6 Best Practices of A Great Omnichannel Experience: Part 1


Thanks to the ever-increasing capabilities of mobile devices, more and more people are using multiple channels when making a purchase. Just 27% of people use only one channel during their buyer’s journey. That means the other 73% of individuals are omnichannel customers. These omnichannel customers are more valuable to your business, spending 4% more every time they shop. It’s essential to design a high-quality omnichannel experience to cater to these high-value customers.

These six omnichannel best practices are vital to winning the business of customers who make purchases using multiple channels.

1) Strive for Consistency

With such a large percentage of people using multiple channels to make purchases, it’s important to provide a consistent experience across channels. A true omnichannel experience lets customers do research on one channel, continue researching on another, and finally make a purchase using a third channel. Brands should provide a consistent experience, making it simple and straightforward for prospects to navigate across channels.

Consistent design and messaging can enable people to shift between devices quickly, finding the required resource regardless of which channel. Resources with consistent design and messaging will be instantly recognizable, making it easy for prospects to find resources on different channels.

Back-end consistency is the most important part of the omnichannel experience. People do not want to have to start their shopping experience all over again when they transition between devices. Organizations need to break down back-end data silos. By fully integrating the back-end, brands can ensure there is a smooth transition between channels, eliminating customer frustration.

2) Bring Digital Technology in-Store

Organizations should bring digital technology to the in-person experience to create cross-channel consistency. Marrying digital technologies with the traditional in-store experience lets brands create unique interactions that can thrill their customers.

Bringing digital technology into traditional in-person experiences benefits organizations in two ways. First, it enhances the in-person experience, introducing non-traditional mediums to share product information and motivate sales. Secondly, it introduces consumers to new digital technologies, increasing the chances that they will interact with those technologies online.

How can brands bring digital technologies to the in-store experience? Creating a mobile application is often the first step. An app lets brands used location-based tracking and beacons to provide local offers to customers when they are in-store. An app can also use artificial reality to showcase products visually. Another way to integrate digital technologies into the in-store experience is to create interactive content displayed on touch screens, creating in-store digital engagement opportunities.

3) Real-Time Updates

To create a true omnichannel experience, organizations must be able to update information in real time. This is necessary because what is done in one location must be reflected in others. Customers will become frustrated if they proceed through the entire journey on one channel, only to find out that the services they need are not available. This might mean the product they purchase sold out, and the inventory hasn’t been updated, or that they cannot book a meeting with their financial advisor through a mobile device. Frustrations like this can alienate customers and cause them to make their purchase elsewhere, therefore losing your business a customer.

According to a study by Accenture, 50% of customers expect to be able to place an order online and pick it up in-store. Customers want to be able to see their purchase and resource search history, regardless of which device they use.

To facilitate the expectations of a complete omnichannel integration, brands need to eliminate data silos with complete back-end integration. To learn more about the importance of integrating data silos, check out our article: You Won’t Believe How Data Silos Are Killing Your Business.

That wraps up part one of our two-part series on Omnichannel Experience Best Practices. Check back on Thursday, October 24, 2017, for part two! In the meantime, follow us on Twitter @VeridayHQ or LinkedIn!

3 Essential Elements of the Best Omnichannel Experiences


At Veriday, we recognize the value of an excellent customer experience. Our digital marketing platform, Digital Agent, helps financial agents offer an excellent, omnichannel experience to their customers and audience alike. Today, we will examine the three main elements of an omnichannel experience. An omnichannel experience means users can interact with your business however they want. This type of experience gives marketers in-depth insights on their customers, leading marketers to be more effective at content marketing.

Omnichannel - Liferay

1. Anytime, Anywhere, Any Device

The ability for the experience to take place on any device at any time is more important than ever. End-users should be able to access information at any time, using any channel. Users should be able to log in on their mobile device, browse content on their bus ride home and finish their tasks on their desktop when they get home.

This type of experience benefits customers by reducing inter-channel friction. If the user needs a login to access parts of the website, the information they provide allows them to pick up where they left off. 

The difference between omnichannel and multichannel experiences is that there is true back-end integration between channels. An omnichannel experience provides opportunities to track users across devices to get a holistic understanding of every interaction they have with your brand, adding vast quantities of data to your buyer profiles. The data will help your brand target relevant content to users because you will have more accurate insights.

2. Complete Buyer Profile

The second element that defines a true omnichannel experience is a complete, data-driven buyer profile. Having back-end integration between platforms provides data that will allow marketers to create more accurate buyer profiles.

A complete, data-driven buyer profile will include information such as:

  • What article they read last
  • What time of day do they visit the website
    • Also, what time-zone they are located
  • What forms they have filled out
  • Have they clicked any CTAs?
  • Have they made any purchases?
  • How did they get to your website?
    • Search engine, direct, social media?
  • Whether they read emails and other communications
    • Do they do so in a timely manner?
  • And much more.

This information can be elusive if the technology solution hosting your website (or portal, intranet, extranet or app), does not have the needed analytic capabilities built-in the solution. If you can access and analyze the rich data provided by multiple sources, your marketing team can create and target content at the right members of the audience.

3. Relevant Content

The final element of an omnichannel experience is targeted relevant content. Without content, you cannot add value to the conversation, provide important information to your audience, or influence purchase decisions. Content is the lifeblood of any marketing strategy.

An omnichannel experience provides marketers with insights, gleaned from customer data. Having a cross-section of what content a user has consumed, how long they stayed on particular pages, and how they access the content (e.g. what device? how did they get to that content? etc.) allows marketers to target relevant content to potentially interested audience members.

There are several content strategies that data can help inform:

  • Create content that focuses on topics that your target audience has shown an interest in.
  • Recommend video content to users who frequently access your website with a mobile device.
  • Update content that frequently causes visitors to leave your site.
  • Create demos, tours and other interactive content types with particular segments of your audience in mind.
    • Find common archetypes based on what content they have viewed, what forms have been filled out and whether newsletters have been signed up for.

An omnichannel experience lets marketers be more effective at creating content thanks to data-driven insights provided by cross-device integration.

Why Omnichannel?

Omnichannel experiences are so beneficial because it enables marketers to gain a better understanding of their audience and themselves. Firstly, omnichannel marketing is more successful than single-channel campaigns. In a survey of more than 1,000 businesses, InfoTrends documented that the more channels used in a given campaign, the more effective the message.

Secondly, it gives marketers the ability to gauge the strengths and weaknesses of their marketing channels. Do certain channels consistently provide more leads than others? Are your Youtube videos gaining more attention than posts on your blog? That type of information can help marketers make better decisions and create more effective content.

Thirdly, and most importantly, omnichannel experiences are so valuable because it lets your audience consume content in whatever fashion they want. This improves their experience and increases the likelihood that when that user is ready to make a purchase, they will make it through your business! 

Are you interested in providing your customers with an excellent omnichannel experience? Let us know on Twitter @VeridayHQ or on LinkedIn.

5 Important Facts About Engagement from Mobile Devices


Mobile devices are owned by 2.3 billion people worldwide. The device that is constantly in everyone’s pocket is a fantastic channel for marketers to create engagements. Why are mobile channels such an exciting opportunity for marketers?

1. The average smartphone user picks up their device 85 times per day.

Those 85 views lead to a total of five hours of browsing the web and using apps. That is a lot of opportunities to create opportunities for mobile engagement with mobile ads, branded apps, text messaging and email newsletters.

20% of millennials (aged 18-34) don’t even use a desktop anymore, having fully committed to the “mobile-only” lifestyle. Having their device with them at all times allows people to be more connected, able to be reached with emails, messages, and advertisements at all times.

This connectivity allows marketers to make more timely, location-based offers to their audience, opening up a world of mobile possibilities.

2. Mobile purchases and payments will be worth $500 billion by 2020.

People are increasing the frequency in which they use smartphones to make payments and purchases. According to HubSpot, mobile commerce will command 24.4% of overall e-commerce profit by the end of 2017. It’s projected that in-store mobile payments will cross the $500 billion thresholds by 2020, with 150,000,000 users at that time.

Marketers can take advantage of technology by offering perks, extras or deals for people using mobile payments mixed with a healthy dose of location-based targeting to provide even more offers to the customer in-store to motivate sales.

3. Text messages have an open rate of 98%.

Text messages have an open rate of 98%, with up to 90% of text messages being opened less than a minute after receiving it. This open rate is far higher than the open rate in email marketing. 32 percent of people respond to SMS offers, with texted coupons redeemed ten times more often than traditional coupons.

Marketers can make targeted, timely and personalized offers to prospects through mobile channels. Giving people timely, relevant offers and notifications can improve their satisfaction and lead to more sales.

4. Mobile devices are the most common starting point for online activities.

Mobile devices are the most common starting point for online activities. 65% of users start with a mobile device when searching for information online. Those findings make sense because people are always connected with their mobile device. When a query crosses their mind, they can easily search for answers. As-a-result, Google ranks mobile-friendly websites more favorably than non-optimized sites.

To capitalize on the increasing share of mobile searches, marketers need to make sure their website has a responsive design. A responsive website will detect what device is being used, and automatically tailor the content of the site to the specific device, reducing clutter and make the web experience cleaner on mobile devices.  Every website we make with our product Digital Agent is created with responsive design. This article provides fantastic information on the importance of responsive design.

5. People consume an average of 86 minutes of mobile content per day.

There are many ways people can consume content on mobile devices. Apps, mobile-friendly websites, email, text messages and social media provide channels for consumers to access and share content. People consume an average of 86 minutes of content per day on mobile devices.

There are several things that need to be considered to ensure content is successful.

  1. It has to look good on a small screen
  2. The content should be “light,” not requiring a significant amount of time to consume
  3. It should be highly shareable, existing either in an app or on social media

Youtube videos, short blog posts, content within a mobile app perform better on mobile devices than they do on desktops. It’s an exciting opportunity for marketers to create content that can capture mobile users attention.

In conclusion, it’s important to be aware of mobile channels when creating content.

That’s it, five reasons that mobile channels are important for marketers. If you liked this blog post, and want to learn more about digital marketing, content marketing or technology solutions for marketers, follow us on Twitter @VeridayHQ or LinkedIn.

9 Characteristics of Successful Content

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Creating engaging content can be a difficult task for any marketer. However, there are several steps that you can take to ensure your content experiences the most success possible. To get the best return from the time and resources invested in an attempt to attract customers, try to create each piece of content with these nine points in mind.

  • Targeted

Before you even begin writing, you should know WHO you are writing for and center the content around a topic that will peak their interest. Having a comprehensive understanding of your target audience will allow content to speak to their unique needs and interests. By targeting content at a particular group, you can highlight specific benefits and information that will be relevant to them.

One can target content at their audience by utilizing buyer personas for each segment of their target audience. Also, website analytics can be used to see who is visiting your site and viewing your content.

Half the challenge of content marketing is getting an audience to consume the content. In addition to writing directly to a specific audience, you can use search optimization to make your content more discoverable.

  • Optimized

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a strategy to have your original content rank higher in search results. It is used by individuals and organizations to increase the visibility of their content. It has become so common that an industry of “growth hackers” and “SEO gurus” has developed to help businesses rank higher in search results.

SEO has proven to bring results. Keywords, the quality of the content, how much activity the website that hosts the content experiences, and several other factors contribute to the success of SEO efforts. Another form of optimization is Social Media Optimization (SMO). SMO deals with increasing your business’ visibility and improving your reputation using social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Successful content needs to be written for the audience first, with optimization in the back of your mind throughout the process. You put in the effort to create valuable, high-performing content. SEO and SMO will make it easily discoverable by members of the intended audience.

  • Provides Value

Perhaps the most important question to ask about content is “Does it provide value to the intended audience?” You can provide value in many ways. To provide value, you should educate, entertain or solve a problem your audience might be having. Your content should not only be used to promote your services. It should be created to benefit your audience. If the target audience does not see value in what you are sharing, they will ignore you.

To learn more about providing value through content, take a look at our article: The One Thing You Need To Include in Your Newsletter. Newsletters are just like any other form of content; they need to be a valuable use of the reader’s’ time.

  • Tells a Story

Storytelling is among the most effective methods for communicating information. The way stories speak to the human brain is unique, effectively motivating action centers within the brain. This phenomenon does not occur with any other methods of communicating information. It might not always be possible to tell a story through your content, but the more you can do it, the more value you can add to your content marketing efforts.

To learn more about how to tell engaging stories in your business, our article: The Power of Storytelling in the Business World examines why storytelling can be a great tool for businesses to communicate information to their audience.

  • Educational

Your content should be somewhat educational for your audience. There is little point in simply rehashing information that the user already knows. Content should have the purpose of informing your readers about something they need to know about your product, service, business or industry. You can educate your audience with any content imaginable.

Content written well below your audience’s level of knowledge may offend them, pushing them away from your website and towards your competitors.

  • Captivating

Capturing your audience’s attention is a difficult task, something that many content marketers struggle with on a daily basis. You want to captivate the attention of your readers, so they become engaged with the message. Engaged users are members of your audience who actively pay attention to your content. Those users are “listening” to what you are saying.

How can you captivate an audience? Some tactics go a long way towards engaging your readers. By speaking directly to your audience, asking them questions and using a consistent tone of voice, you can engage and captivate your readers. Content should always aim to grab and hold the attention of an audience.

  • Shareable

Your content needs to find a way to get in front of the of members of your target audience. One way for that to happen is by creating highly shareable content. You need to distribute content through channels where you know you can find your audience. At the very least you should use digital channels where you know your content can get in front of the users with interest.

If your content is flawless but doesn’t get seen, is it as valuable as it should be? Writing content that aligns with your business strategy does not have to be an overly complicated endeavor. Just create a website that can host your content (a blog or resources section) and share that content across various social platforms, email and other relevant forums.

If your audience can find your content, and that content is high-quality, then they will share it with other individuals. Thus, spreading the reach of your content.

  • Persuasive

Regardless of which stage of the buyer’s journey the reader is in, your content should aim to motivate action. If the reader is in the early stages of the purchase cycle, your content should convince them to learn more about your brand (or products/services). If they are in the later legs of the journey, it should persuade or motivate them to take that next step, finally becoming a customer. Target every piece of content towards a particular stage of the sales process with a focus on the beginning and ending stages.

A technique exists called pre-suasion, which means priming your audience to convert to customers using content. This method positions your message so that before you even deliver it,  the audience already agrees. “Pre-suasion” involves using visuals, phrasing, how you order details in the content and understanding why your brand (or content) appeals to customers. The book, Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade, by Robert Cialdini,  examines how effective persuasion does not lie in the message itself, but in the critical moment right before the delivery of that message. Persuasive content can lead to conversions, helping you gain customers and grow your business.

  • Converting

What’s the end goal of content marketing? It’s likely to attract profitable customers to your business. That’s why it’s important for your content to contain a call-to-action CTA. That CTA does not have to motivate a purchase, that is not always appropriate, but a good marketer will always include a call-to-action.

That might mean asking your audience to like, comment, share or retweet your content on social media. The CTA might encourage the audience to visit other resources or to subscribe to your newsletter or Youtube channel. Regardless of what you want to motivate, your content should nudge the audience into the next step of the journey. For more information on creating CTA’s, read our article: 6 Tips for Creating Better Calls-to-Action for Financial Advisors.

If your content has these nine characteristics, and you aim to consistently create content that engages and converts your audience into customers, your content marketing efforts can lead to fantastic success.

Does the content your business produces have any of these nine characteristics? Do you produce engaging content? Have you found success in content marketing? Let us know on Twitter @VeridayHQ! If you thought this article was helpful, check out our eBook: Unlocking Digital: How Financial Companies Master Modern Marketing

Don’t Eliminate Human Interaction in Your Business

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80% of people said they prefer to chat with a human being when doing business with a financial services brand. Brands in financial services should focus on providing best-in-class human interaction to go along with their digital marketing efforts. The best results occur when traditional and digital channels are mixed. 83% of consumers said they prefer dealing with human beings through digital channels to solve customer service issues. That is why chatbots, video conferencing, mobile apps, and online forums have gained popularity over the last five years.

Combining the personality of a human with the efficiency of digital channels will benefit your business by fostering stronger relationships with your customers, increasing brand loyalty.

In addition to the planned human touchpoints, you should always provide clients and prospects with contact information so they can get in touch with a real person. You should provide several channels through which a customer can contact you. Examples include:

  • An email address, attached to a known person at your company.
  • A phone number, with information as to who will answer the phone.
  • An invitation to come down to your office, with office hours provided.
  • An instant chat option to get in touch with an employee right now.

When is human interaction required?

When you are planning your digital strategies, you should plan to include what touchpoints will involve human interactions. Not every situation calls for an in-person conversation. In many cases, an automated email, a push notification or an automated phone call can do the trick.

So how do you know when to include planned human interaction in a touchpoint? One way you can make that decision is by looking at consumer data to find points of significant friction. Use data collected from your content management system (CMS), email campaigns and other sources to find parts of the customer’s journey that could use the human touch.

Is there a point where customers are tentative to continue on their buyer’s journey? That might be a point where a phone call will motivate action. Human interaction might help improve the efficiency of your buyer’s journey at points where people need that little extra push.

Can big data help my business?

Using data analytics to make smarter decisions has already benefitted companies across multiple industries.

According to McKinsey, retailers using big data can increase their operating margins by more than 60%. These are huge improvements to any bottom line, and these improvements are only going to get more significant over time. According to Walker Info, 60% of companies in 2013 placed a lot of emphasis on what customers have done in the past; by 2020, 83% will put their emphasis on what customers intend to do in the future. This shift in how brands are looking to put data to use means that they will have a more accurate picture of what will occur in the future.

In addition to the shift in how companies are using data, they are also looking to increase their capacity to analyze the data. Research shows 80% of data is “dark and untouched,” meaning it’s never actually used to make improvements or changes deemed necessary by the customer. As more data is analyzed, more insights can be found to improve your customer experience.

How can these improvements affect my business?

Adding more meaningful human interactions throughout your customer’s journey will increase the effectiveness of your marketing and sales efforts. Every business has unique clients with individual needs, but some sentiments are common across industries. 67% of consumers feel that service online and via mobile devices should be “faster, more intuitive and better able” to serve their needs.

The difficulty lies in choosing exactly how to weave human interactions throughout your customer journey. What touchpoints should be leveraged? How often should an employee make personal contact with their clients? How can you make people within your business more accessible to your customers? Those are the questions that need to be asked and answered by every business.

Remember, whatever you do, don’t eliminate human interaction in your business. A sprinkling of human touchpoints throughout your digital journey will lead to a better overall experience for your customer. Do you use big data to plan human touchpoints? Let us know on Twitter @VeridayHQ.


How to leverage human interaction to improve digital experiences


In a survey about improving business processes, the improvement that customers requested most from businesses was better human service. Even in the digital age, consumers prefer human interaction and personal experiences.  

 How to leverage human interaction to improve your digital experiences

A key challenge for brands moving forward is finding ways to offer personalized human service in the broader context of an omnichannel engagement strategy. To learn more about this ongoing development, our Marketing Coordinator, Rob Glenn, sat down with Veriday CEO, Marc Lamoureux, to pick his brain about the importance of human interactions in business. Marc has years of experience helping financial services firms improve their customer engagement by implementing more humanized, personal digital marketing programs.

Rob Glenn: When should human interactions be incorporated as part of the overall digital experience?

Marc Lamoureux: I think an intrinsic part of the digital experience is trying to create human interaction. The world is completely digital now. Everyone has access to some sort of device that connects digitally. People still want human connections. Whenever you can integrate a personal connection, whether in the form of content or by associating an individual with that content, it’s a great way to engage. You should do that 100% of the time if you can manage that.

Rob Glenn: What does human interaction bring to a great digital experience?

Marc Lamoureux: It brings that personal touch, which develops trust and loyalty with the customer. Take Facebook as an example. It works so well because it’s a trusted area where you’re connecting only with your friends. You have let them into your world, and that functions as a protected, lively, social engagement system. For business, the process can work the same way. You should be trying to establish those personal relationships with your customers. And if you do it well, you’re going to develop a trusted ecosystem and have a long future with your customer.

Rob Glenn: How would you plan human touch points in a broader digital engagement strategy?

Marc Lamoureux: There are two main activities that need to be completed when planning human touch points.

1. Don’t limit your segments

Think about the maximum amount of engagement you can get with customers, which is one-to-one. You’re reducing your dependence on a broadcast connection model, giving you the ability accurately target your campaigns.

2. People mapping

The second thing you’ll want to ask is: “who can make the best connection with our customers?” Is it someone in sales? A product expert? Is it someone on the service team who the customers have an affinity with? Try to identify those mappings the same way you map content; you can map your people.

Rob Glenn: How can you use data and other by-products from digital marketing to improve human interactions in a meaningful way?

Marc Lamoureux: Marketing departments today spend a lot of time analyzing data and how content and campaigns perform with customers. You can take the same data, and once you associate people with that content and those customers, you can start to identify data trends with your human interactions. You can experiment with the matching of people with customers just the same as you can experiment with matching your content or campaigns with certain customer segments.

Rob Glenn: What are transactional relationships without a personal connection lacking from a customer’s perspective?

Marc Lamoureux: There are some transactions where personal interactions aren’t necessarily important. In banking, for example, making a payment is not a big, important transaction. But a larger transaction, such as getting a mortgage or making a remittance overseas, may require personal interactions. With high-value transactions, where the customer needs support or help, human interactions are very important. You will want to know who you can contact when help is needed.

Content is another situation where human relationships are important. When people are looking for advice or information, they like to know that there is a person behind the content. They want to know who the author is, and what their perspectives are. Associating content with individuals is a great opportunity for businesses to build trust and loyalty with their customers.

Rob Glenn: How can the financial services industry improve the quality of human interactions in the context of their overall omnichannel experience?

Marc Lamoureux: I think if you map out a traditional customer journey and identify how customers go through the process of engaging and buying with you, but also where your own people come in during journey, you will see where your people are engaged with customers in various parts of the journey. That’s going to help you create a better strategy for mapping and planning your human interactions.

The other thing you can do is an audit of your current engagement processes. For example, a lot of organizations have “find us” pages on their websites. When a client wants to engage and arrange a meeting, oftentimes it’s a black box. They don’t know who they will speak with or who will call them back. In our experience, if a financial services organization can associate people with the purchase process or engagement model, they will get better results with customers.

Rob Glenn: How can technology facilitate human interaction?

Marc Lamoureux: Technology, in some way, provides every person with a broadcast medium. Platforms such as Facebook and Youtube have created these one-to-one, or one-to-ten, or one-to-one-hundred type relationships. Technology has created these micro-broadcast relationships all over the internet through digital mediums. I think that same technology principle can be applied to financial services. Instead of a mass media broadcasted marketing campaign, you can start to think about creating more focused messaging, creating one-to-one-thousand, one-to-one-hundred and ultimately one-to-one marketing relationships.

When I think about how technology can be applied to creating better customer connections and more personal experiences, I think of the typical email process for a large financial services organization. If you send an email to a customer from only the brand, with no people attached to it, a lot of people won’t open it, even if there is high-value content in it. If you take the same content and associate it with somebody they know, they are way more likely to open the email. This will give you a second chance to get them to engage with your content. That’s a really good example of a successful strategy of applying technology to create more human connections in your business.


Thank you for reading! If you enjoyed this conversation, please follow us on Twitter @VeridayHQ for more top-notch content about digital marketing and making the most out of digital channels!

Financial Marketers Not Ready for the Future?

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The financial services industry spends $8.37 billion (USD) per year on digital advertising. But with 615 million devices blocking ads worldwide, marketers need to adopt an inbound marketing strategy if they want to improve the success rate of their digital marketing efforts.

Every financial services organization is attempting to become more efficient and effective in their digital marketing efforts. From investing in new technologies to leveraging data to improve personalization, financial services organizations are working to drive more engagement in their marketing campaigns.

Trends in financial services marketing include increasing efforts in developing their brands, utilizing web-based selling, developing interactive content, and doing a better job of targeting individuals using mobile channels. The business goals associated with these marketing trends are to improve their capacity to up-sell and cross-sell while growing their overall client base.

These goals prove that the industry as a whole is embracing the digital age. There are a few difficulties financial marketers face, including difficulties in measuring ROI, an inability to get the most from their data, an inability to efficiently personalize their marketing efforts and overwhelming expectations from upper management. All of these difficulties come coupled with a systematic lack of funding for digital transformation efforts.

How are these difficulties hampering financial marketers? Let’s examine 6 of the challenges faced by financial marketers:

1. Measuring ROI

92% of organizations in financial services believe that measuring marketing performance and proving results are a challenge. As you can see in the graph below, more than half of financial executives believe their organization could do a better job of establishing marketing ROI. This number increases even more when focusing on marketing executives.

Financial Services Marketers Not Ready for the Future

Why do financial service providers struggle to quantify marketing ROI? The answer may lie in the fact that financial service organizations were slow to adopt digital marketing tactics. This late adoption meant that financial service providers are still playing catch up. Especially when it comes to digital marketing analytics.

Even though digital marketing produces an insane amount of data (click-through-rate, engagement, reach, etc.), they are of little interest to those outside of marketing. Non-marketing stakeholders are generally more concerned with ROI and sales. If an activity does not drive revenue, it is hard to justify the expense. Marketers in financial services (and other industries as well), must work to prove their value in dollars and cents.

2. Limited Skillsets and Insufficient Use of Data

These two challenges are very closely related to each other. Many marketing departments in financial services lack the skills required to effectively draw conclusions from data. By no means is this problem solely experienced in financial services. Every industry is facing a similar challenge. To offer personalized experiences to your audience, you need to be able to draw conclusions from data. Data silos need to be broken down, results need to be measured and insights need to be drawn. These activities can only be accomplished if marketing departments have the required data skills, this can be done by hiring personnel with adequate data skills.

Only 11% of organizations in financial services said that data analytics was not a problem. This shows the widespread need for data professionals with robust analytical skills in marketing. Without these skills, marketers cannot draw accurate conclusions about their audience. Without an accurate view of your audience, how can you produce content that speaks to their interests, pain points, challenges, and questions?

These missing skills also factor into why financial services companies struggle to calculate ROI from marketing. The department simply does not have the skills available to calculate these stats. In order for financial marketers to make better use of data, investments need to be made in human resources that can break down data silos and draw conclusions from available data.

3. Lack of Personalization

Personalized marketing is one of the goals of most, if not all, digital marketers. An increasing percentage of marketing budgets in financial services are going towards digital channels. This has made mass media buys a less popular option for marketers. One way to succeed in digital marketing is through producing content that is relevant to your target audience.

Offering personalized content and communications increase the rate of success for content marketing. 71% of respondents cited brand awareness and thought leadership as the most common objectives for content marketing in financial services. Customer retention/loyalty was a close third, cited by 69% of respondents.

The lack of personalization in financial services can be attributed to two main factors:

  1. The first factor preventing greater personalization in financial services is that thought leadership and brand awareness do not have a tangible, easily calculated impact on ROI. Since financial services executives are heavily focused on increasing profits and ROI, content marketing budgets can be difficult to justify.
  2. The second, more systematic reason that financial services marketers struggle to offer personalized content and communications can be attributed to the constraints surrounding regulations. All content and communications from financial service providers must be recorded and pass a compliance review. It does not matter if it is a blog post or direct email. If it is a marketing activity, it must be reviewed for compliance. The delay between drafting communications and gaining approval hamstrings the ability for marketers to personalize communications.

If financial services marketers could pass content and communications through compliance without massive delays, personalized content and communications could be produced and published more effectively.

4. Inability to Effectively Automate 

A major difficulty for marketers in financial services is the inability to effectively automate marketing functions. Marketing automation can be used in many ways and is a very valuable tool for any digital marketer. So why hasn’t automation been used to its full potential by financial services marketing teams?

In financial services, there are many rules regulating communications between organizations and individuals. Regulations are also in place to protect customer data, and to regulate branding and marketing All these regulations must be considered by financial marketers when creating and distributing content. Because of these regulations, marketers may be hesitant to employ automation. The penalties for non-compliance are so high that marketers may not trust automation with following the rules. The risk simply is too high to justify the reward. Another reason why financial marketers might be hesitant to adopt marketing automation technologies are the existing legacy systems. The legacy systems in place at financial institutions might not have the technological ability to automate their processes.

Without the ability to effectively automate certain processes, a limited number of initiatives can be undertaken at once. Automation can improve a company’s ability to:

  • respond to customer requests in real-time,
  • help the company alter details of a program in an agile manner,
  • make scheduling social media posts, emails, and content more efficient,
  • marketing in real time,
  • reactive marketing,
  • event marketing.

5. Overwhelming Expectations, Underwhelming Budgets

It appears that the final, and potentially most impactful challenge that financial marketers face is overwhelming expectations from leadership. Thanks to the increased popularity of digital marketing over the last few years, there are many areas that marketing departments need to quickly improve upon. Financial marketers need to develop skill sets for dealing with data, they need to find ways to quantify their impact on the bottom line, and they also need to revamp their marketing plans to make better use of digital channels.

Since marketing has changed so much, there are many changes that marketing departments need to undergo in order to overcome digital marketing challenges. These changes need to occur in short order, as there is still a “race” to capture digital marketing authority amongst financial service providers. The amount of change that needs to occur relatively quickly has lead to high expectations from leadership.

The graph by The Financial Brand (below), shows the biggest challenges for marketers in 2017.

Financial Services Marketers Not Ready for the Future

The main challenge for marketing departments in financial services is due to budget constraints. The quantity of change that needs to occur in a tight timeframe, along with tight budgets, has lead to some financial marketers feeling overwhelmed. They are simply being asked to do too much with too little.

Takeaways for Financial Services Marketers

To all the financial services marketers reading this, I feel your pain. Due to the increasing ubiquity of the internet, we have seen an unprecedented change in the way goods and services are marketed over the past decade. Because of the complex, far-reaching regulations that affect marketing financial services, this change has been especially difficult for financial marketers.

All the problems discussed in this article are interrelated. You cannot properly utilize your data unless you have the skill set to analyze it and break down silos. If you cannot analyze the data to draw conclusions, you cannot prove the ROI of marketing efforts. If you cannot prove ROI to executives, they will not increase your marketing budget. Without an increased budget, you cannot hire people with the skills to break down silos and analyze data.

It’s a vicious cycle that will be very difficult to break out of. To break the cycle, marketers will need to gain buy-in from non-marketing leaders. The key to everything is proving the value of digital marketing in terms executives can understand: dollars and cents.

Do you want to get more out of your digital marketing efforts? Do you want to expand your content marketing strategy through your affiliate marketing channels? We might have the product for you. Digital Agent is a marketing compliance platform, built specifically for financial service providers. It can help your agent network create personalized content that can be easily approved by compliance for publication. For more information, you can go to www.digitalagent.com. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us. Follow us on Twitter @VeridayHQ.

The State of Customer Experience in Banking by the Numbers

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Most people use more than one financial institution for their banking needs. It is easy to see the competition from other big banks, but many financial institutions struggle to quantify the threat from FinTech firms. Customer experience (CX) is a key factor in building and maintaining high customer loyalty, but this might be the area in which big banks struggle the most. If a bank provides an excellent experience to its customers, they will be able to maintain customer loyalty and keep money in their banks. So, how can you improve your CX? You’ll have to ask yourself some questions.

What channels do consumers want to use? What do banks think customers want? Why haven’t you provided the experiences that customers want? Is there a gap between the mindset of consumers and the mindset of banks? Today, we will examine these questions, using graphs from one of my favorite publications: The Financial Brand.

The Financial Brand is a digital publication for banks and credit union. The Financial Brand specializes in marketing and strategy. The publication creates many informative graphics about a wide variety of subjects. In this article, we will examine 7 informative graphs about customer experience (CX) in finance. We will take an in-depth at what insights they give us about the state of CX in banking.

1. Consumer Research Channels

Consumer Research Channels customer experience

This graph examines the channels used by consumers for researching and purchasing different financial products. I find it interesting and informative because of the stark differences in research channels, based on which product is being examined.

Websites, email and physical mail are all used disproportionately when searching for credit cards. What do all of these channels have in common? Perhaps the customer wants information without having to interact with an actual person. This could be the case because credit cards are a less-personalized product (compared to something like a mortgage or larger line of credit), meaning standardized rates may be published online.

Another reason that people may use impersonal channels when shopping for credit cards is because people often carry multiple cards. This is in stark contrast to chequing accounts and mortgages, where most people will only need one at a time. Since they are less of a commitment and you may have multiple credit cards, people won’t feel the need to come in-branch to learn about a product.

Mortgages are the one product that will motivate customers to call a bank. Again, it might be due to the fact that people generally only need one. They are more willing to visit a branch or talk to a real person because a mortgage will radically affect their life. A person is more likely to make personal contact with a financial institution when the solution they are looking for will dramatically change their life.

2. Benefits of Personalized Experiences

Benefits of Delivering personalized experience

This graph takes a look at what bank leaders believe the biggest benefits of delivering personalized experiences and content to consumers are. Using customer data to make the right offer at the right time is far and away the most common benefit. The second leading answer, improving cross-channel CX, shows the importance omnichannel experiences. If your cross-channel experience is slow, or subpar in any way, the customer will choose to get their products or services from elsewhere. They may even decide to do business with your competitors.

Many of these answers relate to communicating with customers more effectively. Aside from providing frictionless services at a lower cost and enabling flexible product/service bundling, improving communication is a key concern. Personalization in FinServ and all other industries will allow brands to communicate relevant information to their customers. This is something that every FinServ provider should aim for.

3. Funding Difficulties

Difficulties getting CX funding

This graphic shows the difficulties that FinServ firms face in getting funding for CX initiatives. Only 28% of firms rated the experience as easy or somewhat easy. The other 72% of firms found the experience difficult.

This speaks to the disillusionment of many FinServ leaders about the need to fund customer experience initiatives. As the competition from FinTech firms heats up, challenger banks become more established and traditional competitors begin to invest in technology solutions, CX will become a key differentiator when it comes to retaining your customers.

Would a customer accept a subpar experience on a social networking site? Would somebody use a very frustrating dating app? Why would they accept poor CX from their financial service providers?

4. Customer Experience Excellence: Perception Vs. Reality

CX Excellence: Perception v. Reality

These graphs really jump off the page for a few reasons. They are so telling of the systematic customer experience issues FinServ has. Over half of retail banks and wealth management firms believe that they provide an excellent customer experience. The issue is that their customers don’t agree.

It appears that leaders in financial services may have missed the mark on their customer experience estimates. Perhaps, the research process needs to be slightly tweaked. How can a firm over-estimate how good an experience they provide by 27%? That doesn’t even begin to approach the 41% overestimation by wealth management professionals. The answers by financial service professionals to this question call for financial institutions to take another look at these problems. 

These graphs show that leaders in financial services need to communicate with their customers better. They show that leaders in FinServ need to put more resources towards understanding their customers. Without putting the effort towards understanding your customers, you will be unable to serve them in a way that meets their needs.

This large a gap cannot be logically explained. Talk with your customers, ask them how satisfied they are with the CX you provide, engage with them. Not only will they appreciate it, but you can begin to bridge the CX gap from a realistic starting point.   


This is the end of part one of our two-part series examining customer experience through graphs by the Financial Brand. Did you find any of these insights surprising? Let us know on Twitter @VeridayHQ. Next, we will be publishing part two, which contains insight into how banks plan on adapting to improve CX.

The 3 Basic Elements for Providing Great Omnichannel Experiences


People today expect an instant and seamless experience, regardless of how they engage with you. That might sound scary, but with the right tools in place, you can provide this type of experience.

Once upon a time, businesses only had to worry about two types of engagement. Your customers would either come into your brick-and-mortar location to talk to a human being, or phone you to ask questions. The customer experience was easy to manage. You just had to be at the office before you opened and you would be good to go.

The introduction of the World Wide Web slowly made the customer experience more difficult to manage. As the internet matured, businesses needed to be aware of what was being said about them online and how their brand was being perceived. This was the beginning (and heyday) of multi-channel (or cross-channel) marketing.

Multi-channel marketing is defined as:

“The ability to interact with potential customers on various platforms. In this sense, a channel might be a print ad, a retail location, a website, a promotional event, a product’s package or even word of mouth. Multichannel marketing is about choice.”

Over time, mobile web searches and applications began to grow in popularity. This added another wrinkle to the marketing equation. Responsive design, applications built for different operating systems, and mobile-first websites began to appear. The landscape was shifting.

Multi-channel marketing involved creating campaigns for each individual channel. This was done so customers were able to take action using the channel of their choice. Multi-channel marketers hope that after a certain number of interactions, the customer will make a purchase through the channel of their choice. Before multi-channel marketing, the consumer’s journey between channels was very fragmented and broken. But marketing and digital have now evolved even more, and some would say that in 2017, multi-channel marketing is outdated. Today, omnichannel marketing is now how nearly every single industry, whether they sell consumer goods or financial advice, market their wares to customers.

Omnichannel Experiences

According to SearchCIO:

Omnichannel (also spelled omnichannel) is a multi-channel approach to sales that seeks to provide the customer with a seamless shopping experience whether the customer is shopping online from a desktop or mobile device, by telephone or in a bricks and mortar store.

If you have never heard of omnichannel marketing, here are a few statistics that prove why omnichannel experiences are now the way to go:

  • The Aberdeen Group has conducted surveys that suggest that the top fifth of firms in terms of omni-channel engagement have a customer retention rate around 89%, while the other 80% of firms have an average retention rate of 33%.
  • 72% of digital shoppers consider in-store experience as the most important channel when making a purchase.
  • Shoppers who buy from a business, both in-store and online have a 30% higher lifetime value than those who shop using only one channel.
  • 64% of customers expect to receive seamless customer service regardless of which channel they are using.

Clearly, expectations have shifted and shoppers want a seamless experience, regardless of their platform of choice. You need to be able to provide those experiences to be successful in your marketing efforts.

Unlike before, you have to be prepared for a much wider variety of engagement methods. Every experience that a customer has with your business, whether it be through mobile, web, social, or in-store, must feel seamless. This connected experience is called “omnichannel”, referring to a single channel encompassing all the previously distinct sales channels.

Omnichannel experience has three basic elements that are always present.

  1. Create a buyer profile using analytics from multiple channels
  2. Relevant content, right when they need it.
  3. Ability to access any information, any time, using any channel

One of the most efficient ways to provide an omnichannel experience is to invest in a single unifying platform such as Liferay.

In case you aren’t familiar with Liferay, it’s an open-source enterprise experience platform, focused on creating enterprise portals, customer facing web applications, and other digital experience solutions. Liferay portals are built on one unified system and is quite easy to add existing systems to your portal or web application.

Here are the three basic elements that need to be met in order to assure an omnichannel experience:

1) Buyer Profile

A platform such as Liferay can make it easier to satisfy the three basic elements of omnichannel. The most important element to satisfy is also the first: creating a buyer profile. Regardless of how the customer accesses and interacts with your content, the data will be stored in the same place. This makes it possible to analyze data and create the buyer profile.

Aspects such as IP addresses, which keywords or social channel brought them to your website, and any personal information provided on forms can be used to create buyer profiles. All of this can be easily tracked and put into the same database, pooling all information about visitors in one dataset. Liferay makes this process very simple since the back-end systems are all interconnected. The data collected will give you insights needed in order to create accurate buyer personas.

2) Relevant Content

Once you have your buyer profiles, you can find out what content would be relevant to those personas and set out creating it. Relevant content is content that appeals to your target audiences; it should help them, address their interests, needs and challenges, and improve their lives in one way or another. It also means providing the information in their preferred type of content whether that be a blog, visual content, podcast, video, etc.

There are many ways you can make your content relevant to the target audience. One way to do this is by researching keywords and following the conversation on social media. Use a social media listening tool to find out what your audience is talking about. A second way you can ensure you are producing relevant content is by soliciting information from your customers and sales team. They will know what prospects and clients are saying, what they need to know and what form they want the content in. Regardless of how you plan your content calendar, you need to produce content for a true omnichannel experience.

3) Access to Information

The final aspect of creating an omnichannel experience is giving visitors the ability to access any information, at any time, using any channel. This part of the equation is essential. It defines an omnichannel experience.

Now, in order for this aspect to be satisfied, you need a system with responsive design. Responsive design allows your website to be accessed and viewed using any device, with any browser. Your website should be functional and aesthetically pleasing on all devices,  from a smartphone to a 200 foot monitor.

Final Thoughts

While we discussed the digital aspects of creating a good omnichannel experience, there are other factors to consider. If you have a brick-and-mortar location, the in-store experience should have the same general feel as your digital experience. A true omnichannel experience crosses over from digital to physical seamlessly.

The difficulties with executing an omnichannel strategy involve collecting and analyzing data to provide a seamless experience, both digitally and in person. The most difficult part of omnichannel strategy involves aligning your channels to form a single stream. A good CMS, with a strong underlying system, can be one of the most effective ways to solve these challenges.

The process of building a true omnichannel experience is never complete. The process is constantly changing based on evolving technologies, trends and behaviours. It’s important to be willing to consistently adapt and tweak your strategy in order to provide the best omnichannel experience.

There are many excellent platforms for creating digital experiences using responsive design. Regardless of the device, there are methods to creates beautiful websites and portals for your business. While there are many products on the market that are meant to improve customer experience, we can fit a solution to your needs. The best one for your business depends on your goals, processes and needs. If you would like to learn more about how technology solutions can help you improve your omnichannel experiences you can contact us here.

So, how are your omnichannel marketing efforts going? What challenges have you faced trying to integrate your systems? Are there any difficulties with implementing an omnichannel strategy that we left out? Let us know on Twitter @VeridayHQ.

As always, thank you for reading. If this topic interests you, check out our other articles on Omnichannel:

Omnichannel is the Key to Optimizing Customer Experiences

7 Reasons to Upgrade Your CMS

3 Keys to a Better Customer Experiences

The 3 Key Areas You Must Improve If You’re A Bank