As financial services firms rethink business models, in some cases downsizing their real estate footprint, the notion of a storefront has transformed significantly. At the heart of that transformation is the “digital storefront”—-where prospective clients engage directly with advisors and agents, and the brands behind them.
We’ve seen consumers seek financial advice from an increasingly diverse range of sources, requiring firms to build scalable, compliant, and compelling entry points that together comprise this digital storefront. Today, that includes social profiles, personal websites and other listings, each playing its own role.
Thrivent Financial has pushed the boundaries on their digital storefronts with a hugely successful digital program that has consistently been the top driver of leads for their advisor network.
Recently, Thrivent’s VP of Integrated Marketing, Nicohle Schluender, joined our CEO, Mike Boese, on the virtual stage of Hearsay Summit to discuss the importance of the digital storefront.
A key takeaway is that although the pandemic accelerated innovation, consumer behaviors were changing well before that. In 2014, Thrivent found that 30% of customers did research online before engaging with them; by 2020, just before the pandemic, 70% were doing so. Fortunately, Thrivent had already started their journey to “digitize trust building” prior to the pandemic, providing their financial professionals with the tools that enabled them to be agile, including multiple platforms to share their professional and personal values in a way that the corporate team could supervise and assist with.
Another takeaway was the focus on integrations to reduce friction. So while social media profiles drive awareness, websites move leads through the funnel, and Hearay Relate—-our compliant texting and voice solution—gets the advisor into a 1:1 interaction quickly, the impact of each of these tools is multiplied when the experience is seamless. To that end, Nicohle and her team have focused relentlessly on a fully-integrated approach. Clients have the choice to opt-in to texting with the financial professional right from the advisor’s website. Advisor website leads flow directly into Salesforce for immediate data and activity capture, and Salesforce opportunities are automatically created when a lead converts. These integrations reduce friction in the customer and advisor experience, while eliminating barriers to connection between clients and financial professionals.
As a result of their connected digital storefronts, Thrivent has experienced a 60% increase in traffic for financial professionals who take advantage of personalizing their sites, and greater than 25% conversion of those website leads into prospective clients.
Congratulations to Nicohle and the team at Thrivent for these stellar results! We’re thrilled to be a part of their journey to digitize trust building with their customers.