Insights


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

Monday, 19 July 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.

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.

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.

We are now FSQS accredited

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

bethebrand experience is pleased to announce that as of June 2019 we are now fully FSQS accredited.

What is FSQS accreditation?

FSQS is a qualification system for the financial sector, used by a broad spectrum of financial services providers, including major banks, building societies, insurance providers, asset managers, et al.

It is designed to standardise and manage requests for compliance and assurance data for the financial services organisations that have adopted it.

As the regulated environment becomes more complex, FSQS provides a standard and simple mechanism for collecting and managing supplier compliance assurance information across the sector.

It is a cross-sector collaboration solution which reduces the time, cost, resource and duplication currently needed to provide information to financial institutions.

What does FSQS accreditation cover?

In order to gain FSQS accreditation, a supplier must meet a host of strict criteria in regards to operational policies and procedures. Topics include:

-IT Security

-Disaster Recovery

-Data Protection

-Ethical Business

-Diversity & Inclusion

-Anti Bribery

-Anti Slavery

What does this mean for organisations considering bethebrand experience as a supplier?

In a nutshell, it means that in working with bethebrand experience, you are working with an organisation whos systems and processes have been reviewed and accredited against industry standards as defined by FSQS. This should make it easier to do business with us as a significant amount of due diligence has already been performed via the FSQS accreditation.

I want to know more about FQSQ accreditation:

Further information on FSQS accreditation can be found here: http://www.hellios.com/procurement/fsqs.html

Famous name joins the be the brand stable

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

One of the best known names in UK life assurance with an illustrious history is the latest new client to deploy be the brand experience's software to help manage their financial promotions and compliance activities - bringing a nearly 200 year old insurance brand back to life.

First Irish client

Wednesday, 06 June 2018

Be the brand experience are delighted to now have our first client in the Emerald isle. The specialist solutions provider in the European insurance & reinsurance market has just gone live following a speedy 10 week deployment process.

New Client live

Wednesday, 07 February 2018

We are very excited that the UK business of a major American insurer specialising in employee benefits have selected & deployed be the brand experience's configured platform to support their compliance and regulatory activities.

New Client live

Tuesday, 05 September 2017

After a successful configuration and training we are pleased to welcome another mutual to our list of live clients. This top 5 Building Society has selected be the brand experience as the platform to manage their financial promotions lifecycle on and we look forward to becoming an integral part their marketing and compliance activities.

Another new client for be the brand

Thursday, 09 June 2016

Be the brand are pleased to announce that another Edinburgh based Financial Services provider has selected bethebrand to automate the management of their Financial Promotions asset lifecycle. Our digital asset store and workflow automation capability provides them with a cost effective, scalable and agile solution which will be up and running in a few short months.

To learn more, get in touch with us today!

Financial Adviser network chooses be the brand for financial promotions

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

One of the largest financial advice networks in the UK has selected be the brand to help manage their advisers’ financial promotions. A different approach than the standard financial services client, they had an extra workflow configured to allow advisers to upload their marketing promotions for review and approval. The corporate office financial promotions team are alerted to review / approve upon submission. There are different SLAs for different tiers and all progress is quickly available on-line with user-specific dashboards.

Be the brand configured an extra work flow to meet the specific requirements for this process while still allowing other users to operate a standard workflow for internal, corporate use. The integrity of the core functionality is maintained for both sides of the operation and transparency for all workflows remains intact.

Contact us today for a quick chat or an on-line demo. See how we can help streamline your financial promotions process.

Award winning pensions provider selects bethebrand

Friday, 01 May 2015

An award winning pensions provider has selected and gone live with bethebrand, our automated work flow / financial promotions software solution. With auto-enrolment deadlines fast approaching, this pensions provider elected to centralise their marketing processes for more efficient and transparent reviews and approvals. In under 4 months bethebrand was configured, deployed, users were trained and the system went live. With a Defaqto 5 Star Rating in auto-enrolment, we are proud to welcome them as another member of our elite client base. To find out how bethebrand can help you, please Contact us or ring us on 020 7199 0369.

Automotive client deploys bethebrand in 4 months

Thursday, 27 November 2014

From kick-off through to UAT and going live - 4 months flat. Our newest client has deployed bethebrand during one of their busiest seasons. Three core marketing teams, various external agencies and a complex corporate structure made this an especially quick turnaround. An intense penetration test performed by their Global IT department was done and our newest client is off and running with bethebrand. Another happy client on the books.

bethebrand Tops the Selection Process for Another Client Win

Monday, 11 August 2014

A global leader in customer engagement and loyalty solutions has selected bethebrand to create and deliver products and services that strengthen brand relationships and increase overall customer profitability. Helping clients across a broad range of sectors, this outsourcing client will use bethebrand to manage all of their clients' financial promotions. By managing compliance, legal and marketing stakeholders early in the workflow, the asset can be sent to their client for approval after all internal comments have been incorporated. A full audit trail is maintained which streamlines communications for all parties. Another big win for bethebrand ! With over 1,200 employees offering services in 17 countries, this is a great start to a long-term relationship.

Client Win - Another leading Fund Manager selects bethebrand

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Our latest client has operations in London, Dundee and Aberdeen. With two legal entities and one central in-house creative team, segregation of duties and full audit trails were key factors in selection. The on-line Dashboard shows a personalised view of tasks currently outstanding and a few clicks shows the entire workflow - tasks, people / teams assigned, expected completion dates, etc. Traffic managing becomes easy with the Re-Assign function to keep the workflows as streamlined as possible. As the first new client on Version 2, they are keeping our marketing momentum at the forefront and our software cutting edge.

Rebranding Made Easier - Another Client Win

Saturday, 15 February 2014

The parent of a long-standing client has chosen the Asset Store from be the brand experience to centralise logos, brand guidelines and other marketing materials. Self-registering all users on an as-needed basis,new functionality and ease of integration with other subsidiaries made the decision relatively simple. Full customisation of Asset Data, the powerful search engine and the ability to house virtually any type of file were key decision points as well.

New Insurance Client

Friday, 15 November 2013

Another Financial Services client win as a leading UK insurance provider selects bethebrand. With a large base of existing clients and an aggressive growth prediction, the need for a streamlined marketing tool was paramount. The centralised approach helps to ensure that creative, stakeholder, legal and compliance teams can easily integrate the brief, review, approval and publishing of all marketing materials, including customer facing letters and client proposals.

be launches a tailor made MRM toolkit for Financial Services industry

Monday, 24 April 2006

be the brand experience launches a tailor made MRM toolkit for Financial Services Industry

be the brand experience have released their latest industry customised solution. The unique challenges faced by marketers, compliance officers and agencies in the Financial Services (FS) market require an MRM solution that manages the financial promotion literature creation and approval process, automates the job-bag/ archiving process and manages item availability/ withdrawal dates. Automating the literature approval across multiple locations delivers reduced cycle time increased visibility. The solution also captures all approvals and sign off given for items - providing a comprehensive audit trail to help meet FSA guidelines.

With the Financial Services MRM toolkit, FS clients will be closer to having an off-the-shelf MRM solution that meets their industry needs without requiring significant customisation during the deployment; reducing the time and cost of set-up and deployment compared to starting with a vanilla MRM solution.

With Prudential UK, UIA and Winterthur live as well as 2 other top 10 FS providers in deployment and other large UK Financial Services clients in the pipeline, be the brand experience has established its credentials providing a market beating MRM solution within the FS sector.

Please contact busdev@be-thebrand.com for further information on our various off the shelf toolkits and customised solutions.