The power of marketing in financial services is about being able to assist sales and to have the two divisions work in tandem, according to David Master, chief marketing officer at global asset manager Janus Henderson Investors

“Increasingly, our sales organization is comfortable with ours serving up leads,” he said. “That may sound mundane, because isn’t that what marketing does everywhere? But in asset management, that has not always been the case. A lot of times, it’s been ‘keep your nose out of our business’.”

He explained that Janus has been able to create what he calls “interesting moments” that can be delivered to a firm’s sales team, a term he favors over leads. “I think leads sometimes take on a connotation that may be too extreme,” he said, adding that “interesting moments” can be created through advertising, webcasts or emails.

When sales and marketing are aligned closely and jointly executed through a specific campaign, it’s easier to look at the tangible results of that campaign. But firms should refrain from trying to figure out how much of the success should be attributed to marketing and how much should be attributed to sales, because it creates a chasm between sales and marketing.

Proper measurement in financial marketing can be extremely difficult, in part because marketing represents a cost. But combined with sales, which represents more an element of revenue, then the measurement makes a lot more sense, Master added. Looking at marketing activity just by itself is limited.

“As we begin to use more and more marketing automation, we’re careful about how we create stories and criteria that also characterize something as an interesting moment, and then we do hand those over,” Master said. “In that sense we are able to calculate a reasonable measure of what the cost of an interesting moment might have been. And we’re getting more and more data about how many of those interesting moments translate into something real and tangible.”

We are excited to announce that Rachel Tuffney has been named EVP of U.S. operations at Dianomi and charged with leading Dianomi’s North American business growth.

Rachel has spent most of her career in the financial services industry on both the client side (Citi) and the media side. She joins us from Dow Jones (WSJ), where she spent nearly ten years leading teams responsible for the key advertisers such as Morgan Stanley, Citi and State Street Global Advisors. Most recently, she was head of finance vertical sales and accountable for the largest business unit (revenue) across the business.

The U.S. region poses a significant growth opportunity for Dianomi and Rachel will be instrumental in defining both our future product and customer opportunities in that market. Marketers are moving away from third-party cookies and towards brand-safe targeting. We believe that contextual relevance, combined with highly engaged audiences, is a powerful proposition for marketers and where the industry is heading.

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By Rupert Hodson, CEO

Digital marketing is now well into its adolescence, having disrupted traditional media, advertising and publisher models, but its next stage of evolution will surely be advertisers and clients becoming ever more sensitive to context and real value of what they say and do online. Governance I predict will become increasingly significant for platforms, especially in the highly regulated industries in financial services. As anyone who has watched the alarming film “The Great Hack”, there’s ever growing concerns about privacy and “fake news” that is increasingly top of mind.

Our business at Dianomi now works with over 350 business and financial publishers around the world. They rely on us to be served reliable and fair advertisers and we in turn rely on them that the content is placed respectfully and in the right locations on their sites. As such any placed content or advertisements we operate for clients only ever appear in positions that are contextually relevant and that the message sources are quickly identifiable. The future success of placed content is becoming increasingly complex, as the boundaries blur from what was once advertising, to advertorial to news. I believe strong publisher brands have a vital role to play in safeguarding quality and integrity of reporting, narratives and advertising.

Since we founded Dianomi in 2003, we’ve watched some digital developments with growing anxiety. Piers and I have sat on panels worried about “programmatic advertising”, where advertisements are served to people’s own websites, irrespective of where they may be searching and visiting on the internet. Some of this feels innately discourteous, like stalking and although cost metrics might show such ads reach their audience, it is hard not to think that brands risk reputations by ads and messages appearing in the wrong locations. Running investment ads when I am searching say for a recipe on a food site feels just wrong and out of place. And increasingly, the idea of your computer watching your own moves and behaviours disturbingly can feel lacking users consent or permission.

In order to safeguard brands, firms increasingly need to ensure their content is clearly flagged as to the type of communication it is that is being served. Likewise, the objectives of marketing activity operate best when clear; ads can be superb traffic builders to client websites, insightful copy on its own can lift a brand’s credibility. Expecting both results from one activity might confuse the objectives of each.

I think Piers Currie of Warhorse Partners is right that metrics of digital against marketing success still has some catching up to do. The misattributed quote of Albert Einstein: “The computer is incredibly fast, accurate, and stupid. Man is incredibly slow, inaccurate, and brilliant. The marriage of the two is a force beyond calculation” is surely still so true. As we evolve into the next generation of users, understanding the right measures of how we balance both brilliantly will be the recurring challenge.

This article was originally published by Warhorse Partners.

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At Dianomi, we spend a great deal of time analyzing campaign performance data to understand why certain ads perform better. One of the reasons is targeting and the other is creative. Once you have a thorough understanding of who you are targeting, you should optimize your creative for the best performance. (Want more insights? Download our Mastering Native Advertising in Financial Services Report here.)

We evaluate creative variations and make real-time optimizations with placements, so that the advertiser achieves the best performance. Our data shows that the better the headline, the better a native ad performs. The best performing headline that we’ve seen performed at 650 percent more than the average. In native advertising, certainly the headline is the best chance for a quick win to drive more sales. Here are five surefire tips to master your headline creative in your next native ad:

Write for the time poor reader: According to data from Microsoft, people lose concentration after eight seconds. This is why the best headlines are 70 characters or fewer and get straight to the point.

Use High Performance Words: There are 49 words that best perform in headlines. Some of them are:

  • Numbers and years: 5, 7, 9, 10, 20XX: The No. 1….
  • Questions: What, Why, When, Which, Will, etc.
  • Adjectives: Top, Exclusive, Essential and Critical
  • Benefit: Ways, Rules, Tips, Facts, Lessons, Reasons and Secrets
  • Qualify the Audience: Words like Trader, Investor Financial Advisor, Retiree

A/B Test: There is no reason why you cannot and should not test your native ad content. In one situation, we tested two headlines where one headline generated a 48 percent higher click-through rate than the other.

Get into your customer’s head: The key to any marketing is knowing what is important to your customers. A/B testing will only tell you how one ad performs against another. Spending time with your sales team, and understanding what’s important to your customers, should be key to informing any content strategy.

As marketing in financial services moves away from big campaigns and blanket messages, innovation is becoming crucial.

“I’m a big believer that innovation is important in every aspect of everything you do professionally, but particularly in marketing when you think how fast paced the world has become. If you are not moving beyond the status quo, you are going to become irrelevant very quickly,” says Janette Jovic, head of digital and content at PGIM Marketing, adding that her team is now moving towards more agile, test-and-learn, marketing initiatives.

Innovation comes in many different shapes and forms. One aspect of innovation that PGIM has already fully embraced is analytics, and not just as it relates to digital channels.

“We hired a marketing analytics manager that sits within our team,” Jovic says. “I worked with him to develop an executive dashboard that gives us a sense of how everything is performing across all of our marketing efforts, including offline, things like conference engagements, PR. That really helps us to understand what’s working and what isn’t.”

Another way to innovate is to focus on personalization, which she sees as the future of marketing in financial services. Offering tailored content to clients is one piece of the puzzle, but “it’s really about offering them something that allows you to connect on a one-on-one level,” according to Jovic.

“It’s only going to resonate with them if it truly helps them do their job or make better decisions at the end of the day. That is something that, until we can do it in a very thoughtful way that’s true to our brand, we’re not even going attempt it. But we’re thinking about it.”

Jovic explains that as people consume information in different ways, in both their personal and professional lives across industries, they’ve come to expect a certain standard, and PGIM has realized that it has to be there to meet clients where they are.

In a world where everybody can build a global brand through technology and social media, but where brands can also easily be destroyed, protecting a brand’s integrity has become more important than ever.

“You’ve always had to protect your brand,” said Wendy Marcone, senior vice president for global marketing at Bank of America. “I don’t know of a time when that wasn’t true. There’s just a lot more opportunities for your brand to take a hit.”

She explained that large companies need to have checkpoints in place to ensure marketing messages are well understood by everyone. This is especially true at global companies.

“If something works very well in the US market, it may not work in every other market,” she said. “It might be offensive, or insulting, or something they can’t even pronounce. There’s a lot to think about.”

She added that “reputational risk is a big deal and the path back from that sometimes can be long”.

In Marcone’s world, internal marketing goes hand in hand with managing that reputational risk, since hiring people who represent the brand accurately goes along way in protecting it.

“Internal marketing has almost become more important than anything else in certain ways,” she said. “The bankers are really the stewards of the brand. They’re out there all the time with clients.”

Every bank employee must believe in what Marcone and her team are trying to communicate about the brand and the company’s personality. “If it’s not believable to them, why would a client, or a prospect, ever believe it.”

Measuring the success of content marketing is a hot topic in the industry and can be tricky for brands.

“There’s no silver bullet to measuring the effectiveness of a content marketing effort,” said Andrew Goldman, senior director for B2B content marketing at TIAA. But he added that there are several ways to check short-term performance metrics.

He cited engagement, virality, amplification, all “media terms to think about how well was this content moved around amongst the consumer audience”. Research and surveys also constitute “ways to find out how a small subsegment of your target audience reacts to concepts and ideas”.

In addition, social media platforms that have become publishers such as Facebook and LinkedIn are offering tools that are turning out to be useful for content marketers to measure the efficacy of their campaigns.

For example, Goldman explained that LinkedIn teams up with Nielsen regularly to do ad effectiveness tests. “If you’re running social advertisement on LinkedIn, which is leveraging your content marketing dialogue, your core concepts, you can look at how your audience responds to that vis-a-vis a selection of competitors.”