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David and Goliath: How Small Players Beat Out the Big Banks

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With mega banks continuing to dominate the mortgage industry, the smaller players need a smart strategy for retaining customers and intelligently targeting new prospects. With limited marketing budgets and resources, competing for customers with the big banks is no easy feat.

The marketing game used to involve saturating the market to the fullest extent of a company’s pocketbook. But the game is changing.

The rise of digital marketing and online consumerism
With the evolution of the Internet, there has been a drastic shift in the way consumers make spending decisions. With increased access to online information, customers are empowered to explore and discover products and services on the Web at their leisure. They are an active participant in their own buying pathway, and their specific buying interests can be identified by marketers based on the Web pages they visit, the e-mails they open, and the content they consume.

This means that companies need to take a more targeted marketing approach, focusing on identifying buyers who are in the discovery process, and leveraging marketing automation technology to deliver appropriate sales messages.

The rise of digital marketing and online consumerism has created a new paradigm in which massive budgets aren’t a prerequisite for creating a powerful marketing presence.

Optimizing the use of LOS data
Mortgage professionals are uniquely positioned to leverage this shift, as most have ready access to potential customer data via their LOS. Marketing automation can help intelligently communicate to these potential clients with automated drip e-mail campaigns (known as lead nurturing to marketers) to get higher engagement rates and higher conversion rates for prospective customers.

It’s common for LOS data to be used in postcard mailings or other offline initiatives, but taking a cost-efficient digital approach can generate a higher yield given that consumers are spending more and more of their time online, and paying less attention to print ads, mail, and other forms of traditional marketing.

A new marketing toolset
Taking advantage of this new paradigm requires businesses to adopt a new set of tools and tactics for targeting customers. These tactics can be broken into three distinct categories:

1. Attracting traffic to your online properties (social media, search optimization, search ads)

2. Converting Web traffic into sales leads (Web site sign-up forms and free content)

3. Converting sales leads into sales (lead nurturing and lead scoring)

For smaller competitors in the mortgage industry, this opens up a world of opportunity for winning out against big banks. All it takes to win is the right technology, the right mindset, and proper planning.


Atri Chatterjee is chief marketing officer with Act-On Software, responsible for all things marketing at the company. His previous experience includes senior roles at Symantec, VeriSign, McAfee and Secure Computing. He was also a member of the founding team at Responsys, and an early employee at Netscape. For more information, visit www.act-on.com.

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About Atri Chatterjee