Content-First CMS Helps Connect Consumers with Financial Advisors
With over 3,000 members, the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) is the country’s leading professional association of fee-only financial advisors. Over the last 30 years, NAPFA has invested in technology to help their members manage and monitor their investments, but it became apparent that its existing web technologies were holding the organization back. CQL has been partnered with NAPFA for over 20 years, so we were excited to help create their new digital experience. Working with internal leadership and the NAPFA board, we helped document key user needs and pain points, and created a roadmap for delivering a new, custom-built website management platform. While there were many objectives, the overarching goals were to help their organization work smarter with a “Content-First” Content Management System (CMS) and improve the customer pathways to finding an advisor.
NAPFA approached us to help understand and rethink their approach to their web experience. They were struggling with multiple disparate admin experiences and were limited by aging technologies.
We laid out a digital roadmap centered around a vision of creating a unified platform that enabled consumers to connect with financial advisors like never before. We built a custom platform to serve as a foundation for managing all content and serve as a tool to both the curious consumer the and passionate financial advisor.
The new site brought together content and functionality from two different platforms, creating a single mobile-friendly user experience while merging two analytics sets into a single place. The new platform has greatly reduced the time needed to launch and manage new content.
Finding a Financial Advisor has Never Been So Easy
NAPFA’s Find an Advisor tool was redesigned to improve the way consumers can connect with the right NAPFA-certified personal financial advisor. Consumers can browse how they want with smart searching, location-based results, and an interactive map. Advisors and firms have dedicated profiles with clear contact information and content created to help consumers find the right fit for their needs.
Making Content Management Enjoyable with Content-First Editing
An effective customer experience is only as good as the content provider’s ability to manage and produce content. At least, that is the approach we took when we heard the number of pain points around limitations with content production. We redesigned the content editing experience to enable NAPFA to easily produce thoughtful, branded content without the burden of learning to code.
Intuitively Manage Multiple Types of Content
When consolidating disconnected admin experiences, it is really important to make sure all content types are accounted for and designed to be managed according to their individual requirements. NAPFA’s new, custom-built CMS is able to manage not only page content, navigation, and media, but also conferences with multiple detail pages, global sidebars, call-to-actions, member quizzes, career opportunities, reports, and user accounts.
Evolving the Platform Alongside the Business
Like many projects we take on, we utilized a phase-based approach. For NAPFA, phase one meant reimagining the Find an Advisor experience, making content editing easy, removing outdated technology, and crafting a custom platform to allow the brand to grow and connect with users at a deeper level. We are actively working with NAPFA to see their vision through as we continue iterating, enhancing, and strategically planning out the future of the NAPFA digital experience.