Today, anyone’s best experience with a company becomes an average expectation of any company – an astute observation from Lisa Kidd Hunt, executive vice president of business development at Charles Schwab. Schwab understands that they’re not only competing with their financial services peers; customers are evaluating their experiences with the brand against the likes of Lyft, Airbnb, Amazon and more.
But with a smorgasbord of devices and digital channels to service and engage with clients, delivering a customer’s best experience is an enormous responsibility to be placed on a sales team. The urgency with which firms must meet the ever-increasing client expectations was a key theme at our recent Hearsay Summit here in San Francisco, which united more than 110 big thinkers from the tech hub of Silicon Valley, the insurance hotbed of the midwest, and the financial nerve center of the East Coast to look at the opportunities that the Advisor Cloud presents.
“The brand is the brand is the brand, regardless of what the touchpoint is.”
In her fireside chat with Hearsay CEO Clara Shih, Kristin Lemkau, Chief Marketing Officer of JPMorgan Chase, said that despite her role at the company, she knows she’s not the sole steward of the company’s brand. A consumer’s overall impression of the brand is made up of countless smaller impressions and interactions, from the corporate website to the storefront of the local branch to interactions with company representatives and more. A holistic approach to marketing that unifies corporate and local efforts is crucial to ensure that the general, overall impression is positive.
For firms, the Advisor Cloud enables regional sales teams striving to convert broad brand familiarity into nuanced, meaningful relationships with local clients and prospects.
“Agents [are] tethered to their desks more than they really should be.”
Justina Cho, head of agent digital at New York Life, told the group that there’s still work to be done: Agents are still overly analog, stifling a ton of potential for growth. Even if your employees are world-class stewards of business relationships and client portfolios, they will falter when steeped in legacy processes and systems.
Data that could be informing decisions are trapped on paper, and limited mobile capabilities necessitate long hours at the office and lost hours in the field. With the Advisor Cloud, New York Life is freeing their field to become true agents of the future by “creating an integrated digital marketing platform that weaves together social, email, web and core client data.”
“CEOs and subject matter experts are actually less credible now.”
During her keynote, Schwab’s Kidd Hunt spoke about every company’s most valuable reserve: trust. It can’t be traded on the floor of a stock exchange, or attained in any purely transactional manner, for that matter. What companies can do to build trust is invest in their most credible advocates: their employees that work in the same towns and communities as their clients and prospects. According to an Edelman survey, the average company employee is better equipped to build a relationship than any self-proclaimed expert or high-flying CEO.
Shifting the balance of power from the boardroom to the back office will go a long way to gaining the loyalty (and assets!) all companies crave. For example, Advisor Cloud technology can allow local teams to program their own, regionally tailored marketing campaigns with corporate-approved content, instead of relying on generic, face-less corporate campaigns.
“More data make work better.”
It’s not just about first-party data, but also your third-party data, as Laura Ipsen, senior vice president and general manager of Oracle Marketing Cloud pointed out. Representatives from Oracle, LinkedIn, Microsoft and Facebook spoke in agreement about the data that needs to flow freely from each of their repositories, CRM and internal systems.
Information gleaned from all of these systems help an advisor be more productive by automating rote work and proactively suggesting the next task, according to Dave Miller, global head of Dynamics 365 Service Cloud at Microsoft. Bridging the gap between these disparate systems and freeing up time for nuanced, human work is the Advisor Cloud’s prime directive.
As Jeff Feng, head of data science at Airbnb, concluded in his unique take on the famous Marc Andreessen quote: If software is eating the world, then machine learning is eating the software world. With the Advisor Cloud, data from different areas – the Marketing Cloud, the Sales Cloud, and so on – are brought into one place to ultimately enable easy and intelligent action at the field level. Advisors have never before been better equipped to convert prospects into clients.
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