment solution categories to help visitors identify the product suitable to their investment priorities. This was key to the repositioning of the website. A sitemap presented our proposed plan for Arrow to review.

A detailed list of functional and non-functional requirements was prepared to ensure that all website needs and business goals were addressed, while also establishing priorities to help keep the projecy within budget. The priorities were:

  • Offer a productive and informative experience
  • Present clear paths to visitors, so that they can find, read, share, and download fund and company information
  • Upgrade the content management system to simplify content editing and updates
  • Reconcile fund data updates within a centralized tool
  • Streamline price and performance data updates by reducing the number of file uploads required
  • Reorganize information architecture, improve structure and navigation system
  • Track inbound inquiries via contact page form
  • Implement SEO tools to be integrated with ongoing online marketing initiatives
  • Design for accessibility to meet the needs of the widest possible range of users
  • Enable the optional display of French language content on select pages
  • Ensure tone of voice, layout, colours, fonts, imagery, and icons align with brand guidelines
  • Create an adaptive design for a better user experience on mobile devices
  • Recommend a robust hosting solution with development, testing, and live environments, in addition to version controls for efficient maintenance and scalability

As we started into the creative phase, the insights, requirements, and priorities established during the planning phase enabled us to develop a differentiated approach that would help narrow Arrow’s positioning in the market and shape consumer perception.

The solutions-driven approach to differentiating Arrow led to a focus on addressing the needs of Arrow’s primary target: financial advisors.

Clear, coherent, and compelling, Arrow’s new online brand representation also incorporates a new visual platform that can be extended beyond its website into other channels, reinforcing the brand and supporting future marketing initiatives. 

From a development standpoint, meeting all technical requirements was a challenging yet rewarding task. The ability to reconcile and streamline all data updates within a centralized system on the chosen CMS platform seemed unattainable on occasion, given the time and budget constraints. But our development team pulled through and delivered a customized solution that meets all of Arrow’s priorities and requirements.

Arrow’s new website is built on a robust and dynamic customized Drupal platform. The site features:

  • Comprehensive fund overview pages, with historical performance tables, charts, and fund details
  • The ability to correlate fund offerings with investment strategies, fund videos, and their corresponding portfolio managers
  • Dynamic content blocks that display up-to-date content on the home page
  • Centralized media area, including videos and television appearances, news and articles, press releases, and Arrow’s Insights Blog
  • Social media sharing

Beyond all the strategic improvements, the new website delivers an enhanced user experience. Arrow now has more opportunities to engage with visitors and explain its value proposition, thus offering them a compelling reason to connect and invest.

“Rebuilding our website was a daunting task. We knew we had great content and resources on our website, but it was challenging to navigate. The Adler Toronto team’s expertise and creative talent helped us get organized by simplifying our navigation and making it more intuitive. They stayed committed until the end to deliver a website that met our business needs.”

– Chelsey Wiggins, Marketing and Brand Manager

Results

Within the first four weeks of launch, the new website saw an increase in traffic volume and the number of inquiries. The sales team is now able to proactively point prospects and current clients to fund pages for up-to-date information. The ‘How to Invest’ pages have seen a spike in document downloads. Arrow is drawing market attention, having already received multiple positive reviews on its new website from both clients and colleagues.

As an added value, the new website design incorporates strategic content and visual elements that can function as the brand representation benchmark for all new or updated marketing materials.

At Adler Toronto, we stayed committed to delivering on what we had been hired to do: to help elevate Arrow’s brand by highlighting the profile of its prominent investment team, its innovative fund offerings, and its unique investment strategy, while setting the stage for future marketing initiatives that can grow the business.

Originally posted on LinkedIn