Is Marketing Automation the ‘Business Solution’ that Financial Services Need?
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Is Marketing Automation the ‘Business Solution’ that Financial Services Need?

Author: Caroline Schmid | Categories: Digital Marketing, Customer Experience, Marketing Automation

In a crowded marketplace, where new customers are at a premium, Marketing Automation Platforms (MAP) can help financial services firms drive more effective marketing. Besides increasing customer acquisition, MAP tools can also help provide relevant and real-time experiences to customers. This will naturally result in customer loyalty and enhanced customer satisfaction, which in return can ensure customer retention (and increased book of business).

There are many ways in which businesses can make use of marketing automation platforms to market their services and solve their business problems. Seven specific examples of this are:

Segmentation

Marketing Automation makes segmenting of customers based on demographic, firmographic or behavior, an easy task. It helps update segments in real-time, based on customer behavior. This allows financial marketers the capability to exponentially increase the variables of a single campaign and facilitate marketing to specific personas across the customer journey. This also provides reduced time to market for new offers through effective client/prospect segmentation and an automated process. Additionally, bundling and segmenting offers allow wealth managers to control the cost-to-serve appropriately for different segments.

Behavioral Triggers

Marketing automation allows building of customized trigger events that include automated responses to behavioral activities. These triggers can be set up for digital body language where you can send additional documentation on financial investments in areas where the digital foot print has shown an interest. You can also use information on their purchase history to provide automated investment recommendations or even compliance documentation about their investments.

Automated Nurture/Drip Programs

An automated program enables you to nurture your leads throughout their lifecycle. You can offer communication to your customers that are relative to their current position – either in their buying process or after they become customers. Further, this can also act as a platform for you to receive feedback. These communications should include digital client-communication elements including “post-advisory services” such as notifying clients when a product drops off a bank’s or firm's recommendation list. Implementing nurturing and retention activities improve loyalty, and therefore increase NPS.

Below are some nurture activities that are effective within different financial services lifecycles:

  • Provide clients with direct access and communication that state exactly what they are paying for – this provides transparency and meets regulatory requirements.

  • Provide real-time, automated portfolio alerts and risk management tools.

  • Build rules that precisely govern which compliance-notices are to be included in certain materials and dictate when, where, and how those notices are placed and positioned within materials.

  • Automate the updates to quarterly and yearly marketing for client packages across all forms of distribution.

  • Sort updates as per relevance. Stop sending messages to customers that are disinterested or add them to a specific nurture campaign, if qualified during service or inbound inquiry calls.

  • Use integrated, multi-touch nurture campaigns that provide quality on-boarding. Provide communication with achievements and next steps when key milestones are reached in on-boarding.

  • Target clients and prospects with highly relevant content using technology to automate the events — from notification through post-event follow-up.

Analytics

Analytics can be used effectively both for firms and their agents/advisors.

Firms: Advanced marketing automation analytics can help to mine demographic, behavioral and other data to build predictive models that improve the accuracy of a firm’s ability to provide tailored investments to targeted segments and different intermediary roles.

By leveraging analytics tools and technologies to generate new levels of insight, companies can improve the decision-making between what they offer a client and how they allow them to establish new business opportunities and revenue streams. Quick adjustment of campaigns, based on ready access to MAP analytics, allow marketers to gain the highest rate of return.

Analytic tools can also identify potential red flags for defection. If a client has made multiple attempts to resolve an issue, or shows certain behaviors that indicate a low NPS, sales enablement tools can help take prompt action from an advisor/agent/sales/customer service representative to resolve the issue.

Agents/Advisors: For agents or advisors, aggregated data can highlight trends that can help them make decisions on the direction they take. By analyzing the information they have on clients, advisors may recognize reoccurring themes on what drives people to make the investment decisions. An approaching retirement, the birth of a baby, marriage – these may influence a client’s key financial decisions.

A/B Testing

Automation tools present you the perfect platform to utilize the capabilities of A/B testing. You can test multiple offers – creative or messaging – at the same time, and speed up the process efficiently. You can:

  • Receive responses quickly

  • Promptly adjust messages and offers

  • Increase response rates from 1:1 communications

  • Optimize messages and offers to help boost the ROMI (Return on Marketing Investments)

Integrate your Social

You can’t ignore social media channels while you are marketing to Generation Y. Integrating such channels in all of your communications is critical since people in the digital age want to check out prices, compare products, and confirm their decisions in real time. Social media channels allow this possibility and further facilitate prompt sharing of their experiences with others. Most MAP tools offer social posting and integration capabilities that ensure that all of your communications serve the channel where your customers and prospects want to consume their content.

Personalization

One of the highlights of using a marketing automation platform is the ability to use it for offering personalized services to your clients. An automated platform allows you to reach a far wider audience with multiple products, messaging and offers at a time and in a 1:1 manner.

Here are some ways to personalize your communications:

  1. Utilize your customer personas or demographic data, collected throughout customer journeys, to present best fit portfolio offers and cross-content opportunities. Customers that have a certain product or service may be more likely to purchase another.

  2. Integrate personalized and value-added content, based on demographics or behavior throughout your communications where appropriate, niche offerings can offer things of exclusive value to clients from advisors.

  3. Coordinate with service advisors for sending automated alerts, CRM notifications, and reminders for them or on behalf of their client. Use data fields to personalize e-mail correspondence, to the point it appears to be coming directly from the wealth manager.

  4. Move clients through the four phases of wealth right from investing, to managing wealth,wealth planning, and transferring of wealth. Enrich their journey as they evolve with you as a client. Include customized communications as they accumulate wealth, to enhance their experience. The journey will primarily encompass:

    • Investing – Investment plan and goals, savings, etc.

    • Managing Wealth – Creating investment policy statement, asset allocation, investing strategy, private account investing, tax efficient investing, and asset protection.

    • Wealth Planning – Estate planning, business succession, family wealth planning, family office, family foundations, and asset protection planning.

    • Transferring wealth – Charity, business succession, estate distribution, etc.

These items are just a few of the ways to leverage a powerful tool like Marketing Automation – there’re plenty of others as well. Financial services can reap the benefits of implementing these tools, along with institutionalizing the industry best practices. Some noteworthy benefits to mention here include increased ROMI, improvements in Customer Experience and NPS, and the ability to implement more –efficiently and effectively.