Using Sitecore to put members at the heart of the online experience

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia (the Institute) is the professional body representing Chartered Accountants in Australia. Their reach extends to up to 70,000 current and future business leaders, representing around 57,000 Chartered Accountants and almost 13,000 of Australia’s best accounting graduates currently enrolled in the Institute’s Chartered Accountants Program.

Challenge

The Institute required an online presence that would adequately reflect the organisation’s reputation as a respected thought leader.

The existing website lacked interactivity and provided limited capacity for the Institute to interface with its stakeholders. The structure and navigation made it difficult for users to find information specific to their needs and administration of the website was burdensome for staff. These factors combined made it difficult for the Institute to be proactive and responsive to the needs of members.

The website would need to establish more effective and convenient access to the broad range of services and resources offered by the Institute, in keeping with their commitment to bring greater value to members and the profession.

Solution

The Institute identified these challenges as an opportunity to create a more modern, sophisticated online presence that would excite, enlighten and set the benchmark for the highest professional standards. Based on a firm understanding of these objectives, the Institute and web design agency, BlueArc embarked on a redevelopment of the Institute’s website.

The Institute chose Sitecore’s Content Management System (CMS) for its clear advantage in terms of ease of use, intuitive interface (especially the similarity to Windows file/tree structure), and workflow functionality that would support its requirement for multi-functional and multi-location teams to publish content. The Institute also liked how Sitecore easily published to different devices/platforms, e.g browsers, mobile, tablets.

The site was developed with the needs of members in mind. Extensive workshops and requirements gathering sessions inspired intuitive navigation and a user-friendly interface. The site provides first time visitors with a snapshot of the Institute – the brand, its products and services and the latest news and insights, including industry developments.

BlueArc working in conjunction with the Institute implemented an enterprise content management system powered by Sitecore CMS. The website offers users access to a wealth of information and interactive tools such as the ‘myAccount’ page which allows members to customise their view of the site using ‘drag and drop’ functionality.

Other features include:

  • Full W3C compliance
  • Intelligent Search
  • Mobile ready
  • Interactive web tour
  • Best practice SEO

The second phase of the website redevelopment has allowed the site to be personalised for each member, student, or candidate, according to their selected interests. Using Sitecore’s leading-edge Online Marketing Suite (OMS), the site intuitively tailors new and existing customer journeys to the wealth of content contained on the Institute’s website, including technical resources, products, services and Community integration. Using the OMS, the Institute now has the ability to report back to advertisers on the performance and success of advertisements placed across the site.

The addition of a tailored and secure ‘myCommunity’ area provides a collaborative workspace and social network for members to participate in forums, blogs and to discuss and rate content. Members of ‘myCommunity’ can also share documents and other files within their peer network.

Result

The Institute and BlueArc, working in collaboration, have provided the online platform that enables them to present a relevant and tailored online experience for their target audiences. Other benefits include:

  • The Institute has noted a significant increase in the number of members paying for subscriptions and events online (up from 65% to 70%) which has reduced the administrative burden on staff and has generated greater interest around the Institute’s events
  • A year-on-year comparison reveals that visits to the Training area of the website have increased by 380% and page views by 170%. Revenue generated from Training has consequently increased.
  • Unprecedented flexibility and control of site content
  • Significant reduction in call center enquiries
  • Extremely positive user feedback with over 85% of respondents likely to recommend the site
  • Increased speed to market of marketing and communications programs
  • Number of unique visitors to the site has increased by 30% and the number of pages viewed has also increased by 15%
  • Reduced cost of site maintenance with content easily updated by Institute staff
  • The ability to forge stronger relationships with students, members and candidates
  • Better visibility of products and services offered by the Institute
  • Increased Search Engine visibility
  • Bounce rate reduced by 12%
  • Page views increased by 35%

The website supports the Chartered Accountants brand, which not only reflects the Institute’s standing as a thought leader but also demonstrates quality, responsiveness and innovation.

It has been recognized as an Official Honoree in the 2012 Webby Awards!

Technical Description

Solution Special Ingredients:

  • Sitecore CMS
  • Sitecore OMS