Data in Digital Marketing

Aric Faber of SalesPage Technologies at the MFEA Digital Council in June, 2014Data was clearly the thing during last week’s MFEA’s Digital Council in Kansas City, Missouri.

Much of the discussion in the roundtable session focused on how crucial data is to digital marketing and on the many challenges firms face when figuring out how to use digital marketing effectively. Looking back at what’s happened in this arena in the last 5 to 10 years, it’s apparent that firms use digital marketing—and the data associated with it—in more sophisticated ways than in the past. Firms are using the data at hand more often, and with more ingenuity—whether that data comes from social media sites, websites, blogs, or other sources. We anticipate that this trend will only continue as new platforms and more social media sites come into play.

Mike Lundgren, Director of Innovation Strategy at VML—a full-service digital marketing agency—noted, “We don’t do digital, we live in a digital world.” His point? That digital marketing is no longer optional; every company doing business today must engage in digital marketing. Further, while most firms used to measure quantity, many now put the emphasis on quality. Those firms have probably come to realize that frequency does not equal reach. So, in other words, if a firm’s strategy is to meet high call/contact goals, they might be better served to make sure that every call/contact counts. Before a firm can craft a solid digital marketing strategy, the firm needs to aggregate data—only then can the firm act on the data effectively.

My colleague, Aric Faber, also attended this event, and moderated a session on how to leverage digital data in marketing strategies. The panel for Aric’s session included marketing executives from Eaton Vance Management and Virtus Investment Partners; there was a great deal of spirited give-and-take about ways in which data can best be leveraged as part of a firm’s digital marketing strategy.

From my perspective, the key takeaways from Aric’s session and from the roundtable discussion (which took place later), are directly related to what the participants do—or plan to do—when implementing their own digital marketing strategy:

1)      First things first: Especially when getting started, recognize the value to be found in taking a team approach to digital marketing. Involve multiple departments (Compliance, Marketing, Sales) early on to formulate a digital marketing strategy that works and is accepted across the board. It helps to keep the shared goal in mind—which is to increase AUM.

2)      Organize your data: Create best business practices for organizing all of your data, from all sources: CRM; production data feeds; Coates or other market share data; and everything else. Establish a system of record (whether that’s your CRM or another system) to help maintain data quality and also build bridges between Marketing, IT and Operations.

3)      Use your data well: When you consolidate all of your data, you can begin to segment it and cross-reference it with other information (such as that from digital sources and websites) to better identify those who might be most receptive to a given product, message, or meeting. By using these kinds of filters, you not only increase the accuracy of your predictions, but you avoid overwhelming your Sales and Marketing teams with a multitude of raw data which, by itself, isn’t all that useful.

4)      Look ahead: Monitor the interactions between your teams and your advisors, and the impact of those interactions on sales. For example: when you execute a sales campaign targeting a group of advisors, note the sales figures before and after the campaign. Was there a lift in sales activity after 30 days? After 60 days? Consistently measure behaviors against results to determine whether you’re delivering the right message.

We anticipate that data will continue to shape digital marketing strategy for firms; we look forward to helping our clients use this tool to increase sales. To find out more about how SalesPage can help you get the most value from your data, check out our solutions and contact us!