Digital Fintech Asset Management reimagined, from the Demand Side

Yesterday, I read a report that Gen X are ahead of Gen Y, as it relates to their engagement with #Digital #Retail Asset Management. #Fintech and banks jumped ahead from the supply side, each with their individual nuances.

Most are not surprised. It is the slice of the Gen Digital pie after all. A counter school of thought which I subscribe to is: Gen X jumped on the ETF style #robo-advising, in some cases human-‘aided’. OK, super. All the hype has been about Gen Y, the millennial as the demographic and its audience. So, why has this not transpired as projected, a conundrum indeed.

The supply side has been nitpicked, sliced, diced and almost sautéed to a burn with no minimums, rock bottom asset management fees, with an attempt to capture the market share strategy.

This supply side audience is apparently the shale rock, and it has yet to deliver some more oil from the untapped pockets.

On the demand side, the pundits have yet to sit with the behavioral psychologists or the Customer experience guys. Most all are casting the bets on User Experience. I wonder what more can the pundits deliver.

The demand side yet, dares to inquire – Are the #millennials being served with the couture retail asset management fusion flavor which catches and captures their style, their fancy, their persona, their social diet.
The highlighted left side of the image (CC McKinsey) above is seemingly a blank slate.

The opportunity exists. As long as the unmet needs, mostly unidentified and undelivered, are set to a higher bar first, well thought of, well understood and applied, this time with a realistic #personas, experiences alone shall not deliver the forecasts.

Bridging the CMO-CFO divide

With advances in AI, predictive analytics, distilled big data, customer analytics, web and social analytics, the CMO’s role has evolved and at times been misunderstood. Their outstanding achievements in this new digital, customer- centric, data driven, and ROI centric times has not been easy.

Not taking any sides – traditionally, the CMO has been the center point between the external agency of record and the business. To realize $$ for the intangible Don Draper- ish magic of TV, Print, Billboard advertising, with a splash of behavioral psychology thrown in ‘was/Is’ yet not really convincing to rest of the C-Suite.

Pepper in demographic shifts, the new customer experience desired by customers, the emerging touchpoints, the 8 second attention span (a goldfish has a 9 sec attention span) and hypnosis into the equation, it gets even tougher to determine’ Where is Waldo’, the holy grail in dollars, the infamous ROI.

Hard to attribute ROI in ‘dollars’ which the CFO does not frown upon, CMO/CFO relationship has seemingly been like ‘Apples and Plums’. ‘Apples and Oranges’ would simply be absolution.

The CMO accountable for building, maintaining the brand equity, marketing the organizational revenue generating segments, staying ahead of the curve with Customer experience, while balancing the introduction of new devices, channels, and the application of emerging marketing technology, it is a big plate……and extra laps around the track.
It is a persuasive argument for the C-Suite to consider ‘Marketing’ as a ‘revenue generating center’, not as a ‘cost center’, a burden.
Alignment and the prevailing climate between the CMO, and the CFO has to give way to solutions:

– Hammer out a sound unquestionable ROI attribution strategy, for intangibles and tangibles.
– A ROI attribution which audits the existing determinants and adopts CFO inspired tweaks. Having ‘Skin in the game’ makes the entire game plausible.
– A quarterly ROI health check which tracks monthly variances, with historic and cyclical attributes factored in.
– This proposed health check would lead to a robust Marketing plan for the next budget planning year.
– Finally, a forecast, where ROI and spend could be traced back to the budget

These efforts do require time and effort. From my cost accounting days, I know how crucial and illuminating this exercise can be.
From a business road mapping perspective, it brings agility and a shortened roadmap from the traditional 5 year plan.

Microformats fast becoming a must for Digital Marketing

Digital Marketers have begun to leverage the use of microformats. The microformats standard over RDF is becoming the preferred way for integrated digital marketers to work with their IT departments to unlock the secrets of microformats and harness its benefits.

What are Microformats?

Microformats (μF) convey metadata to search engines in a format which can be crawled, parsed, indexed and semantically stored. This web based approach to semantic markup utilizing HTML/XHTML tags makes it very easy for search engines to categorize and cross reference the data, providing users a richer search experience.

Which formats are being used currently by ecommerce organizations?

The most widely used tag is the hReview tag. These are being used by vendors like Bazaar Voice and Power Reviews. UGC (User Generated Content) which is in the center of the content rave is being augmented by the hReview tag to present the’reviews data’ to search engines. Submissions of product feeds to data is then cross referenced by Google who then applies Rich Snippets to the Product link in the SERPs

How should I implement the hReviews tag?

The reviews data (aggregate as well as individual reviews data) is being widely used in an I-Frame, although my preferred method would be to integrate an API from the UGC vendor to populate the reviews data on the product page itself, which would in turn provide the target page the entire SERP juice. Of course, a canonical tag would be in order as well to avoid a duplicate content penalty.

What I am really excited about is the hMedia tag and the hProduct tag. These tags are not yet individually accepted by Google but their inclusion may be near.

How should I prepare to market Videos in the digital space?

The hMedia tag would benefit video indexing and referencing in the broad based search results. Since Google had opened up its UI in its search engine results page by opening up the left navigation to include Videos, Blogs etc, marketers have an opportunity to begin testing the hMedia tag in a sandbox environment. They should begin to plan how this metadata would programmatically populate their Media Asset Management platform for Videos. You Tube is not the only game in town. The Broadcasting community should be especially prepared to implement this integration as soon as the acceptance of the hMedia tag is announced.

The individual hProduct tag inclusion presents digital marketers yet another opportunity to harvest organic search results as part of their marketing mix. As with the hMedia tag seamless implementation of this tag in the front end HTML would be an early key to success. Bringing stakeholders from IT, Digital Marketing and Taxonomy early in the planning process would be advantageous.

What should organizations learn from microformats?

Organizations who are first to implement microformats would emerge as short term leaders in their respective industries with a near term opportunity to lead. These infrastructure improvements would easily offset some of the Paid and display spend; search engines of course would want you to believe otherwise.

What is the future of microformats?

Microformats are in an early stage of semantic communication through this markup. The search engines love the concept of cross referencing this data to provide users with a richer search experience with semantic links in the form of video, social media, blogs etc. The evidence is in the new Google UI for SERPs and a few days ago with Google News. Mashups of hProduct, hMedia, hReviews and various other combinations would likely follow.

What does the Caffeine Update mean for Marketers?

The Caffeine update was brought upon by the inability of real time search in Google. Twitter and Facebook were extensively used in Iran during a political crisis last year; a number of news sites were banned. Search engine results could not keep pace with real time developments.

As a result, Google now leases an API feed from Twitter as well as a Member Profile feed from Facebook to update its index, to provide real time search results. Sites and new content is now being crawled at a faster rate. To accomplish the rapid processing of information Google also upgraded their data center infrastructure.

What does the Caffeine Update mean for Marketers?

1. New pages and new content finds itself in the Google search results faster

2. Duplicate content is being penalized by not appearing in the Google index

a. Unique copy will have an increased opportunity resulting in a link in Google SERPS

b. If contractual agreements allow, copy received from vendors could be massaged

c. Canonical tagging is increasingly crucial for site content

d. Absolute links for content will help in seeding the content when picked up by other sites

3. Site speed is now part of the Google algorithm. (Google wants a good user experience for users)

a. Site speed will assist in an elevated ranking for sites

4. Social Media can be leveraged by digital marketers in real time

a) Twitter and Facebook’s real time search results appearance in Google can now be integrated in marketing campaigns (other than brand marketing)