Today, financial services marketing teams face what seem to be competing needs: They need to reach more local consumers, but still need to maintain control of marketing materials to ensure compliance is met and brand standards are upheld.
That can quickly get overwhelming when you consider the number of messages and campaigns it takes to resonate with local audiences. One corporate team is suddenly tasked with overseeing and approving compliant, consistent marketing materials that are being distributed across all markets and through all branches.
Fortunately, streamlining this process can be simple. We’ve worked with many clients in the finance industry and identified three key insights to consider when executing local marketing campaigns.
1) Give local branches and sales channels marketing options.
One of the biggest sources of frustrations that we hear from our financial services clients is when local teams create and share marketing materials that aren’t compliant or branded. Customizable marketing templates can empower local branches and sales teams to pick the materials and messages that are best suited for their communities.
Creating, managing and sharing these templates can be much easier than it sounds with an MRM (marketing resource management) system. The system houses all materials through a web-based portal. Local teams are given access to sign in and customize materials in pre-approved areas.
For example, branches can update with contact information, latest rates, pick from 2-3 pre-approved headlines, even select whether they want a poster, brochure or postcard. These options help create a win-win for local and corporate teams: Marketing teams are able to maintain control of branded, compliant materials and local branches are able to customize messages to meet the needs of their customers.
2) Automate approvals.
Keeping up with multiple local marketing plans can be a challenge, especially when they’re spread across multiple locations and have options for creating materials, as suggested above. An automated, electronic approval system can accomplish three very important goals:
- Streamlines the approval process – making it easier to track versions, status and materials ready for review
- Ensures materials meet compliance regulations
- Provides an electronic paper trail that helps demonstrate compliance in case of an audit
Our clients often tell us they don’t have time to track down emails, versions or have the ability to follow up and enforce compliance regulations. An electronic, automated approval system seamlessly routes materials to the right contact. Here’s how it works:
- Local branches sign in to the MRM system, customize a branded template and request approval from marketing;
- Marketing receives an electronic notification that materials are ready for review;
- Marketing contacts review, approve or request changes within the MRM portal. Once they’ve completed reviewing, materials can be forwarded to legal for further review, sent back to local branches for changes or notification the materials were approved.
- Once materials are approved, local branches can order printed materials or download final files.
An MRM system offers the unique ability to keep track all email notifications to help in case of an audit. Auditors can review the electronic paper trail to see processes in place that ensure compliant marketing materials were created.
3) Keep 2-way communication open.
Branches and sales teams are an important part of reaching local consumers. Clearly communicate the need and importance of sharing compliant, consistent marketing materials and messages with local audiences.
Also, be sure they have adequate training and support on how to use an MRM system so they effectively take advantage of the benefits it offers. This is typically a standard offering with any vendor’s MRM system. We believe training is one of the most important pieces of any effective system and solution and back up that belief with dedicated teams to help your users feel comfortable with our MRM system.
Finally, remember that communication goes two ways. Be sure to listen to what local branches and teams are telling you. Their feedback can be invaluable in shaping future marketing initiatives. Sometimes, it’s by listening and understanding their problems that you can come up with a solution, and even new marketing initiatives that reach local consumers, deliver compliant marketing materials and stand out from the crowd.
That’s exactly what one of our clients did with our MRM system. You can read more about their results in our case study: The balancing act.
What other issues do you face reaching local consumers? Share your biggest #financemarketing challenges and solutions with us on Twitter @vya_systems.