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Element’s Game Plan I: Sales/Marketing

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Marc Healy, executive director of retail and marketing
4 min read
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As things begin to open up here in Portsmouth, NH,

Element is almost ready to welcome the employees back into the building and have been actively preparing for their on-site return since day one.

This preparation includes new marketing campaigns designed to maintain and grow customer engagement, upstairs and downstairs office renovations, new swag items, and multiple connectivity opportunities in support of the employees. This 3-part series details Element’s response to the pandemic as well as preparations for a future after lockdown.

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Once the stay-at-home order was announced, executives at Element jumped right into planning a course of action, which enabled the team to jump right in and continued to work at home that Monday.

The remote transition was reasonably smooth, as Element provides a few work-from-home days for employees to use at their discretion each month. However, their previously preferred holistic approach of a roundtable, or rather a natural-wood-table discussion, was now a luxury.

This discourse between team-members, project-members, and departments had been the center of activity, pre-COVID. It ensured that everyone involved in the project received the opportunity to share ideas, routinely touch base, and saved a great deal of time going back and forth between designers. Accustomed to doing business in one room, Element turned to the platform Microsoft Teams, a tool that had not seen serious use until this point.

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To translate the roundtable discussions into this online format, Element created “teams” or meetings based on the corporate reporting structures, departments, and project teams. Having a schedule of regular check-ins maintained organization and kept everyone on the same page. More on this in Part III!

It was essential to rise above this new global challenge and deliver the same amount of engagement over a video chat or call that would typically come through meeting face to face.

Element jumped in headfirst. In the words of one of Nate Baldasaro’s former employers, Element ‘decided not to participate’ in the shutdown, specifically the mentality surrounding it. Amidst the severity of a situation unanticipated by the world, Element found the silver lining. COVID-19 was the catalyst for change. It created a pressure that insisted on a new level of adaptability to stay on top of the shifting market and required a more in-depth focus on proactive thinking rather than overthinking.

This adaptability and proactivity manifested in an educational approach to spreading marketable information. During the lockdown, few were actively looking to begin new projects. In light of this, and with the addition of little to no travel, Element chose to invest the travel budget into various promotional venues. The overarching idea was to explore the idea of being a ‘go-to’ company, to become a reliable source of valuable industry insight, and to respect the time, goals, and situation of their customers and prospects. Element believes that the educational approach is the key to aiding, growing, and ensuring a satisfied customer base.

Wanting to expand on this approach, Element launched a series of webinars run off of zoom, with the information presented by Nate Baldasaro and Mac Erickson. Element employees have hosted and participated in hundreds of WebEx presentations, but webinars came as entirely new territory (for more info on Element’s webinar campaign see below).

As the amount of completed webinars grew, so did the participation, positive feedback, and number of people in the audience. This success pushed the marketing team to come together in another facet. They became a mini production unit, formed to get the next webinar series off the ground and running to the best of its ability. By monitoring each webinar, they worked to refine them strategically, ensure streaming quality, and gauge participation levels.

These webinars are an ideal way for financial institutions to connect with and educate their consumer base. Having a designated webinar team sets up a niche area of community expertise. Ultimately, this presents any current and potential consumers with a valuable educative experience and establishes the financial institution as a reliable resource. Financial institutions should at least consider creating such a team to become that go-to company, thus engaging their out-of-branch consumers more substantially.

Over time, the webinars moved from Nate’s office to the 2nd-floor conference room to utilize the 85 TVs and were live-streamed on both Instagram and Facebook. However, InstagramLive quickly emerged as the better-quality live stream.

From the webinars came a variety of promotional giveaways. Those who participated in the webinar were entered into a drawing, and a winner was plucked from a hat at the end. Additionally, those who followed the company Instagram, liked a designated post, and commented, received a box of Element swag.

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These giveaways sparked a new social media campaign. What started with linking out follow up emails and gift boxes has grown into a full-blown campaign designed to connect with customers on a deeper level. In light of this, Element chose to invest in an information database to gain accurate information and take the campaign a step further. This database allows Element to understand what customers are looking for and adjust accordingly.

COVID-19 created an environment that pushed Element to strengthen their marketing campaign, exercise their creativity, and tighten up their resources in such a way that allowed them to maintain and grow their current and prospective connections, despite a looming global challenge.

Stay tuned for Parts II and III, which will cover office renovations and employee connectivity!

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Written and Photographed by Bryn Baldasaro for The Element Group.

Edited by Nate Baldasaro.

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A man in a blue button-up.
Author
Marc Healy
executive director of retail and marketing

Often greeted by the team as “Mr. HEALY!,” with all suitable pomp, Marc is known to be a positive force of nature in the office. After graduating from Western Washington University with a degree in Business and a concentration in Finance, Marc proceeded to leap right into leadership positions. His career now spans over 35 years, with experience in marketing, sales, and finance.

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