CMO interview: What Mortgage Choice’s marketing leader is doing to instil CX

The latest bootcamp for home loans initiative taps into wider efforts to help customers improve their financial wellbeing


Financial services scrutiny

With Australian financial services institutions under intense scrutiny by the Royal Commission, it’s clear brands like Mortgage Choice have to adopt a stronger lens and regain trust around helping customers with responsible financial planning. McCarney says the most critical component is being super tight around compliance, processes and structures.

“At Mortgage Choice, we have very good structures in place across loans and financial planning. The challenge is how to do that as efficiently as possible, and how, from a CX point of view, we help the customer through the complications of the process and educate along the way,” she comments.

Reports suggest the number of consumers appointing a broker is growing every quarter and now sits at 57 per cent. “It’s growing because it’s getting complex and people need advice and help,” McCarney says.  

In order to create the right journey for customers digitally, Mortgage Choice spent time during website redesign getting upfront with customers, building journey mapping and personas.

“This customer approach is working well in the marketing team, the next challenge is to get that mindset through the rest of the organisation,” McCarney says. “And as we start to develop more things for customers, we need to make sure we’re delivering improvements to the franchise experience as well. It can be done at the same time.”  

While she’s the first to admit Mortgage Choice could do a better job of using first-party customer data, there are some examples of it being put into action. One McCarney points to is the group’s centralised email marketing program, which it undertakes on behalf of franchisees. The focus is on using data to talk to customers at more touchpoints across their lifecycle.

“We’re also using data to personalise the content, such as state and loan type. This is improving the effectiveness of programs,” she says. “Ongoing customer communications are so critical for conversion and leads as well as retaining those who’ve gone through the pipeline.”  

The changing role of the CMO

Having been at Mortgage Choice for five years, McCarney has directly borne witness to the change in perceptions around marketing leaders in this time of digital transformation and customer-led change. One obvious shift is the move from marketing to more holistic customer experience.

“I think that’s why we’ve seen a lot of CMOs moving to chief customer officers or marketing departments reporting into a chief customer officer,” she says. “The need for marketing people to have a very deep understanding of customers is important. It always has been, but it used to be about the best way to write a message to get a customer to do something; now it’s about how to deliver better experience at every touchpoint.”  

It’s also why McCarney believes marketers have a more strategic role at the executive level. “I’ve seen the level of influence I can have across the whole organisation grow,” she says.

“The other important thing for marketing is consolidating with IT. Marketing and technology today have to work hand-in-hand, and marketing professionals have to be more technical than they were in the past.”  

McCarney agrees marketing is also more collaborative than ever and says a significant component of building the brand at Mortgage Choice has been getting franchisees to do their own local-area marketing and lead generation.

“The relationship my team builds with the distribution team is very critical. Then it’s about how we arm the sales team and give them the right tools, and make marketing so easy for the franchisees it gets done,” she says.  

“We also have to look after franchisees from a CX perspective, as they are delivering the experiences. We have to tool them up to deliver the experiences and we also don’t have as much control over how their employees do that.”

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+:google.com/+CmoAu

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