A website won’t help me land a new account

Or will it? Some pretty amazing things can happen when you design with your audience in mind.

Scalar Security Scalar Cloud Scalar Infrastructure

Intro

In the IT world, things change fast and the Scalar team knew their existing site, the one that had been patched over, sprawling, without direction for 5 years, no longer reflected the company’s DNA or their current services. Scalar approached Filament in January of 2015 for a pretty substantial redesign.

Quick Look

  • Scalar is big. $350 Million in revenue, 300 employees, 7 offices across Canada.
  • 19 weeks from start to finish.
  • Brand repositioning, audience research, website redesign, video production.
  • We worked with the stakeholder teams spanning 2 timezones and 4,370.7 KM.
  • We learned a lot about video conferencing. Mostly that it sucks.

25%

Increase in Lead Generation

Compilation of several screen sizes and design assets of the Scalar website

Key Feature

How do you reach an audience that never reaches your website? After numerous audience interviews, we found that Scalar's existing customers, for the most part, had never been to their website. Weird, right? We thought so too.

If we could find a way to make Scalar a go-to property for research covering trending IT topics, strong, relevant case studies, and consolidated resources, we could offer a counter point to the argument that a website can help land an account?

A good case study will bring someone to the table."

Photo of social sharing links on Scalar site Photo of list of posts under a collection
Personal & professional content

There was no doubt that the Scalar team could produce great content—they are all super smart—but making it goal-oriented, accessible, shareable, and tailored to varying yet specific needs was a big challenge. Those constraints aren't the most forgiving but the solution was a content shopping cart for the entire site. The cart checkout was the creation of what we called Collections and it worked brilliantly. Self-high-five.

How it works

Anything with a URL can be added to a collection; videos, client stories, infographics, blog posts, slide decks, everything. Visitors could grab what they needed and access it at any time via their collection URL. A modal window with some easy-to-follow instructions greeted each user on their first visit. After that, throughout the session, the collection basket followed. It stayed out of the way on the bottom and could be pulled up and edited just by clicking on it. When you were done collecting, the unique URL was sent to your inbox.

A good case study will bring someone to the table."

+ 170

Collections created
Outcomes

Collections completely eliminated the need to have every service or solution represented in the IA and kept it streamlined. If account reps needed specific content for a prospect, they could create custom collections, to help them sell better in every situation. The marketing team could curate collections based on industry trend and stock them with any resource on the site—like a multimedia greatest hits. These collections not only helped users look good in front of their bosses, but they were integrated into Scalars Social Media planning in a much more strategic way. Since launch, over 170 collections have been created by visitors to the site, more than 1 new collection a day - that's a lot of good-looking people.

Results

If we look at the 3 months before and after launch, a reasonable sample, we see some pretty immediate impact.

  • 01

    Engagement

    More new people coming to the site, visiting more pages and staying longer.

    • New users
      +

      15%

    • Pages per session
      +

      30%

    • Session Duration
      +

      33%

  • 02

    Social Media

    Better content through a better Content Strategy with Social Media integration results in more inbound traffic.

    • +

      114%

    • +

      409%

    • +

      30%

  • 03

    LeadsLead capture

    User experience, design, content strategy and interaction lead more traffic to use the contact forms throughout the site.

    • +

      25%

      more converted visitors

    Can a website help land an account? This proves it can.

Screenshot of website
Photo of blog post on website

A Sound Strategy

When four out of five people tell you completely different and sometimes opposing views of what a company does, and all those people work at the same company, it's not really a surprise when someone says "a website won't help me land a new client."

How could it? If everyone is on a different page, a website is just another opportunity for misalignment. A little Filament Real-Talk™ helped to get everyone on the same page and move forward.

Photo of Asian woman in black shirt against off-white wall Photo of white man wearing glasses looking at his phone Photo of older white man in suit smiling in a meeting
We design for our audience, not for Scalar or ourselves.
Research

Hearing it from their own customers helped solidify how we wanted to speak about Scalar. After conducting 8 Audience Interviews, we pulled out the insights revealing how Scalar helps their clients. These interviews were a direct influence on our approach and why the site is so successful. We were able to create consensus within the stakeholder group because the discussions were no longer about what Scalar wanted versus what Filament wanted, it was all about what the audience wanted and the best way of producing content that would achieve those goals.

Brand Voice

Leaders should be confident, clear in their communication and can afford to be humourous. The tone of the copy reflects those qualities with little quips throughout the site. Visually, the iconography, photography, typography, illustrations and video— all needed to stand together but be strong enough to stand on its own. It's not always what you say but rather how you say it that's important. But it's also what you say ;)


“From a really selfish perspective, the best part about working with Filament is that they made me look really good. My team got a lot of kudos when we launched the site because I don't think people expected what we got...it was so far beyond expectations.”

AOIFE MCMONAGLE, NATIONAL MARKETING MANAGER
Selling business, not tech

The typical IT website talk tech-speak, like the only people who have IT problems and visit websites are CTOs. More and more IT is being bought by individuals outside of IT roles. The traditional *Services and Solutions* modality creates confusion and over categorization with a laughable amount of overlap. We opted for something far more identifiable — a Business Outcome. How can I get my team to collaborate more effectively online? is a better starting point for a discussion than an unfamiliar category heading, like Unified Communications that leads to a game of clicky-mouse before a user just leaves, having abandoned the search.

“From a really selfish perspective, the best part about working with Filament is that they made me look really good. My team got a lot of kudos when we launched the site because I don't think people expected what we got...it was so far beyond expectations.”

AOIFE MCMONAGLE, NATIONAL MARKETING MANAGER

Design System Tile

Clear communication doesn't end with great words, and there's only so many shades of orange and grey you can use to express dynamic concepts like Security, Infrastructure and Cloud Technology, so we created a design language that's as flexible and extensible as it is beautiful.

Colourful language

From humble orange and grey beginnings, we extended the palette to define Scalar’s three core areas of practice, and introduced shade variations that gave them flexibility for applications beyond the website.

Photo showing system of colour options applied to Scalar
  • Buttons / Links

  • Infrastructure

  • Cloud

  • Security

  • Neutrals

  • Panel Backdrops

  • Typography

  • Action Items

Find your way

Great design means great communication, so to help people find the content they need, we started creating a system of illustrations that would let them know they were in the right place when reading blog posts, learning about Scalar, or adding resources to their collections.

Rough sketch of security illustration Rough sketch of infrastructure illustration Rough sketch of cloud illustration Photo of sketches for all three illustrations
Bringing them to life

After many iterations and great discussions with the Scalar team, the illustrations were refined to have three variations that could be used in any situation. Sometimes they needed to stand out, wave their arms, and be like "Hey! Look at me!" so the full illustration worked well, but in other cases, they needed to be a little more humble, so we created more subdued versions for those instances.

Photo of full size infrastructure illustration Photo of mid-size infrastructure illustration Photo of mobile infrastructure illustration
Photo of full size cloud illustration Photo of mid-size cloud illustration Photo of mobile cloud illustration
Photo of full size security illustration Photo of mid-size security illustration Photo of mobile security illustration
Example of blog tile on website
Photo of text chosen for website
Screenshot of website on tablet
Photo of icons used across the site
Screenshot of website in browser
Photo breaking down tagging structure across the site

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