Data, Design and Delivery: The 3 D's of Today's Digital Marketing World
Banking on Content: Your guide to effective corporate bank marketing from FPS
July/August 2017 What we do | Testimonials

"Marketing is changing for the better," says Pat Scanlon, President of the Corporate Financial Group (CFG), the premier membership organization for B2B financial marketing professionals. "Marketing for impact is the mandate now as chief marketers accelerate their contribution to the growth of their companies," shares Scanlon following discussions and debates by members of the CFG at the network's 2017 Spring Roundtables held in New York. Today's marketers influence most of the customer engagement funnel, opening doors to new wholesale banking business and retention of current clients. They're doing this by using the strongest tools in their arsenal: Data , Design and Delivery. It's called Marketing in 3D. Marketing professionals are using data to discover insights that will drive customer engagement, defining the buyer's (and customer's) journey so they can design the ideal client experience and deliver their stories in bold new ways using modern media.

In this edition of Banking on Content, FPS shares the stories of Marketing in 3D with you in a three-part series.

Data, Design and Delivery: The 3 D's of Today's Digital Marketing World

By Pat Scanlon

Marketing for impact is the mandate now as marketers accelerate their contribution to the growth of their companies. Today's marketers influence most of the customer engagement funnel, opening doors to new wholesale banking business and retaining current clients. They're doing this by using the strongest tools in their arsenal: Data, Design and Delivery. It's called "Marketing in 3D."

Marketing professionals are using data to discover insights that will drive customer engagement, to define the buyer's (and customer's) journey so they can design the ideal client experiences, and to deliver their stories in bold, new ways using modern media. They've challenged the status quo, thrown out the old rules, and are now marketing for impact as they make digital transformation happen in financial services marketing.

This article tells stories about the 3 D's as seen through the eyes of members of the Corporate Financial Group (CFG) and guests at the organization's 2017 Spring Roundtables. (CFG is the preeminent membership organization for B2B financial services marketing professionals.) At this event, we shared views from within our CFG community and heard how experts and companies are directing and navigating this current evolution of marketing.

Insights are discovered through data

Yes, but, how can insights be derived from data alone?

Data and analytics are more prevalent today as new tools are helping us gather more information, scrutinize it in greater detail, and generate more hypotheses about buyer and client behaviors. But, even a study conducted by a major consulting firm discovered that more than two-thirds of companies admit that their "big data" analytics do not deliver valuable insights about their customers. Companies need to be creative at using data, developing models that can predict behavior and optimize engagement, and transform the way we work with data.

To generate valuable insights, you need to uncover the underlying value a person (buyer) seeks from you, advised Mack Turner, Global Insights and Marketing Research Executive at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Insights that move customers emotionally can only be determined through a blend of data, analytics and research.

Insights are the secret to successful marketing strategy. So, to delve deeper, roundtable participants were asked: What is an "insight" anyway? How would you know one? Here's what they said:

  • "A statement that makes me pause and say, 'Oh, I didn't think of it like that.'" – Lisa Torneden, MUFG Union Bank
  • "An opinion based on a foundation of research" – Jeremy Rich, Silicon Valley Bank
  • "The 'so what' behind any data point" – Cheryl Pinkard, formerly of Capital One and now Chief Marketing Strategist at Dividend Digital Marketing

Here's how experts in the fields of psychology and logic define "insights":

  • "Seeing what others don't" – Gary Klein, research psychologist and author
  • "Any piece of information that moves a conversation forward" – Gary Klein
  • "Insights happen when new information meets experience." – Jim Figura, former CMO, Colgate-Palmolive

Big-data people say they can tell you all about behaviors, but they can't tell you the motivation for an action. We need to get underneath the data and uncover why people do what they do. This takes deep observational, ethnographic work, and a lot of in-depth interviews. Researchers need to look for patterns, synthesize what they've learned, and link the business impact back to a fundamental value; the latter is where a lot of people go wrong with insights.

Insights work is not easy; it's hard to get to the underlying themes of human behavior. Turner advises marketers and researchers to pull back from an immediate situation and ask, "What is the real issue here that we're trying to solve?" If you can connect a complication that a customer is experiencing to the personal value he or she is really seeking, then you're discovering insights — identifying behaviors, not data points!

Design engagement around insights aligned to the buyer's journey

In modern marketing, journeys replace the traditional funnel as a more dynamic tool to align insights and deliver experiences that matter to each member of a buying team. The funnel is too linear for today's more active and self-directed buying cycles.

Enterprise content strategy expert Kathy Baughman, of ComBlu Chicago, moderated a recent CFG discussion designed to be a guide to mapping out the buyer's journey. Journey mapping is a tool that helps you define the process by which your buyers buy. It brings together in one place what is important to customers at different stages of their journey, the relationship and contact between you and your buyer's organization, the delivery of the experience, and the tool with which to build the internal collaboration to provide a coherent overall experience. The map directs you and your business partners to new business! But, understanding the buyer's journey is hard work and requires you to do some heavy lifting. CFG members at the 2017 Spring Roundtables agreed that resistance can be strong, as expressed by these common excuses:

  • Relationship managers know the customers, so we don't need a buyer's journey.
  • We can call a meeting and create the journey from what we already know about our customers.
  • The only decision-makers are the CFO and the treasurer.
  • Our marketing automation platform will automate the journey.

Journey mapping provides data and insights for a variety of activities, including:

  • a sourcing plan for new content insights for taxonomy and content architecture,
  • a starting point for segment/role personalization,
  • an operational plan for required processes, systems, tools, skill sets and governance,
  • data for account-based marketing efforts, and
  • channel strategy development

Here are some interesting statistics regarding journey mapping:

  • An IDG Enterprise Study reports that, on average, 6.8 people are involved in any B2B purchase.
  • In its "Buyers Journey Best Practices" report, Sirius Decisions estimated that, on average, each persona in the buying process consumes seven or more content pieces.

Creating a journey starts and ends with customer knowledge – that is, the data and insights we talked about in the DATA 3D. Following are the steps required to create a journey:

  • Know the triggers that cause a company to consider your product or service.
  • Know your buyers by their roles in the company.
  • Create a journey for each role for each trigger.
  • Have a well-designed and understood enterprise content strategy.
  • Create metrics that matter, like "commitment," or "high-value engagement" metrics.
  • Select the team based on internal collaboration.

Delivering best-In-class marketing in the digital era

"The buying journey is not linear anymore. Today's challenge is to connect the siloed digital journeys of our customers happening across all channels, all the time," Ana Villegas, Digital expert and B2B Marketing Director for Dell EMC, shared with the Corporate Financial Group.

In the fast-paced environment we live in today, data keeps growing and marketing technology platforms are constantly evolving. Meanwhile, publishers/agencies/brand roles are expanding and customer expectations are more demanding. Despite these challenges, marketers need to avoid getting lost in the noise. They need to  leverage digital marketing to drive a best-in-class customer experience.

Personalization, quality content, content distribution, KPIs, collaboration, all-digital all the time, talent, innovation and continuous learning are all critical elements of digital success. Here's a peek at how some top digital marketers are delivering on the digital promise. Quoted below are Dell EMC's Ana Villegas; Bill Barrett, Global Head of Corporate Digital Marketing at BNY Mellon; and Ken Fredman, global head of digital at S&P Global Ratings.

Personalized, high-quality, snackable content

Villegas: Let the customer drive the conversation within their own journey and pick where to go.

Barrett: We have savvy audiences with greater expectations. They expect consumer experiences at every touchpoint. They expect a high-quality user experience. So, it's more critical now than ever to put out the right message to the right audience.

Fredman: We redistribute every piece of content five different ways. Content has to be "snackable."

KPIs, collaboration, all digital

Villegas: Think of your KPIs as value-creators, not clicks. We created a new KPI that we call High-Value Engagement, or HVE. It's a compilation of data that includes how many pages a customer visits, the time spent on the site, what was downloaded, and whether social sharing occurred, allowing marketing to create a score. The more engagement, the higher the score. We divided the score by the investment cost and that gave us the cost of one "valued engagement."

Fredman: Service level agreements (SLAs) are still in play, but they only create a client-servicer relationship, not a collaborative business partner relationship focused on continuous improvement.

Barrett: Digital is not a department anymore; it's part of everyone's job. At the end of the day you need everyone working together. It's all digital, all the time.

Talent, innovation, continuous learning

Barrett: Digital marketers require a specific set of skills; the left brain/right brain distinction does not apply anymore. We need people with both an analytical and creative mindset — people who are inquisitive, willing to try new things, and who aren't afraid of failure.

Villegas: Dell launched an internal innovation conference, where ideas are brought to one place, one forum where we can organize, select and budget to explore the top ideas. We encourage groups to look across functions to innovate.

Fredman: To help us learn continuously, we hire interns who are seeing things at university level, like turning news stories into data visualization, or convergence vs. multimedia.

Click the link below to access the full three-part series, which shares the views of CFG members on how experts are directing and navigating the current transformation of marketing around data, design and delivery.


CFG Marketing Insights: Marketing in 3D


About the author

Pat Scanlon is President of the Corporate Financial Group (CFG), the only membership organization for B2B financial services marketing executives. She created the CFG 16 years ago to provide an ongoing dialog to advance marketing in the banking industry. For more information about CFG, please visit and follow Twitter @cfgglobal.

About FPS

We help commercial bank marketers develop compelling, brand-relevant thought leadership that goes beyond enhancing brand awareness; we move our clients from strategy to demand creation to drive real business results.


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