As the second week of a new year draws to a close, those recently bound by new year’s resolutions can either take pride in their dedication to positive change or shutter a twinge of shame from their weak will and hapless relapse(s). But, much like in your email marketing efforts, one shouldn’t be deterred by small failures, but should instead be motivated to avoid continually repeating the same mistakes.
Committing to improving your personal habits is never easy, but always worthwhile when things are all said and done, so why not make the same type of commitment to improving your email marketing habits with your clients and prospects in 2017? We spoke with a few asset managers about what theirs goals were in 2016 and what they are now in 2017 and they all expressed similar desires for the new year.
Here are some examples of things you could (and should) resolve to improve over the coming year so you can fondly reflect 365 days from now on how far you’ve come.
Automate the little things
A theme that emerged when talking to asset managers was content marketing’s increasing importance across the industry. A few asset managers we spoke to claimed that in 2016, creating relevant content was among their most important initiatives. This pattern carries into 2017, where they said that content optimization is a priority.
An easy way to optimize your content distribution is to start the year by automating daily, weekly, or monthly content emails. If you find yourself constantly trying to engage and re-engage certain demographics of your contact lists with content-driven emails, then setting up effective marketing automation workflows and/or dynamic content distribution systems is the best way to achieve your 2017 goals.
Setting up marketing automation workflows for as many email processes as possible will not only eliminate the human error and leg work that goes into organizing recurring campaigns, but will also free up your time to focus on creating more valuable, relevant content to distribute.
Once your content is made, you can set up a dynamic distribution system, wherein your clients and prospects can choose which topics interest them and they will automatically be sent content related to that topic, pulled straight from your content library.
Bring your team together
A few of the asset managers we talked to said that one of the reasons they had difficulties starting initiatives was due to a lack of resources. Be it skill or time, lacking resources of any kind can hinder your results or even halt your efforts completely.
In that same vein, asset managers also said the process of gaining buy in and consensus from all parties involved was an additional hindrance to getting the ball rolling on important initiatives. If this is true for you, you’re certainly not alone. From the conferences we’ve attended and those we have spoken to, it is the general consensus that it is extremely difficult to get all parties involved in a financial firm. Since digital initiatives touch so many different departments (tech, marketing, product, sales, compliance, etc.), getting everybody on the same page and moving in the right direction can sometimes feel like herding greased cats.
One solution would be to clearly define the strategy from the beginning, involving all parties in the process and allocating about on third of the project timeline to determining the scope of the project. This will smooth any rifts or difficulties that may have otherwise popped up later in the process.
Another way to get over that initial project inertia is bringing in a third party to help mitigate, organize and supplement your organization could be the exact thing your organization needs to see these 2017 goals through.
Leverage data effectively
Year after year, one of the most consistently popular new years resolution is organizing all the clutter in one’s life. Be it your closet, your desk, or your marketing programs, becoming a more organized person is the clearest path towards becoming a more efficient person so, therefore, figuring out how to rearrange your marketing efforts will help you free up your time to accomplish more in 2017.
Some of the asset managers we talked to claimed that better post-campaign analytics was a top budget item over the next 2 years, which just goes to show how important data is to financial marketers. Year over year there has been more of a desire to have an accurate metric which shows exactly what our marketing efforts are doing so we can know if we’re moving in the right direction. It has become so important, in fact, that firms consistently spend portions of their tight budgets to ensure that their reporting tools are improved in the near future.
The only way to effectively determine how our marketing efforts are making an impact is to effectively manage our multiple sources of data in order to get a 360-degree view. In order to achieve this you must understand where your data lives and ensure that the groups in charge of that data storage maintain it appropriately and begin to connect it wherever applicable.
There are a few tools financial marketers will heavily lean on in 2017 that will help achieve this goal. Marketing automation is certainly one since it utilizes many sources of data such as emails, document distribution, content distribution, etc. and puts them into one workflow which provides a clearer understanding of your recipient’s desires on an individual level.
The other tool that will be used a lot in 2017 is the act of integrating as many facets of your marketing solutions with each other and with your given CRM to centralize as much of your campaign data as possible. Data silos will still be a problem in 2017, and probably beyond, but there are plenty of technology sources available capable of connecting your data. It is up to you, the marketer, to decide what you want to capture and where you want it to live.
Regardless of your 2017 digital marketing resolutions, don’t give up! If you put in the effort, it will start paying dividends in no time. But, if at any time you need any help, you know who to call…