Today’s technology helps us address our goals of working smarter, faster and better. But even with the latest innovations, are there activities that Marketing continues to spend too much time on? And are these activities getting in the way of Marketing’s ability to contribute strategically to the organization?
For its new report, Making Marketing Strategic: How Marketing Can Improve Its Strategic Contribution in Mid-Size Financial Institutions, banking and technology consulting firm Cornerstone Advisors surveyed senior marketing executives from 65 mid-size ($1 billion to $50 billion in assets) financial institutions to assess whether Marketing is spending the right amount, not enough or too much time on 15 key activities (download the report, courtesy of Vya, to see the full list).
More than eight in 10 respondents think Marketing spends the right amount of time on budget, marketing department staff meetings and direct mail-related tasks. Roughly three-quarters believe Marketing spends the right amount of time on compliance, business and community event planning, and corporate marketing development and execution.
However, bank marketing executives admit they are not spending enough time on marketing strategy development and planning (57%) and corporate strategy development and planning (57%).
And, only 30% of respondents believe Marketing spends the right amount of time on marketing analytics and analysis, and just one in five thinks Marketing is allocating the right amount of time to data collection and implementation.
When looking to find time to spend on strategy and analytics, it’s not simply a matter of shifting from other initiatives, particularly when the time allocated to other activities is appropriate and necessary. It is possible, however, to find time for the strategic by streamlining other initiatives.
Where are the opportunity areas for streamlining Marketing’s functions? Here are a few you might consider.
Only 22% of the institutions surveyed by Cornerstone said technology impacts sales enablement to a “Great Extent.” Even if you think your sales enablement is functioning efficiently, look closely and you may discover ways to improve. For example, a marketing resource management (MRM) system offering a single platform for accessing marketing and promotional materials could streamline things significantly. MRM also offers the ability to auto-customize pieces with contact information, provide and manage resizing and distribution of corporate ads, and manage online requests for sponsorships, memberships, reimbursements, etc. Now ask yourself again, could you streamline your sales enablement operations?
The Cornerstone survey found that 38% of low-impact institutions spend too much time on compliance management. Only 23% of all institutions say technology impacts compliance management to a “Great Extent.” Yet, streamlining compliance management with technology can enable Marketing to manage disclosures and logos centrally, auto-populate as appropriate, automate approval workflows, centrally manage list opt-outs and create verifiable electronic records. Consider how you might be able to streamline activities related to compliance management.
Systems, Internal Relationships & Organization-Wide Impact
One surprising finding in the Cornerstone report was the relatively low percentage of respondents—across all impact segments— who said they consistently use a CRM system effectively. One high-impact chief marketing officer said, “CRM is really a tool that better supports the salespeople, not Marketing. The biggest impact on our work comes from our marketing resource management system.”
This is supported by one of Vya’s banking industry clients which was able to achieve significant time-saving benefits by streamlining its marketing function. By implementing an MRM system it addressed its efficiency goals, ultimately reducing administrative marketing tasks by 75%.
More on Streamlining Your Way to Strategic Impact
More trends and insights related to Marketing’s role within banking organizations are examined in Cornerstone’s Making Marketing Strategic: How Marketing Can Improve Its Strategic Contribution in Mid-Size Financial Institutions. Download the full report, courtesy of Vya. Or click here to view our recorded webinar, in which Cornerstone Analyst and report author Ron Shevlin and I discuss the report’s findings.