Promoting a software solution - what makes the difference?

Artizan has delivered a large number of digital experiences for software providers. Often the focus is very much on the product – its transformative capabilities, features, and benefits. The focus needs to be personalised and relatable before a customer will commit to a sale.

Wrapping our heads around technology stacks, regulatory compliance, machine learning algorithms and translating that into a visual and uncomplicated experience requires a deep level of concentration and focus.

It’s refreshing to come across a client with a vision that is less about the software and more about the people using it. It humanises technology. Intact has built an ERP solution which they admit themselves is in a dry space when it comes to marketing. But they’re passionate about the value their solution can deliver. And passion is infectious.

Vision

We frequently hear CEOs speaking energetically about their product or vision to third parties but this may not effectively be communicated internally to their employees. As a result, the team is uncertain how and if they are contributing to the vision - the culture feels fragmented and self-serving. In the case of Intact, everyone we met seems to share an understanding of the vision and the role they play in helping to achieve it. No surprise then that we experience a motivated and upbeat atmosphere each time we meet.

Culture

Transparency is a value many companies like the sound of and it’s often pasted on walls. But Intact really lives it and hires people who share that same value system. It was evident from our first interaction with them - the way the brief was written, on each phone call, in every meeting, giving and receiving feedback and arriving at decisions. Their openness and honesty minimised any ambiguity for us and ensured a smooth partnership. The more a client shares, the stronger the collaboration and the better we’re able to help resolve whatever is standing in their way.

For us, discovery sessions are good indicators of how strong a team's culture is – we can quickly sense the dynamic in the room. With poor team cultures, energy is low and flat, opinions are difficult to extract, answers are delivered without emotion and there’s usually one or two voices talking more than others. With strong team cultures, everyone is relaxed and comfortable expressing their views. Opinions are aligned, supported, discussed and expounded. After our discovery session with Intact, we were smiling and energised by the enthusiasm and candour they imparted throughout.

Identity

Intact completely trusted us to deliver a big result. There was no micromanagement - just a willingness to provide us with the space and resources we needed to support our creative process.

We were initially challenged by some of the brand assets we were provided. For example, a colour palette of charcoal grey and yellow work really well in print but require a different treatment for screen. It’s hard to read light text on dark grey backgrounds and it’s equally hard to read yellow text on light backgrounds. With a lot of experimentation, we worked out a way to balance the two without needing to rely on a secondary colour palette.

The dark grey adds gravitas to the brand feel – important because Intact’s ERP solution (Intact iQ) is a market leader and needed to be presented accordingly. The yellow works really well in representing the positive energy that’s so prevalent within Intact. Too much yellow would dilute the premium nature of the brand and too much grey would overshadow the Intact personality. It was important for us to get that balance right.

Brand Assets

intact iQ platform

To support Intact’s tagline, (“Elevate Your Business”), an illustrator had been commissioned to create a number of customised platforms with multiple levels to portray the ERP solution working for different departments.

Initially, we weren’t sure how best to incorporate them on screen because the images are tall and narrow with a lot of small detail. Displaying them at full size on screen would eat up too much valuable space. So we positioned them at a smaller size to work alongside content targeting specific audience segments.

 

Design Concept

Presenting the design concept to the client is one of the highlights of our design process. It is a visual interpretation of everything that was unearthed in the initial discovery session layered with our own research and creative thinking. If the client has been honest and open and we have been attentive and focused, then the concept we develop tends to hit all the right notes.

Despite our usual pre-presentation wish of “I really hope they like it as much as we do”, we felt excited to show Intact what we had come up with. We had invested a lot of thought in the language, the use of elements, the typography, the layout and the imagery. It was a really nice experience for us to see so much of that work was noticed and appreciated by Intact. They saw all the small details and the little creative extras that go beyond the brief, which sometimes don’t get noticed or acknowledged until later.

Frontend

We wanted the experience to stay as aesthetic as possible on mobile. Incorporating subtle animated effects helps attach a sense of dynamism and innovation to the brand experience. It’s worth spending the time considering how all the graphic elements will arrive or move on scroll/swipe, and determining how transitions between one section and another might feel with different kinds of effects.

Intact iQ animation

Backend

Highly visual websites are ineffective if their content isn’t easily editable. As all our design work is highly customised, it makes sense that the backend needs to be completely customised too. Marketing teams like the ability to create landing pages on the fly via the CMS without leaning on the agency to do this for them. It makes sense to provide clients with as much autonomy as we can and provide light touch support when and as required.

Intact Backend

When it comes to thought leadership, Intact are proactive and productive. Enabling their marketing team to demonstrate their industry expertise via multiple types of resources from videos, publications, datasheets and ebooks was an important aspect of the brief. Much of the content is integrated with Hubspot to ensure engagement is tracked and on-site behaviour is accurately captured.

 

Intact's View

"We had been living with a website that we knew was not fit for purpose. It didn’t do our products, team or brand justice and it definitely was not attracting or delivery quality leads for the business. This experience however allowed us to write a very thorough and a very tough brief.

Not only did we want a website that would differentiate us in the marketplace, drive a significant increase in the quality and number of inbound enquiries and communicate a compelling story regarding the software solutions we offer but we also wanted it to capture and convey our brand personality. This was all in addition to what we would have deemed ‘hygiene factors’; hubspot integration throughout, optimised for SEO, easy to use CMS, easy to use and navigate, fully mobile responsive with fast loading times.

We set the bar quite high!

Artizan not only delivered on our brief requirements; they exceeded them. They took the time required to get ‘under the belly’ of Intact; who we are, what we are trying to achieve and what sets us apart.

Following a discovery session with members from our senior team, we were surprised at the low level of additional involvement required from our team. Armed with content we already had and the findings from the discovery session they reverted with first stage concepts. To say we were blown away would be an understatement. Design is such a subjective thing and in my experience if the design concepts don’t grab you first time round, it can become a difficult process. Every member of our team fell in love with the design concept.

Since the site has gone live, the feedback has been fantastic. We are so proud to direct visitors to it and can already see an increase in all our metrics."

- Emma Duffy, Marketing Manager, Intact

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