Evi shares 5 lessons in data-driven marketing for the finance industry


Evi: A next-generation investment platform

Evi is an online investment platform with a strong vision for the future and deep roots in the past. As a daughter company of Van Lanschot Private Banking, founded in 1737, Evi boasts a proud lineage as part of the oldest independent financial institution in the Netherlands. 

Evi’s mission is to make investing easy and accessible to everyone by providing a simple, straightforward online investment platform. Because the company operates primarily online, it is imperative that they have the digital insights and technology available to craft personalized customer journeys across channels in real time. 

Maurice Pordon, Manager of Marketing at Evi, shares the process and insights that enabled his marketing team to launch 25 new use cases with the Relay42 platform in just one year. 

Find the right data management solution

“If you want to win the online game,” begins Maurice, “you have to know how to find your target audience and offer them the answers they're looking for in the most relevant way possible. The ones with the best content strategy and journey win. So that was why I went looking for a solution.” 

Maurice credits much of the past year’s success with the Relay42 platform to their use-case-first approach to finding the right vendor. The process took about 8 months from starting the search to getting started with Relay42 in the summer of 2018, but according to him, it was time well spent. 

The idea was to compare a number of parties, but Maurice explains that there simply weren’t many vendors out there who met his requirements. Finally, he chose Relay42 in large part because of the journey orchestration tool. He wanted to be able to attach KPIs to each customer journey, but also sub-KPIs to each step of the journey.

“What happens in that step? Is that step performing as expected? How can I optimize it further?” These are all questions that Maurice and his team were keen to answer with the help of their new marketing platform. 

Start with a clear vision and multiple use cases

“A lot of brands use Relay42 for acquisition first and slowly move into service,” says Dick Heerkens, Solution Consultant at Relay42, “but Evi is using Relay as a service platform — upsell, cross-sell, service, retention — they really utilize the full potential of the platform.” 

According to Maurice, Evi maximizes their use of the platform with highly structured preparation. His advice? Start thinking about journeys and get them down on paper so you have the documentation to fall back on later. 

“Our Relay42 use cases give us great insights into our customer journey. Did someone become a customer? Are they investing regularly? When it all comes together, you really see how much the use cases are contributing to your KPIs, and ultimately, to your business goals."

Approach new technology as an opportunity for your team to grow

Besides starting with the right use cases, Evi’s multidisciplinary marketing team has also been an essential part of the formula. 

“We've had a multidisciplinary team from the start,” explains Maurice. The marketing portion of the team consists of a dialogue marketer, a CRO expert, an online media specialist and content marketers. Then there's technical side that's responsible for setting up the data and technical infrastructure, which includes a product owner and two data scientists.

Maurice noticed that once they started working with Relay42, the team had to do a bit of soul searching to figure out what their roles would be in the project. He remembers getting slightly worried questions from team members about whether they would have to do technical things in the new tool, to which he responded, “We're not going to determine that in advance. I want you to experience it and see what works best for you individually.”  

“They wanted to take a super structured approach and know everything in advance,” Maurice explains, “but I wanted to see how they would adapt as we went along.” 

It turns out this was the right approach. Today, the SEO marketer is the Scrum master and the online media specialist is enjoying setting up engagement and doing tagging. The CRO marketer is owning the lead processes and the dialogue marketer — who had little experience at the start of the project and was on a trainee trajectory — can do everything in Relay42 from start to finish. 

“It was a great way to foster personal development. They were apprehensive at first, but once we started getting results, it improved a lot,” says Maurice proudly. 

Evi's Dialogue Marketer, Lynn Hagen, agrees. "When Relay42 was first introduced at Evi, I didn’t know where to begin," she recalls. "But with some help, and by asking questions and just doing it, we’re making amazing progress. I’m really proud of the results we’re realizing for Evi. We are able to reach out to Evi customers with increasing precision through relevant and personalized messaging."

“They have a very engaged multidisciplinary team,” agrees Dick. “Everyone wanted to work with the platform because they could see how it was adding value to their day-to-day work in terms of efficiency and effectiveness. It’s great to see how using new technology is enabling them to learn and do more and grow as people.”

Involve your organization in your vision

In Dick’s experience implementing Relay42 at a wide range of companies, he says that typically one department starts working with the platform. That department invests a lot of time and energy into launching it, while the rest of the company is often unaware of what they’re doing or what they’re hoping to achieve. 

“But at Evi,” says Dick, “everyone knew what was happening and was involved. Because the lines are so short, the entire company was working with Relay42 in some way from the beginning.” 

Creating more awareness around the project meant that ideas came in from all parts of the company. This helped make use cases smarter, and it meant that cases were built that benefited multiple departments, and thus were applicable across the entire customer journey.

Be agile

Finally, “it’s all about falling down and getting back up again,” says Maurice. 

Having a strong vision is essential, but things don’t always go according to plan. Maurice recalls some moments over the last year when things didn’t always go as expected. “I can be a bit impatient, so when I saw we were discussing a lot and not getting results, I intervened, but it turned out to be good. I told my team, everything we do goes via Relay42, and if we're going to set up new campaigns, create use case first! It's a learning process.”  

Besides staying on top of everything and realigning the team when they get off track, it’s also crucial to never stop moving. Even when they got stuck on big use cases, Maurice made sure his team kept the ball rolling with smaller cases that they could bring to fruition with the data and connectors they already had. 

“You can always move forward and make some progress with what you have while you’re working on the more complex cases,” says Maurice. 

According to Dick, a major contributing factor to Evi’s impressive agility has been the short lines between departments. “Agile isn’t a buzzword at Evi, it’s actually how they work,” he explains. “This makes them fast — I mean, they released 25 use cases in a year. I think most do between 6-8.” 

How to take Evi’s approach to adopting new data technology

After a year of working with the Relay42 platform, Maurice can sum up his recipe for success with 5 main tips: 

  1. Find the right data solution for your business
  2. Start with a clear vision and multiple use cases
  3. Approach new technology as an opportunity for your team to grow
  4. Involve your organization
  5. Be agile

His final bit of advice? 

“If you’re going to take a data-driven approach, you have to start by asking yourself what you want to achieve. Then you decide what you want to measure. Next, document what you want to change and how you’re going to measure that. Then you’re ready to test. It’s a long process, but a worthwhile one — it's all about having the right mindset.” 

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