When it comes to mortgage marketing, many initiatives come to mind. Helping loan officers manage databases; sending out thank you cards and gifts for recently closed loans; creating sales flyers and promotional materials for relationship support/education; generating scripts and conditions for telephone campaigns; and e-mailing customers, partners and prospects with time-sensitive information in an effort to capture more business. All that said, and we still have not touched on the ever-growing opportunities and outlets for social media (as well as the guidelines and preparation required to help broadcast compliant messages in this high-risk environment). Yet what about the enterprise? How does it keep up with all of its team members whom, in many instances, march to their own beat and rely on self-serving marketing tactics to generate new business? More and more, top-producing retail mortgage lenders are embracing marketing orchestration: The methodology of establishing enterprise-wide standards and cross-channel marketing campaigns that, in combination, yield a comprehensive impact on customer loyalty and production. As the mortgage industry steadily contracts and consolidates in an ever-challenging, interest-rate rising economy, you can count on the major banks and mortgage companies to fine tune the art of synchronization. Taking the time and initiative to carefully consider marketing orchestration and the value it will add to the long-term success of mortgage operations will be a major competitive advantage–and perhaps an instrumental conduit to the overall success of loan officer careers.
But how is marketing orchestration measured? Start by assessing existing modes of marketing across the organization in an effort to identify areas for improvement. In order to unveil marketing fragmentation and gaps, an up-to-date hierarchy must be drawn out and analyzed (with details of current systems, services, programs, and products that individual loan officers, teams, and branches use). At a high level, these are the questions to be considered:
1. How many marketing platforms or services are being used across the organization?
2. How many database solutions are loan officers interfacing with to manage contacts and related information?
3. How does the enterprise synch-up and manage data from disparate systems for the benefit of cross-channel marketing and business development efforts?
4. How many points of data capture exist in the customer lifecycle for real-time, decision-based analysis and actionable communications?
5. What level of variation is incorporated into multi-tiered marketing campaigns to satisfy privacy conditions?
6. What unique attributes are steadily employed in marketing materials that consistently deliver compliant and branded communications for high-quality impact and distribution?
7. How can the organization reduce regulatory risk while continuously identifying and managing remediation issues?
8. How can high-impact, rules-based marketing be implemented so that it is consistently delivered at the right time, to the right people, with appropriate lifecycle content?
9. How can third-party relationships be improved to reduce the risk of data breach and inappropriate access?
10. How can loan officers gain 24/7-secure access to their books of business coupled with a cross-channel marketing interface that executes and manages campaigns?
This checklist of questions is imperative to start fine tuning business development initiatives as the industry shifts from refinances to purchases (and to favorably impact production). Here is a guideline on the10 questions–and the reasons why they are important to successfully approach marketing orchestration.
Marketing platforms and services
Although multiple third parties might be used to outsource marketing and the varying service components of CRM, print, direct mail, e-mail and gifts/promotional material fulfillment, multiple vendor relationships can increase the risk of fragmentation and inconsistent messaging, branding, and campaign execution. Identify opportunities to retire legacy systems and to utilize a centralized mortgage-marketing platform for the benefit of the enterprise at large.
Database tools and interfaces
Loan officers rely on varying outlets to manage contacts and related information. Simplifying the data storage and access environment will enhance the opportunity for enterprise-wide, cross-channel marketing success (while also diminishing the risk of data duplication, inaccuracies and overall security in line with 2014 Federal Reserve requirements).
Hosting and managing data and data feeds in support of cross-channel and real-time marketing requires data consolidation across multiple systems. Be certain to define processes that allow the organization to synch-up disparate points (and architectures) of data for the effective and comprehensive distribution of time-sensitive communications and campaigns.
Customer lifecycle analysis
In order to map out effective marketing methodologies and campaigns, it is imperative to determine actionable stages throughout varying customer lifecycles. Communicating from the lead stage all the way through to establishing new clients (and keeping them loyal for years) are examples of actionable stages in the customer lifecycle. Being certain that consistency, quality, and automation are core components of the campaign are essential to enterprise-wide marketing success.
Privacy standards and conditions
How many times do loan officers discuss preferred methods of marketing? True marketing orchestration requires multi-tiered campaigns to serve the numerous conditions of privacy standards and conditions. Therefore, it is important to generate campaigns that incorporate telephone, e-mail and direct mail components. When customers opt-out from any one of these marketing vehicles, an effective campaign will recognize privacy flags in the database–and default to an approved method of delivery. This is imperative to avoid the strict penalties and fines associated with privacy violations.
Compliance and branding
At the top of the list of importance, ensure that enterprise-wide marketing campaigns satisfy ever-rigorous and ever-changing compliance and branding criteria. Utilize technology, systems, and service providers that can manage the necessary compliance and customization attributes for differentiation and impact.
Risk management and remediation
Since the majority of data-hacking and breach incidents occur through third-party relationships, it is important to assess the infrastructure and experience of marketing vendors. SAS-70 is no longer an acceptable attestation standard for third-party controls. Aligning your organization with a marketing firm that is complying with SSAE-16 controls (and that proves capable of satisfying risk policies and guidelines for top-tier banks) is a great place to start. Marketing orchestration can only be effective when stringent regulatory guidelines are met.
Rules-based marketing is a core component of most mortgage environments–but typically it occurs on a manual basis. To empower marketing orchestration, apply rule-based conditions to empower consistency and automation of critical communications and processes. Start by defining campaign goals, map the goals in order of importance, and assign rules to manage the ‘if-then-else’ hierarchy of actionable marketing. Automating repetitive tasks and quality processes throughout the enterprise can substantially improve time management and production.
Even though the advantages of outsourcing marketing to expert third-party firms often improves quality marketing standards, it helps to diminish risk by partnering with providers that are capable of streamlining processes and fulfillment. World-class service providers have established in-house printing and fulfillment centers. Be certain to build in “right-to-audit” clauses in master agreements and contracts in order to steadily audit controls through annual reviews and due diligence processes.
24/7 secure access
Soaring above the clouds with enterprise-wide marketing orchestration requires loan officers and management to have permission-based access to a centralized platform on a 24/7 basis. Web-based applications are becoming the standard marketing solutions for banks and mortgage companies. They enable loan officers, managers and executives to log-in via the Internet or Intranet to gain access to contacts and databases as well as multi-dimensional facets of marketing campaigns. Expertise and guidance with regulatory guidelines, due diligence processes, and penetration tests & audits are just a few examples of minimum third-party requirements to service banks and mortgage companies.
Like any important strategy and dashboard, it is imperative to understand existing performance attributes and conditions while setting out to make improvements. Mortgage marketing orchestration (when implemented effectively) advances organizations by attracting customers for life. Strike up the band and place the Marketing Maestro’s baton in the hands of a management committee tasked with improving overall organizational value for customers and employees alike. And don’t forget to consider the frequency that a guest conductor might appear: The Federal Reserve has brought an exceptional level of regulatory requirements that must be consistently enforced. When auditors get a hold of the baton, you want to be certain that all performers are synchronized and empowered with quality marketing standards that will pass inspections with flying colors.
Mary Beth Doyle is the founder of LoyaltyExpress, leading all aspects of creative and sales initiatives. Nationally, Mary Beth has been recognized by Executive Women International as a top achiever in business. She may be reached by phone at (781) 897-2128 or e-mail email@example.com.