When It Comes to Digital Strategy, Are You a Leader or Lagger?

,

This post was authored by Martin Yan and originally appeared here on Liferay.com

——————————

Though every industry is different, there is something all companies are dealing with: a quickly changing sales landscape. With the rise of mobile and highly-connected customers, the days of cold calling and “batch-and-blasts” are long gone. Traditional sales methods simply won’t cut it.

Most buyers are now doing research on their own, some without ever consulting a sales person in the process. According to Adweek, 81% of shoppers conduct their own online research before purchasing a product. What’s more, about 60% begin their research on a search engine and/or read a product review.

With detailed information about every product or software available at their fingertips, shoppers don’t need to feel beholden to believe every sales pitch. Think about all the various outlets available to the shopper. There are search engines, product reviews, user reviews, buyer’s guides, social media and forums. If something sounds fishy, they can simply look up the facts on a device and verify any dubious claim.

The web has become the single most important place for prospective buyers to visit. As customers become more digitally-experienced, they will look for a familiarity and convenience with your brand regardless of channel. They will be interacting with you on social media, mobile apps, or in-person when they walk into your store.

Now the question is, how are you meeting these new customer expectations? Are you leading the charge to transform the way your company does business, or are you still reluctant to change what’s already comfortably in place?

If you’re not driving innovation, your current business will sooner or later be susceptible to disruption. In the meantime, your customers will be looking for a satisfying, more personal experience elsewhere. As Lisa Arthur, a Forbes contributor, writes: “Our research shows that consumers welcome personalized offers, such as price-matching and loyalty points. Soon, they’ll not only welcome it, they’ll expect it.”

Your company should assess the user experience across all channels. How does your website communicate what your service or product is about? Is the user experience the same on a smartphone as it is on laptop? See how the content, layout and web functionalities change when your site is accessed on different devices.

A good digital strategy will bring those interactions together and translate them into a great user experience. And if you’re providing users a great experience, chances are you’ll earn their trust and keep them coming back for more.

The Evolution of FinTech: Infographic

, ,

The Evolution of FinTech

Financial Technology, or FinTech, has recently emerged as its own industry, consisting of companies that use technology to make financial systems more efficient for their customers. According to statista, “As of February 2015, bank spending on new technologies in North America was projected to reach 17 billion U.S. dollars in 2015 and increase to 19.9 billion in 2017.”  FinTech involves areas such as:

  • Mobile payments
  • Big data
  • Alternative finance
  • Financial management
  • Equity financing

FinTech investment has grown by 27% globally per year since 2008. That’s 14% more than the Silicon Valley’s investment growth.

In a rapidly growing industry, you want to keep up with trends that could make or break your business. As a Financial Advisor, it is important to be aware of what FinTech is and how it can affect and help your business.

The infographic below, courtesy of RainFin, walks you through the evolution of the FinTech industry – where it began and how far it’s come.

 

Infographic on the evolution of FinTech

Financial Advisors: Are You Optimizing Your Emails?

,

54% of marketers rate email as the most effective type of digital marketing and the least difficult to execute (Mailigen). Email marketing provides Financial Advisors an effective way to stay in touch with current clients and prospects. Here are 6 ways to optimize your email marketing for better success in the future:

  1. Personalize Your Emails

It’s 2016. Consumers want to have a conversation with a business rather than be sold to. The first step to take is to make sure that you are not sending your emails from a no-reply@thisdoesntwork.com.

Personalize your emails to each recipient. The most effective way to do this is to include their name in the first sentence of your email copy.

So you’ve personalized your email, what’s next?

  1. Use a Call-To-Action (CTA)

89% of marketers say that email is their primary channel for lead generation (HubSpot). You’ve grabbed your reader’s attention, but how do you convert them into a client? Use a CTA.

A CTA is a button or link that you place on your website, or in this case email, to drive prospective customers to become leads.  Now, what makes a good CTA? Visually, the button should large enough to see and placed in an easily visible spot. Make sure that your message is clear, direct and motivating. Some great CTA examples include:

CTA Example using Humboldt County website

CTA Example using Huemor website

CTA example using Spotify website

  1. Is your email visually appealing?

81% of people skim content online rather than read it word for word. Don’t overburden your emails with too much text. The results will be disappointing. As an Advisor, you should try to visually communicate information to prospects. Considering that the average person gets distracted in 8 seconds, you want to ensure that your emails are concise, visually appealing and make information retention easy. Simplicity is key.

PayPal does a great job at simplifying their emails (image below). Their content is delivered in a clever and concise way, while communicating how their product can benefit the reader.  This email is simple, direct and very easy to follow.Visually appealing email example using a PayPal email

  1. Have a compelling subject line

Don’t over-think this! The more direct your subject line, the better. Using phrases that come off as a sales pitch will make your email recipients feel that you are trying to trick them. So, avoid phrases like “The best decision you’ll make today.”

According to HubSpot, over 1/3 emails are opened based on the sub   ject line alone. You want to create a subject line that instills curiosity or provides value to your recipient. As an Advisor, what works for someone in social media may not necessarily work for you. Over time, get a feel for what your recipients respond to best and stick with it.

  1. Advertise your online presence

Optimize your email by providing links to your social media accounts and your website. In other words, provide your readers with the option to visit your Twitter, Facebook, or any other social media platform you use as well as your website to advertise your business. By doing this, you should notice an increase in views, likes and followers on the platforms that you advertise. As an Advisor, this could also aid in converting your leads into clients!  Email is the dominant form of business communication and when used wisely, can greatly increase your client base. Shown below is a great way to visually advertise your links.

  1. Are you mobile-optimized?

Millennials are the age group most likely to check their email from bed (70%), from the bathroom (57%), or while driving (27%) (Capterra). As a Financial Advisor, this generation of consumers is very important to the future success of your business. To secure your millennial leads, you want to ensure that you are not only able to reach them, but to convert them into clients as well. According to emailmonday, 67.2% of consumers use a smartphone to check their email. To successfully grab their attention, you want to engage them on all platforms – especially mobile.

Email marketing is still considered one of the most effective types of digital marketing. As a Financial Advisor, you want to utilize this form of digital marketing to effectively stay in touch with current clients and prospects.

The Anatomy of The Connected Consumer in the Digital Landscape

, ,

The Internet has molded the way we are as consumers. Now a days, more and more consumers use the Internet to quickly find the information they are looking for in seconds. People are evolving into a new type of consumer,  “the connected consumer”. They also want the option to choose when, where, and how they are interacting with brands. As a result, the consumer landscape has evolved and changed drastically since the days of traditional media such as TV commercials and radio ads.

Despite how connected consumers are, they are harder to reach than ever. Research suggests that 30 seconds or less is how long consumers typically spend absorbing digital marketing content. 30 seconds?!?!? This isn’t even enough time to make a coffee. How are we as marketers supposed to engage our target audience in less time than it takes to make a coffee?

Each interaction consumers have with your brand is a piece of the overall experience.  So, what is the best way to reach and engage the consumer? The Infographic below, courtesy of Gigya, highlights the key qualities of the connected consumer to help your organization more effectively reach, engage and convert your customers in the digital age.

Anatomy Infographic

Top 4 Reasons to Attend Intra.NET Reloaded in Boston

, ,

Intra.NET Reloaded is a 2-day conference focused on defining the future of the digital workplace. This conference brings together over 100 decision makers from corporate IT, Communications and Business departments who are responsible for creating tomorrow’s digital workplace to network, partner and exchange knowledge in a unique event format. This year it is taking place from April 21 – 22nd, 2016 at the Hyatt Boston Harbor, Massachusetts.

Veriday is delighted to be co-sponsoring and speaking at this year’s conference with our technology partner, Liferay. The 2-day event is a combination of inspirational keynotes and well moderated, interactive World Café Sessions, workshops, break outs, roundtable discussions and activities.

So, why attend Intra.NET Reloaded?  Here are four reasons to join Veriday at the biggest intranet-, digital workplace and social collaboration event in the US:

  1. Connect with others

Attending this conference will connect you with over 100 decisions makers from a wide range of industries. Through sessions ranging from workshops, roundtable discussion and purely networking-focused activities, networking is highly encouraged and made easy for everyone.

Intra.Net pie chart showing job function demographic and industry split.

  1. Expand your knowledge

Learn from more than 30 industry-leading speakers, including Veriday’s CEO, Marc Lamoureux. At Intra.NET Reloaded, you will have the opportunity to go through real case studies, participate in supportive workshops and breakout sessions that will bring you closer to the best solutions for leveraging the business value of intranets and collaboration platforms.

  1. Discover the newest technologies

Attending this conference will enable you to gain insights from your competitors’ experiences with intranet platforms, tools and technologies. You will have to opportunity to share best practices and benchmark experience with individuals working within your industry. The Intra.NET Reloaded conference will provide you with a chance to discuss upcoming trends and opportunities in your industry to increase the business value of your company’s tools and technologies.

  1. Why not?

What do you have to lose? Intra.NET Reloaded will push you to discover new ways to break down silos and organizational barriers, collaborate with peers on shared problems and reflect on how to best exploit current technologies.

Join Veriday as we help celebrate, discover and shape the future of intranets, the digital workplace, and collaboration platforms at this years Intra.NET Reloaded conference.

Come Say Hello!

Come and chat with the Veriday and Liferay team, at our booth, to discover how your organization can implement and maintain an effective and value-adding alignment to your Digital Workplace.  If you are interested in attending, please contact us to receive our sponsorship discount code.

We look forward to seeing you at this years Intra.NET Reloaded conference!

————————————–

About Intra.NET Reloaded

Intra.NET Reloaded is the annual leading event on digital workplace transformation and connects IT, internal communication, and business leaders across industries to bridge existing gaps and discover opportunities of intranet, digital workplace and collaboration platform projects.

Why Banks (And Other Businesses) Can No Longer Afford Not To Innovate

,

This post was authored by Martin Yan and originally appeared here on Liferay.com

——————————

“Financial transactions are just numbers; it’s just information. You shouldn’t need 100,000 people and prime Manhattan real estate and giant data centers full of mainframe computers from the 1970s to give you the ability to do an online payment.” – Marc Andreessen

There’s good news and bad news for those involved in the financial sectors. The good news is that this isn’t 2008, and if your company hasn’t gone under and you still have a job—well, that’s good. The bad news is that it’s 2016, and simply staying afloat isn’t going to cut it anymore.

Many technological changes have happened over the past seven years. Your average consumer is now experiencing a lot of their lives on mobile. According to a survey by eMarketer, US adults spend an average of almost 3 hours per day on their devices. This means people are using their smartphones and tablets to perform tasks like shopping, reading, viewing, and working.

Banks, however, haven’t done a good job of adapting their customer experiences. Which means they are not only playing catch up, but also giving space for fintech startups to capitalize on the void being left behind.

These disruptors are identifying the gaps in between consumer expectations and their actual banking experiences. Instead of focusing on a specific product, they are asking questions from the user standpoint and putting the customer experience first. This has meant a market filled with new entrants offering personal wealth management, mobile payments, eCommerce, peer-to-peer lending and more.

What does this mean for banks? Quite frankly, the risk of becoming irrelevant. If financial institutions do not adopt the right technology and make it a priority to innovate, they will have a harder time driving revenue and retaining their customers.

Granted, the problem is not so simple. Any traditional monolith faces a harder and slower process of change. Historically speaking, financial IT has been resisting change to legacy systems and processes with which they are familiar. The technology is a central part of operations, albeit outdated and unstable, and shaking things up in one area could mean seeing more than a few straws falling out in other places.

But to not be innovating is to be preparing for your own coffin. Questions revolving around cyber threats and security breaches need to be addressed, but so do your customers’ demands for online and mobile banking. All banks are expected to be secure—not all of them offer a good omnichannel experience.

How will you provide for them? Because the future is quickly shifting towards those who are not only meeting the expectations of today’s customer, but predicting the needs of tomorrow’s.

Advisors: Increase Brand Awareness with these Twitter Engagement Tips

,

According to Twitter, there are over 320 million active Twitter users around the globe. In this day and age, having a presence on this giant of a social media platform is crucial to the success of your business. Twitter provides a medium that enables Advisors to connect to their target audience and helps them to reach new prospects.

On average, around 6,000 tweets are Tweeted each second. That’s 500 million tweets per day. People may take notice to your tweets or they may scroll past them…it is all in how you craft your Twitter strategy.

Here are 4 easy ways to better engage your Twitter audience:

  1. picture is worth 1 million characters

90% of information that comes to the brain is visual. If you want people to stopVeriday Twitter Capture scrolling and notice your content – use a visual.

Generally speaking, as an Advisor, you work with numbers. Using graphs is a great way to visually share this type of information with your audience. Statistics show that content with a visual component gets 94% more views than those without (source).

65% of senior marketing executives believe that visual assets (photos, videos and infographics) are core to how their brand story is communicated (source). Images evoke emotional responses to readers, and the use of the right picture can bring out strong emotions and reactions in your readers (happiness, compassion, disgust, or sadness).

It’s important to remember that the majority of readers will scan a page rather than read it word for word.  In a world where people are constantly bombarded with content, one of the most successful ways to capture your audience’s attention, especially the scanners, is through the use of visual assets.

Captivate your audience and allow them to visualize your message through the use of visual assets (example: see tweet to the right).

 

  1. Use #hashtags

Twitter is famous for its use of hashtags. Although, hashtags may not contribute towards your engagement rate to the extent that you may think. Yes, using hashtags will allow you, as a Financial Advisor, to reach your target audience. And yes, hashtags help to expand your reach on Twitter. That being said, when it comes to hashtags, less is more. According to a study done by LocoWise, adding too many hashtags to your posts can actually decrease your engagement rate as shown in the table below.

  0 # 1 # 2 # 3 # 4 #
% of tweets with the corresponding number of hashtags 55.8 24.45 15 3.13 1.62
Engagement rate 1.9 1.84 1.2 0.4 0.19

As a Financial Advisor, hashtags also allow you to see what is trending, what questions or challenges your audience is having, as well as new technology or information that is relevant to your field. Some popular hashtags in the Financial Services industry include:

  • #FinServ
  • #Advisors
  • #FinPlan
  1. Tweet, tweet, tweet!

Set goals for your Twitter account that focus on how often you post per day or week. A great way to stay on track is to schedule your tweets using a social media management system such as Hootsuite. The more you tweet about topics relevant to the financial industry, the more of the right attention you will get – but be sure you are sharing valuable and unique content, and not just posting for the sake of posting.

Also, people like to see that you are engaged on Twitter. If you see an interesting article that you want to share with others – retweet it! This will help you build relationships with other users. Staying in the loop with current news and trends shows your audience that you are ahead of the curve.

Millennials are the next investors, and more importantly your future clients. This means that tailoring your marketing strategy to their habits should be a priority. An easy way to stay on top of Twitter is to set aside 15 minutes per day to schedule your tweets.

 

  1. Join in with discussions

The beauty of Twitter is that you can interact with as many people as you’d like.

This is where the @ sign comes into play. This is one of the most important influencers of engagement on Twitter. This feature allows you to directly communicate with other users on Twitter by answering your @ replies and tagging others when you comment or share their content. Over time, this will allow you to build relationships with your audience, and more importantly with your influencers.

Industry influencers, on social media, are some of the most trusted sources of information. Do some research and find out who your influencers are. Connecting with these influencers will help to increase your reach, credibility and overall social media image.

Joining discussions will keep you in the loop of what your prospects and clients are saying and what questions they’re asking. For Advisors, joining in on discussions and sharing useful content can help you to become a thought leader in the industry. People will start coming to you for answers and insights because you have built trust with them.

 

Gaining insight on what your prospects and clients are interested in or what is challenging them is also a great source for new content ideas. Learning from your audience will enable you to post unique content that is aimed at solving and educating them on their greatest financial challenges.

 

7 Financial Marketing Trends in the Wealth Management Sector

3 Reasons to Join Veriday at NetFinance 2016

, ,

NetFinance is a 3 day long conference focused on digital innovation in Financial Services.  This year it is taking place from April 18 – 20th, 2016 at the Trump National Doral Hotel in Miami, Florida. Attendees have the opportunity to hear from industry experts on the latest trends in innovation, mobile, and omni-channel customer experience in the Financial Services industry.

For the third year, Veriday is proud to be sponsoring NetFinance with its technology partner, Liferay.

So, why attend NetFinance? Here are three reasons to attend the #1 digital innovation conference in Financial Services:

  1. Get inspired

Being surrounded by other individuals with innovative and creative minds will not only inspire you to do more with your business, but it could also spark new ideas. The speakers attending the conference are some of the most experienced financial services marketing thought leaders in the industry today. They will spark your imagination, challenge your assumptions and inspire you to be the next big thing in the Financial Services industry.

  1. Build connections

Attending the NetFinance Conference will give you the opportunity to meet new faces in the industry. You will have the chance to swap business cards and make important connections that can help you accelerate your career. Being a part of a close-knit community of financial services marketers can open new doors for your business through the meaningful connections you make.

  1. Accelerate your growth

Each speaker has only 20 minutes to pack in as much discovery, innovation, and inspiration as they can. They will cover topics ranging from Fintech, creating digital cultural change, how to become the Uber of the financial services industry, and many more.

The NetFinance Conference will provide you with an enriching, educational, and inspiring experience. You will be able to take what you’ve learned, put it into action, and accelerate and add value to your business and career.

Come Say Hello!

Come and chat with the Veriday and Liferay team, at our booth, to discover how your organization can unleash its digital potential to better engage customers, employees and partners.  If you are interested in attending, please contact us to receive our sponsorship discount code.

We look forward to seeing you at this years NetFinance conference!

————————————–

About NetFinance

Since its launch in 2002, NetFinance has become the #1 event for digital innovators in financial services. It is especially designed for Financial Institutions – 93% of our past attendees would recommend the event to a colleague. NetFinance has proven to be a rich industry resource for networking, strategy, and cutting edge information.

NetFinance is a high level conference that continues to bring together the most senior level speakers, enabling attendees to hear from the people making the real decisions. In fact, 85% of speakers are at a VP level or above. They have carved out three days in the midst of a still challenging business environment because the payback is tremendous at this event.

NetFinance combines a large exhibition hall, with unparalleled networking, benchmarking and learning opportunities to create a first class event.