Alex Cavalieri, Vice President, Digital Strategy, BlackRock Financial Management, discussed agile processes and growth marketing strategies, and how they can help companies extend their reach, in his keynote presentation to Argyle's CMO membership at the 2017 Leadership in Digital Marketing Forum in New York City on October 12. In his presentation, "Testing Your Way to Success," Cavalieri offered insights into what it takes to reach the right audience and track the right metrics as part of a digital marketing strategy.
Recent data indicates that most CEOs do not believe that their marketing organizations add value to their respective businesses, according to Cavalieri. This shows that marketing professionals must be able to follow the right metrics consistently, or these professionals are unlikely to help their respective organizations achieve the best-possible results.
"[Some marketing organizations] aren't proving the metrics in their campaigns and showing these metrics drive business growth," Cavalieri said.
At BlackRock, the company focuses on finding innovative ways to promote its products to prospects and customers. The business constantly explores ways to highlight its products across each stage of the customer journey too, Cavalieri noted.
"Growth marketing is not a new strategy … but, if done effectively, it can add a lot of business value."
Furthermore, BlackRock remains agile with its digital marketing strategy, Cavalieri said. With an agile approach, the company can make adjustments to its strategy to ensure optimal effectiveness across its digital marketing campaigns.
"Our goal is to sell while our sales folks aren't in the room," Cavalieri pointed out. "Our main goals for our marketing department are to build our brand and create an enablement strategy for advisors and institutions … to create interest in our products."
In the past, BlackRock struggled to follow the right digital marketing metrics – a problem that plagues marketing professionals at businesses around the globe.
BlackRock frequently looked at digital marketing metrics such as the number of page views on its website and the sources of website traffic, Cavalieri said. Yet these metrics failed to provide insights into why web visitors checked out the company's website.
"We were driving specific metrics, but they weren't necessarily the metrics that mattered," he stated. "We were hitting a lot of the top-of-the-funnel metrics, but we weren't able to hit those down-the-funnel metrics as effectively as possible."
Ultimately, BlackRock needed to revamp its digital strategy to ensure it could find the best ways to convert leads to sales. This required BlackRock to identify meaningful metrics and perform deep data analysis day after day.
"At the end of the day, how are we actually driving conversions? That was something that we started to huddle on and actually identify as how we were going to turn the needle in driving conversions for our team," Cavalieri noted.
BlackRock today focuses on growth marketing and comprehensive testing to achieve its desired results. This digital marketing strategy requires the company to look closely at a broad assortment of data and search for patterns and trends within it. Then, BlackRock can gain extensive insights to improve its digital marketing campaigns.
"Our main goals for our marketing department are to build our brand and create an enablement strategy for advisors and institutions … to create interest in our products."
Although growth marketing has been used by many companies over the years, it is essential to note that growth marketing strategies often vary. To achieve the optimal results with growth marketing, companies must examine the proper metrics.
"Growth marketing is not a new strategy … but, if done effectively, it can add a lot of business value. It can actually start to change the game and drive certain metrics that you want in a way that you didn't think was possible," Cavalieri indicated.
Moreover, testing often plays a key role in the effectiveness of growth marketing.
Companies must be willing to allocate significant time and resources to test their digital marketing campaigns. If businesses ignore testing, they risk missing the mark with their target audiences, as well as wasting digital marketing spend on ineffective campaigns.
"Our team is really focused on driving growth via testing," Cavalieri stated. "We are in the data on a daily basis … and use it to understand where users are."
BlackRock also continues to revamp its digital marketing strategy. The company is agile with its digital marketing, and as such, can provide the right messaging to prospects and customers.
"We're trying to meet customers where they need it," Cavalieri noted. "We're testing small and fast and trying to learn from it … and if there is a business goal we have in mind, we want to make sure we're delivering on it."
Lastly, BlackRock prioritizes assorted business goals. The company is dedicated to using metrics to develop the right business goals and ensure it can meet or surpass its aspirations. By doing so, BlackRock is able to maximize the digital marketing spend at its disposal, along with develop long-lasting customer partnerships.
Alex is responsible for co-leading digital growth marketing, which includes campaign strategy, agile marketing, SEO, Syndication and partnerships.
Prior to joining digital, Alex was in the Retirement Marketing division of BlackRock. He was charged with the strategy, development and management of the retirement center digital experience. Prior to joining BlackRock’s campus retirement marketing, Alex led the development and management of recruiting digital experience.
Prior to BlackRock, Alex worked at Glocal, Omni Corporation, and Workbridge Associates in various strategy, marketing, and sales roles.