HELLO, WE ARE 4 ROADS

BESPOKE.

Do you need a digital solution that an off-the-shelf product just can’t provide? We’ve created everything from bespoke health platforms to autonomous production line systems.

We also create bespoke products to integrate systems that run on disparate technologies.

ENTERPRISE.

Whether it’s a global solution or a small WordPress site, we can catapult your brand to the next level. In fact, we’re even a Sitecore Certified Solution Partner for Implementation.

COMMUNITY.

Are you looking to build better customer relationships through an online community?

We’re experts in strategy, implementation, and integration – as well as being the longest standing global partner of Telligent Community.

WE ARE EXPERTS IN BRINGING YOUR AUDIENCE CLOSER

We have over 20 years experience in developing engagement solutions.

Delivering the best digital experience to your audiences is everything. Whether that’s customers, prospects, partners or employees, businesses today must simplify, modernise and automate their engagement solutions to help drive deeper loyalty, enhance business performance, accelerate processes, and position them above the competition. To find out how your organisation can bring your audience closer, we are offering a thirty-minute complimentary digital consultation with our experts in engagement solutions.

A SMALL TEAM WITH BIG IDEAS

"The combination of their extensive knowledge and their experience with a diverse client base has been invaluable, supporting everything from development on small and
large projects, to consulting on our roadmap and strategy. 4 Roads have been responsive, timely and always willing to go the extra mile, we cannot recommend them enough."

Magnus-Andreas Sølvberg Aase, AFS Intercultural Programs

Online communities

CONSULTATION

If you are implementing yourself, our strategic advice will set you on the road to long-term success.

Our consultation service will help you:

  • Understand your community
  • Identify the opportunities

We can then offer strategic direction before and during implementation to:

  • Provide a clear community focus
  • Ensure community engagement
  • Safeguard innovation
  • Help promote your community socially
  • Help monetise your community
  • Futureproof your community’s development

IMPLEMENTATION

Implementation is our core offering. If you’d like us to implement a community solution on your behalf we can take full responsibility for the project.

Alternatively, we’re happy to augment an internal team, offering our experience to enrich your own capabilities as we implement in partnership.

Our implementation process relies on:

  • Agile project methodologies
  • Regular client interaction
  • Driving high-quality results quickly and efficiently
  • Focusing on accelerating time to market
  • Ensuring clients stay within budget

INTEGRATIONS

We’ve been Telligent partners since 2004 and Sitecore Certified Solution Partners since 2016, so we know a thing or two about adding community features to Sitecore websites.

If you run – or are about to implement – a Sitecore-powered site, we can help you add forums, blogs, wikis, chat, gamification elements and so much more…

Read more about our work with Telligent and Sitecore

Bespoke solutions

INTEGRATIONS

Our expert developers can create a wholly new system to ensure different technology solutions work together intuitively.

SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT

Whether you’re starting with a blank sheet of paper, or planning to make use of existing software as you introduce a new application or technology, we have the development knowledge and experience to create new solutions to help transform your business.

WE ARE EXPERTS IN BRINGING YOUR AUDIENCE CLOSER

We have over 20 years experience in developing engagement solutions.

Delivering the best digital experience to your audiences is everything. Whether that’s customers, prospects, partners or employees, businesses today must simplify, modernise and automate their engagement solutions to help drive deeper loyalty, enhance business performance, accelerate processes, and position them above the competition. To find out how your organisation can bring your audience closer, we are offering a thirty-minute complimentary digital consultation with our experts in engagement solutions.

Software Implementations

SITECORE

As a Sitecore Certified Solution Partner, we’re can create a truly responsive website.  Combining a CMS with analytics and automation features for enhanced engagement and personalisation, will turn your website into a lead generation and optimisation engine.

We can also help you manage the transition to using the Sitecore Experience Platform.

Our overall Sitecore offering includes:

  • Implementation
  • Training
  • Ongoing support

WEBSITE DESIGN 

Our design and development experts deliver solutions for both B2B and B2C clients. Here are a few of the ways we create stunning websites:

  • We use NET and PHP solutions
  • We develop on open source platforms – like Umbraco and WordPress
  • We also develop on closed source and bespoke platforms
  • Our coders are experienced with ASP, ASP.NET, PHP, HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript
  • Our sites incorporate SEO, social media, mobile and other tools

E-COMMERCE

We have a wealth of experience in creating e-commerce platforms that really deliver. We can help you with:

  • Conversion rate optimisation
  • User experience design
  • Creating bespoke features
  • Integrating your site with an e-comms solution

Contact us on  0808 189 2044 to discuss your digital requirements.

WHY WORK WITH 4-ROADS?

Successful Projects
Cups of Tea Consumed Annually
Community Users Worldwide
Years of Operation

What our customers say

Our latest thinking and insights

Agency Business Awards

4 Roads A Finalist in The Drum’s Agency Business Awards 2018!

We’re delighted to announce that 4 Roads has been selected as a finalist in The Drum’s Agency Business Awards 2018, in the business development category.

The Agency Business Awards – which will be presented on the 27th November 2018 at The Drum awards ceremony in London, celebrates the very best run agencies by commending them for their innovative thinking, excellent service and development of business.

To be nominated for this award is an incredible honour; we are utterly proud that The Drum – a huge marketing force and industry renowned publication – has considered us and recognises our work in the industry. We have worked alongside some truly inspiring companies this year and conducting business has not only grown our capabilities but has also made it an absolute pleasure doing so.

This nomination represents the expansion our company has taken to ensure we are able to assist clients as best we can. We have been fortunate enough to employ incredible new talent that have propelled our business forward in new innovative ways. They have provided brand new perspectives on how to not only engage communities via digital technology, but also doing so using ground breaking innovative technology. We’ve been able to progress from developing and implementing community websites to being able to also generate bespoke software and conduct exciting projects with new technology for Intelligent Self-Service solutions.

We are extremely excited and thankful to be a part of The Drum finalists this year, we look forward to meeting some of the industries brightest talents at the ceremony in November and to continue to work with an array of inspirational companies in future projects.

To find out about some of our past work, you can check out our page on The Drum website or alternately view our news and insights and case studies.

membership community

Communities for Membership Organisations Series: First Steps To Building A Membership Community

In this second of our membership organisation blog series, Darren Gough, Community Management Expert and Founder of Island23 Limited discusses the first steps to building a membership community for your organisation.

You can read the first blog post in this series, which focuses on the challenges of engagement in a membership organisations, here.

Where Are You Now?

A membership organisation or association looking to utilise the competitive edge of a year-round engaged online community will usually start in one of the following positions. Your membership list is your bread and butter, coupled with your brand website but neither of these things represents an actively engaged online community.

Position 1a: You Have A Cheap or Free Bolt On

You may already have something up and running. It might be a simple forum style platform that is a free or open source that has been tacked onto your main website and isn’t really doing too much.

Position 1b: You Have An Enterprise Level Solution

It’s also not unusual for organisations to have invested in an enterprise solution but to have deployed it under the “build it and they will come” concept.

Position 2: You Have No Online Community Solution

The more likely scenario is you are interested in selecting a community platform and aren’t sure where to start. There is a myriad of options on the market, ranging from free to significant six-figure investment and it’s easy to become overwhelmed with the vendor list.

In all options, it’s a common misconception that technology is the answer. There is no doubt there are some incredible platform vendors on the market to suit all budgets, membership levels and technology stacks. There is, however, some work to do beforehand.

Where many organisations go wrong is failing to understand and prioritise what their members want to do first. A good online community is built in slow, measured steps that form a roadmap that aims to solve challenges, problems and provide value that is unique to YOUR members.

Pro Tip 1: Speak To Your Members

Spend time building a qualitative and quantitate data set of what your member needs are. Run surveys to get an overall sense of what is important, but also identify specific members who might be available for a short call to answer some questions around their requirements.

It’s incredible how many online communities there are, even today, that don’t take time to connect directly with their members. In a digital age, having a human-to-human call not only goes beyond the general trend data, but it also shows your members you care.

Members are much more likely to recommend you to other potential members through this personal touch. Organic growth can be vastly more effective than a generic email.

Pro Tip 2: Involve Stakeholders

Once you are able to identify common themes and member needs from your initial work, ensure you capture the input of as many key stakeholders as possible. Don’t ignore departments because they “don’t seem like this is for them”.

You will be amazed how responsive and happy the legal team, for example, could be to be involved.

Pro Tip 3: Clarify Your Vision Roadmap

Using your member and internal stakeholder feedback, build a clear vision for your community that reflects common goals and objectives. It’s natural that the business and the members won’t align exactly.

Your internal roadmap might look a little different from your member feedback. It’s common for your most senior management to have pressures of running a company (costs, shareholders, ideas, etc) that give them a different outlook. However, to outstep your competitors understanding that giving members value that is specific to them is your key to success.

The importance of the work you did in Pro Tip 2 (involving all teams) becomes intrinsic to success at this point. By bringing the whole company into the process, you have advocates for your vision that can support and help drive the roadmap to sign-off. You have compelling member feedback to underpin and justify the need for an online community that the whole organisation understands.

The Fallacy Of Metrics

As part of the community roadmap, it’s inevitable the thorny issue of metrics or ROI (return on investment will crop up).

Naturally, as a membership organisation, the process of growing your membership list in parallel with retaining current members is your lifeblood. However, with the community, it’s very easy to get caught up in big numbers without really understanding where the value is.

Your members will stay, and provide word of mouth recommendations when they are given value they cannot get elsewhere. A member who posts 5 times a day, every day is great. A member who posts once a week but is intrinsic to a community who come together to create value through problem-solving, expert insight, relationship building and other actions which create year-round value is the very key to growth and retention.

Summary

Ensure your goals are set around unique value for members that they cannot get elsewhere. Your roadmap comes before any technology decisions and should be built from a combination of data, and real member feedback supported by internal stakeholder input.

In our next blog, we’ll examine the role of technology and the importance of the community team in more detail for sustainable growth.

4 Roads have worked with a plethora of membership organisations and has been responsible for some of the largest community deployments across the globe, creating communities consisting of millions of members. Contact us to find out how an online community could help you get closer relationships with your members. 

The Drum

4 Roads Joins Acclaimed Marketing Platform: The Drum Network

We are proud to announce that 4 Roads has joined The Drum Network, a global media platform and the biggest marketing website in Europe, as a Premium Member. 

Created and delivered by the team behind The Drum, The Drum Network is an innovative way for ambitious agencies to promote their services, build their brand, position their people as leaders in their field and get on the radar of brand marketers.   

The Drum Network is the UK’s most read marketing and website publication which attracts more than one million visitors per month. It seeks to help agencies raise their profile and promote their business strategies using published articles, case studies and industry related topics. The platform’s notoriety means we are able to not only illustrate our digital experiences with consumers, but also pass on the knowledge we have gained from a number of digital innovations.  

The network provides amazing benefits such as access to a team of experienced B2B writers, an increase in editorial coverage through The Drum’s online and offline platforms to raise our profile and find a voice in today’s crowded marketing sector.   

Membership also provides 4 Roads with entry into The Drum Awards and they even host events from industry leading speakers; this alone provides a whole host of opportunities from business networking to showcasing 4 Roads to potential clients.   

As specialists in the field of digital solutions and online communities, we understand the profound usefulness of a digital platform such as this and could not wait to become part of the acclaimed network. With many exciting past and present digital adventures under our name, we will be updating the industry regularly with case studies and news articles that reflects the height of marketing solutions.  

Watching The Drum space for our content will keep you up-to-date with how contemporary marketing solutions can be implemented with the latest technology. We share industry proven insights and knowledge of bespoke products that can help enhance your online presence, or even spark your own creative ideas to build upon digital networks.   

Even though we have only been members for a short while, we have already uploaded a vast amount of content to the network and are receiving tremendous feedback. We can’t wait to share some of our extremely exciting current work, which will be appearing on The Drum in the next few months.  

Until then, why not delve into some of our recent work and ideas? You can find our Drum Network page at https://www.thedrum.com/profile/4-roads-limited or similarly our company site https://www.4-roads.com/ 

membership organisations

Communities for Membership Organisations Series: Recognising The Challenges Of Engagement

Darren Gough, Community Management Expert and Founder of Island23 Limited shares his first guest blog post of his three part series. This post recognises the challenges of engagement within membership organisations and discusses how to enhance the experience for members.

Digital Transformation

Membership organisations are facing a challenge. At a time when Generation X are the dominant force in the workplace, and millennials are evolving the nature of work outputs, digital transformation is needed to react to the changing needs of professionals.

MemberWise’s 2017/18 Digital Excellence report captures the feedback of 275 managers and directors working within this space. The number one goal for membership organisations and associations is; to increase member engagement.

This is the same number one goal as their 2016 findings, which in turn has risen from it is a number two goal in both 2014 and 2015. This points to a clear shift in focus needed from the old hat approach of “build it and they will come”.
This is a trend reflected across the industry. The expectation of members has now significantly changed from even 5 years ago, with a much greater expectation of increasing value and year round engagement.

Organisations that rely on their past and brand equity to survive through selling memberships in a warped revolving door system (1 in, hope to avoid 1 out) will find numbers decline as savvy consumers cancel memberships and look elsewhere.

“The membership and association sector is waking up to the fact that future long-term member value and growth requires a deeper focus on online membership experience and engagement rather than an infatuation with short term new member acquisition.”  

Richard Gott, Founder, The MemberWise Network

The Introduction of Community

For many membership organisations, understanding what an online community can do to make that transformation happen is the key. A community can act as the heart or hub of everything you do, providing a portal for customers to interact not only with each other but with your team.

The community runs 24/7 and is providing value, answering questions and giving access to experts, and building resources and materials that are accessible to your members on a continuous basis.

It can also provide huge value as an internal network to your team, allowing departments to break down informational and cultural silo problems and build a living knowledge hub with instant connection to what members and saying and doing.

Evolving Engagement

Aside from membership itself, it is common for organisations to measure engagement though metrics such as email click throughs, social media likes and shares and event attendance.

Whilst these provide general trend data for the organisation itself, in isolation it doesn’t do much for your members in terms of adding deeper value which moves the dial. In 2018, trying to convince members that “our emails get a 75% open rate”, “this article got 1K shares” or “we sold 350 tickets” isn’t compelling enough to retain and attract.

Telling the stories and taking the engagement to the next level is where the value exists. Members what to know what people like them are doing.

  • What challenges do they have?
  • How did they solve them?
  • Can I meet like-minded people?
  • Where can I ask a question and get an answer?

The PyraBell Curve of Events

Membership organisations who hold large scale events once or twice yearly often fall into the trap of the PyraBell Curve: A hybrid of the traditional bell curve and the pyramid effect of ramping up and down extremely quickly.

Pre Event

As an event draws near, the organisation will start to slowly ramp up operational and marketing efforts through ticket sales and event information.

Event

As the event lands (perhaps a day or two before) everything goes into overdrive. Stands are built, last min ticket sales are made, and customer service is bombarded with requests and contact. The event happens.

Post Event

The eve of the final day (usually after a closing drinks reception), both members and staff consider the event “done” and do the typical post event activities. Stands are dismantled, a roundup email is sent, and a few members are asked to review it.

The Missed Opportunity

What commonly happens then is the event is ticked off, the team regroup and planning begins for the next time. The net result is the chance to deepen relationships with attendees through an active online community is lost. Members drift away (regardless of the perception of the event itself) crucial touch points and interaction are missed.

Summary

Members pay a fee to be part of their association and need to feel like they’re getting something special for it. With a community, they have access to a network of people and ongoing content rather than just a faceless website or brand that rarely interacts.

Members offer a near unlimited opportunity to evolve your services and products. You have an audience that can provide crucial insight as and when you need it. By putting a community at the heart of your organisation there is a huge opportunity to step in front of competitors and give members an experience they want to come back for time and time again.

4 Roads have worked with a plethora of membership organisations and has been responsible for some of the largest community deployments across the globe, creating communities consisting of millions of members. Contact us to find out how an online community could help you get closer relationships with your members. 

digital consultation

Get A Digital Consultation

Get your thirty-minute complimentary digital consultation with our experts in engagement solutions.

A digital consultation can help you in a number of situations, for example, if you are about to review your digital strategy, or commission a new website. A quick sanity check with an experienced digital agency like 4 Roads can save you a lot of time and make sure you’re on the right path.

During your digital consultation we will review the performance of your digital platforms to help you to understand what’s working and areas you might want to think about.

WE ARE EXPERTS IN BRINGING YOUR AUDIENCE CLOSER.

Using a range of website assessment and analytics tools we evaluate the impact of your current digital footprint and provide a written report of the findings, together with recommendations for areas of improvement.

We have over 20 years experience in developing engagement solutions and believe that delivering the best digital experience is everything.

To find out how your organisation can take advantage, please contact us HERE for your free digital consultation.

digital marketplace

4 Roads accredited as Digital Marketplace supplier by UK government

4 Roads are now proud to announce that we have once again been selected by the UK government to be an accredited supplier on its Digital Marketplace and continue to be able to offer a wide range of digital services to public sector organisations across the UK.

After a 10-day standstill period, 4 Roads have received the Digital Outcomes and Specialists 3 Supplier status (DOS3), following a recent application to upgrade from DOS2.

Applications opened to transition from DOS2 to DOS3 on the 18th July 2018 and were available for submission until the 22nd August 2018. Our services will continue to be available from the 1st of October 2018 where all DOS2 suppliers will be removed from the Digital Marketplace.

We are delighted to have once again been awarded with a full supplier capability status, meaning we are able to supply services such as Performance Analysis and Data, Security, Service Delivery, Software Development, Support and Operations, Testing and Auditing, User Experience and Design and User research throughout the entirety of the UK.

This puts 4 Roads as one of the leading companies in the Digital Marketplace under the DOS3 act!

James Browne Client Services Director at 4 Roads commented: “The DOS3 framework recognises the importance of innovation in digital services for the public sector by allowing companies to bid to supply their digital services to government and public sector bodies. By utilising the Digital Marketplace you can easily find suitable government approved candidates that provide a wide range of technological services.”

With our services renewed in 2018 we look forward to the next step in digital innovation and will continue to provide outstanding service to present and future public sector projects throughout the UK.

Delivering an engaging digital experience to your customer is fundamental for brand loyalty. To find out how you can enhance your customer relations through digital technology, please fill out this form.

CONTACT US

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