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Building bridges over troubled waters

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Marketing in the eye of the storm

Finance industry contributor
TL Nguyen – Director of Marketing, NRL Mortgage

NRL Mortgage

 “We are not all in the same boat. We are all in the same storm.” Originally a quote from writer Damian Barr, it’s a sentiment that was requoted a number of times in 2020, and one that continues to hold relevance in 2021. As wealth and health inequalities continue to impact the global population during the everchanging COVID-19 pandemic, it couldn’t be a more accurate statement. Combined with the political chaos and housing shortage in the United States this first quarter, it’s safe to assume that the uncertainty from 2020 has bled into the new year. We’re all traveling troubled waters, and as financial service providers, it’s our duty to build bridges during these difficult times.  

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Both financial brands and customers approached 2020 as a year of uncertainty and it seems we’ve begun 2021 on the same foot as well. With new COVID-19 strains emerging, the general population is feeling a continued lack of stability. Disjointed, uncertain and capricious are ways our customers may feel – during this time, it’s important to remember an economic recession affects minds before wallets.

Writing from the US, with all that is going on in our country this may seem like the worst time to talk about performance marketing – but it’s not. In fact, it’s probably the single most important time (especially during Q1) to review your performance marketing and what it’s achieving. Evaluating cost per lead, cost per application and cost per acquisition are all important KPIs for financial services marketing  – but where financial marketers should be focusing their attention in these unsettled times is finding the gaps where customers most need their support. Of benefit to customers and brands alike, there’s opportunity in providing customers with the support they need. Below are a few ways financial marketers can leverage technology to provide support and instill customers with confidence.

Big data AI // machine learning and big Data to build relationships

It’s no secret that technology is a bridge used to reach customers; however, tracking effective communication and conversion can be tricky. At NRL Mortgage, we utilise big data AI through Salesforce to reach customers based on their activity or lack thereof. We all report on data, such as opened emails, clicks and time spent on website, but big data goes deeper. Deep learning tracks customer behavior by anticipating customer needs and opportunities, resolving support issues before they happen and creating predictive one-on-one journeys personalised to each customer. 

quote]At NRL Mortgage, we utilise big data AI through Salesforce to reach customers based on their activity or lack thereof.[/quote] 

Lead scoring // making sense of your database

Chances are, your financial sales reps haven’t stopped picking up the phone during the pandemic. In fact, I bet they’re making valuable touches even more than before. Lead scoring is an effective model that has allowed our business to organise a list of customers that need to be “touched” based on different actions or previous interactions. Gone are the days of “calling lists” based on time spent in a database. With lead scoring, sales reps are able to make meaningful touches, based on different actions within a sales funnel, thus converting leads. 

Account based marketing // nets vs. spears

For financial service brands that are B2B focused, account based marketing (ABM) is an advantageous model compared to traditional sales funnels. The difference can be explained by fishing with a net (left) vs. fishing with a spear (right). ABM starts with targeting a specific account, target market or audience within a market. Using personalised campaigns to the specific market, ABM takes a holistic approach of marketing that extends beyond lead generation. The customised communication that focuses on specific attributes and needs of the target market are more productive in converting leads to customers. 

Building Bridges Over Troubled Waters

 

While we may not be in the same boat as clients, we’re all navigating the same storm and by utilising the right marketing tools and tactics you can help both your business and customers stay afloat. 

 

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TL Nguyen
TL Nguyen has been a financial marketer for 10 years, specialising in strategic business development, copywriting and web development in residential mortgage marketing. She is a member of the 2020 Forbes Communications Council and director of marketing at NRL Mortgage, a privately-owned residential mortgage company with than 70 retail locations in states across the United States.