For most products being advertised, the typical sales cycle speeds right along. First, the consumer becomes aware of the product. They then evaluate alternative brands and consider buying the product. Then the consumer locates where to purchase it and pulls the trigger–pretty simple and not all that time consuming. Financial advertising, on the other hand, is very different.
One of the burdens financial advertising has to overcome is the long sales cycle. In contrast to your normal consumer goods, the process seems to slow down with financial products. Having slow sales cycles in a world with a need for quick ROI-based adjustments, like in financial advertising, just doesn’t cut it. Some of the lags in the sales cycle are inherent in the industry, but others can by quickened with suitable strategy and optimization. The Economist reported in 2014 after a Gallup poll,
The more cash-rich working Americans are, the more time-poor they feel.
Knowing your ideal customers is a key part of any field in marketing; financial marketing is no different. For instance, a financial institution promoting their various products might be targeting someone with a lot of cash on hand. As it turns out, these are the exact people whose time and attention are hard to grab, especially when these consumers expect to proceed through a sales cycle that often involves lots of research. People make a living out of analyzing financial services; expecting a non-expert to breeze through that sales process would be unrealistic.
Thankfully, financial advertising done correctly has a lot of sway over consumers during their research process. A recent Yahoo Finance study has shown:
Seventy-five percent of consumers…said that the Internet makes it easier to figure out which brands to consider.
Strategically placing your product on popular research sites or finding ways to offer research help yourself is key. Some of most successful online ads done here at Davis have been those offering research help such as rate calculators.
The next steps in the sales cycle can be streamlined, as well. Once a consumer clicks on that link (on the research site, for example), countless analytics can be applied to track his or her movements towards the goal of eventually closing the deal on the financial product in question. Google Analytics, along with recent 2015 updates like GTMv2, allow us at Davis to optimize the funnel from the click until the purchase. Believe it or not, that is the fun part–analyzing data on a daily basis and adjusting your strategy accordingly. Each day’s adjustments can and will speed up the buying cycle!
When it comes to optimizing any sales cycle, the job is never done; but at Davis we use our financial advertising experience and expertise to make sure it takes as little time as possible for consumers to put their money in your hands.