Lower Your Lead Generation Costs by Rebalancing your Marketing Budget

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To effectively engage customers in this digital age, you need to support their buyers’ journey. Supporting this journey will require content distribution and authoring strategies that help your field teams connect with customers in a more human way. As marketers, we are all trying to get leads. Except budgets and teams are not growing. So, marketers must produce more with less. How can marketing budgets be stretched to deliver growth while reducing the cost of acquiring new customers?

Traditional budget allocation is heavily focused at the enterprise level. Content is created by the enterprise and broadcasted to all customers and potential clients. As we discussed in our previous article, Three Opportunities Enterprise Marketers are Missing Out On, This means that micro-segments and customers in local markets are less engaged with the content. Those missed opportunities include personalized email engagement, hyper-localized content, and the customers to connect with advisors.

Rebalancing the marketing budget to have a larger focus on distribution will empower field employees. Using a content distribution platform, enterprises can access the field to leverage them for marketing efforts. This allows messaging to reach a larger number of customers that will be provided better value and results in stronger engagement.

By empowering advisors allows for the engagement activities closer to the clients and prospects. By doing so, advisors will be able to create valuable personalized content that is relevant to local markets. When financial advisors are actively involved in the distribution of marketing content there is significant growth in online engagement and more qualified leads for the advisor. So why aren’t more companies implementing this kind of strategy and rebalancing for favor distribution?

  1. They couldn’t if they wanted too.
  2. Platform vendors aren’t developing this strategy. The major vendors are designed for the head office marketing teams. These vendors cannot provide these platforms to all their field agents, both because it would be too costly, and it wouldn’t allow to ensure compliance and brand consistency.
  3. It’s hard to break tradition
  4. As mentioned, budgets are small, and requirements of marketers are growing. So, changing up is “working” can be worrying.
  5. Fear of change
  6. Changing the way funds are allocated can cause fear for marketers. As shifting around budgets and implementing new processes and platforms will involve other major stakeholders. The new changes will need to be justified as a better approach than the traditional budget.  

Who is Doing This Already?

While most organizations know the importance of providing valuable content to their customers. However, fewer companies have implemented the proper tools to leverage a successful distribution strategy. Some of these companies include RBC, American National, UBS, Mortgage Master, Manulife, CIBC, Morgan Stanley, and others.

With the realization of this problem and the opportunity that exists, what can you do? First, begin by re-examining your marketing budget. Where can distribution benefit you? Than explore possible vendors and run a pilot to test your new thesis. Remember, not all vendors are created equal, while the goal may be similar, certain platforms focus on social media, emails, legacy systems, or integrated solutions. Finally, find a vendor that offers internal distribution platforms that best suits your needs.Our product, Digital Agent is one of the platforms that allows enterprise marketers to achieve that distribution strategy and empower advisors while ensuring content and brand compliance.We hope you find the platform that will allow you to transform your advisor marketing programs. If you wish, we’d love to speak with you further about how you can lower your cost for lead generation.

Top Challenges That Companies Face Internally

Top view of creative business team sitting at the table at loft office and working. Woman manager brings the document to mixed race group of people. Colleagues discussing the project.

An employee portal can be very beneficial for an organization. Portals continually prove to increase employee and business productivity, as well as improve communications, collaboration, and knowledge management. However, in discussions with different organizations, they face common challenges as to why their existing portals aren’t working. 40% of portal initiatives fail to garner adequate adoption to achieve ROI and 10% to 15% of portal initiatives are scrapped altogether.(Gartner Summit 2012) So why are existing portal not working?

Poor User Adoption

While the enterprise stakeholders have seen the value in a new portal. The employees may have a different perspective. They may see little value in the portal and see it as an inconvenience in their established processes and routines. This creates an inconvenience to the employees to get that data that can be easily found somewhere else.

 

Unable to Easily Search for Information

The implementation of a new portal should make processes simpler. There can exist a disconnect between what stakeholders were described when sold the portal, and the employees who must use it for a specific reason. These reasons may conflict with the abilities of the portal. Regardless of the application, the goal is to effectively find the information needed. The specific information may take too long to find what they’re looking for, unable to do a keyword search, or searches get too many results that then require sifting through.

 

Inability to Collaborate

These portals are designed to try to enhance the overall productivity of an organization. It should become easier for any employee in an organization to work with others across departments and access an online workplace, despite their physical location. New portals may make collaboration difficult or altogether impossible. Employees can’t share documents, cannot work on the documents on it together, and there is no control over with document versions.

Ineffective Communication

Finally, another common problem faced with the adoption of new portals is the breakdown of communications. Their portal has no streamlined process, no ability to communicate or a lack of knowledge of where to post information.

 

The challenges mentioned above are symptoms that stem from three problems that are present in all ineffective employee portals: Information, Ownership, and Customer Experience:

  • Information
    • Is the information outdated? As time goes on information may not be kept up to date or have little to no metadata tagging to help search information.
  • Ownership:
    • Who is supposed to be updating content, when, and how often?  What information should be posted?
  • Customer Experience:
    • Portals may lack a focus on the end user. It may not be intuitive to navigate or lack analytics on how they are interacting with the portal. Having KPIs for portal software is important to track the value to the organization.

A lot needs to be considered and understood when designing a successful solution.  Its simply not enough to say “we want to increase collaboration”, organizations should also ask what collaboration means to the users and how it it involves their daily activities.  Other questions include: What does a successful implementation look like? What are the plans to maintain adoption? Overall, we need to account for how people work and why they would want to change it to a new portal.

Email Marketing is EXACTLY What Advisors Need to Improve Service and Generate Leads

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businessman looking laptop and contact email

 

Email marketing is not something new. It has been since shortly after the invention of email itself. We all remember being copied and pasted on email threads of anyone and everyone they knew to send them some funny joke or chain letter. You would open them because you received it from a person, someone you know and like and trust. The key thing to note is that people open emails from people more than they do from brands.

According to the Data & Marketing Association, it takes between 7 to 13 touches to deliver a qualified lead. When an advisor’s goal is to generate leads, creating this many touch points can be time-consuming and costly. Email marketing has been proven to help develop trust and credibility by sending prospects and clients the right content at the right time that is relevant to them. Of all the marketing channels, email has been proven to generate the highest return on investment. There are case studies that walk through exactly how this can be done.

As an enterprise marketer, you most likely have an email distribution tool that you send emails to clients who have opted in to receive your emails. But what about all the people who have been researching your brand or all the people that are connected in one way or another to a financial advisor. Advisors are trying to leverage best practice email tools like MailChimp or Constant Contact to stay in touch with their network but these emails might not follow compliance rules and regulations.

By enabling advisors to email their clients and prospects through a compliant platform where messaging is approved, they can still create a personalized local approach. Their emails can reference local events, news, and tie them to articles they write.

When advisors adopt an email strategy, we see that email results are higher than the industry average, as well as corporate email newsletters. People tend to open more emails and be more engaged with by clicking and reading on multiple articles.

5 Reasons Why Email is a Must

  1. Nurture LeadsAdvisors most likely have contacts in their database that are not leads. In order to turn these prospects into clients one day, advisors need to be continuously nurturing them with expert advice and thought leadership. If they have not unsubscribed from the email list, that means they are still interested in hearing what you have to say.
  2. Learn about your Audience and let them Learn about youAs advisors write and distribute content they are building trust and credibility. Prospects and clients are getting to know who the advisor is and what their views and approach is to certain topics. On the flipside, as prospects and clients interact with email content by sharing and clicking on articles, the advisor learns what topics are of interest and relevant to their audience. This is important so advisors can write articles that their audience cares to read.
  3. Fill up your Calendar with AppointmentsEach time an email newsletter is sent out to an advisor’s community, there is an opportunity to book appointments with clients or prospects. A client could call or email to book an appointment after reading an article. Similarly, an article might spark some interest with a prospect that could result in a booked meeting.  Every digital interaction with a prospect could bring them one step closer to making initial contact.
  4. Keep in Touch with Past ClientsSometimes there are circumstances that take place where an advisor might lose clients. Some scenarios could be moving to a new city. With these older clients, there is an opportunity for referrals that shouldn’t be ignored.
  5. Reach a Wider AudienceWith new technology, it’s very easy for people to share contact they consume. Though email it can be easily shared on social media channels or forwarded to someone new.

In conclusion, the successful savvy advisor is already doing some version of this already. If you are not currently taking advantage of the opportunity to email customers you are missing out on ways to connect your audience. Remember, if clients and prospects are not getting information from advisors, they are likely going to get it from someone else or somewhere else.