There was a time when saying someone had their head in the cloud was not a compliment. Today it seems like being in the Cloud makes our lives easier. Think about how many things you do every day that involve the Cloud. Whether you need a ride, a bite to eat, a place to stay, a place to store your photos, or a video on how to install your new faucet, you probably turned to the Cloud.
When it comes to lending, the Cloud is proving to be a disruptive force that acts as an alternative to traditional lenders like banks and credit unions. Cloud lending is also referred to as peer-to-peer, marketplace or online lending, and is growing exponentially.
An industry with exponential growth is an industry of interest to IWCO Direct. While it may seem logical that only digital marketing would be used by marketers in the Cloud, traditional forms of marketing like direct mail are proving to be a key component of multi-channel marketing strategies for Cloud Lenders. Cloud Lenders are finding if the offer is timely, many loan seekers will check their mail and then pick up their smartphone to apply for a loan.
Last week my colleagues Hank Andersen, Megan Lester and I attended the first annual Cloud Lending Summit & Expo. I had the opportunity to participate in a panel discussion titled, “Standing out in a Crowd: Strategies for Differentiating your Online Platform and Lending Site.” My fellow panelists included Kevin Brown from Credibly, Mark Lancaster from Great Lakes Fund Solutions, and Jean-Marc Orlando, founder of Nexlend Capital. Ed Dartley from K&L Gates, LLP had the unenviable task of moderating the conversation which promised to address these topics:
- Positioning your firm to attract investors: What are investors looking for?
- Customer Acquisition: What works and what doesn’t?
- Product Offerings: What are you known for?
- Branding & Positioning: What works?
Ed did a phenomenal job as moderator, turning what could have been a dry discussion into a spirited conversation between four strangers from widely different backgrounds. The question I was asked to address was an easy one for me to answer: “P2P or Marketplace Lending is a fresh approach to financing so it may seem logical that only the latest forms of marketing should be used to reach consumers. Should traditional forms of marketing like direct mail be considered to acquire new customers?”
Before posing the question to me, Ed told the audience about the lively discussion we had on our planning call when Jean-Marc observed that his three daughters, ages 10, 12, and 16, don’t know how to open an envelope, and traditional mail will be gone from our lives and theirs in five years. I was prepared with what I hoped was a compelling response. Kevin Brown added verisimilitude when he joined the discussion to describe how Credibly successfully uses direct mail. Based on the heads nodding as Kevin and I spoke, the audience of lenders, investors and technology providers agreed with our premise that direct mail will be here for the long run due to its effectiveness.
In addition to delivering an offer to a prospect, direct mail delivers other benefits to Cloud Lenders who are trying to reach middle-age, middle-income homeowners who are saddled with credit card debt and Millennials struggling with the burden of student loan payments. Direct mail gives Cloud Lenders a platform to build their respective brands by providing targeted, credible offers with transparency and “officialness.”
As many have observed, the Cloud is transforming the financial services industry in the same way that it has introduced innovation to so many other industries. Whether you operate from the Cloud or from a traditional platform, if you want to learn more about how to transform your marketing campaigns with our Proprietary Intelligence model, leave a comment here. And let us know if your children know how to open an envelope.
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