What does the word ‘data’ mean to you? Perhaps it brings to mind basement rooms, stacked floor to ceiling with servers running obscure programmes. Or, endless reams of printed information that a team of very clever people must take weeks to analyse.
If so, it is time to think again.
Instead, when you think about data – you should see your customers and prospects. That’s because, thanks to the ever-increasing technological capability available to you, data provides highly valuable marketing insight and intelligence.
It can tell you who your potential clients are, what they’re interested in, their pain points, and what they need from a product or service. And, by analysing data trends, you can tell which of your marketing campaigns are hitting the spot with your target audience – and which are missing the mark.
Analysing the data you collect gives you the insight you need to power your campaigns.
In short, data analysis gives you the ability to see what resonates best with your target market – both your potential clients and your existing investors – and shows you the right type of content to deliver as they move through the buying cycle.
So, here are the three steps you must take to be able to use data analytics to boost your AuM:
Step One – Align Your Sales And Marketing Teams
All too often marketing and sales work pretty much independently of each other – with little sharing or alignment taking place between the two. But this is bad for business, as the overall aim of each department is exactly the same – to bring in and retain investment. And the more closely aligned they are, the better they can perform this task.
The problem is perpetuated by the data each team looks at and understands. Traditionally, marketing and sales haven’t had much communication in this regard, as both teams only paid attention to the metrics that made most sense to them.
Marketing works with – for instance – data sets such as lead volume by channel, which content is performing best, and which ads are most popular. Whereas sales is about close rates, converting warm leads into closed deals, and the revenue of each account.
And there is often little attempt at joined up thinking in this regard and recognition that all this data is part of the same sales chain.
But, to use data effectively, you need to snap out of this and unite all these data sets. Looking at all data gives a more complete picture of a prospect’s path through the sales funnel. And analysing how all these figures match up can help both teams offer a much more streamlined experience to investors.
In short, sales and marketing teams must find common ground between their data sets, and use it to coordinate their efforts to achieve shared goals.
To do this you must align both teams – through regular meetings, shadowing, secondments and more – so they can dig into all the available data and get a better overall view of the client journey.
Step Two – Become A Multi-Channel Marketer
We live in a multi-channel world and people are accessing information through more digital mediums than ever before. So, the necessity of being able to communicate fluently across a range of different platforms and devices has never been more pressing, as people’s business and personal lives are increasingly being coordinated online.
The marketing tools of the trade – forms and landing pages, email marketing, websites and other channels – allow you to collect and analyse trends in client and prospect behaviour, and create campaigns that can adapt to individual needs.
Rely too much on just one channel, and you may be missing something – so you need to spread your wings.
These are just some of the channels that lend themselves to effective data analysis:
Your website is your shop window, and will be the first interaction prospects have with your brand in many cases. So, it’s an excellent source of data and can give you significant insight into what sort of messages are attracting attention. You can see which pages and links are most popular, and regularly test things to find out what could work better. For example, does a new design increase or decrease bounce rate? Do extra links lead to more engagement, or are they turning people away?
You can also introduce and examine the success of microsites and proxy websites (thought leadership sites set up under another brand name) to boost your marketing efforts.
Landing pages and forms
Landing pages and forms are an excellent way to build a subscriber list. You can tempt potential subscribers with useful information – free financial advice, for example – in return for details such as an email address.
However, how many of the visitors who land on your landing page are actually being moved into the sales funnel? Ultimately, this is the goal of your landing page, so keeping an eye on this metric will help you gauge the effectiveness of your content.
Email is the backbone of most marketing campaigns, and with good reason – as it is such an easy and direct way of contacting people and perhaps the most powerful channel of all when it comes to collecting data. That’s because there is so much you can do with email – it can be used to inform, sell, announce, invite and more. And you connect straight to your prospect’s inbox – so it’s much more personal than other channels.
However, its power and popularity can also be its downfall – as every email you send out is competing with a deluge of other messages.
So, you must be very careful to avoid firing out lots of messages with little purpose – purely to get your name in an inbox as often as possible. Only send carefully thought-out messages that are relevant to your target market. Not only will this help with your selling efforts, but it will also prevent you being marked down as a spammer.
Blogs and thought leadership articles provide you with an excellent means of testing the water in regards to new ideas. Tracking the popularity of these posts – and paying close attention to any comments made – can be hugely beneficial in assessing the appetite that may, or may not, be out there.
Step Three – Dig into Your Data
So, you have your all-singing, all-dancing multi-channel marketing campaigns underway – and as a result, you are bringing in lots of data.
But what are you going to do with it?
You can have as much data as you like, but for it actually to have a use you must successfully draw some accurate analysis.
Data analysis is the powerful weapon you have in terms of forming a detailed understanding of how your campaigns are impacting your goals. And being able to understand your data analysis and use what you’ve found to directly boost your AuM is your ultimate goal.
So, the analysis of data – and application of what you find – must be a core part of your marketing strategy.
But, to do it properly, you must have the right skills and the right technology:
The skill set you need for successful data analysis has two components:
First, you must be able to gauge the success of your campaigns, by analysing what has worked and what has not. You need to take a broad view here, so look at data over the lifetime of your campaign. Where are the hits and misses and what does this tell you about the nature of your content and its timing? Also, make sure you examine and compare metrics across different channels. Did you have more engagement via a landing page, for example, or were email downloads working best for you? (And bear in mind that some channels will be more successful with certain types of campaigns than others).
Secondly, you must be able to implement these findings to enhance future campaigns. You have to look at the information you have gleaned about your investors and prospects – what they like and what they don’t – and use it to craft content that you know is likely to produce a positive response. This gives you a huge advantage over less data-savvy competitor, who will still be sending out ‘hit and hope’ marketing campaigns that rely on hunches and luck, without any thought to analysing past results.
Multi-channel marketing and data collection creates a complex landscape, which makes technology an increasingly critical element of your marketing strategy.
To be able to analyse your data, you must have digital systems to help you. By using a platform such as ProFundCom, for example, you can track engagement stats for your emails. This will tell you who opens your emails (and who doesn’t), the web links they click on, the attachments they download, the events they register for, and much more.
This is exactly the sort of information you need to assess the messages that can work in the future – not just across email, but any channel. You also know which campaigns have been a dud, so can avoid replicating past mistakes.
In addition, tracking email engagement allows to you to send your prospects specific messages. If a prospect shows a particular interest in a certain fund, for example, then you know to send communications based around this fund, or general investment sector.
As technology evolves, so does the needs of investors. And becoming a data-driven marketer will allow you to keep up with these shifting demands.
Gone are the days of the Relationship Manager exerting major influence over investors and the decisions they make. Instead, a new breed of digitally-savvy investors are informing their own decisions through online research and interaction.
So, influence over investment decisions has been taken out of the control of the firms, as investors are increasingly making their own minds up. And this is why data is now so important – as now you can only understand what your investors and potential investors want and need by examining their digital behaviour. Through data analysis, marketers can now gain the insight they need to guide clients and prospects to a favourable investment decision.
And, to do this successfully, you must be pumping lots of content out there through lots of different channels and then not only analysing the results, but using the results of that analysis to make educated decisions about future campaigns.
It may sound daunting, but thankfully there is lots of help out there – analytics software and automated marketing are now fixtures of the business landscape as the marketing industry continues to move towards a digital future.
So, for your marketing to thrive and achieve its ultimate purpose of boosting AuM, you must embrace the potential of data and use analysis to shape what you do for the better.