Personalising the client experience for asset and wealth managers
When we speak to clients, there’s a common tendency to think that your own challenges are unique to your own organisation. Now that’s not to say that there are some challenges which are very much unique, but the reality is usually that there are a series of common challenges we see pop up time and time again.
- Generating value for relationship or sales managers: different companies will call these functions by different names but in a nutshell, the challenge is the same. How can marketing help the business to succeed and grow by driving and supporting business growth
- Measuring the impact digital has in driving business value: again this isn’t a challenge which is unique to the asset management world. We see marketers from across sectors, throw their hands ups in frustration at this one. Especially in B2B type companies, where there’s a tendency for people outside of the department to comment that all marketing does is provide a nice looking brochure. Nothing frustrates a marketer more than hearing this.
- Producing loads of content but not having any idea if they are effective: this is especially relevant if you produce lots of thought leadership and reports. You have content produced by super smart people, you have a lot of it but you’re not 100% sure if the content is effective, let alone knowing how to report against content effectiveness.
- Differentiate against the competition: this isn’t unique to this space. We’re asked this by almost everyone we speak to. There’s an almost irresistible temptation to look at your competitors for examples of best practice and how you should be doing things. The danger with this, is a creeping sameness across competitors websites. So the question, is how can you be different from the other guys?
- Data held in different silos: this can be a big challenge for many organisations but we see it come up and time and time again within the asset management space where data can be spread across customer portals (which are often built on a separate platform from the website), CRM and the website.
So far I haven’t really mentioned personalisation at all. But we’re strong advocates that organisations can differentiate against the competition by delivering a consistently superior customer experience at every digital touchpoint.
Within the asset and wealth management space, companies will typically have extremely strong direct relationships with clients.
The opportunity personalisation offers, is the ability to replicate the experience online which your clients experience offline.
Where does Sitecore come into this?
Any personalisation strategy will fall down at the first hurdle if you haven’t given any thought to where your data is held and how you can access it.
The potential of personalisation and the effectiveness of Sitecore is tied up in your approach to data integration and set-up. At its heart Sitecore enables you to create two-way connections between where your client and prospect data sit.
The importance of this within the asset management sector lies in the fact that some of your most valuable data points will generally sit outside of the core Sitecore website. Clients portals and CRMs systems are the usual suspects.
Ask yourself where do you hold information on your paying clients? It’s unlikely to be on your website
Econsultancy’s recent report into digital transformation in the financial services sector found that almost half of respondents in the financial services sector agreed that their focus should be on making the client experience as personalised and relevant as possible.
Source: econsultancy digital transformation in the financial services sector
Is this surprising?
There’s a common denominator with firms in the sector who are producing lots and lots of valuable content.
Is it surprising that personalising the digital experience is seen as a key tactic to help get that content in front of the right client at the right moment?
How to define your personalisation strategy
But what are the nuts and bolts of creating your own personalisation’s strategy?
1: Aligning business and digital goals
Where we see personalisation strategies fall down is when the approach is reactive and tactical. For example, the common one we always come across is the desire of marketers to just get stuck in and do something with no thought to how any personalised experience will support your core marketing objectives.
Frankly, I don’t blame people. Sometimes just trying something is the best way to learn what works and what does not.
But I would suggest you should look at striking a balance.
The temptation to just start personalising has one fundamental drawback. What impact did this drive?
To avoid not having an answer to this question we would recommend looking to define which digital actions support your business goals. These could include:
- Driving more people to consume research and thought leadership based content
- Driving prospective employees to the right roles
- Recommending content based on existing clients engagement with offline account teams
2: understand your data
We can safely say that understanding your data is a bug priority step in any personalisation project.
Data can seem scary but it’s really not. When we say understand your data, what’s were really getting at is how can you understand your clients better. Who they are, where they are, how they interact with you, and what do they want from you as a company.
Step 1: build a measurement framework: you could start personalising the experience from day one but what would be the point when the dreaded question will crop up and it will.
So what was the impact?
This is where building a measurement framework comes into play. This will allow you to map out what should you be measuring.
Have KPI’s and objectives that sit across the entirety of the marketing funnel
Step 2: combine web, CRM and client portal data: we talked about this in another post before so I won’t go over the same ground but just to cover off, combining data is important to the long term roll out of a robust approach to personalisation.
We would never advocate that this is where you start. Start small and use the data you have but build a plan for how you will eventually combine different datasets.
Step 3: Always be testing
Every personalisation scenario should be tested against the original variant. The dangers of not doing this are obvious. If scenarios are not tested then you’ll have no way of knowing what effect (positive or negative) which personalisation drove.
I’m a firm believer that when backed up by the right strategy and deployed correctly that personalisation can have a powerful impact on client experiences.
That being said. One thing I hear quite often from marketers.
“there’s so much we can do, I don’t know where to start?”
Which is why it’s super important, to map out over a 6-12 month period, the steps and actions you’ll be taking as part of any approach.
Hopefully, I’ve covered off the importance of starting small and growing. By starting small, doesn’t mean a lack of ambition beyond just getting started.
Like any digital tactic, personalisation adoption requires a plan which should include people, technology and data.
We’ve worked with countless clients on mapping a personalisation strategy against your customer segments and data points. If you’d like to understand how we could support you with building your strategy then get in touch.