Connect with us

Finance

INFORMED DECISION: WHY FINANCE BUSINESSES ARE TURNING TO BUYER INTENT TO DRIVE COMPETITIVE EDGE

Jon Clarke, CEO of Cyance

 

In today’s crowded market for financial products and services, attracting attention is tough. 24/7 access to the internet and web-connected devices have changed the way individuals communicate and engage with organisations and each other, making it harder for businesses to identify who prospective customers are and what they will respond to.

In the same way individuals frequently go online to choose a new consumer product or service, rather than walking into a shop or bank, professionals now automatically turn to the web for fast information and peer-to-peer feedback. This makes it more likely that potential business purchases are influenced by forums, LinkedIn discussions and online reviews or whitepapers than promotional brochures or face-to-face contact with sales reps.

As a result of this increase in online engagement and decision-making, finance businesses have begun to turn to digital tools such as machine learning and data analytics, which are now increasingly within the financial reach of even the smallest organisations. With the right technology, companies are able to identify active buyers in their prospect market (typically just 2-5%), intricately analyse their online behaviour and micro-target them with the products or services that they are actively seeking – significantly increasing customer satisfaction and engagement and, in turn, campaign success and sales conversions.

 

Jon Clarke

Tuning in to buying signals

Despite the huge potential for online engagement, operating in a highly regulated industry, sales and marketing teams in financial businesses still face the combined challenge of ensuring campaigns are compliant before launch, as well as the complexity of understanding who potential target markets are and how to reach them. When the message does get through to a potential customer, by the time someone responds to a lead, it could already be too late: in the B2B buying journey, Sirius Decisions found that 66% of research takes place before potential buyers have even spoken to a person working for a potential supplier.

All of which points to a pressing need for today’s marketing teams to respond to the changing behaviour of customers and reach target audiences much earlier on in the buying cycle. While this might sound impossible without a crystal ball, adopting a data-driven approach such as behaviour-based marketing (BBM) can help to unlock rich insights which help to identify prospects within key target markets that are actively indicating an intention to buy.

 

Getting personal with behavioural analysis

Rather than missing out to a competitor, by reaching the right prospects at the right time with tailored, relevant messaging, businesses are far more likely to gain their attention, increasing the likelihood of high-quality leads, valuable conversations and, ultimately, sales conversions.

For modern marketing teams, understanding customer needs and journeys as their focus has increasingly shifted online has made it essential to look adopt more strategic, analytical methods such as BBM. In a nutshell, BBM is a qualitative adopted data approach that enables marketing teams to get more personal and more targeted in campaigns focused around financial products. Its foundations are in buying intent data – the signals that buyers give off during the online research process – i.e. where they are looking at, what they are looking for, where they are searching for it and who they are engaging with about it.

Using a predictive analytics technology platform, BBM identifies and collates buying signals, scanning relevant keywords from tens of thousands of forums, websites, brochures and other downloaded marketing collateral. Armed with this information, marketers can use the platform to analyse online activities and generate strategic insights into buying intent. The information and insights are then used to inform and create relevant content to help the customer based on their individual requirements, converting early interest into a quality lead.

 

Targeted engagements that drive competitive edge

From niche services to major product launches, achieving a better understanding of who target customers are, what they’re looking for, where they’re looking for it – and where they are in the buying cycle – puts organisations of all sizes in a far stronger position to target and engage customers using the right messaging.

While mass marketing methods will always have their place in marketing communications, as B2B customer expectations and buying journeys evolve, so too must sales and marketing’s approach to engagement. Better-quality leads invariably mean better conversations, more revenue opportunities and a more strategic role for marketing in any go-to-market strategy.

As increased security and confidence brings consumers and B2B customers to the internet for financial decision making, finance businesses will need to achieve a better understanding of their active market and fine-tune their engagements with the customers within it in order to remain relevant. In this fast-changing and competitive environment, the use of behavioural insights and buying intent data could well prove to be a key enabler and, crucially, a key differentiator.

 

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Finance

HOW TO MANAGE YOUR CASH FLOW IN UNCERTAIN TIMES

CASH FLOW

While the world is constantly changing, probably at a faster pace now than ever before, businesses need to manage cash flow and costs to drive success in uncertain times, says Matthew Thorpe, partner at Haines Watts Essex.

 

Managing people and expenses

There are certain costs that you just can’t avoid as a business – to keep your operation running seamlessly, but scrutinise the detail and cut down on any non-essential expenses. Check things like your SaaS subscriptions and look out for costs that auto-renew and if you do cancel, remember to also cancel your direct debits too.

You might want to put a freeze on hiring new people, but ensure that other roles and responsibilities are clearly and efficiently assigned across your team. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has been introduced by the Government to help UK employers access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary to avoid redundancies. Affected employees are classed as “furloughed workers”.

Once furloughed, the employee cannot work or they will not qualify for the scheme. For businesses that perhaps need to go further, there may be some roles they don’t need any more, but businesses should work sensitively with people to manage this.

 

Cash is king

In uncertain times, owner managers will need to keep operations going to ensure financial stability. You should look to manage debt more efficiently by negotiating extended payment terms with creditors. You could also renegotiate loans for longer repayment terms to give yourself a lower monthly payment, helping the business to set some cash aside each month.

 

Daily forecasting

As a business owner, you need to create a cash flow projection and update this regularly if you are to improve things. You can do this using financial information to create a picture of how the business will look in the next 12 months. The forecast needs to show revenue sources and expenses, which will show the ups and downs of business income and can be used to make sure that enough finance is in place.

 

Good house-keeping

While banks and other finance providers recognise that the cashflow of a business may be disrupted by the impact of Covid-19, they are still going to want to see that you are viable and continue to trade in these uncertain times. Make sure your business is organised and don’t let disorganisation cause unnecessary issues. You can evidence this by having detailed forecasts; current order books and projections (as best as possible).

Having instantly accessible, accurate financial information allows you to plan effectively, spot issues before they become problems and manage your money in the most efficient and rewarding way.

 

Embrace technology

Software is now incredibly user-friendly and accessible from anywhere. For a business owner embracing the technology, this means:

  • Invoicing can be done instantly when a job is complete, emailed to the customer with an easy to use link to a payment platform.
  • Comparison websites can automatically monitor and help maintain lowest cost for things such as light & heat, insurance etc.
  • Technology can be used in place of face-to-face meetings. It can also enable them to adapt production lines to different demands.

All of these things and more, used properly, can make managing your business finances quicker, easier and often cheaper.  You will also be able to bring clarity to where your business stands and prepare for the next steps.

 

Continue Reading

Finance

HOW FINANCIAL SERVICES CAN GET TO GRIPS WITH RISING SUPPLY CHAIN RISK

FINANCIAL SERVICES

By Alex Saric, smart procurement expert, Ivalua

 

UK businesses have never been more dependent on their suppliers to help them deliver goods and services to their customers. Be it retail, manufacturing or financial services, suppliers have a vital role to play when it comes to innovation and meeting customer expectations. However, as supply chains become increasingly global, businesses are potentially exposing themselves to more risk than ever before.

This is especially true in financial services. Whether it’s the impact of geopolitical events like Brexit or global tariff wars, supply shortages, security or the businesses impact on the environment, an organisation’s failure to identify and mitigate risk could see millions wiped off its share price, and its corporate reputation left in tatters. Risk can present itself anywhere and at any time, so financial services firms must be ready to address it. However, many simply don’t have the ability to evaluate suppliers for risk factors, leaving them wide open to business operations being hindered, or being slapped with financial penalties.

 

More suppliers, increasing risk

One reason why financial services firms aren’t able to evaluate suppliers is the breadth and scale of today’s supply chains. For example, French oil company Total said in in a recent human rights briefing paper that they work with over 150,000 direct suppliers worldwide. This is just one example of how large and varied the roster of partners has become. Research from Ivalua has found that financial services businesses on average are working with around 3,600 suppliers annually, which is evenly split between UK-based and international partners. That number is expected to rise, with 60% expecting the number of suppliers they work with to rise.

The expanding nature of suppliers is only going to expose financial services firms to more potential risk than ever before, yet 78% say they face challenges gaining complete visibility into suppliers and their activities.

A lack of supplier visibility leaves businesses unable to identify and mitigate against supply chain risk. In fact, almost three-quarters (73%) of financial services firms have experienced some type of risk during the last 12 months. These include; supplier failure (43%), environmental impact, such as pollution or waste (35%) and supply shortages (45%). Supply shortages can be among the most damaging to a business, as seen by both the KFC chicken shortage which closed stores, and the summer 2018 CO2 shortage which caused companies such as Heineken and Coca-Cola to pause production, impacting supply across Europe during the World Cup.

 

Businesses unprepared for the worst

One way financial services firms can better prepare for risk is to ensure they know what to plan for to reduce the impact. However, whilst some say they have a contingency plan in place to deal with risk, many of them are unprepared. Financial services firms admitted to not having comprehensive and deployed contingency plans in place to prepare the supply chain for risk such as; natural disasters (68%), supply shortages (67%), geopolitical changes (65%), environmental impact (63%), supplier failure (62%) and modern slavery (50%).

In order to effectively prepare for these types of risks, it’s vital that financial services businesses fully understand their suppliers, their business environment, global variations in regulations, geopolitics, and a host of other factors. But for many, there are multiple challenges when it comes to gaining this understanding. A prevailing factor is an inability to gain visibility into all suppliers and activity because supplier management data is stored in multiple locations and formats, making insights difficult to access. This leaves teams unable to review supplier activity and assess compliance.

 

Making supplier management smarter

It’s imperative that financial services businesses are able to respond or prepare for supply chain risk. Clearly, much more needs to be done to ensure they have complete visibility of suppliers, especially in an era where regulators can levy heavy fines for GDPR breaches and scandals spread in minutes over social media. These types of risks can be reduced in the future if procurement teams have a 360-degree view of suppliers which will help with contingency planning and risk management.

For example, in the instance of supply shortages, plans could be put in place that identify alternative suppliers to ensure any shortages do not impact end users. This type of supplier collaboration is paramount when it comes to managing and mitigating against supplier shortages. When it comes to regulations, financial services firms can’t allow a lack of visibility to limit their ability to ensure all suppliers are compliant.

To do this, teams must take a smarter approach to procurement that gives complete visibility into suppliers throughout the supply chain. This will allow financial services firms to identify and plan for risk, reducing the potential damage, and ensuring they are working with and awarding business to low-risk suppliers. Supply chain risk is rapidly becoming an overarching concern for financial services firms, but by providing the ability to assess suppliers, they will have all the insights they need to mitigate the impact on business operations.

 

Continue Reading

Magazine

Partner Events

Trending

SOFTWARE SOFTWARE
Business19 hours ago

MAKING THE (ENTERPRISE) GRADE IN LOW-CODE SOFTWARE

By Willem van Enter, Vice President EMEA, OutSystems   We all use software applications every day, all the time. That...

INSURANCE INSURANCE
Top Stories19 hours ago

IS PRIVATE PLACEMENT LIFE INSURANCE THE PERFECT PRODUCT FOR GLOBAL HNW FAMILIES

By Louis Zuckerbraun, Managing Director, GMG Insurance    Everyone wants to know that their family will be okay after they...

FINTECH FINTECH
Top Stories19 hours ago

FINTECH IN AFRICA: WHY THIS MUSTN’T BE A DECADE OF WASTED POTENTIAL

Albert Maasland, Chief Executive Officer at Crown Agents Bank  The current COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented crisis of our times....

CLAIMS CLAIMS
News19 hours ago

NEW TECHNOLOGY PLATFORM REDUCES CLAIMS PROCESS FROM WEEKS TO MINUTES

New platform has potential to cut fraudulent claims by almost half Decrease claims costs by as much as two thirds...

CORONAVIRUS CORONAVIRUS
Business19 hours ago

CORONAVIRUS: FURLOUGHED WORKERS AND WHAT IT MEANS FOR BUSINESS

by Tina Chander, Wright Hassall   c All businesses with a PAYE scheme in place on 28 February 2020, regardless of size...

CAR INSURANCE CAR INSURANCE
Wealth Management20 hours ago

FIVE THINGS YOU’RE DOING THAT ARE INVALIDATING YOUR CAR INSURANCE

Car insurance is a legal requirement for motorists, but many drivers may be unknowingly voiding their policy. Failing to update...

CORONAVIRUS CORONAVIRUS
News20 hours ago

CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC, STORE CLOSURES, SHIFT CONSUMER BUYING BEHAVIOUR LEADING TO ACCELERATED DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION FOR MERCHANTS

Forter Issues First In A Monthly Series of Coronavirus Special Reports  Forter, the leader in e-commerce fraud prevention, today announced...

FINANCIAL FINANCIAL
News20 hours ago

BTON FINANCIAL PARTNERS WITH GENESIS TO AUTOMATE TRADING FOR ASSET MANAGERS

BTON Financial, the independent outsourced dealing desk for asset managers and genesis, the Low Code Application Platform for Capital Markets,...

DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION
Technology2 days ago

HOW TO KEEP DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION ON TRACK AFTER THE PANDEMIC

Ashley Coker, CEO and founder, Slate   Introduction The global coronavirus health emergency has made it abundantly clear how dependent...

DIGITAL BANKING DIGITAL BANKING
Banking2 days ago

THE FUTURE OF CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE IN DIGITAL BANKING

By Richard Billington, Chief Technology Officer, Netcall Over the past five years, the digital banking revolution has had a seismic...

COVID-19 COVID-19
Banking2 days ago

TRANSFORMING BANKING: WHY COVID-19 IS UNFREEZING CONSUMER HABITS

Raj Chakraborty, Senior Managing Director, Publicis Sapient   There is much debate about the impact of COVID-19 on the economy....

LEASE LEASE
Business2 days ago

IS YOUR OFFICE LEASE CRUSHING YOUR BOTTOM LINE? YOU HAVE OPTIONS

By Jonathan Wasserstrum, Founder / CEO, SquareFoot These are unprecedented times for us all. Nobody has a playbook to get...

HOME HOME
Wealth Management2 days ago

THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF TRADERS TRADING FROM HOME

Steve Haworth, CEO of TeleWare Group Banks had hoped to keep their London trading floors open amid the worsening coronavirus...

OPEN BANKING OPEN BANKING
Banking2 days ago

HOW WILL REVOLUT’S MOVE INTO OPEN BANKING AFFECT US?

By Richard Mathias, Senior Technology Architect at LiveArea Despite current uncertainty, the financial services sector is experiencing transformative change year...

AUTHENTICATION AUTHENTICATION
Technology2 days ago

IN CONSUMER BIOMETRICS WE TRUST: AUTHENTICATION FOR THE DATA PRIVACY AGE

Jonas Andersson, Head of Standardization at Fingerprints Data privacy is high on the global agenda. In the wake of data...

COVID-19 COVID-19
Business7 days ago

CAPITAL MARKETS – LIQUIDITY MANAGEMENT DURING COVID-19

Tony Farnfield, Partner at management and technology consultancy, BearingPoint   When “Dr. Doom” predicted the 2008 financial crisis back in...

SONY BANK SONY BANK
News7 days ago

SONY BANK SECURES AND ENHANCES MOBILE BANKING WITH ONESPAN’S MOBILE SECURITY SUITE

App shielding, biometric authentication and additional technologies secure and improve the customer experience for Sony Bank’s mobile banking app  ...

MOBILE BANKING MOBILE BANKING
News7 days ago

KOREA’S KB BANK USES TRUSTONIC IN-APP PROTECTION TO ENHANCE MOBILE BANKING EXPERIENCE

Using Trustonic Application Protection enables KB Bank to dramatically improve the authentication experience for users of its mobile banking app...

Customer Customer
News1 week ago

CUSTOMER CARE TODAY WILL BUILD RESILIENCE FOR FUTURE CRISES

Cathal McGloin, CEO of ServisBOT writes, “The COVID-19 pandemic has created major spikes in calls to financial sector helplines dealing with customers...

CREDIT CARD MARKET CREDIT CARD MARKET
Banking1 week ago

THE CO-BRAND CREDIT CARD MARKET – SINK OR SWIM

By Chris Vinnicombe, VP Financial Services at Acxiom The co-brand credit card market is the result of the partnerships between...

Trending