VZ VermögensZentrum: Successful event marketing with BSI
VZ VermögensZentrum, the independent retirement advisor and mortgage and asset manager, provides comprehensive support to its customers in all matters related to money. The company was one of Switzerland’s first financial services providers to count on customer-oriented information events in the financial space. VZ has streamlined its event management processes with BSI, and it has been a success.
What is event marketing?
Companies use event marketing to create the foundation for experience-oriented communication for a product, service or company in the context of an informational or entertaining event. The goal is to increase the sales activation potential by creating added value for customers.
Event marketing at VZ: Better informed with unbiased information
VZ is a leader in workshops and webinars: It conducts about 250 in-person events a year (as long as the Coronavirus does not thwart their plans) and a total of 700 and 800 annual events with online events included. During technical presentations, the experts at VZ share their knowledge with the event participants and answer their questions about retirement, investments, taxes, mortgages and inheritance.
“For us, informational events are a particularly useful tool for generating leads and engaging with customers. For the longest time, we were one of few financial services providers who offered this option. The positive feedback we have received from prospects and customers alike encourages us to keep offering it.”
Valentina Mancarella, Head of Campaign Management and Management Member, VZ Corporate Services
Although the company’s customers have valued this offer highly, the event management processes in the background were very complex, and the event marketing team had to use a lot of crutches. Only the customer data was available in the old CRM system, and VZ had to manage everything else in Excel. While central marketing organizes the events throughout Switzerland, the reception employees at the company’s approximately thirty locations manage the operational aspect.
The challenge was that the reception personnel had to receive training in complex processes that consisted of countless partial steps. Since the training effort was immense, it was very difficult to get substitutes. In addition, the event follow-up was lengthy and tedious: VZ had to enter the participants, evaluate the questionnaires they routinely handed out at the events, individually evaluate the surveys, etc.
The solution and successes
The new CRM system went live at the end of 2020. A short time later, in March/April of 2021, VZ started handling its event management through BSI CRM and BSI CX, the Digital Experience Platform. Today, the previously complex event management process only consists of seven steps.
Now, the company walks its roughly fifty reception employees, who have responsibility for the operational aspects of the events through each step of the process in BSI. Since the process is standardized and very lean now, substitutes can easily find their way around it, and the training effort has decreased drastically. Document templates, such as survey evaluations, are stored in BSI CRM. VZ also simplified the online registration process. For example, customers are automatically identified now; the available event spots are deducted on the website, thanks to the interface between CRM and website; and VZ has automated the sending of e-mails such as registration confirmations and reminders. Preparing for workshops and webinars and following up on them has also become significantly more efficient. Analyses show that this part of the process is now twice as fast as before.
“With the BSI Customer Suite implementation, we reached an important milestone. I learned a lot of new things when we implemented the event processes in BSI and caught a first glimpse of everything that’s technically possible. And it makes me want to do more. While the project phase and implementation were rather demanding, it was definitely worth it,” according to Valentina Mancarella.
What is next?
Currently, VZ continues to manage webinars with a tool that has no direct link to BSI. This situation will change soon as VZ evaluates providers from the BSI ecosystem.
“Plus, there are some small flaws that we are working on correcting as quickly as possible. Examples are integrating the appointment files directly into the confirmation e-mails and providing Google Maps links with the event locations as a service for our prospects. We are not short on ideas when it comes to enhancing the event experience,” emphasized Valentina Mancarella.
About the interviewee
Valentina Mancarella started at VZ as a marketing assistant about ten years ago. Soon after, she took on seminar and event management and became a team leader in 2017. Today, she leads the campaign management team in marketing, including the events team. She has continuously expanded her knowledge about event management and has improved and streamlined countless processes. “Every day, seminar and event management inspires me anew – even though the Coronavirus pandemic has not exactly made this type of work very easy over the past two years. What I especially like to do is fill special events with emotions and impressions so that our guests remember them forever,” Valentina Mancarella revealed.