As winter gives way to spring, the predictions made by LeapRate at the beginning of 2015 are beginning to become measurable.
A totally new direction for the design of commercial websites of FX firms was one specific detail that LeapRate predicted for this year, and indeed there have been a great many developments in that direction, with FX firms replacing very information-orientated, text-heavy previous sites with new, clean sites with dynamic graphics, images and simpler messages. This conveys the need to continually attract clients to websites, as in such an online industry, the website is the front desk of a company as well as its shop window, therefore is an instrumental part of acquisition of clients.
So important is website branding and depth of coverage that firms have spent in some cases millions of dollars purchasing interesting domain names, with GMO Click buying Z.com, one of the worlds only three single letter domain names on the internet, from Nissan Motor Company for $6.8 million, and British electronic trading stalwart IG Group having purchased and registered a series of generic, industry specific unique TLD suffixes recently.
Most certainly, therefore, digital marketing, corporate image and the ability to build business in future all lies within the website. Development costs, maintenance and evolving constantly to keep pace with technological change and customer requirement plus entries into new markets are all matters which burden companies, therefore new methodologies in terms of digital marketing, campaign management and website construction are emerging.
LeapRate spoke to iCreate’s senior management, specifically Ronen Bar, the company’s CEO, and David Adest, VP of Business Development in order to delve deep into the next generation in FX websites and the ethos behind the requirement for change and for companies to be able to cut down on human resource and development costs, yet gain highly comprehensive, multilingual websites.
Mr. Adest began by explaining that the company has been in business for four and a half years, with its first product having been the development of Facebook applications. From that initial product, the firm branched into generating a major pivot for the product which came in the form of a digital campaign management system which creates and manages campaigns.
Mr. Adest explained that the key feature is its WIX drag and drop editor, which can create many types of mobile sites and minisites. He stated that it is the only editor in the world which creates multilingual landing pages with a single click. This solution can create a multilingual website by uploading an Excel document with multiple languages, and the software will create those landing pages automatically using the languages on the Excel sheet.
“We created our own Google Analytics, which is in the system by default” said Mr. Adest.
The inspiration for a system which provides comprehensive campaign and website management which can be automated came about as a result of what iCreate’s two founders were constantly frustrated by – the lack of a cost effective campaign management tool.
The company was founded by two executives from McCann Erickson who were working on very high budget campaigns for multinational companies across all sectors, many of which were bottle-necked by a circumstances such as a deficient programmer, or high workload in software development.
The expense, frustration and time and effort when a component within the chain causes a campaign to become inefficient translates across all companies, all of which have the same challenge.
Thus, the founders of iCreate, during their time at McCann Erickson began to consider that if there could be a campaign management tool that can create the campaign and manage the lead flow in one space, this could be very valuable. “That is why the functionality of this product” stated Mr. Bar. “We had the highest demands of big brands at McCann Ericsson and therefore the system that we have created now automatically executes all of what we considered necessary for the building of a new generation of campaginn management tool whilst at McCann Erickson. We were at the time searching for this tool whilst there, but were unable to find any such solution.”
Mr. Bar explained that “Multilingual support is key to FX. You can export all the landing pages to a remote server where the landing pages are running with this system, thus reducing the cost of building seperate sites, and reducing the need for external web developers.”
Mr. Adest moved us to the subject of the need to remain efficient with marketing, one of the largest expenditures within online trading companies. “With regard to the nature of marketing for FX and binary options, this is one of the online industries with some of the highest level of competition and expense in acquiring customers” said Mr. Adest. “Small to midsize companies are often encumbered with the extra expense of employing programmers and designers which means high cost and time & effort to priodyuce materials is very intensive. Conversely if they cant afford to produce what they need to in order to achieve good revenue then they are disadvantaged.”
“It was therefore important to develop a website editor which provides full design freedom, with no templates. Our system will manage any design, which is important especially at a time when FX firms are totally changing the designs of their website as per LeapRate’s predictions” said Mr. Adest.
Mr. Adest enthusiastically began to explain how this solution brings value. “It has 2 virtues. The first being that companies no longer need a programmer to code pages. In the minute that it takes to code the page, it codes multilingual pages at the same time. At the time of uploading the first page, it gives multiple HTML files, coded in different languages, and all files can be hosted by the client and exported directly to the client’s server.”
Mr. Bar added that many people wouldn’t think they would get the functionality out of the landing pages that they are used to if they did not go to the expense of hiring a large IT support team and web developers. For example, there may be concerns over how leads are delivered to a CRM, therefore we built geotargeting into the model which performs this entire process automatically.”
Mr. Adest added “Looking ahead, we are working on a system which if a customer half-completes a form and deos not click submit, we can capture that information. This is about a month away. There are already some systems which complete the form and submit it, but this falls off at a certain point. We can alert brokers to the percentage of lead attrition therefore allow them to optimize their campaigns accordingly, we can tell client demographic and combine it with the lead attrition statistics.”
“Thinking about what is important to Chief Marketing Officers of many FX and binary options companies, and bearing in mind their main challenges, geotargeting helps reduce wasted leads, and wasted leads are an expensive bugbear of traditional online trading sales models. With our system, customer authentication is built in. and the system can pull a country list from its IP address” explained Mr. Bar.
“This works by putting the prefix of the phone by the IP address, a process called autofill form data by IP. The system automatically inserts the country and prefix of the phone number into the CRM if a customer only puts in the national code. This makes the customer contactable, whereas if the customer resides in, for example Australia and only puts in the code for Sydney and does not state which country he is based in, the lead is wasted. This particular solution avoids such circumstances” stated Mr. Bar.
Mr. Adest covered the all important topic of how to move with the requirements of affiliates and IBs. “Forex brokers are currently burdened with high human resources costs, the time and intensity of having to build out each campaign, and the time it takes to adjust to the bhehavior of their traffic” he explained. “The time it takes to adjust a campaign to take into account a holiday or a promotion is costing sales and nobody can these days afford to lose a customer due to acquisition costs.”
“By being better keyed into campaigns is the only way to keep profitable” he continued. “If you save one affiliate or IB that your creative aren’t converting quickly enough and you are turning around a campaign adjustment in 4 hours rather than a few days, you’re retaining a partner, affiliate or IB that brings several clients rather than losing that IB or affiliate due to complaints that campaings aren’t converting quickly enough” said Mr. Adest.
Mr. Adest gave a final piece of advice before concluding our disucssion, that being “Don’t lose an IB because it takes too long to turn around your campaign creative. For marketing managers who have got into the habit of supplying creative that they want, they can now supply creative to affiliates and IBs who have quality traffic but cannot get their clients to a broker that has the right product or service for them, therefore brokerages can speak to affiliates and IBs to assess their needs, and have a suitable campaign running that same day.”
Photograph: LeapRate’s Andrew Saks-McLeod discusses the next generation of marketing for FX firms with iCreate CEO Ronen Bar and iCreate VP of Business Development David Adest