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The Purpose

Deetken Group intends to increase their brand awareness among the “Millennial Generation”

In terms of money invested, the Impact Investment sector has been growing at a radical rate over the past three years compared to traditional capital-return investment funds. This increase in demand for impact investment options is not unrelated to the coming of age of the “Millennial Generation” – the generation that represents the most technically immersed, digitally savvy, environmentally and socially conscious segment of the population.

This presents a perfect opportunity to begin incorporating a “Millennial” marketing focus within the Deetken Group’s Impact Investing sector.

The purpose of the Deetken Group’s website re-design is to conscientiously – through both design and content – target this growing population of impact investors, while at the same time maintaining the credibility and stellar reputation that they have developed with their current asset management clients.

The Deetken Group has a fully functional, traditionally laid-out website with a lot of text.

The Deetken group currently has a website hosted on Squarespace, however they would like to migrate to WordPress for SEO reasons, as well as to have more control over the ownership of the site as well as hosting.  The current site is well organized in a traditional fashion, however does not present as visually interesting. In other words, “Impact” is lacking.

There are a number of areas in which aesthetics and user experience could be improved when considering the target market. For instance, currently the site appears to be:

overloaded with information
very text heavy
not segmented in a way that provides ease of use
does not provide interactivity
does not engage visitors
does not present information in a manner that leads visitors to a a decision point
does not engender immediacy or action on the part of the visitor
is passive rather than active

The Predicament

The Proposed Solution

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Streamlined Content

Purposeful Funneling

Visual Marketing

User Interactivity

Streamlined Content

The current Deetken website has over 30 pages, many of which should be combined. For instance, instead of having 8 pages under the “About Us” heading, you have one with all the relevant content from the previous website included in a single-scrolling page, with condensed information and more graphic elements to guide the viewer through the page.

In essence, we should consider this site build as if it were two separate websites (a complete site for Investments and a complete site for consulting) unified by a single landing page found at deetken.com. Utilizing a scrolling-page format is key to providing a coherent structure, and to condensing the site itself, while encouraging visitors to see all the information you want to present, as opposed to making them choose to click. So I will assume each page defined below will be a scrolling page.

I propose a page structure as such:

1) Landing page that helps filter users to either the Impact Investing wing of the site, or the Management Consulting wing of the website.

1a) Impact Investing homepage – I go into detail in the following “Strategy” section about ideas for elements to include and how to structure the page.

1b) Managment Consulting Homepage – We will want to include concise answers to the 6 main questions a visitor has (Who, What, Where, Why, When, How) and they can then be directed to additional pages if they choose (about us, services, etc.).

2a) About Us – Focused on the Impact Investing Team, the projects you fund, the impact you make on communities, etc.

2b) About Us – Focused on Management Consulting, what sets you apart, clients, core values, etc.

3a) Impact Investing and Asset Management *** I am not sure if you would like to combine these under one umbrella of Impact Investing or Asset Management. But it seems that the information already under the menu heading “asset management” on your current site would be included in this page – and it appears to me that most of that information refers to having an impact quality. So it might be helpful from a user perspective to refer to this page as “Impact Investments”. The question is do we refocus this from a fairly broad scope of asset management, to a conscientiously more specific “Impact Investment” scope? Either way, this will be a stand alone page with all the information contained currently under “asset management”.

3b) Consultancy Services page that combines all elements under the current heading, with a link from advanced analytics portion to a Machine Intelligence page

4b) Machine Intelligence page incorporating all elements under the current menu heading.

5a + b) Contact pages for both Impact investing wing and Management Conulting that will filter into separate leads lists.

We will also include a link on both homepages to “News” which will include a drop-down to the blog, reflections, and any publicity items you many want to share.

 

Purposeful Funneling

This is where the Landing Page creates efficiencies for your users. I like to think of it as a flight attendant directing people to the exits… each user has to pick one. I envision a hero image (similar to what you have now) with your business name (Deetken Group) and Mangagement Consulting and Impact Investment each displayed on the hero image as buttons, so people can immediately choose which place they want to go. AND, if the user scrolls down, they will see a section with a very concise explanation of what Consultancy is with a Learn more button, and a second section with a concise explanation of what impact investing is with a learn more button. These sections will incorporate a graphic element that represents the function of each segment of the business.

In the footer we can include links to all pages on both the consulting and investing sites, but this format will give enough information for a user to choose where to go based on what is relevant to them and will help usher people in the correct direction so they won’t need the footer links (but it is good to have just in case someone wants quick access to a specific page).

Visual Marketing

The incorporation of this is discussed in more detail in the Strategy section below, but basically we want to create an environment where information processing is simplified, and visual cues are utilized to support words on the page. The goal in utilizing icons is to present a clean, clear, and organized use of text, while photographic elements should carry an emotional appeal. I am not referring to “fluff”, but rather, engendering a sense of community, a sense of authority, as well as presenting the Deetken group as approachable. We want to utilize graphics to encourage people to let their guard down a little, and to feel comfortable reaching out. The videos you currently use on your site go a long way in providing that, but I think incorporating some still images would be beneficial as well. These graphics can include people, your projects and the people involved, testimonials from clients with photos, etc.

The purpose of this is not to bulk the site up with photos, rather it is to help tell a story while dramatically reducing the text on the page.

 

 

User Interaction

An effective website should be used as a marketing tool for getting people to do something. What that something is depends on the industry and the functional purpose of the site. For example, Ecommerce sites obviously want to get the user to purchase something. Non profit sites want to get people to donate. In the case of the Deetken website, we want qualified leads, both for consultancy clients and for potential impact investing clients. We do that by making sure there is an easy way to sign-up for newsletters (if you have one, or plan to incorporate one), to sign-up for updates on projects, to contact you for more information or to get started.  There should be very clearly defined spaces throughout the site where people can supply their contact information without having to search for the contact page.

The scrolling site format lends itself to user interactivity because we are basically giving them nuggets of information on the homepage that visitors can then actively choose to learn more about, ultimately leading to capturing their contact information.

Some sites also utilize a “Live Chat” option. I am not sure if that is something you would want to include (I tend to find it annoying unless I have a pressing issue (tech problems, bank account innaccuracies, etc.). But we could build in a pop-up, or fly-in contact form as well to encourage users to “sign up” for a newsletter or to give contact information in exchange for a “free prospectus” for example.

The Strategy

Designing with the user experience in mind is KEY!

1) The site must be mobile responsive.

2) The site should be designed with the 6 main questions a user has in mind: Who, What, Why, When, Where, and How.  All of these should be addressed concisely on the home page.

3) Focusing on Deetken’s Impact Investing in the America’s – the projects you support, the people you impact, and the experience of your investors in the form of honest testimonials – is important with regard to developing trust and confidence.

Placing an emphasis on what you are doing to make a social impact, as well as how those projects are benefiting society, and the investors themselves and including case-studies including images of projects in-progress as well as completed ones should be featured, sprinkled with quotes from investees. I particularly like the example of case-study use on the homepage as seen on promujer.org and rsfsocialfinance.org.

4) Magali has given me several ideas of items she would like included and sent me several inspiration ideas from other websites in the industry. First amoung them was to format the site as a scrolling “single page” site. We will have a few other pages, but the point of a single page design, is to get as much information as possible in a user friendly way on the homepage, with options thorughout for people to access aditional information.  It is a very efficient design , and gives you control of the user experience, effectively ushering visitors through as opposed to a traditional site that basically leaves a visitor to find pages on their own via a menu.  We will of course use a navigation menu, but the homepages (the consulting homepage and the investing homepage) will act as a visual map of sorts that provides a much more efficient and appealing user experience. It also encourages user interaction.

By incorporating visual elements in the site design we not only create a better user experience, but we simplify information processing.

In addition to a scrolling “single page” type layout for the homepage, she has also noted she would like the following graphic elements to have prominence on the investment homepage:

5) Include an investment options table that includes information about minimum investment, term, expected return, and the type of project that funds would typically be utilized for (see WunderCapital.com for an example).

6) Using icons or images to represent the sectors you work in is something she found attractive, and so do I. Again, it simplifies information processing and allows for clean organization of the site while minimizing text on the homepage. Users can click to learn more, rather than having to either search for it in a menu. I particularly like the example of icon use with regard to sectors you invest in shown on CoPower.me. 

7) She noted she would like to represent the investment process graphically as well.  I particularly like copower.me as an example.  We can include this on a “How it works” page (similar to copower.me), but we may want to include a simplified graphic for the homepage as well.

8) The color pallette will incorporate shades of blue (using the Deetken Logo for reference) and grey, and possibly some natural greens in a similar hue as the main blue used.  Font’s will be limited to two for SEO purposes (more fonts adds to load time) and I propose keeping them both san serif (a heading font and body font). I will send color pallette proposals and font combinations during the concepting stage.

 

The Process and Timeline

Timeline depends on many factors including how many revisions you’d like to see, how quickly I can obtain assets, etc. But this is an estimate of how I exect the process to work out with regard to time.

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