Transforming the future of financial planning
eMoney Advisor provides technology solutions and services that help people talk about money. Rooted in comprehensive financial planning, eMoney’s solutions strengthen client relationships, streamline business operations, enhance business development and drive overall growth. Fidelity Investments acquired eMoney in 2015. To date, more than 75,000 financial professionals across firms of all sizes use the eMoney platform to serve more than 4 million households in the U.S.
Wealth management and financial planning services have rapidly grown since the 2008 financial crisis, and the industry continues to evolve. While traditional financial planning services have been designed to serve older, wealthier audiences, the demand for planning among Gen X, Y and Z, and other socio-economic demographics, has never been higher.
eMoney recognized that in order to drive sustainability and growth, they needed to develop solutions to help financial professionals serve a more diverse audience who could benefit from financial planning services.
Connecting a new audience to financial planning
Dept assisted eMoney in bringing the idea of attracting younger clients to advisory relationships to life. We kicked off the project with intense ethnographic research to uncover the best opportunities to reach these new audiences. We interviewed millennials to understand their financial goals, needs and challenges, and to identify their perceptions and interactions with money. The research showed that younger generations shop for financial advice like any other consumer good. They do online research, talk to friends and use a variety of self-service apps. We also learned that there was an opportunity to teach younger generations how to better manage their money.
It was also clear in the research that millennials will require greater control, access and adaptability as they evaluate the benefits of a financial advisor. We saw a future where higher volume, lighter touch engagements with personalization would take the place of the annual check-in with your advisor. Advisors would need to meet these new clients where they are.
We distilled these observations into insights, potential opportunities and eventually idea creation. Together with eMoney, we came up with five concepts that could harness the opportunity to fill this gap in the market. We then kicked off a series of design sprints. Design sprints are typically a five-day process for answering critical product questions through design, prototyping and testing ideas with customers. Through a design sprint, we built out prototypes for the eMoney concepts and tested them with real users. It became clear that users gravitated towards one of the concepts more than others, which was a mobile app that could provide financial wellness advice and complement the existing eMoney software-as-a-service platform. This was the beginning of what became eMoney Incentive.
Additionally, and perhaps most notably, we learned throughout testing and development that Incentive appealed to a wider audience beyond millennials.
Creating a financial wellness app to encourage healthier spending and saving habits
eMoney’s vision for Incentive was to create an easy-to-use financial wellness app that encourages simple behavioral changes through awareness and education of healthier spending and saving habits. This was an entirely new product for eMoney, so before they could start building it, they had to gain buy-in from around the company. We supported the eMoney team in creating the tactical plan for bringing these new features to the market.
eMoney soon shifted into building mode. Dept brought additional mobile subject matter expertise to eMoney’s product development team to help bring eMoney Incentive to life. The eMoney Incentive app is a native app that allows Android and iOS users to better oversee their retirement funds, budgeting, emergency savings and even insurance coverage right from their phone. They can also sync bank accounts, credit cards and loans to get a more accurate view of finances in one convenient place.
Through the building and design process, eMoney saw an opportunity to expand its target market to anyone looking for financial wellness advice versus the younger, millennial audience that was part of the initial concept, and adapted the go-to-market strategy to focus on retirement plans advisors and HR departments at companies of all sizes.
There was also white space in the market for HR departments to be able to provide self-service financial tools as an employee benefit.
Driving growth and opening up a new market
Within six months of launching Incentive’s pilot program, eMoney created a strong pipeline of interested users, including current clients, retirement plan advisors and employers.
Since the beta launch, Dept has continued to support eMoney in making improvements to the app, including improvements to the “spending challenges” in the app. The app features a customizable challenge that allows participants to set their own savings goals as opposed to the pre-programmed challenges that existed in the first version of the app. Users can also see where they spend the bulk of their money and track spending trends over time.
In summary, this was a meaningful project for eMoney and Dept. For Dept, it was a chance to help eMoney build and launch its first mobile app. For eMoney, it was an opportunity to deliver on its company mission of “helping people talk about money” by providing solutions for a more diverse audience.
Euronext is the leading pan-European stock exchange, listing the likes of L’Oreal, Danone, and Phillips. They give international customers access to a broad range of financial products across six regulated markets. Through user research, content strategy, and technology solutions, Dept transformed Euronext’s fragmented web presence into a streamlined experience across three websites.
We consolidated fifteen bourse websites into three interconnected sites
Our main focus was Euronext.com, the B2B marketing portal and first step in the Euronext customer journey. This website showcases the Euronext brand and explains its pan-European model, products and services to potential customers. Our task was to create a unified message and build a robust lead-generation channel for the business. This website directs retail investors to Euronext Live for market data, and existing Euronext customers to their portal, Euronext Connect.
The Euronext.com B2B marketing portal required immediate and ongoing collaboration with brand owners and subject matter experts. It was our responsibility to make sure everyone was heard and engaged.
We gathered internationally dispersed teams to participate in multiple in-person user research and content workshops. Together, we established goals, prioritised user groups and aligned requirements for each section of the site. This time spent was invaluable, enabling us to retain a strong sense of market individuality, whilst creating a unified brand presence.
We used comprehensive testing to determine user tasks, current behaviours and common pain points. Clear user journeys were essential to build a self-serve domain that gave qualified leads access to the right point of contact.
Content strategy workshops and audits helped teams to prioritise their content and messaging across the website. A large scale content project kicked off with training in writing for the web across four countries. Then Dept helped edit and finalise content across the entire Euronext.com website. Content owners now have 92% less content to manage, making SEO and governance far more manageable.
Euronext wanted to consolidate all of their websites onto Drupal CMS, which was already in their existing tech stack. To that end, our Drupal-certified development team worked with their cohort of experts to implement a full site redesign of Euronext.com and development of Euronext Live and Connect in Drupal 8.
We also developed a suite of templates and responsive components to support the user-centric information architecture. This enabled us to deliver a visually diverse network of content to reflect the multitude of products on offer. Fifteen Drupal integrations support an abundance of user requirements and deliver optimum customer service.
Lastly, we put in place an interactive click-swap component to enable customisation and an enhanced brand experience. This element provides an accessible snapshot of some of the 1,300 companies listed on Euronext.
Dept helped Euronext to transform their online presence from one fragmented across many countries, to one that represents their pan-European brand and business. Our experts worked closely with their specialists and leaders to deliver a cohesive experience to their global customer base. This was reflected in the results which included a 75% uplift in mobile traffic.
Creating customer journey insights
ERGO is one of the largest insurance groups in Europe with over 40 million customers, including 20 million in Germany alone. Like many, the company was attributing too much weight to the last marketing touchpoint and therefore could not properly steer its budget for direct marketing initiatives. Another issue was that not all direct marketing channels were tracked such as TV commercials. These, along with data silos, created several blind spots throughout the customer journey and made it hard to maximise the impact of their marketing spend. Dept helped ERGO resolve these by developing a Marketing Data Hub which centralised and connected all of their direct marketing data sources.
A holistic view of their data
ERGO offers a large range of personal and commercial insurance products and they have invested a fair amount in marketing activities to broadcast their brand name into the market. Yet they lacked an organised overview of their data pertaining to direct marketing activities which was coming in from many different platforms. Thus, they have been working side-by-side with Dept to build a state-of-the-art Marketing Data Hub to better understand and serve their current customers as well as to acquire additional ones in a much more cost-efficient way.
We created a marketing data hub to give ERGO a holistic view of their data
Dept tackled the problem head-on. We began by doing a deep analysis of the client’s internal business requirements in order to better understand the company’s status quo in terms of data, technology and organisational readiness as well as to properly understand their data vision. Based on this information, our team developed a technical blueprint for a cloud-based marketing tech stack tailored to ERGO’s specific needs. This became the foundation for building the actual technical infrastructure which centred around a Marketing Data Hub as a source for all direct marketing activities. By having everything under one roof, the company was able to view and analyse the entire customer journey rather than piece it together from various silos. Thus allowing them to play around more with different marketing strategies and campaigns depending on who they want to target when. This also fostered a ‘self-serve culture’ which allowed employees to see and query the data themselves in order to implement a more data-driven approach to their daily work.
Once the infrastructure was in place, we built an Attribution Model making it possible for the company to see what percentage of each marketing channel was involved in the conversion process. Online data sources were added first, then offline ones and lastly the two were combined to get a holistic understanding of the entire customer journey. Once the prototype was fully functional, additional data sources, such as TV commercial data, were added which enriched the user-centricity of the database.
Lastly, we ensured that all relevant ERGO teams were comfortable using the new self-serve analytics infrastructure and fully understood the business logic behind it. We did this via on-site and remote trainings.
Our team was able to deliver a custom Marketing Data Hub which helps ERGO achieve a better understanding of who their customers are, how they are finding and connecting with the brand, and how each marketing activity is contributing towards the conversion process. Dept was also able to close several critical tracking gaps and made uplifts from TV commercials transparent for the first time.
The project is still young but now that the company has all their marketing data in one place, the Marketing Data Hub has given the employees a trustworthy place where they can analyse all of the various customer journeys. Best of all, as more data points continue to pour in, this will continuously improve due to the increase in statistical significance over time. The collaboration is still ongoing and Dept is supporting ERGO as they roll this out to other departments and teams.
The making of a Corporate Startup
Knowing if you’re eligible for a loan within 15 minutes and having the money in your account two days later. And all that online. It is now possible. Corporate Startup ‘New10’ offers entrepreneurs the best of both worlds: the agility of the startup with the financial knowledge of the bank. Together with New10, Dept brought the brand to life with a new online platform and an in-house dream team.
All steps are digital: easy and flexible
New10 was founded by ABN AMRO based on the idea that entrepreneurs prefer to build their business without hassle and obstacles. That is why New10 offers its business loans online. It puts entrepreneurs at the center, going through the application at their own pace, wherever and whenever they want. From uploading financial data to signing the contract: all steps are digital. Super easy and flexible.
We created a smart mix of technology and data
For a (corporate) startup, brand building is just as important as ever. In fact, it can make all the difference. That is why Studio Dumbar (part of Dept) gave shape to the name, positioning, brand story, pay-off, and visual identity of New10, working closely with its founders. In the visual translation, they sought a balance between trust and the speed and ‘hipness’ of a new start-up. After the launch, the brand was expanded with a smart (radio) campaign to generate further publicity.
Technology and data
With a smart mix of technology and data, New10 is the only fully online lender in the Netherlands. From applying, to signing and paying: all steps in the customer journey have been made as simple as possible, using data that is retrieved from existing systems such as the Chamber of Commerce. In a digital, fully automated assessment process, New10 checks whether a company is healthy and reliable enough to qualify for a loan. A unique model has been implemented that automatically calculates the risk profile of the client on the basis of annual figures and transaction data. This all goes without the client being questioned and without the speed of that process leading to higher interest rates, as is often the case with other fintechs.
The right people
Together with ABN AMRO and Dept’s freelance community we looked for a close-knit team of internal and external talents to get this job done. A close, but also flexible team, that is able to quickly change its composition and works towards a single goal: putting the client at the center. Stringing together all this talent in the field of creativity, data and technology has resulted in a time-to-market of less than a year.
Getting the right people together is the first step, but then they also have to be able to work together in the most efficient way. That is why a great deal of time has been invested in setting up and connecting tools for presenting all information in the right way to the right roles in a seamless process. This way we give New10 the tools to lend money easier and cheaper than competitors in the market. The cooperation with ABN AMRO plays a crucial role in this. New10 combines the financial know-how of the parent company with the agility of a lean startup. A ‘Corporate Startup’ done right.
And the results? New10 has been in the air for five months now and customers are very satisfied with the speed, convenience and clarity of the loan process. A clear advertising campaign ensures the increase of new customers who feel attracted by New10’s human angle. According to customer feedback, financial parties are rarely this personal and approachable.
- Since the start at the end of September more than 5000 entrepreneurs have created an account.
- More than fifty loans were finalized at the end of 2017.
- Customers highly appreciate New10’s proposition, with an NPS of 60+.
- New10 lets entrepreneurs know within 15 minutes if they are eligible for a loan.