In the Spotlight with Lindsey Mcloughlin, Contact State

We spoke to Lindsey Mcloughlin, head of client strategy at Contact State, about her move into financial services, why technology is so important within performance marketing and lead generation, and why oversight is so important from a regulatory standpoint.

Related topics:  Finance News,  In The Spotlight
Rozi Jones | Editor, Barcadia Media Limited
28th April 2023
Lindsey McLoughlin Contact State
"The marketing strategy needs to have full oversight of the entire marketing journey, not just for financial reasons, but regulatory ones too."

FR: What made you want to join Contact State?

Business culture has always been hugely important to me; not only do I want to feel a genuine passion for what the business is trying to achieve, but also, for the way it is trying to achieve it, and my career path so far has reflected those core values. As soon as I met Alain and the team at Contact State it was clear that we had a lot in common. The culture of the business is centred around honesty, transparency and integrity, but also innovation and improvement, all of which is hugely important to me. I am really excited to start working with brands, to be bold and brave, to try new things and explore new channels, to help them understand and manage customer vulnerability and ultimately, grow their businesses.

FR: Your background is in retail and travel – what made you want to move into financial services?

My background is marketing, and my strength is understanding how to best utilise all the different marketing channels available to ensure the best return for the business. And while retail, travel and financial services are very different sectors, the ultimate aim is the same - to engage with customers, to understand their behaviour and their intent, and ultimately, get them to act.

My role at contact state will be to use what I have learned in my roles within the retail, hospitality and travel sectors to get under the skin of the customers our clients want to reach. We will be using all the latest data and behavioural analytics tools, alongside innovative digital marketing technology, to understand which channels are working best, which are not and identify new opportunities to try. This will help us get a picture of each customer, understand where they started their journey, which channels they are engaging with, identify any gaps to create successful marketing campaigns for our clients.

FR: You mentioned utilising the latest technology – why do you think technology is so important within performance marketing and lead generation?

In its simplest terms, marketing is about identifying customers and converting them into sales, but of course, the reality is much more complicated. Performance marketing is about achieving that simple aim in the most effective way, and you can only do that when you fully understand which channels are working and which aren’t. You need to be able to identify buyers’ signals, look at what information they are sharing and where, and understand what this behaviour says about their intent. You can then use this information to retarget the customer with personalised, bespoke content to keep driving them down that funnel to eventually convert them, and technology is absolutely vital in this process.

Financial services is quite traditional in its approach to marketing, it can be daunting to try new channels like Instagram, or TikTok, most often because they don’t think it will appeal to the right audiences, or they think it is too expensive. Marketing technology opens opportunities for businesses to be braver and to try and test new channels without having to take a huge risk – either in terms of reputation or cost. Some things will work, some won’t, but technology platforms enable proper analysis of the strategy, helping businesses to shift their focus away from traditional, often siloed, marketing strategies to multi-channel campaigns and new audiences.

And when we talk about tech, we are not always talking about new channels – most of the time, it is about making sure businesses are making the most of the ones they already use. For example, email is often underutilised - firms will be relying on the same systems they have always used, often sending out email campaigns with no real understanding of engagement. Marketing automation can transform this process to make it much more targeted and useful as a channel - we can now do really impressive tactics with personalisation within email campaigns that can make customers feel valued and understood, leading to much higher engagement, and ultimately, action.

FR: You mentioned ‘multi-channel’ campaigns, but many companies have different teams for different marketing channels – a social team, PPC team, etc – why is it so important to have oversight of the entire process?

Conversion can be a very long-tail process, especially with financial products. People generally don’t see one life insurance ad and then buy. They compare prices, do their research, talk to friends and family – they might see an insta reel, read an article online, watch an ad on TV – there are so many different touch points and if you only have sight of one of these channels, its important that businesses understand the behaviour or intent of your customers.

The other reason oversight is so important is from a regulatory standpoint. Because consumers are now using so many different channels to find information, financial advertising is becoming increasingly more provocative to try and grab their attention and make part with their personal information. Some lead generators are capturing consumer contact details on a false promise, just so they are able to sell ‘a lead’ in an increasingly competitive landscape. But this often means that consumers applying for a ‘quote’ or a ‘price’ end up being packaged up as a piece of sales data and then harassed. In fact Contact State’s report, Data Control Matters - a survey of 5,000 consumers and their experiences of buying financial products online – discovered that 24% of people who thought they were giving their details for an instant online quote never got the information they wanted, but were hassled by a sales person on the phone.

Therefore, the marketing strategy needs to have full oversight of the entire marketing journey, not just for financial reasons, but regulatory ones too. Because, while there is no point contacting customers that ultimately have no interest in your product - it is a waste of their time and a waste of your marketing budget - if they have been lured into the customer journey on a false premise, not only are they a useless lead, but your business could be breaching Consumer Duty.

I will therefore be consulting with brands to identify their successful marketing campaigns and ensure they are making the most of their marketing budgets, but also to make sure they are meeting their Consumer Duty requirements.

I will also be helping customers identify exciting new opportunities. When I was at Laterooms, I was responsible for launching a successful partnership with trainline.com, so I will be looking to utilise the strong relationships, knowledge and expertise I have built up over the years to create mutually beneficial partnerships where non-competing brands can support each other and grow together.

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