Do you know anyone still using typewriters rather than computers? The question may seem silly. Just as technology has transformed the typewriter into today’s computer and tablet devices, so too has technology enabled vast change in marketing productivity when an originator takes advantage of Big Data by utilizing a complete CRM system.
For those stuck with old technology, the only way to gauge marketing success is based on how many marketing pieces are sent. Success of their marketing programs centers around mass marketing mailers that goes out to their customers within their LOS. Speed drives the process and they rely on little data, nothing more than names and addresses, to broadly communicate with their customers and prospects on a surface level. This strategy measures quantity of output, not quality of content or response rates from the recipient of the message.
Unfortunately, the results match the effort—low. Using outdated technology, a loan officer can never expect to outshine their more efficient and aggressive competitors and maintain long-term relationships that result in repeat business and referrals. With new technology, the level of effort remains the same, as does the cost. However, results derived from using Big Data will be more effective marketing, and higher response rates and profitability. Using Big Data allows originators to execute one-to-one marketing, which has proven to be significantly more effective than traditional mass marketing. It gives loan officers the strength to finally “put away their typewriters” and adapt to current times.
Fundamentally, most loan officers do not have the tools to manage Big Data, nor should they. Managing Big Data involves translating the 10,000 data fields that is part of each individual homeowner’s record into something that can be implemented, useful and effective for marketing purposes. Making sense of all the data housed in the LOS seems too daunting a task to handle, which is why it is easiest in the short run to send out a speedy mass marketing mailer.
If you think that the true measure of success should be results, not output, you probably need to upgrade your technology. If your objective is on results, then you must be able to interpret your stored Big Data and standardize that mountain of information within your LOS into actionable data that allows for targeted marketing—the right message to the right person at the right time.
Identify your key objectives and match them to your key audiences
Loan officers should begin any marketing campaign identifying the actual objectives and the audience they are looking to reach. For instance, when marketing to past customers, loan officers should measure success by customer retention and focus on how many repeat deals were generated from past borrowers. A complete CRM intelligently stores this data and can readily supply these metrics. Referrals from past customers should also be tracked and reported. When marketing to prospects, loan officers should measure success by conversion rates, with clear reporting to illustrate the impact of marketing collateral on results.
The biggest issue loan officers face is that while they generally know what they are trying to accomplish, they do not know how to measure it. Their dated technology may support execution, but it does not support measurement. They have no way of knowing whether their marketing campaigns are achieving the most desirable results, which is costly and counterproductive. Loan officers also need an updated system that compares results to their peers and the industry at large. By measuring results, loan originators can decipher exactly what worked well in their marketing efforts and identify areas where they can improve. From there, they can develop a highly focused and strategic marketing action plan.
Assessing the difference between Little Data vs. Big Data
Loan officers with typewriters—or archaic, incomplete CRM systems using only mass marketing—use little data, which relies solely on the borrower’s contact information, for their marketing purposes. Loan officers with computers—or complete CRM systems using one-to-one marketing—use Big Data. This leverages the relevant aspects of that particular borrower at a granular level to create messaging customized to reflect the recipient’s individual circumstances. This includes picking out the details of their mortgage and financial situation. Big Data also weighs in the current market conditions including interest rates, loan products or changing regulations that impact the borrower. A loan officer who demonstrates his or her commitment to monitoring the mortgage market for money-saving opportunities for the customer will win that customer’s loyalty for the long term. Mass marketing “Happy Thanksgiving” cards do not have the same effect in creating a personal and meaningful connection.
In order to make the transition from typewriters to computers, or incomplete CRMs to complete CRMs, loan officers must position themselves as counselors to their customers even after the sale and discuss how they will continue to manage the loan in the future. To make such a heavy promise, the loan officer must be able to deliver on his word by ensuring the right technology is in place to handle it. This means having a complete CRM and marketing system that shows various opportunities and how they impact each individual customer. When loan officers have the means to utilize Big Data and develop one-to-one marketing, they will gain customers for life. Then they can finally throw away their typewriters and enter the 21st Century … it’s about time!
Jim Blatt is CEO and co-founder of St. Louis-based Mortgage Returns, a provider of database-driven, CRM and automated marketing solutions for the mortgage industry. He may be reached by phone at (877) 437-9100, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.mortgagereturns.com.