Data, Data, Everywhere

Retail FX trading is a highly competitive market - brokers have always loved data, even before it got big.

Retail FX trading is a highly competitive market, where brokers must constantly look to replenish their funnel of prospective customers. New customers or traders are the life-blood of the brokerage. Of course, many businesses operate in similar circumstances and under the same competitive pressures. As the battle to attract new customers intensifies so do the associated costs of marketing, advertising and sales.

What’s more, as everyone scrambles to grab the attention of the same prospects, the effectiveness of campaigns is reduced overall. Either ad blindness sets in or new customers simply game the system by opening multiple accounts, cashing-in on special offers and promotions before cashing out again. At the heart of this endless drive to win new business is the marketing department. Its marketing that must continually produce new campaigns and strategies that bypass the competition but still engage ad-weary customers.

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Naturally, that’s a lot easier if you’re a big marketing department with plenty of resources and deep pockets. However, there are alternatives.

big-dataData Mining

Marketing people have always loved data, even before it got big. Back in the day we simply called it information, which later morphed into marketing insights. Anyway, having the right data about the right things is generally pretty useful. Your company’s own systems and people are obvious repositories of useful information, although getting your hands on the right data might be easier said than done.

Customer relationship management systems (CRM) have probably made the single biggest contribution to data transparency for businesses large and small in recent years. Outside the confines of the office there’s a wealth of additional data sources that can be accessed for marketing and sales purposes. In the UK anyone can request data from public sector organisations, as well as the local and national government under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2000.

You can also search data previously requested by others. Local councils provide a variety of open data sets on everything from planning applications to parking. The Data.gov.uk website offers thousands of historic and real-time data sets including transport, government, business and economy. These data sets can be incorporated into websites, mobile apps and used by marketers for research and campaign development.

Campaign Development

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So how can you use this data to your advantage? Well, let’s take retail FX as our example. We want to find some new customers for our brokerage. As retail FX trading is more akin to gaming than financial investments these days, we can use the Data.gov.uk website to find the latest British Gambling Prevalence Survey.

This document provides an array of potentially useful socio-economic information and insights about peoples’ gambling habits, preferences and responses to marketing. It also offers demographics such as gambling frequency by age, gender and ethnicity. This data might help inform new product development and marketing campaigns.

The British Gambling Prevalence Survey tells us that we can find the highest concentration of regular gamblers in the East Midlands, for example. Next, we can look at the Office for National Statistics (ONS) data on languages spoken across England and Wales. It seems that the East Midlands have significant numbers of people speaking Lithuanian, Latvian, Russian and SerboCroat.

We might also look at ONS data on internet and smartphone penetration for the region. So now we can set-up a series of Google AdWord campaigns segmented by geographic location (Boston and Corby, East Midlands), relevant foreign languages and device types. When preparing your ads and landing pages in different languages don’t rely on Google translate – it’s usually terrible. Pay to get the translation done properly; Use a service like One Hour Translation.

While your competitors are paying upwards of £40 for FX trading-related keywords and phrases you can reach out to a whole new segment of potential customers (albeit a small one) at a fraction of the cost.

Repurpose Content

Your own website and social media analytics are a good source of data, and will provide you with plenty of insights and ideas about where to search next for useful information. If your business is reaching out to customers around the globe then some handy free data sources include Data.gov for the USA, European Union Open Data Portal, the CIA’s World Factbook and Google Trends.

It’s worth keeping an eye on industry-specific news websites that often run stories about the latest surveys, reports and thought-leadership pieces. You’ll frequently find all sorts of valuable insights and statistics. Having found what you need for lead generation, you might decide to repurpose the data to create more expansive integrated campaigns. You could transform data into eye-catching infographics, white papers and alike. All this additional content can fuel your PR efforts and be shared across social media.

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