St. James’s Place
A scalable, digital solution to support growth
St. James’s Place Wealth Management (SJP) is Britain’s largest wealth management firm. Founded in 1992, it delivers its services through a partnership network of thousands of independent businesses operating under its umbrella. Listed on the London Stock Exchange, the FTSE 100 group manages more than £110bn in client assets.
SJP turned to DEPT® for a digital solution to support the scale and speed of its growth. An entirely new digital ecosystem has been created, transforming how SJP communicates with its partners and clients.
SJP’s partner practices range in size from a single advisor up to a Partnership several hundred. Though these companies are independently-run with their own client base, they offer SJP’s products and services and align themselves with corporate guidelines for communication and service standards.
Due to limitations with its existing platform, SJP was unable to maximise the use of digital for its Partners. Over time, many of the larger Partners had started to move away from the SJP platform to develop their own websites. This led to increased overheads for the Partners, as well becoming unmanageable for the SJP compliance team. The Partners felt hindered when trying to establish scale or make changes and, at the same time, SJP was enduring a lack of control over branding, content and messaging. A centralised solution for managing content at scale, whilst allowing Partners to express their own voice, was overdue.
DEPT® applied its expertise in large scale content management to develop a solution that meets the complex requirements of SJP’s large organisation.
A flexible, scalable solution
The team at DEPT® conducted an audit of the technology ecosystem at St. James’s Place, along with business analysis and market research. Findings concluded that the reliance on legacy systems and complicated change processes were holding the business back.
The solution needed to support thousands of websites. To achieve this, Dept implemented a powerful headless approach to content management, utilising SDL Tridion Sites, to provide flexible, multi-site management at scale. In addition, a custom solution was created to manage dynamic data, and the CRM and email broadcast systems were integrated. A custom-built react application provides the front end interface, communicating with an API layer that brings together the relevant services.
The end solution provides a solid foundation that can meet the growing expectations of SJP’s Partners and their clients. DEPT® has created a solution to streamline complex tasks of multichannel publishing, providing the scale and agility to support SJP’s growing partnership network.
White-label website builder
DEPT® created a white-label solution for SJP’s network of Partners to build their own compliant sites. The technical framework can accelerate the Partner’s online presence, whilst maintaining a coherent corporate identity that’s compliant with industry standards. With a suite of highly customisable components, the Partners can create bespoke website layouts to match their branding, teamed with the tools and functionality they require to grow their businesses.
Operating in a highly regulated industry, it was imperative that the solution met compliance and security requirements. The solution is mobile responsive and SEO optimised, with tracking and analytics integrated. This functionality enables SJP and its Partners to monitor their sites’ performance by analysing how visitors interact, giving them insight into online behaviour and helping to optimise online marketing strategies.
Driving operational efficiencies
Introducing digital transformation into St. James’s Place has revolutionised its internal processes, replacing offline and disjointed ways of working with a central system. Automation capabilities are already adding significant value to the business, ensuring all information is compliant with industry standards and regulatory requirements. Plus, newly configured dashboards have equipped non-technical teams from both its head office and its Partners to have more control, and enabled them to react quickly to requirements.
DEPT® has developed a digital landscape that provides the functionality to support St. James’s Place’s fast-growing market position, whilst solving a series of pain points that were preventing continued growth. Its newly designed digital framework supports the longevity of its Partnership programme, with a strategy to scale up its Partners alongside the parent business. It adds strength to its brand with a unified approach across its entire digital estate, as well as consolidating all websites on a single domain to maximise authority and increase search visibility.
DEPT® and St. James’s Place have entered into a partnership, taking a phased approach to digital transformation. We’re proud to have launched the core aspects of the digital roadmap, which are systemically evolving operational processes. We’re continuing to collaborate to release innovations through an iterative approach. The next phase will focus on personalisation and accelerating the digital experience in line with what new generations of clients expect.
Client Development Director
Ready for the future: Juridisch Loket 2.0
The Legal Services Counter (‘Juridisch Loket’) is a household name in the Netherlands, and for good reason: assisting citizens has always been their focus. Anyone can reach out to the Juridisch Loket to solve social-judicial quandaries and problems in a way that espouses both civic responsibility and justice. A review initiated by the House of Representatives (‘Tweede Kamer’), combined with the changing national circumstances regarding the COVID19 crisis, together required a Juridisch Loket 2.0. One where digital takes the main stage, while the mission to help citizens prevails. To accomplish this, DEPT® and the Juridisch Loket joined forces.
Reinventing the Juridisch Loket
In July 2019, Minister Dekker sends a letter to the Tweede Kamer. According to him, it’s about time to review the services available for citizens with legal problems. The emphasis needs to be on accessibility and approachability. The Juridisch Loket is appointed to develop a solution in collaboration with the Association of Netherlands Municipalities (‘Vereniging van Nederlandse Gemeenten’). The focus is shifting towards online services, so the reinvention of the Juridisch Loket is inevitable. That’s why it’s important to adapt quickly and move forward efficiently. And Dept? DEPT® is to support the Juridisch Loket when it comes to all of this.
From plans to concrete workflows
Back to basics: in order to facilitate Juridisch Loket 2.0, we first established the current situation together. Brainstorm sessions followed, where we mapped out priorities with all stakeholders. We also looked into the steps to take in the near future. These could be divided into three workflows: improving the user experience on the website, building a chatbot that could answer questions quickly and effectively, and creating digital numbers for the storage and transfer of data. All of this with the purpose of increasing brand awareness among all citizens, upholding quality of service, and improving digital client satisfaction.
Testing, learning, and implementing
In order to make the Juridisch Loket website legible and intelligible for as many people as possible, we carried out daily A/B tests. We continuously showed new features to users, and only the best-performing features were eventually implemented on the website. This involved smaller elements such as titles and buttons, but also substantial practices. For example, the letter templates could previously only be downloaded in Word — not very accessible to people who don’t use Microsoft Office. On the new version of the website, letter templates can be opened and copied in the browser, without any involvement of Word.
A clever chatbot provides answers
Our survey revealed that over 80% of the Juridisch Loket website visitors experienced a need for a chatbot — a low-threshold method for them to get quick answers to their questions. We decided to turn this need into an action plan. UX designers, visual designers, developers and copywriters focused on the customer journey, message content, and the integration of the bot into the website. The result is a clever, very helpful chatbot. Clients are thus encouraged to obtain their answers digitally. Should they need personal (additional) advice, however, then that’s always within their reach as well.
The true authority, both offline and online
Thanks to these new digital solutions, the Juridisch Loket is future-proof when it comes to legal service provision, both offline and online. The online landscape is a wonderful addition to the Juridisch Loket’s offline activities; even more citizens can now receive support in an approachable way. DEPT® was more than happy to be part of this digital transition, and will be at the ready for Juridisch Loket in the future as well.
Managing Director Design & Technology
A strategic, digital transformation
Insurer Aegon does not shy away from digital transformation. At all. In order to take digital developments to the next level and to flesh out further ambitions, Aegon has chosen DEPT® as its strategic partner and agency. Fast forward a couple of years and we have developed a design system, completely renewed the client dashboard and are rebranding aegon.nl. It’s safe to say that both teams have integrated quite well — our Depsters are working across no less than seven digital teams at Aegon. In these teams we efficiently transfer our knowledge and encourage Aegon time and again to go the extra mile.
A design system to accelerate and renew
Central to Aegon’s goals is accelerating day-to-day operations while innovating when the situation calls for it. So setting up a design system — consisting of a collection of the best principles, patterns and components within the organization — was a very logical first step. From the get-go we involved all stakeholders in the innovations, while keeping up the pace. Developers for example could now view and use each other’s code much more easily, which accelerated the entire development process. With this in mind we started looking at multiple branches within the organization and created a more uniform ‘language’ for these teams. We documented all of this in a design system.
A less complex customer portal
For a strategic process like this one, it’s only logical to start at the base. And the base consists of employees. Keeping this in mind, we first focused on the people of Aegon. The ‘My Aegon’ team — which is responsible for the client dashboard — turned out to be the most complex on several levels. We therefore opted for a less complex architecture, less dependence on different teams and more responsibility within the team itself. This resulted in shorter lines, making it possible to communicate faster.
With the same ‘My Aegon’ team we looked into the Aegon app. Which features does the app have right now and what needs to be changed or added to better match customer needs? From here we set up a new strategy for the app which, more so than before, relies on existing environments and knowledge. In short: everything that Aegon already has in-house is now deployed and utilized more optimally.
Acquia: a new CMS system
Currently we’re working on aegon.nl, which will be launched on a new CMS system called Acquia. This CMS platform is built on Drupal with advanced tools that drive engagement from start to finish. “This CMS system will support seven different departments; we are proud that DEPT® can supervise the implementation of this new system from A to Z”, says Tessa Borgman, Project Manager at DEPT®.
Agile way of working
Aegon and DEPT® have a unique partnership. First and foremost because of the long-term project in which many Depsters are involved on a full-time basis spread over all kinds of disciplines. In addition, it’s very admirable how such a large, complex organization finds its way around an agile way of working and is open to change. We will continue to support Aegon in the coming period — if there’s ever something Aegon doesn’t know the answer to, we are ready to help.
Managing Director Design & Technology
Creating customer insights
ERGO is one of the largest insurance groups in Europe with over 40 million customers, including 20 million in Germany alone. Like many, the company was attributing too much weight to the last marketing touchpoint and therefore could not properly steer its budget for direct marketing initiatives. Another issue was that not all direct marketing channels were tracked such as TV commercials. These, along with data silos, created several blind spots throughout the customer journey and made it hard to maximise the impact of their marketing spend. DEPT® helped ERGO resolve these by developing a Marketing Data Hub which centralised and connected all of their direct marketing data sources.
A holistic view of their data
ERGO offers a large range of personal and commercial insurance products and they have invested a fair amount in marketing activities to broadcast their brand name into the market. Yet they lacked an organised overview of their data pertaining to direct marketing activities which was coming in from many different platforms. Thus, they have been working side-by-side with DEPT® to build a state-of-the-art Marketing Data Hub to better understand and serve their current customers as well as to acquire additional ones in a much more cost-efficient way.
We created a marketing data hub to give ERGO a holistic view of their data
DEPT® tackled the problem head-on. We began by doing a deep analysis of the client’s internal business requirements in order to better understand the company’s status quo in terms of data, technology and organisational readiness as well as to properly understand their data vision. Based on this information, our team developed a technical blueprint for a cloud-based marketing tech stack tailored to ERGO’s specific needs. This became the foundation for building the actual technical infrastructure which centred around a Marketing Data Hub as a source for all direct marketing activities. By having everything under one roof, the company was able to view and analyse the entire customer journey rather than piece it together from various silos. Thus allowing them to play around more with different marketing strategies and campaigns depending on who they want to target when. This also fostered a ‘self-serve culture’ which allowed employees to see and query the data themselves in order to implement a more data-driven approach to their daily work.
Once the infrastructure was in place, we built an Attribution Model making it possible for the company to see what percentage of each marketing channel was involved in the conversion process. Online data sources were added first, then offline ones and lastly the two were combined to get a holistic understanding of the entire customer journey. Once the prototype was fully functional, additional data sources, such as TV commercial data, were added which enriched the user-centricity of the database.
Lastly, we ensured that all relevant ERGO teams were comfortable using the new self-serve analytics infrastructure and fully understood the business logic behind it. We did this via on-site and remote trainings.
Our team was able to deliver a custom Marketing Data Hub which helps ERGO achieve a better understanding of who their customers are, how they are finding and connecting with the brand, and how each marketing activity is contributing towards the conversion process. DEPT® was also able to close several critical tracking gaps and made uplifts from TV commercials transparent for the first time.
The project is still young but now that the company has all their marketing data in one place, the Marketing Data Hub has given the employees a trustworthy place where they can analyse all of the various customer journeys. Best of all, as more data points continue to pour in, this will continuously improve due to the increase in statistical significance over time. The collaboration is still ongoing and DEPT® is supporting ERGO as they roll this out to other departments and teams.
Team Lead Analytics Engineering & BI
The making of a Corporate Startup
Knowing if you’re eligible for a loan within 15 minutes and having the money in your account two days later. And all that online. It is now possible. Corporate Startup ‘New10’ offers entrepreneurs the best of both worlds: the agility of the startup with the financial knowledge of the bank. Together with New10, DEPT® brought the brand to life with a new online platform and an in-house dream team.
All steps are digital: easy and flexible
New10 was founded by ABN AMRO based on the idea that entrepreneurs prefer to build their business without hassle and obstacles. That is why New10 offers its business loans online. It puts entrepreneurs at the center, going through the application at their own pace, wherever and whenever they want. From uploading financial data to signing the contract: all steps are digital. Super easy and flexible.
We created a smart mix of technology and data
For a (corporate) startup, brand building is just as important as ever. In fact, it can make all the difference. That is why Studio Dumbar (part of Dept) gave shape to the name, positioning, brand story, pay-off, and visual identity of New10, working closely with its founders. In the visual translation, they sought a balance between trust and the speed and ‘hipness’ of a new start-up. After the launch, the brand was expanded with a smart (radio) campaign to generate further publicity.
Technology and data
With a smart mix of technology and data, New10 is the only fully online lender in the Netherlands. From applying, to signing and paying: all steps in the customer journey have been made as simple as possible, using data that is retrieved from existing systems such as the Chamber of Commerce. In a digital, fully automated assessment process, New10 checks whether a company is healthy and reliable enough to qualify for a loan. A unique model has been implemented that automatically calculates the risk profile of the client on the basis of annual figures and transaction data. This all goes without the client being questioned and without the speed of that process leading to higher interest rates, as is often the case with other fintechs.
The right people
Together with ABN AMRO and DEPT®’s freelance community we looked for a close-knit team of internal and external talents to get this job done. A close, but also flexible team, that is able to quickly change its composition and works towards a single goal: putting the client at the center. Stringing together all this talent in the field of creativity, data and technology has resulted in a time-to-market of less than a year.
Getting the right people together is the first step, but then they also have to be able to work together in the most efficient way. That is why a great deal of time has been invested in setting up and connecting tools for presenting all information in the right way to the right roles in a seamless process. This way we give New10 the tools to lend money easier and cheaper than competitors in the market. The cooperation with ABN AMRO plays a crucial role in this. New10 combines the financial know-how of the parent company with the agility of a lean startup. A ‘Corporate Startup’ done right.
And the results? New10 has been in the air for five months now and customers are very satisfied with the speed, convenience and clarity of the loan process. A clear advertising campaign ensures the increase of new customers who feel attracted by New10’s human angle. According to customer feedback, financial parties are rarely this personal and approachable.
- Since the start at the end of September more than 5000 entrepreneurs have created an account.
- More than fifty loans were finalized at the end of 2017.
- Customers highly appreciate New10’s proposition, with an NPS of 60+.
- New10 lets entrepreneurs know within 15 minutes if they are eligible for a loan.
Director Business & Innovation
Euronext is the leading pan-European stock exchange, listing the likes of L’Oreal, Danone, and Phillips. They give international customers access to a broad range of financial products across six regulated markets. Through user research, content strategy, and technology solutions, DEPT® transformed Euronext’s fragmented web presence into a streamlined experience across three websites.
We consolidated fifteen bourse websites into three interconnected sites
Our main focus was Euronext.com, the B2B marketing portal and first step in the Euronext customer journey. This website showcases the Euronext brand and explains its pan-European model, products and services to potential customers. Our task was to create a unified message and build a robust lead-generation channel for the business. This website directs retail investors to Euronext Live for market data, and existing Euronext customers to their portal, Euronext Connect.
The Euronext.com B2B marketing portal required immediate and ongoing collaboration with brand owners and subject matter experts. It was our responsibility to make sure everyone was heard and engaged.
We gathered internationally dispersed teams to participate in multiple in-person user research and content workshops. Together, we established goals, prioritised user groups and aligned requirements for each section of the site. This time spent was invaluable, enabling us to retain a strong sense of market individuality, whilst creating a unified brand presence.
We used comprehensive testing to determine user tasks, current behaviours and common pain points. Clear user journeys were essential to build a self-serve domain that gave qualified leads access to the right point of contact.
Content strategy workshops and audits helped teams to prioritise their content and messaging across the website. A large scale content project kicked off with training in writing for the web across four countries. Then DEPT® helped edit and finalise content across the entire Euronext.com website. Content owners now have 92% less content to manage, making SEO and governance far more manageable.
Euronext wanted to consolidate all of their websites onto Drupal CMS, which was already in their existing tech stack. To that end, our Drupal-certified development team worked with their cohort of experts to implement a full site redesign of Euronext.com and development of Euronext Live and Connect in Drupal 8.
We also developed a suite of templates and responsive components to support the user-centric information architecture. This enabled us to deliver a visually diverse network of content to reflect the multitude of products on offer. Fifteen Drupal integrations support an abundance of user requirements and deliver optimum customer service.
Lastly, we put in place an interactive click-swap component to enable customisation and an enhanced brand experience. This element provides an accessible snapshot of some of the 1,300 companies listed on Euronext.
DEPT® helped Euronext to transform their online presence from one fragmented across many countries, to one that represents their pan-European brand and business. Our experts worked closely with their specialists and leaders to deliver a cohesive experience to their global customer base. This was reflected in the results which included a 75% uplift in mobile traffic.
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