Insights


On Board – Wesleyan

Thursday, 29 April 2021

Wesleyan’s contemporarily named bethebrand system, MaRS (Marketing and Regulatory System), landed the second week of January this year and has rapidly delivered results.

Founded in 1841, Wesleyan Assurance Society (Wesleyan) is a financial services mutual dedicated to some of the most trusted professions in society and is committed to creating brighter financial futures for doctors, dentists and teachers, so they can focus on the vital work they do. Wesleyan partners with leading professional bodies, such as NASUWT, The Teachers’ Union, and the Royal College of General Practitioners, as well as advising large public sector bodies, such as the NHS Pension Scheme.

Wesleyan had developed its own system approaches, both in-house and with print partners, for a number of years. With the ever-increasing sophistication of marketing techniques, channels and assets, and the associated shift from largely print to mostly digital, Wesleyan required an ever-evolving system application. This delivered a clear understanding to the team of what their system was going to be required to do both today and in the future. It also highlighted a clear opportunity to harness the expertise of a specialist.

The decision was made to look to proprietary systems that could meet the specification. Most of all, Wesleyan were looking for a system that would work for them ‘straight out of the box’ - something that could be configured precisely, but that did not need development time.

The tender process was extensive and intensive. bethebrand stood out because it has a clear and simple approach at its core that can power intricate and sophisticated workflow processes. This is an important consideration for Wesleyan, which takes pride in the rigour of its governance processes. Furthermore, with 20 years of dedicated and focused financial services sector development, and many leading industry names as long-standing clients, Wesleyan was confident that it had chosen a trusted provider who would hit the ground running.

bethebrand delivered an agile and fluid system implementation process which allowed the team to be hands on with the system throughout. The outcome of this was that there were very few snags to overcome at ‘go live’, allowing the team to concentrate on the migration of its extensive asset archive and take the opportunity to audit and rationalise it in the process.

Four months in, Wesleyan is already enjoying improved outcomes; moving through approval processes at even greater speed without any dilution of rigour.

Furthermore, many more assets are achieving ‘right first time’ approval by compliance because of MaRS’ collaborative and diligent workflow systems.

On Board - Petplan

Thursday, 29 April 2021

Lockdown did not slow down Petplan in getting their new bethebrand system from brief to live in just 3 months. The new system, nicknamed RAP (Review and Approval Portal), provides a suite of functionality fully configured for the award-winning pet insurer.

Over the last 40 years, Petplan has helped millions of pets through illness and injury. Today, Petplan insures over 1.3 million pets, more than any other provider, with an outstanding record of paying 97% of the claims received. Petplan is a subsidiary of Allianz Insurance plc, part of the Allianz Global Group.

As the UK’s leading pet insurer driving a market-leading marketing programme, Petplan needed a system that could support its sophisticated multi-channel, multi-media marketing communications mix. What’s more, they wanted to further boost the business’ ability to collaborate, be creative and be nimble.

Petplan reviewed many different systems providers prior to appointing bethebrand in the Autumn of 2020. What they found is that many involved too many workarounds and compromises, or were too complicated. The team did not want to compromise in getting a system that could be moulded to exactly to how they like to work.

A great example of this is the RAP system feature to allow peer review. Rather than a signoff procedure, this allows team members to provide feedback and ideas for the development of new marketing assets. So well before an asset proceeds along a sequential signoff round, everyone can contribute and work together. This not only enhances speed to market, but also delivers the very best solution.

Petplan has built a powerful brand and managing brand delivery across all touch-points is key for success. As part of the build, bethebrand has delivered a brand guidelines and imagery site, all housed within the RAP system, providing an important brand management tool to play its part in supporting the team in driving Petplan’s competitive advantage.

The pandemic created no barrier to getting the system up and running speedily. A series of remote workshops allowed the team to quickly identify how they wanted the system configured, which laid the blueprint for rapid implementation.

Managing the Expiration Dates of Financial Services Literature Or How to prevent becoming wilfully blind to a massive problem

Tuesday, 27 April 2021

Wilful blindness is far from a new term. It came to be used in legal circles in the middle of the 19th century and has cemented itself firmly as a concept, not only in law but also in many other walks of life. Not least of these is in business.

How often have we been in a situation where there is an opportunity for knowledge and an opportunity to be informed, but we simply choose not to? We choose to keep ourselves in the dark, blind ourselves to the existence of the facts, look away singing la la la la la la. (If you would like to know more about how we all succumb to being wilfully blind have a read of Margaret Heffernan’s fabulous book Wilful Blindness).

Perhaps the first and most common issue that we see in supporting clients obtain the right digital asset management solution for their financial services business is expiration dates.

Without a system driving a process to keep on top of expiration dates then keeping on top of them is simply a matter of human will.

The problem with human will is that it can be beaten down. Beaten by 101 different demands every working day, restructuring, reorganisation, people coming, people going, and simply ‘Well no one’s going to fire me for letting this slip, so I’ll stick my fingers in my ears and just start singing la la la la la la’.

In financial services, not managing expiration dates represents a significant breach risk. If you let 1 turn into 10, then before you know it you are into the 100s and systemic wilful blindness has well and truly kicked in.

If you are relying on the old ‘excel and email’ solution for document management then you are basically setting a timer for the problem to manifest itself.

If you are relying on an off the shelf document management and storage system, then more often than not you are still going to need to police a system with human beings, with their will to do the job being crushed every day.

Systems are the only answer to their management, because the last place you need to showcase your expiration exasperation is on a regulation audit.

Every financial services business is different, but the system process remains constant. With bethebrand, the system configuration can be set-up so that certain trigger events automatically generate a workflow.

So an asset that is both “Product = A or B and also “Audience = X or Y” and the expiry date gets to Z days, a workflow is auto-generated to start the asset update. In all instances, the workflow auto-adds the asset owner as the deliverable owner and auto-checks out the asset into the workflow. In addition, for example, if a print asset is archived, a stock destruction workflow is auto-generated to ensure that printed stock of that asset is destroyed.

If you are experiencing expiration exasperation, give us a call. You will find a friendly ear and an answer to eradicating the problem.

Utmost, Simplicity

Tuesday, 12 January 2021

Utmost International is a life assurance group which provides solutions designed to preserve clients’ assets and safeguard them for future generations. As of 31 December 2019, the business manages over £30bn of assets on behalf of over 130,000 clients. Its propositions provide effective and reliable solutions for clients who wish to control the wealth they have accumulated and manage the proceeds when planning succession.

The business is a leading provider of international life insurance across its core markets in the UK, Continental Europe and the Middle East and it operates in over 15 key markets across the globe.

The principal business lines of Utmost International are Utmost Wealth Solutions and Utmost Corporate Solutions:

  • Utmost Wealth Solutions provides insurance based wealth solutions to clients across the globe to help preserve our clients’ wealth and safeguard it for future generations;
  • Utmost Corporate Solutions provides specialist employee benefits including group life, disability and critical illness cover, as well as pension plans, to its international client base.

The company’s journey with bethebrand started in 2016 with Utmost’s Isle of Man office. The success of the system subsequently saw it launched in the Irish business in 2019.

The expansion of Utmost’s bethebrand system has been driven by the operational enhancements that it has delivered quickly and easily at every implementation stage.

Working extensively in intermediated markets in many countries means that Utmost maintains a very extensive suite of literature. For Utmost this means, for example, one product brochure may have many variations according to country, language and prevailing regulatory jurisdiction. Every piece of literature will have different stakeholders across the business. This creates not only a sophisticated ongoing project management need in terms of changing, updating or communicating new collateral items, but also an extensive and intricate archiving requirement to document the who, what, when, how and why history of every piece.

For Utmost, the key to the success of their bethebrand system is its ability to deliver simplicity. They have been able to harmonise different processes across the business into one best practice approach. It allows the team to focus on the quality of the collateral and the fostering of excellent cross organisational working, ultimately delivering great customer outcomes.

What’s more, it allows the team to react very swiftly to market changes, supported closely by bethebrand’s support and account management teams.

bethebrand expect the relationship with Utmost to continue growing to support the markets outside of Europe from 2021.

Internationally acclaimed health care provider goes live with bethebrand

Monday, 15 April 2013

Following a successful pilot project, a leading health care provider has fully deployed be the brand's marketing resource solution in the UK to bring their marketing supply chain together in one on-line collaborative work space. Marketing communications and financial promotions are streamlined with the creation, review, approval and archiving of brand and marketing assets.

UK annuity firm goes live with financial promotions and brand asset solution

Thursday, 28 March 2013

A leading UK annuity provider has gone live with bethebrand. As a marketing resource management tool, the solution centralises all marketing collateral on-line, manages the asset life cycle, reviews and approvals. Automating next review dates, version control and archiving for financial promotions delivers speed and control.

Scottish Life – a division of Royal London go live with PhinPro

Monday, 18 May 2009

Scottish Life have become the latest leading player in the financial services sector to select be the brand experience as their partner for deploying a Financial Promotion lifecycle management system.

This further cements our position as clear market leaders in the provision of Marketing Resource Management (MRM) technology to the UK Financial Services industry

Case study to follow.

National Savings & Investments goes live with PhinPro

Monday, 20 April 2009

National Savings & Investments goes live with PhinPro, our Financial Promotion lifecycle management system.

National Savings & Investments also adds to our expanding list of Government credentials with the Environment Agency already having been live for over a year; reflecting our ability to offer demonstrable benefits to Government clients.

Case study to follow.

PhinPro launch success as with 3 new client wins

Monday, 16 February 2009

Following the launch of our PhinPro product we are pleased to have ended 2008 on a high with three new client wins in December. The clients continue to demonstrate that PhinPro is the strongest marketing automation solution for Financial Services. All three wins followed extensive tender processes during which we were evaluated against others; and won.

Further details will be released during 2009.

Launch of PhinPro, our Financial Promotion lifecycle management solution for Financial Services

Monday, 12 January 2009

PhinPro (Phinancial Promotion) is an off-the-shelf, configurable version of our Marketing Resource Management solution customised specifically for Financial Services. Operating in a highly regulated environment demands standardised, compliant and efficient process; Directors need to confidence that the Financial Promotion lifecycle is being effectively managed to minimise risk exposure.

We have embedded our extensive experience in delivering marketing resource management solutions to the FS sector in PhinPro. PhinPro provides a rapidly deployable solution delivered on a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) basis.

Contact Adam Hainsworth (Link to contacts page) to find out more.

be the brand experience is chosen by the UK's market leader in ethical FS products

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

The UK's leading ethical financial services group has selected be the brand experience to create and deploy a large-scale marketing resource management system. The customised system (alf), caters for Co-operative Bank, Co-operative Insurance and Smile Bank, and provides a robust and auditable process for managing the development and use ofall marketing materials. The system is customised to suit the size and complexity of CFS’s organisational processes and supply chain, and also includes a centralised asset store from which the latest versions of all marketing materials can be accessed.

The system places a particular emphasis on ensuring compliance with FSA regulations during the approval process, and key anticipated benefits include greater control and visibility, reduced lead times, faster signoff and less document circulation. Other benefits result from increasing the value realised from brand assets, and reducing the costs associated with creating and updating them.

CFS has recently undergone a large restructure and alf is a key part of their new way of working. The transformation was a collaborative effort involving a number of parties, including be the brand experience.

be the brand experience provided full training for all users, who ranged from Compliance and Marketing to Legal, Technical and Business Management. be also successfully integrated multiple design and print agencies into the final solution and had them fully trained prior to going live. The system was successfully launched late February 2008, following a well-executed pilot run.

"We are delighted that CFS chose be the brand experience to help them manage the process for creating, approving and storing their marketing and communications materials and we are proud to be working with the market leader in ethical FS products"

Jes Ongley, be the brand experience

About Co-operative Financial Services (CFS)

With some 6.5 million customers, Co-operative Financial Services (CFS) is a leading provider of car insurance, mortgages, current accounts, home and contents insurance, credit cards, life assurance, personal loan and pensions. CFS was formed in 2002 to bring The Co-operative Bank, Smile and the Co-operative Insurance Society (CIS) together, and has developed a reputation for providing quality products and services and leading the way on ethics and the environment.

About be the brand experience

Be the brand experience is a leading provider of Marketing Resource Management technology (MRM). Be the brand experience enables clients to achieve more by developing effective, affordable custom-built technology solutions that empower users to better manage marketing workflows, brand assets and suppliers, resulting in lower costs, lower lead times and greater brand consistency and compliance. For more information, please contact info@be-thebrand.com.

A marketing services tool that has already proved itself invaluable

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

One of the UK's leading investment management firms has selected be the brand experience to provide them with a customised marketing resource management solution.

The system, (which Baillie Gifford have called 'M&RS'), provides a robust, transparent and auditable process for managing the creation and use of marketing communications, and features a centralised asset store with comprehensive version history and access controls. It is also designed to assist in the compliance with FSA regulations during the internal approval process.

MKey anticipated benefits include efficiency savings, reduced lead times, faster signoff, less document iteration, and, to help comply with FSA requirements a more robust and easily accessible audit trail. It is also expected to increase the utilisation of brand assets, and to reduce the costs associated with creating and updating them.

The system went live in August 2007 following a speedy four-week deployment. This involved scoping, testing and user training - all in quick succession.

"Baillie Gifford's approach to system scooping and deployment enabled them to realise the benefits of their MRM system very quickly. Working with them is a pleasure."

Jes Ongley,COO,be the brand experience

"The new M&RS system brings internal and external stakeholders together under one fully electronic web- based system. This allows marketing communications to be coordinated much more efficiently. It’s a paperless environment which provides a full and complete audit trail. MI functionality allows managers to know exactly where a project is at any point in time and it also allows us to have a tighter control over when communications need to be updated. The system has already proved itself an invaluable marketing services tool."

Stuart Conlan, Marketing Services Manager, Baillie Gifford & Co

About Baillie Gifford & Co

Baillie Gifford & Co is one of the UK's leading independently owned investment management firms, managing investments globally for pension funds, institutions, charities and retail investors. As of 31 September 2007, Baillie Gifford & Co had more than £54 billion of funds under management and advice. Baillie Gifford & Co has developed its reputation through combining experience, enthusiasm and sound judgement.

About be the brand experience

be the brand experience is a leading provider of Marketing Resource Management technology (MRM). Be the brand experience enables clients to achieve more by developing effective, affordable custom-built technology solutions that empower users to better manage marketing workflows, brand assets and suppliers, resulting in lower costs, lower lead times and greater brand consistency and compliance. For more information, please contact info@be-thebrand.com.