Last week MFEA hosted a webinar featuring Craig Dunham, VP of financial services at Seismic, and Ray Lewis, Global Marketing Communications Manager at Brandes Investment Partners, L.P. The session is entitled “Increasing Marketing’s Efficiency and Effectiveness with Content and Communications Technologies” and its recording is available to MFEA members and non-members. The presentation’s arc consisted of a high-level look at the technology strategies available to those within the industry and a case analysis on the path that Brandes took to improve efficiency and effectiveness.
While watching Craig and Ray’s webcast, especially their Q&A segment, is well worth one’s time, here are five highlights from the event:
- Marketing has a greater influence over the buying process than ever before
As marketing has evolved over the past 25 years from an awareness discipline measured by impressions to one that also includes consideration and conversion with a direct impact on revenue generation, the role it plays in guiding buyers no longer ends with a top-of-funnel handoff to wholesalers. Because of mobile technologies and an expectation of personalization, marketing provides an abundance of information across digital channels like podcasts, blogs, and social media. A buyer’s attention must be captured and held in today’s hyper-dynamic, distracting marketplace; therefore, for the sake of the organization’s financial strength, marketing cannot afford to stop engaging and delighting prospects with the hope that wholesalers will quickly take up the baton and convert.
- No one technology will solve for everything
During his portion of the webinar, Craig emphasized that there is no magic pill for Marketing’s efficiency ailments. Instead of looking for such a mythical solution, firms should be looking at platforms that integrate well with other technologies; they should be asking, “Does this solution play nicely with others?” In order to properly approach the building of this multi-faceted tech stack—one that includes a content hub, marketing automation, wholesaler access, and distribution—stakeholders need to set realistic expectations, understanding the evaluation process doesn’t happen overnight.
- Marketing teams now, more than ever, look for candidates with technical and analytic skills when filling vacancies
In a poll taken during the webinar, 100 percent of participants said they are more likely to pick a candidate adept at operating technology platforms and analyzing data. This result is inherently tied to the above mentioned tech stack that involves a number of different capabilities and vendor solutions like content management, sales enablement, marketing automation, social media, and CRM etc.
- A phased implementation is conducive to adoption
Ray outlined Brandes’ introduction of Seismic to stakeholders, recommending a phased approach led by a project manager. During phase one, all existing static documents and content were moved into the platform, and the firm nailed down what would become its standardized language and branding etc. This was followed by a buildout of dynamic presentations via Seismic’s LiveDocs technology, which entailed training users on all aspects of the capability. Starting with the factsheets and presentation materials, Brandes then phased in the automation of data. The fourth phase is currently underway and involves the establishment of a compliance workflow to ensure all content meets applicable regulatory standards.
- Analytics are key to effective and efficient communication
Brandes leveraged the usage data tracked and stored by Seismic to retire 30 documents last quarter alone because they were not being used. This doesn’t mean the documents may not be reintroduced at some point down the road, but for now, Ray’s team’s time is better spent creating and maintaining pieces that wholesalers need and want rather than refreshing something that has no measurable impact on a client’s experience and Brandes’ revenue.
Taking 30 minutes to view Craig and Ray’s entire webinar is encouraged. Additionally, MFEA has a number of events, digital and otherwise, scheduled over the next several months. At a time of technological upheaval within the industry, it’s absolutely critical to seek out as much educational information as possible from vendors, experts, and peers, ensuring that one’s platform selection and implementation processes are as smooth and successful as they should be.