Uriel, Saxo Bank is a pioneering financial entity with regard to social networks and new ways of communicating with its clients. What was entailed in kicking off the entire policy of Community Manager, managing people and winning over clients with this new philosophy?
In reality, it is not a new philosophy, as our objective at Saxo Bank has always been to be the most profitable and professional facilitator in the global capital markets since the bank’s establishment in 1992. This objective is based on a business model that was implemented almost in parallel with the advent of the Internet, and entails our need to adapt to providing our clients with access to the markets as professionally and profitably as possible.
With respect to our marketing practices, the main change that we are facing is what the famous Cluetrain Manifesto decreed in 1999: ‘Now markets are conversations’.
In our industry, this means that when operating and selecting a financial services provider, investors are no longer waiting on the phone or sitting in front of the television absorbing the advertising and messages that are broadcast by banks in one direction. Now sophisticated investors are active and they are on the Internet. They have discovered that they can obtain reports, tools, analyses and opinions from different sources and can use these as support when making investments. They can chat, analyse, compare, be informed and disclose information over the Internet.
This also means that clients themselves often act as communications media in the present day. However, the central marketing focus still has to be clients and their needs, and never just the product, and we shouldn’t be distracted by the ‘new medium’.
The key is about dissolving communication barriers between the company and clients as much as possible, in order to approach them, understand them as much as possible and participate in their conversations.
Embarking on these new policies for community management and capturing clients entailed fundamental changes in our way of working, both internally with our team and with our external partners. Internally, it meant reorganising the strategic team and account executives in order to generate added value directly for clients as representatives of our brand via different 2.0 platforms, including Twitter @salainversiones , Facebook , forums, LinkedIn and our own in-house platform: Sala de Inversión: www.saladeinversion.es. To attain these changes, we had to clearly define the framework for legal action and the brand, based on the values and culture of Saxo Bank.
Externally, we devoted ourselves to doing what we do best: developing and offering the most-awarded platform on the market to our white-label clients, introducing brokers and private investors. In parallel, we made partnerships via alliances with the rest of the main sectoral players, who are part of the conversations and value chain for end clients. Thus, we have made content agreements with our house- brand clients, banks, brokers and specialised industry media to provide the best material available through our different opinion leaders, all of them always focused on online transactions. These agreements are based on the co-creation of value (win-win), so our initiatives are not a threat to other media: absolutely the opposite, they are a possible complement. A good example of this type of agreement is the one we made a couple years ago with Estrategias de Inversión in Spain and with Research for Traders in Argentina. In addition to sharing an FX section with Estrategias de Inversión, we have also exchanged widgets and work together on combining contents. Today there are few media in Spain that provide content on online investment/trading, Forex, CFDs, etc. Thanks to these agreements, we have driven forward the industry and our competitors by offering more high-quality content and participating in the conversations held in online communities. There are already eight financial institutions that actively participate in the project of Sala de Inversión in Spain: Activotrade, Agenbolsa, ClickTrade, Cortal Consors, Dif Broker, Inversis Banco, OreyiTrade and SelfBank.
In a world in which we are drowning in information, knowing what to ignore is as important as knowing what to take into account. Excessive dependency on marketing metrics is suffocating. Today, it is possible to measure all types of indicators, including visits, number of fans, ‘I like’, ‘positive/negative comments’, ‘interactions’, ‘pages viewed’, leads, leads by post, registrations, references, ‘followers’, ‘mentions’, ‘RTs’, ‘Lists’, links, etc. There are also several formulas for evaluating the return on investment: ‘return on participation’, ‘return on service’, ‘return on trust’, etc. And, finally, there are several tools for measuring it: Google Analytics, SEOmoz, technorati, BuzzMetrics, BlogPulse, Omniture…
We have created metrics for TradingFloor with the support of some of the most renowned leaders in the industry, including Brian Solis from Silicon Valley and the social media agency Territorio Creativo in Spain. However, measurements must also be employed as learning tools, not simply tools for justification. Measuring past experiences cannot tell us what may work in the future. To us, the best indicator continues to be upholding a good cost per sign-up / cost per lead, while in parallel generating added value for end clients.
Our aim is to generate win-win-win situations, so that it is enough to know that social networks, in addition to leading to new clients signing up, also publicise our brand, our partners’ brands and offer added-value contents to our existing clients and users.
Go to other sections of the interview:
1. The keys to success in online marketing & brand management in the in the Financial Service Industry click here
2. The launch of TradingFloor, Sala de Inversion and its Search Engine Optimization Strategy click here
3. The Future of Online Marketing in the Financial Service Industry click here
Follow Uriel Alvarado on twitter: http://twitter.com/urielac