What Financial Firms Can Learn From Online Shoe Retailers

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Believe it or not: Many financial and professional services companies could learn a lot from web-based shoe-sellers like Zappos and other retail websites.

Think about it: The last time you checked out a pair of shoes online, they likely “followed” you around the internet and social media for days and maybe weeks after. Additional shoe options popped-up occasionally that you may have been interested in. Every now and then, these ads made you to return to the retailer’s website to look at — and maybe even buy — a pair. (In some cases, their competitors got you to check-out their shoes, as well.)

At the very least, these retailers kept the idea of buying shoes and their brands top-of-mind for you longer than without the promotional prompts.

A financial or professional services product or service purchase typically takes much longer than buying a pair of shoes. It could take eight, twelve, twenty or more touch-points to make a contact or complete a sale. In most cases, these journeys would benefit from the sort of “reminders” that shoe-sellers use to close the deal.

Not only can these reminders be used to get perspective clients to come back and check out a firm again, they can also help propel the sales process forward.

How can you leverage the best practices of online retailers at your financial or professional services firm?

  1. Start by mapping your end-to-end sales processes and the consumer journeys associated with them. Identify all the opportunities you have to communicate with your prospective clients. Make sure you use them to tell a coherent story that moves prospects forward toward a contact or sale. Find key points when you can insert dynamic “remember to buy” messages that will keep your firm top of mind with active prospects. (If you don’t do this, your competitors could and may “steal” your prospects.)
  2. Determine the best way to tag prospects. This will allow you to identify and continue to communicate with them throughout the marketing and sales cycle. Knowing who they are and what they’re doing is the only way you can figure out how to deliver the right messages at the opportune times.
  3. Develop a metrics dashboard. Create a way to monitor metrics across all marketing channels in real time so you can determine the effectiveness of your dynamic marketing efforts and optimize them as needed. That’s how shoe retailers learn what types of images and messages resonate with different types of consumers, along with the right order, time and frequency to deliver them.

If this seems complex, it doesn’t have to be. An agency experienced in building campaigns leveraging responsive marketing techniques can help. Check out Carpenter Group’s perspective on digital marketing. Then contact us to discuss how we can help you develop and execute effective dynamic marketing strategies for your firm.