6 ways AMP is nailing financial content marketing

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Life goals, not product
By Susan Burchill, staffer. 7 November, 2017
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In October 2016 AMP announced the latest milestone in their customer-centric business transformation – the launch of a new advice business, based around a “goals-based operating system”. Here are 6 things their goals-based content is doing right.

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1. AMP is putting the customer first

From the outset, AMP’s advice business put the goals of the customer first, with the express intention of helping people “own their tomorrow”. The information and guidance in their Goals Info Centre, Goal Explorer and accompanying articles, videos and online learning modules are based on 29 customer goals identified as potential starting points for customers.

At the time of the launch, AMP’s then group executive, advice and banking Rob Caprioli told media that financial planning had only achieved 20% penetration of the potential market. That realisation led AMP down a research path that saw them engage with customers and advisers, even involving other industries like hospitality, to find out where they were going wrong.

They discovered a vital truth: that customers don’t think in terms of needing superannuation, or life insurance. As Caprioli told Money Management magazine, "What they wake up in the morning thinking about is how do I put my kids through school, how do I buy a home or how do I pay off my home, how do I go about travelling the world, how do I when the time comes be okay in retirement."

So they developed a process that engages customers in terms they understand and on issues they relate to, and their content reflects this. Hallelujah.

2. Using a simple, single-minded, cohesive “umbrella” concept

The Dubs is a big fan of what we call “umbrella” concepts. That’s when a brand does its customer research and comes up with an overarching creative concept that all the content sits under; a handle if you like – one that’s easily articulated, ties a whole swathe of content together to address the customer need, with each piece of the strategy feeding into, and reinforcing the others. In that way, the sum of the parts is greater than the whole.

What AMP did starting in 2014 was to realign its operational model around customer experience, adopting a ‘goals-based’ approach as its central philosophy for advice, and applying that across the board. So when they reinvented their face-to-face advice practices they called them Goals Explorer Centres, with Goals Coaches helping customers identify and prioritise goals, and an ongoing engagement tool to help track their progress. And their digital content supports and integrates with all of the above.

That’s a blue-ribbon example of a cohesive concept.

AMP realigned its operational model around customer experience, adopting a ‘goals-based’ approach as its central philosophy for advice.

3. Writing easy-to-read content

There is a no-jargon policy throughout the AMP content so it’s easily understood by people of all demographics and knowledge levels. Information is also less intimidating because articles are kept short in discrete bundles.

4. Having modules that talk to you

AMP has invested in 20 online learning modules that use an optional audio track to narrate the text, as well as type that animates on screen, video, interactive thought starters, and activities/quizzes to elevate what would otherwise have been your garden-variety text information. It’s all evergreen content based around basic personal finance principles.

Beyond the obvious accessibility benefits for the visually impaired, their approach gives the content a more human tone, and for a younger audience (or even an older audience) that tires of text-only, it gives more reasons to dive in and stay in.

5. Putting the sell at the end

Whether customers are reading articles or exploring their goals, the AMP product or service sell comes after the information. Customers are directed to seek help from an adviser if they want to further explore strategies that will help achieve their nominated goals.

6. Testing before launch

AMP spent two years building their goals-based advice model (and presumably the content that supports it), testing it with advisers and customers.

By all accounts, AMP continues to measure the effectiveness of its goals-based practices and content. In a 2016 report, CEO Craig Meller said, “Through the hundreds of goals-based conversations we have had so far, the goals that come out on top for our customers are retiring right, becoming debt free and fixing their cash flow. These insights are invaluable in responding to the needs of our customers.”

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When Susan was a youngster she didn't know what she wanted to be, but somehow she fell into advertising; then digital was invented so she worked on websites for a while. From there it was a small leap over to TV producing, scriptwriting, promo writing, and some copywriting.... Then when content marketing became a 'thing', she somehow fell into that. It's worked out ok so far - luckily she's always landed on soft things.