The MBO Group
The MBO Group is the only advisory firm in the investment banking industry focused exclusively on advising managers of companies on how to buy their companies, known as Management Buyouts or MBOs.
In its early years the company had effectively focused on building an information-rich website, which worked well since they were essentially creating a new category.
However, when the company opened an office in Sydney, Australia, where they were relatively unknown, it became clear that a new design with a more polished brand was needed.
Biz-Zone's job was two-fold:
1. Creatively, we needed to develop a look for the website that would match the impressive credentials of the company's partners and also match other "best in class" advisory firm sites.
2. Technically, we wanted to make the site as versatile and easy to manage as possible while also ensuring that the redesign would enhance and in no way detract from the site's existing search rankings.
At Biz-Zone we have combined ideas from neuroscience about how people make decisions with our own website canvas (based on Alexander Osterwalder's Business Model Canvas) to ensure that the websites we develop are infused with the value proposition of the organization being represented.
In the process of developing The MBO Group's website canvas several unique characteristics of the company emerged, especially from the testimonials of clients who were delighted and extremely thankful for the support they had received.
During this discovery we learned that The MBO Group had:
- A unique ability to uncover opportunities in the Canadian private company market.
- Confidence, extensive knowledge and a calm presence.
- The ability to easily connect with small business owners, employees and C-level executives alike.
- Exceptional negotiation and finance skills.
The MBO Group's printed corporate identity materials reflected the company's essence, being both understated yet strong. With their input and guidance, this provided a strong direction not only for the visual look of the website, but also the content it would contain.
Core to the success of any Biz-Zone site is our unique approach to content integration, a skill we have honed over the last 16+ years as the publishers of the national online business magazine, CanadaOne.com.
We knew we needed to make The MBO Group website easy for the partners and their staff to maintain, yet we also wanted to bring the message of the site alive, subtly, by dynamically including content across all pages.
For this we used Data Anyway, an extension of our content management system that enables us to quickly implement web-based databases that exactly fit the needs of our clients.
At Biz-Zone we don't expect our clients to compromise by accepting, large, unwieldy systems that may not fit their data model. Using DataAnyway we are able to "right-size" the management tools to our client's exact needs. For The MBO Group, this required us to implement four management tools tailored to their needs:
Testimonials: With such amazing testimonials, it was obvious that these needed to form an important part of the overall design. The testimonials micro-database had all the fields needed to capture testimonials from satisfied clients, including the date provided, as well as short and long versions so they could easily be randomized throughout the site or shown in full on the main testimonials page.
Partners: With such impressive bios, this was a critical custom database used to randomly feature partners on the homepage while also providing full bio pages for each partner. By using a custom micro-database The MBO Group can easily add or modify partners, with the information then being added to the randomized features with no additional steps.
News & blog posts: Many sites today have a blog, or indeed are built on a blogging platform. By using DataAnyway we were able to custom-tailor The MBO Group's blog to their exact needs, giving them a single system designed to be smart, so the right information would show up in the right place on their website, all as a part of the natural flow of the user interface. This essentially gave them two separate databases in a single module.
Homepage sliders: Having a visual, moving slider on the homepage was a natural way to capture and showcase The MBO Group's value proposition and key messages identified during our discovery process. By using DataAnyway, we made it easy for the company to add its own slider panels. Maintenance is also easy and they can update the text, visuals and hyperlinks on existing sliders in just a few clicks.
At Biz-Zone we understand that the underlying technology and code is just as important as what people see on the screen. The right code, implemented the right way, can be an enormous benefit to clients who required fewer upgrades and find their site is inherently designed, from the code-up, to be search engine friendly.
Mobile responsive design, which gives our clients a single website that works across HTML5 compatible mobile many devices, is a core part of our development process and we have become specialists in responsive designs based on the Bootstrap framework.
In lay terms, this means client sites like the one we created for The MBO Group will automatically shape the content to suit the screen.
Linked to this is our strong emphasis on search engine optimization (SEO) and the underlying technical infrastructure needed for SEO to ensure the success of a project. (SEO-focused development is deeply embedded in Biz-Zone's culture, as at our roots are the learnings we gained from building a national online magazine from no traffic when we launched in 1998 to over 500,000 visitors a year in 2013 based on our understanding of the nuances of SEO.)
The MBO Group website was developed on the Bootstrap responsive framework, which has the advantage of being well tested across mobile and desktop computers while also offering robust libraries. Yet we did not want The MBO Group website to look like a typical Bootstrap website. Using our knowledge of traditional and modern coding methods we were able to develop a responsive website that looked like a polished, traditional website while also bringing forward all of the usability and search optimization benefits of a responsive design.
Since the launch of The MBO Group website we have received strong positive feedback on the design and overall approach. Yet perhaps the most satisfying feedback we have had is the feedback that the site not only looks great, but is also delivering the search results we had hoped for, with our client reporting that they have seen a 90% increase in search engine traffic over the previous year.
The MBO Group
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