We sat down with one of our Totus subscribers, a privately-owned mortgage firm in Texas. They were operating in over 40 states and had approximately 150 loan officers in the field. They were in a pivotal position of growth and were looking for technology to help them scale easily. Their recently hired Marketing Director quickly realized that their current systems were both antiquated and time-consuming. In short, they needed needed to find a new system that would automate the marketing process and maximize resources both in the corporate office and in the field. Below is the story of how Totus became that solution.
Q: We’ve heard you refer to finding the Totus platform, and ultimately, a marketing automation solution as a “journey”. Can you elaborate on that?
A: It was absolutely a journey. I had no idea going into it that marketing automation was the solution I would be looking for. In hindsight, my experience was completely organic. I simply took one step at a time and eventually ended up finding a solution. When I joined the company, which had been around for over a decade, I needed to get a grasp on how things had been done. I looked at what we were offering, not only to our homebuyers, but also to our internal team. Over the course of about a month or so, I completed a full audit of our entire marketing department. That included everything from messaging, branding, collateral, the technology we were using and the pain points we were experiencing.
Q: That sounds like a big undertaking, was it?
A: Yes! It was by no means an exact science, it involved everything from digging through drawers to find printouts of past collateral, locating archived websites, interviewing employees about their experiences and lots, lots more. I was like a detective collecting evidence for my case. It was a lot of work and sometimes got frustrating, but it was 100% necessary to get that foundation before I could move forward and make improvements.
Q: So after your marketing audit was complete, you said that you had identified “pain points”. What were those and how did you go about addressing them?
A: It actually didn’t take very long to start uncovering issues in our marketing processes. Some of them were immediately obvious to me and some were quickly pointed out when I started talking to our internal team. It did take time though, to put all of the pieces together and prioritize urgency . We were a multi-channel lender, so not every issue carried the same weight.
It was during this “pain point” exercise that I really started seeing the big picture and developing my vision for the future of our marketing department. I determined that our top 3 areas of opportunity were:
Q: It all seems so simple hearing you speak about it now, but isn’t there a lot more to it?
- Consolidate location of materials - In our existing setup, we were housing different materials in different locations. Business cards and identity materials were in hosted on one platform, flyers and brochures on another and so on. When I put myself in the loan officer’s shoes, I realized that we were asking them to spend a lot of time searching instead of focusing on selling. Frustration levels were high, we needed to simplify with a one-stop-shop for all of our marketing materials.
- User-friendly presentation - The site we were using to host our collateral was a craigslist-style list of hyperlinks. Not only was it unattractive, but it didn't give the user a quick visual. They were literally having to click through the entire page in order to find what they needed.
- Auto-population - Any time we on-boarded a new loan officer, my designer was having to manually create every piece of collateral with their information, whether they requested it or not. It was a huge bottleneck and I had no idea how many of those pieces were even being used. We needed a system that could automatically personalize materials and offer instant access to new loan officers.
A: Of course. Like I mentioned earlier, it wasn’t an exact science. I was taking a deep dive into the company and auditing our operations. Even though I was focused on the marketing department, I uncovered issues that affected other parts of the business. We took everything as it came and tried to stay focused on our goals. I just listed my top 3 paint points that came from my audit, but there were plenty more to keep in mind. This was just the beginning of the journey and I believe we will be addressing the next stages in our upcoming blog posts.