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Aaron Tellier
Aaron Tellier
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3 Ways to Turn Your Website From a Chore to a Valuable Asset

Financial firms don't often think to apply big-data marketing to their own websites, but readily available engagement and tracking tools can help home pages become more than a business brochure.

A frequently ignored piece of technology is your organization’s website. Is your website more Main Street or Wall Street in terms of the technology and appearance required to drive optimal user engagement? Let’s be honest: As an industry we don’t do a very good job representing ourselves online. Too often websites just become online brochures that must be maintained. With new tools, you can turn that burden into an asset that drives tangible value. These new tools can help make your site more readable, your value more transparent, and actually drive the engagement your organization seeks with your individual and institutional clients.

1. Ensure excellent website experiences regardless of device (desktop, mobile, tablet)
Job one is to ensure your clients can read the content you’ve painstakingly created and had approved by a small army of lawyers and compliance personnel. It’s a fact that more time is spent on Internet-enabled mobile phones and tablets. If the website doesn’t look good on different devices or a microscope is required to read the text, how likely is it that savvy investors, asset managers, or financial advisors will read it? This problem exists because custom mobile sites and total site redesigns are expensive. Transformative Responsive Design is one effective solution, because it automatically adapts your current website content to fit any screen. This can be done at a fraction of the cost of traditional responsive design methods, which involve total site rebuild, and your website can be transformed in weeks, not months.

2. Track prospect and customer site activity through website tagging 
Once your site becomes more accessible with responsive design, you’ll see an immediate increase in readership. That assumes you’re already tracking metrics like page views and unique visitors. Even if website statistics are available, it isn’t surprising that very few organizations actually look at this data, because simple counts don’t provide much value. What would be helpful is to know what kind of person is visiting specific pages on your site. And, this sort of analytics will help you acquire valuable information, not only about your digital customer, but about all your customers -- which can really influence your top-down strategy and view of your target market.

With some simple page tags there are services that can provide literally thousands of variables about your website visitors. Examples of this information include geography, financial, and other demographic variables that can be surprisingly informative. This information can tell you where your engagement efforts are working and can even be used to build models that help you predict where sales investments will be most effective.

3. Develop warmer leads by continuing the conversation online
While it’s helpful to know more about the people visiting your site, the real prize lies in making more connections with your prospects and clients, both online and offline. That’s where various web targeting and engagement strategies come into play. A myriad of new techniques are available today, but some of the most productive ones are re-targeting display, direct-match display, and remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA). The general idea behind these tactics is that interested individuals are identified by behavior or profile and communicated to with your desired message. 

Not many Wall Street or wealth management companies are taking advantage of these more advanced web strategies, because there is an assumption that search and display advertising tactics are mass market activities. We’re talking about targeting specific individuals, so those old beliefs are simply not true. Imagine being able to put your company’s values and brand in front of a trader, C-suite executive, or investment banker, no matter where they are on the Internet. As an everyday consumer, you are seeing this tactic in action as you shop online for goods or services. If retail brands can afford this kind of strategy, think about the possibilities when you’re reaching the right, hard-to-find individuals looking for your products and services -- all for fractions of a penny!

Some of these concepts may seem futuristic, but they are here today, and many companies benefit from the competitive advantage they provide: big data and the power of knowing and responding to who your customer is on an individual level.

Millions are invested in back-office platforms and expensive sales organizations. But by spending a few dollars on your websites and related technologies, you’ll ensure that there is an appropriate and productive representation of your high-value brand online. Such efforts will help more effectively engage your target clients and generate big dividends.

Aaron Tellier has been dedicated to delivering business results in the wealth management industry since 2000. Throughout his career, he has focused on the development of leading customer relationship marketing (CRM), sales, business intelligence and analytic capabilities for ... View Full Bio
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