For generations, the financial services industry has depended on establishing authentic relationships with their clients. From friendly bank tellers to dependable brokers and financial advisors, building trust is paramount to success in the finance space. Now with the massive shift toward online transactions and the rise of investing apps, mobile banking and chat bots, financial institutions are searching to replicate those same personal connections with clients in a digital landscape.
When the largest financial network in the United States needed to help their financial advisors strengthen their relationships with clients, they came to Spire Digital to find a solution. For over 20 years, Spire Digital has provided strategic consulting, user experience design and software development services to the world’s top companies. Today, Spire is a wholly owned subsidiary of Kin+Carta, a 1,500-person global digital transformation consultancy. As an Acquia Preferred Partner, Spire has helped clients achieve innovation in strategy, technology and culture. When they were approached by the financial network to help architect and implement a new marketing automation platform for their financial advisors, Spire joined forces with Acquia.
Earning Stakeholder Buy-In for Digital Transformation
Effective digital transformation doesn’t happen overnight. For traditional and highly regulated industries such as financial services, digital partners need to demonstrate value and earn stakeholder trust before introducing change. Many of the financial advisors Spire worked with still used tactics like direct mail newsletters to connect with prospects. Nearly 80% of these advisors also believed that their attention to detail and delighting clients through gifts and in-person events gave them a critical competitive advantage.
Before rolling out any new technology, Spire needed to shift the organization’s company culture and prove to the advisors that they could leverage these same personalized experiences though digital channels. Spire surveyed current clients and conducted various user interviews to understand how their customers liked to be contacted. The results of the survey showed that clients actually wanted to receive digital communications from their advisors.
With these findings, Spire set out to find a marketing automation platform that would allow them to create all the custom streams and workflows their client required to support advisors’ offline activities and strengthen advisor-client relationships.
Crafting a Personalized ABM Strategy with Acquia Campaign Studio
During their evaluation of potential marketing automation solutions, Spire saw Acquia Campaign Studio as a great fit for their financial service client’s needs due to its diverse range of marketing capabilities, including account-based marketing (ABM). Spire and Acquia already had an established, successful partnership since 2013 and Spire Digital had seen strong results using Acquia Site Factory and Acquia Cloud Platform.
“When Acquia acquired Mautic [now Campaign Studio], we jumped in with two feet because Acquia Campaign Studio was the first tool we’ve seen that’s built for ABM. We work with a lot of different marketing automation tools, and Campaign Studio has things like lead scoring at the account level, which is really unheard of with some of the other enterprise software,” said Ayla Peacock, Director of Strategy at Spire Digital.
The financial services teams were also excited to leverage Campaign Studio’s impressive built-in ABM capabilities. As the largest financial network in the United States, the organization needed to implement a mix of sales strategies across various territories, company sizes and target brands. Many other marketing automation tools require organizations to connect to an additional ABM tool. This means that if the company needed to shift their ABM strategy, they may need to undergo the expensive and time-consuming process of finding and implementing another solution into their stack.
However, Campaign Studio has native ABM functionality built directly into the platform. The financial advisors had the freedom to build automated campaigns and personalized communications across multiple channels while maintaining visibility across individual contacts at the account level. Advisors could track contact activities with all their accounts to better understand how, when and how often to reach out.
All together, onboarding Acquia Campaign Studio took just two days. After adopting Campaign Studio for their marketing automation, the financial institution and Spire conducted a five-month trial period to see if Campaign Studio could help the firm boost their client referral rates and ultimately increase their assets under management (AUM).
Personalized Outreach Earns Customer Trust
Since launching the pilot program of Acquia Campaign Studio, the financial services network saw rapid unparalleled growth and engagement between the advisors and their clients.
The marketing platform was embraced enthusiastically by the financial advisors as well, due to its easy-to-use and flexible interface that made it simple for the team to create customized customer journeys. The seamless user experience allowed employees to get up to speed quickly and the marketing automation program generated enthusiastic interest from 90% of advisors. During the pilot period, Campaign Studio was used to build and distribute an email newsletter to clients and send targeted digital communications offering financial advice and assistance.
Just two months after the pilot began, the financial services network saw an increase of $3 million in new assets under management. They also saw far more activity and conversions on their digital channels than they had ever predicted. The click-through rate of their newsletter reached 32.8%, a huge win compared to the industry standard of 3 to 8%. The company also saw massive success with an average email open rate of 58.3% (compared the expected 20 to 30%). Advisors also were impressed by the increase in interest and conversions on their campaigns. Form completions were 10x higher than industry standard with an average completion rate of 26.2%!
The financial services network is excited to work together more with Spire to build out new functionality in Acquia Campaign Studio, such as automated welcome and meeting emails, a dynamic and personalized advisor newsletter and a suite of event marketing materials.
As more organizations accelerate their move to digital communications to serve their customers, this financial services success story proves that it’s possible to create meaningful personalization if you’re open to investing in the right strategy and technology.
To learn more ways financial service companies can reap the benefits of open and personalized marketing, check out our follow-up blog: 4 Digital Transformation Strategies for Financial Services to Grow Business and Earn Trust.