44-2015-05-11_17-06-14b.jpgA few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of presenting at the Net Finance conference in Miami to a packed room of some very savvy financial services marketers. In that presentation, I shared an amazing story of the struggles and success of a recent Markie award winner in the wealth management space.

I won't go too deep into that story at this time (you'll have to come see the presentation in the future) but I would like to share with you the main keys to their recent success. First, for you to fully appreciate what they've done, let's look at where they started and what they've accomplished.

Over the last decade, this company had experienced some respectable success. They managed to become the second largest network of financial advisors in the US. Not bad at all. However, in 2013, they started to see a decrease in organic growth and they were at a bit of a stand still. They purchased Eloqua to kick-start their digital marketing efforts but like so many other companies, in the beginning, it was just being leveraged for batch and blast emails.

In 2014, they regrouped and built their first, multi-touch, activity-driven, nurture campaign. But they didn't stop there. They also revamped their content creation and delivery strategy to the point of being a beacon of best practice content marketing. Additionally, they didn't just use email to reach their audience. They leveraged a true multi-channel approach to connect with advisors via display, email, direct mail and inbound.

And the result? How does an eight-digit increase in pipeline sound? Not impressed? Then how about a seven-digit increase in marketing-attributable revenue? Well, that's what they did. All while improving sales and marketing alignment, improving efficiencies in marketing and improving connections with advisors.

So, how'd they do it?

There were too many components involved in their success to name but there are five big ones that stood out to me.


Commitment to Transitioning to Best Practice, Modern Marketing

Far too many companies pick up a MA platform and just end up doing batch and blast with it. It takes a solid commitment to transition to a modern marketing strategy. The commitment needs to be throughout the whole marketing organization, from the execs, all the way down to the specialists. This commitment is required because when sales managers are demanding the last-minute, ad-hoc tactics, the team can stay true to course and deliver a long-term and far more fruitful strategy for filling the pipeline.

Best Multichannel Marketing Platform on the Planet

As I said in my presentation, saying that they had the best multichannel marketing platform on the planet doesn't have quite the effect it had prior to me working for the OMC but I've been drinking the Kool-Aid since 2005 and I still love the taste. I believe more strongly than ever that a company armed with the tools in the OMC, combined with the power of app cloud partners has absolutely everything they need to achieve modern marketing greatness.

Delivering Client-Centric Content

Prior to overhauling their content strategy, their content was like so much of the content out there. It was product (in this case, their product is their brand) centric and thus garnered very low engagement. To remedy this, they produced over 100 pieces of advisor-centric content. This content was entirely about what advisors cared about and had little to do with their brand. This strategy paid off big time as their content engagement shot through the roof.

Engaging Content Delivery

Even if a company makes a commitment to delivering client centric content, if they keep that content in the old, tried & true delivery methods of white papers and datasheets and the like, they're missing a huge opportunity. With tools like LookBook HQ and Vidyard out there, there's no excuse for doing the flat, boring content presentation and delivery. This company saw huge engagement gains when they moved to these dynamic platforms.

Integration Innovation

This happens to be the title of one of our Markie categories of old but I think it captures one of the keys to success quite well. Much of the success of this particular wealth management company came from the ease of integrating their MA platform with not only their CRM but with several other 3rd party systems such as LinkedIn (formerly Bizo) for display and even direct mail providers like MailLift. Folks in the Eloqua world have been saying this for years: If there's a business use case that the core application doesn't take care of, there's an app for that. And it's so true. Having an easy, seamless integration between all of your marketing systems is in my opinion, a huge component of their success.

What do you think? If you've worked out who I'm talking about here, were there other keys to success that I've missed? Better yet, if your organization has been killing it, what are your top keys? Please weigh in.