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The Actuary

Association Content Marketing Program

In 2015, the Society of Actuaries (SOA) — the largest professional organization dedicated to serving actuarial members worldwide — teamed up with GLC to redesign its content marketing program, The Actuary. The program started as a flagship magazine, which is delivered to 24,000 actuaries on a quarterly basis, but was expanded to include a responsive website to house the magazine content, plus web exclusives and interactive photo galleries and video.

While the initial reason for redesigning the magazine was to align it with the SOA’s new brand standards, we also incorporated improvements to the pacing, platform and overall content based on industry best practices and reader feedback.

First, we looked at what the SOA was doing currently and identified a few key actions we could take to improve the overall program. The goals:

  1. Create consistent departments to appear in every issue. We also enhanced the platform to include departments that reflect the changing business world, such as departments about the international community and digital tools for actuaries.
  2. Improve pacing. We have a solid number of departments surrounding the robust feature well.
  3. Package easily digestible content. A goal of the SOA staff was to create compelling content that would appeal to a broader audience, including business leaders and CEOs. We worked to incorporate more sidebar opportunities into departments and features that include key findings and actions to take after reading the article. Making the complicated graphs and charts that often accompany the features easier to follow has been an exciting challenge.
  4. Position the redesigned The Actuary magazine as an extension of the SOA’s brand experience. We created a look and feel that is consistent with the new SOA brand standards while pushing the envelope creatively.
  5. Defining the Web Style. We had to figure out how we wanted the print to translate to the digital. Every detail from the style and placement of author biographies to the treatment of sidebars and pull quotes.
  6. Website Architecture. The new website’s information architecture utilizes the magazine departments as flexible article categories. The content management system allows for both magazine specific articles as well as web exclusive material and interactive components such as galleries, interactive charts and video.
  7. Google Charts. Translating the complicated graphs and charts that often accompany the features to the digital format has proved to be challenging. However, GLC developers found a solution in Google Charts, and they look great on any device.

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