Symbiotics - Three questions to our Head of Marketing & Communications

Three questions to our Head of Marketing & Communications

Monday 27th, June 2016

Following the company’s image refresh last January, after 10 years of business, we recently unveiled our brand new corporate website. John Staehli, Head of Marketing & Communication, tells us more about this project as well as the company’s latest marketing research developments and partnerships.


Symbiotics just unveiled a new website. Can you tell us more about it?

We wanted to create a clear, concise and legible corporate website. Yet, in order to achieve this, we had to accept that we couldn’t say everything about everything on such a complex industry. One key decision therefore was to define the behavior we expected from visitors in order for it to be deemed successful:


The main objective of our corporate website is to validate an interest, to convince a visitor
to get in touch directly with one of us, in order to get to the next stage of a successful
connection: a personal contact, because above all we’re in a business of human interactions.

We highlighted key areas of competencies, developing an intuitive interface of few menus, with a focus on our activities and creating direct contact opportunities with our staff. We limited the content so that it summarizes what we do, simple enough to be understandable, but limited enough so that it remains legible on screen and sufficient so that visitors want to get in touch to know more.

We developed a fully responsive website, working on all laptops, tablets and mobiles phones. We took the opportunity to also refresh the overall look, giving it a fresh and modern feel, fully aligned to our corporate identity.

We plan to further develop its content and features in the future. We’ll be looking at ways to create more interactions, more engagement and possibly develop synergies with other actors and platforms.


You are very active on the research front, publishing papers while partnering with leaders of the impact/sustainable investments industry. How is this important to you?

This is very important to us. Ever since we began working in this industry, the need for track record, industry standards, and common practice was at the heart of all discussions. We believe that the accumulated knowledge of the past decade needs to be shared broadly in order to further increase the awareness and credibility of this industry and its actors.

We have been publishing the Symbiotics Microfinance Investment Vehicle Survey (MIV survey) for the past 10 years. It has become a reference study in the industry – with more than 95% of the global microfinance vehicles represented – and a key publication to understand the underlying trends which guide investors globally. This initiative will, of course, continue in 2016 and beyond, but we will also complement it in 2016 with a 10-year analysis of data from both sides of the value chain: the investment vehicles – jointly with CGAP – and the institutions.

Also, we have recently published the Swiss Microfinance Investment Report with the University of Zurich and contributed to Swiss Sustainable Finance’s publication on Swiss investment vehicles.


Symbiotics is also known for its investment platform, Is there any plans on developing it further?

As a matter of fact Syminvest is at the top of our priority list for the months to come. It is an industry reference providing a variety of information such as: key market and industry data; investment portfolio overviews and investment opportunities, and generally an unmatched view of the industry.

With the help of feedback from the thousands of regular visitors who use the platform, we want to bring improvements and simplicity in order to further improve their overall experience. We will improve the back-end system as well as the user interface, allowing for more personalized content definition and cross-platform use.

 We also have larger plans to further develop Syminvest as a whole, but you’ll see more of this in the course of 2017.