A Large Financial Firm Transforms Its Demand Marketing

One of the largest financial firms in the world was struggling to optimize its sales and marketing motions. In an industry built on relationships, this firm was struggling to connect with customers both on and offline. The company knew that if it wanted to achieve its growth goals, it needed to transition from un-orchestrated, inefficient marketing activities to a best-in-class, always-on demand engine. Learn how this financial firm is transforming its demand marketing.

The Challenge

This large financial firm struggled to connect with buyers throughout the funnel. Because of the heavily considered nature of this type of purchase, the sales team was facing a long sales cycle. They were dependent on maintaining personal relationships with passive prospects until an external trigger forced prospects into an active buying motion, which could take years. In the meantime, there was no way for the company to effectively nurture those passive prospects, so sales was spending massive amounts of time building personal relationships with cold leads.

Marketing was facing the same challenge to connect with buyers throughout the funnel. The team was producing untimely, one-and-done, generic campaigns that did nothing to progress the potential client in his or her journey. Additionally, the team struggled to correctly qualify leads before passing them on to sales, so sales often received leads that weren’t ready to talk. This combination of activities clouded end-to-end visibility of a prospect’s journey and resulted in a poor customer experience.

In order to reach their growth goals, the company needed to better orchestrate the marketing and sales motions to create a demand engine that would engage, nurture and convert leads throughout the funnel.

The goals of this project were to:

  • Understand which marketing investments drive the best ROI
  • Drive more qualified leads to sales
  • Improve scalability of both marketing and sales
  • Make sales more efficient
  • Improve the customer experience
  • Better define marketing and sales processes
  • Fully and efficiently leverage technology investments
  • Increase revenue growth

The Solution

ANNUITAS was engaged to guide this company through a Demand Marketing Transformation. This transformation shifts the company away from its existing tactical demand marketing approach to a strategic demand marketing state, creating an always-on demand engine that works across the entire funnel.

This buyer-centric engine is driven by dialogue and works across all touchpoints to reach buyers with the right message, in the right place, at the right time, all the time.

To achieve this state of strategic demand marketing, we focused heavily on content and processes.

Content Strategy

We started by building a Content Marketing Model tailored to this company’s customer segment. We conducted research to develop buyer insights, then used those insights to create buyer personas. Next, we mapped out the customer buying process. With all of this information in hand, we were able to create a Content Marketing Model that strategically aligns the right content with the right buyer dependent on where that buyer is in his or her journey.

Constructing the Content Marketing Model was a crucial step for this company. Previously, marketing was creating product-oriented content that wasn’t tailored to specific pain points or specific audiences. There was no nurture process and sales was receiving leads that weren’t ready to talk.

By creating a Content Marketing Model based on the buyer needs and journey, the company is instead able to offer relevant information to all stakeholders, regardless of what role they play in the purchasing decision or where they are in the buying process. This creates an end-to-end conversation with the buyer.

With a completed Content Marketing Model, we’re then able to turn this end-to-end conversation into a complex, actionable personalization strategy. As Adobe Bronze Partners with a Marketo Specialization, our teams are using Adobe Experience Manager and Marketo to connect systems so that a customer receives the same, personalized experience across all touchpoints. Our solution strategically presents the right content to the right buyer every time, regardless of channel. That means that, for example, a person is served the appropriate content on the website, then receives similarly appropriate content via email and outbound channels. This creates a truly personalized experience.

Demand Process Strategy

Next, we redefined the process by which this company was managing its demand. Previously, marketing was passing leads to sales after minimal levels of engagement. There was no way to gauge a lead’s true level of need or the role the lead played in the purchasing decision.

Because sales didn’t feel like it could rely on the quality of leads that marketing would generate, and because the marketing technology stack wasn’t fully leveraged, sales was spending countless manual hours vetting prospects.

To fix this problem, ANNUITAS built a comprehensive Demand Process. By orchestrating a combination of technology systems including the company’s CMS, CRM, and Marketo we were able to create a framework that automatically tracks lead quality and, at the appropriate time, routes the lead to the sales.

This state is achieved by implementing on-website progressive profiling to capture and score lead data based on a combination of data points, including behavior actions, as a lead moves through the funnel. This data is then translated into a clearly documented Lead Qualification Stage that corresponds to the Content Marketing Model. This takes the guesswork out of lead quality and instead relies on data to determine who needs further nurturing and who is ready to talk to sales.

Additionally, we documented a Conversion Model to help manage the flow of leads once they reached a level of engagement that indicated they were sales ready. This model empowers sellers to move a lead through opportunity stages while still giving sellers the chance to place a person back into nurture if the lead isn’t actually ready to buy.


Upon seeing the success of the initial strategy, this company decided to expand and adopt a Demand Marketing Transformation into other segments of its business. We’re currently in Implementation phase and our teams are working to bring this strategy to life. By choosing to embark on this journey, this leading financial firm has truly transforming its demand marketing.

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