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CRU Group move to Umbraco

Company Introduction

CRU Group offer business intelligence on the global metals, mining and fertilizer industries, with the aim of providing information that can help their customers make better-informed business decisions.

With a global team of analysts gathering industry critical insights, their expertise and knowledge is bundled into 4 key business areas: Market analysis, Price assessments, Consultancy and Events. 

As the organisation’s primary marketing tool, the website acts as a shopfront for new business. It had been 5 years since the last site redesign when CRU group approached 3chillies for a website redesign.


Project Requirements

The previous website was based on an old end-of-life CMS which lacked functionality and flexibility. As a result, migrating over to a modern CMS had become an essential requirement. 

In addition to renovating the look and feel of the website, the redesign project would also aim to:

Make the website available on a wide range of devices (through responsive design)
Offer new functionalities such as lead-generation/data capture forms and tools that enable the creation of bespoke campaign landing pages
Showcase the company’s thought leadership content 
Help promote CRU’s four main business services

Alongside these functional requirements, a set of business goals helped CRU Group lay down the foundations for a project brief:

Goal 1: Increase leads 
Lead generation would be achieved primarily through a mixture of usability improvements, a cleaner site navigation and a better content structure. SEO improvements would also need to be implemented in order to increase visibility within Google and Bing. 

Goal 2: Increase brand awareness
A new content strategy and further development of the organisations social channels would be a primary driver in achieving this objective, with the new website acting as the central hub and display window for each of the newly planned activities.

Goal 3: Improve interaction with customers 
Increasing the visibility of CRU’s customer support service would play an important role of the newly developed website. This goal would also give rise to the importance of providing customers with more webinars, seminars, and bonus content which the new website platform would also have to support. 

The Redesign

Working with our design partners, Tangent, and CRU’s preferred SEO agency, 4Ps Marketing, a set of designs were produced, ready to be implemented by 3chillies.

Umbraco was chosen as the platform to take CRU Groups website to the next level. The advanced, open source CMS would cater for CRU Groups requirements to allow their editors to easily drop in new components such as: 

Banners (Carousel and static)
Graphics (animated and static)
Video (via YouTube -with increased support for video to be discussed as part of Phase 2 enhancements)
Photo galleries (Carousel and static)
Featured sections for events, Seminars, related products and case studies 
Downloadable assets (such as PDFs)
The Umbraco CMS would also allow for seamless integration with 3rd party software such as:
My World Expo - which is used to drive the functionality on their events page
Personalisation Groups - which controls the personalised components
Umbraco Forms - which handles the creation of advanced, responsive forms
Mailgun - a set of APIs that enable you to send, receive and track emails. 
Google tag manager – a tool that allows marketers to deploy website tags all in one place

The New 

The new site features a fully responsive design that is optimised for use on mobile, tablet and desktop devices. The mobile-friendly bootstrap layout allows the organisation to cast a considerably wider net for lead generation than the company’s previous website could, and is expected to begin performing better in the search engine rankings following the roll-out of Googles “Mobile friendly update”.

 Responsive Design

The site is built using a module/widget concept that allows for flexibility over the page and content and design layout.  Assets and widgets are uploaded just once to a centralised library where they can then be reused throughout the site, making light work of general housekeeping within the CMS.

The simplified navigation, in combination with the “Typeahead” search functionality provides a vastly improved user experience which ultimately makes it easier for potential clients to find the business services that matters to them most.


The use of beautiful, large, striking imagery breaks the page content into aesthetically pleasing sections, allowing large chunks of information to be delivered in a more palatable fashion. 

Striking large image

Umbraco’s Personalisation Groups module features Geo-location technology, which allows sections of the new website to present tailored content based on the end-user’s country or region, allowing CRU to showcase its global and regional knowledge from one central hub. 

A series of highly-detailed enquiry forms (Powered by Umbraco Forms) help to increase customer interaction whilst also improving the quality of the data captured for new business lead-generation. 

The form design is sleek, spacious and simple, and a progress bar helps to split longer forms into manageable sections, whilst also offering the lead a sense of progress as they work through the form. 

Umbraco Form Design
The new site is hosted within Microsoft Azure as an App Service, ensuring total fulfilment of the rigorous requirements for performance, security, scalability and compliance, whilst also providing productivity benefits throughout development and deployments.

3chillies continue to support and maintain the CRU Group website, and look forward to working with the organisation to further improve upon their expanding digital platform.

The roadmap for future development includes: 

- Integration of the Fairsale Human Resource Management Software
- Integrating the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System
- Integration of Adestra, a system that provides the software and insight to create and deliver personalized emails based on their customer’s unique traits, behaviours and needs.

Client Testimonial

"Having worked with 3chillies in a previous role, I didn’t hesitate to approach them when the requirement for a new website came up at CRU Group.Our old company website was lacking in a number of areas, and as the company’s no.1 marketing tool, improvements were needed - both stylistically and functionally.

We’re very happy with the new website design. It portrays professionalism, remains consistent with our brand guidelines, and feels light and spacious - even on pages that contain larger sections of text. 
Mobile traffic accounts for a significant percentage of our total site traffic, and the new responsive design caters for that customer group, offering them the mobile-friendly experience they expect to receive. 

Although the new site was only recently launched, we are already seeing quality improvements in the data that we’re capturing and a widening of our sales funnel. We have also closed two substantial deals since launching the new site. 

We are happy with the Umbraco platform. It makes it very easy for us to extend the site as and when needed since our content editors have the ability to create beautiful, fully functional pages, using the components and templates that have been designed for us. 

We look forward to taking full advantage of the marketing power held within our newly improved website, and we look forward to working with 3chillies for future expansion plans."

Colin Mills, Marketing Director, GRU Group

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