How Manning & Napier Redefined the Financial Services Client Experience

In the financial services industry, customer trust is table stakes. Your clients need to feel they’re receiving personal attention from you — the company that handles their money.

Here at Manning & Napier, an investment advisory firm in upstate New York, marketing used to feel like a money pit, as it does for many financial services firms with unaligned marketing and sales departments. As Campaign & Marketing Automation Manager at our firm, I’ve seen firsthand how it’s possible to revolutionize lead and revenue generation and transform client experience through marketing automation.

We adopted Pardot in August 2014 and we were quickly up and running, identifying prospects, generating leads, and engaging clients like never before. Some of our success includes:

Pardot gave us the digital marketing backbone we needed to create connected customer journeys and engage clients in new ways.

Here are the five steps we took to transform our marketing department through Pardot:

1. Attract new leads with great content.

Content should be the first component of your lead generation strategy. Creating and presenting compelling and relevant content — personalized whenever possible — will attract leads and build credibility for your brand.

When developing content, always consider multi-channel applications. We distribute variations on every piece of content we produce across all of our marketing channels: email, Twitter, and LinkedIn. We also encourage our sales reps to share Manning & Napier content on their personal social media as well. This often leads to major inbound traffic captures!

Our landing pages, which we built in Pardot, help us convert the inbound traffic we get from social media. Displaying personalized, dynamic content on a targeted, specific landing page helps us keep visitors engaged and increases likeliness of form completion.

2. Learn about — and capture — your leads.

Our website is our home base. For us, there’s no better place for lead capturing.

The subscribe form we added to our home page and footer has gotten over 1 million views, leading hundreds of visitors to subscribe. We also added a “start investing now” call-to-action to every single product page of our website.

You should present a multitude of ways for visitors to easily raise their hand and say, “Contact me!” From there, the next step is to learn more about the visitor so you can tailor your outreach to them. Consider implementing progressive profiling — it really changed the game for us.

3. Nurture leads for sales readiness.

Opportunities for continued interaction are key to nurturing leads. Did they download a guide? Register for a webinar? Contact customer service? Don’t miss your chance to engage them further.

When our leads complete forms, we always include a “thank you” and send them an email with links to relevant resources or places where they can learn more. To add a personal touch and get more attention from the email recipient, you can put them on a email nurture program – we see a lot of success by incorporating personal emails. Pardot makes it easy to segment using customer data so you can add the lead to a targeted, relevant program that is appropriate for them based on needs and interests.

Most importantly, you should always give leads a chance to say they’re interested in speaking with a representative when they’re ready! Never let a customer journey hit a dead end, especially during longer sales cycles in the financial services industry.

4. Modernize your sales approach.

After half a century in business, change can be tough for any financial services organization.

When we first started to implement new digital strategies through Pardot, many salespeople were nervous that they might be replaced. However, we quickly put those concerns to rest through internal education and communication about how Pardot’s marketing automation fits into our marketing and sales alignment strategy.

To ensure buy-in from your sales team, educate them on all the valuable insights Pardot can provide. Our sales reps love the “recently active in the last 14 days” reporting feature. Reps can see if users are a prospect, client or former client, and lead scores help sales teams prioritize their efforts. Show your sales team that Pardot isn’t there to replace them — it’s a tool they can use to efficiently and effectively shorten the sales cycle.

5. Treat existing clients like new leads.

With all of the excitement of attracting, capturing, and nurturing new leads, you shouldn’t forget about your existing client relationships. Pardot has helped us meet the changing expectations of our existing clients, so we can ensure that they continue to have positive experiences with our brand.

Using data collected by Pardot, we’ve also been able to identify cross-sell and upsell opportunities within our existing relationships. By actively monitoring clients’ interactions with our content and the information they share in forms — you can maximize the ways you can help your existing clients.

Pardot has allowed Manning & Napier to align sales and marketing teams and reinvent the client experience. Thanks to the power of marketing automation, we’re achieving greater success than ever before. Our teams work smarter, not harder, and our clients enjoy more positive customer journeys — it’s a win-win!

Learn how financial services marketers can achieve success with Pardot:

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