April 28, 2020 Andrea Bartman
Morningstar is a global investment research company providing software solutions to people across the financial services landscape. The company’s main goal is helping advisors and investors achieve financial freedom and to do that, the firm needed to find a better way to reach a large audience.
Originally, webinars were not in Morningstar’s marketing mix to generate leads and build pipeline. Emilie Neumeier, Product Marketing Manager at Morningstar, said that was because the company didn’t know how to use them. After a bit of trial and error, though, webinars quickly became a major component of Morningstar’s sales pipeline with five times as many MQLs.
Here’s how they made it happen.
A Streamlined, User-Friendly Webinar Processes
Before ON24, Morningstar used a webinar system that employed separate sound and video channels. Meaning, webinar attendees would have to login for visual content, but then also dial in for audio. Attendees often forgot the second step, so webinar administrators were subsequently inundated with messages and emails saying there was no sound to go along with the event.
Morningstar’s digital efforts got even more complicated when it ran webinars for global audiences. International attendees, after all, needed toll-free numbers to dial in without incurring costs. But, consequently, setting up toll-free numbers cost Morningstar quite a bit, regardless of whether those numbers were used or not.
The end result was poor webinar conversion metrics and a lack of information on who the registrants were versus who the actual attendees were. The firm needed a better method to engage with clients. So, it turned to ON24 for a better solution: ON24 Webcast Elite.
“The very first webinar we did with ON24, we had a 60% attendee conversion rate, which is quite good considering the industry standard for financial services is about 35-45%,” Neumeier said. “It’s an indicator of a great webinar.”
Since partnering with ON24, webinars have changed Morningstar’s entire demand generation strategy, allowing them to employ different types of webinars to clients at every level of their sales funnel. But it wasn’t just webinars Morningstar needed. It also needed a new approach to presenting and tracking engagement with its content.
How Morningstar Steps Up Content with Engagement Hub
With analysts writing new reports every day, Morningstar needed to track what its visitors viewed, downloaded and engaged with so it could better understand what resonated with its audience, develop new content and refine its messaging.
To make audience clarity a reality, Morningstar needed a tool that empowered it to manage all available content — from webinars and reports to blog posts and PDFs — in an easily navigable tool clients and prospects could use. With such a tool in place, Morningstar would be able to see what content audiences were actually interested in.
When Morningstar connected with ON24, it learned of the ON24 Engagement Hub and all its capabilities. It was a practical and easily-deployed solution. By monitoring unique download statistics, the company could see what content clients came to the firm for and refocus its resources on developing more relevant material.
“It’s like a choose-your-own-adventure education tool,” said Neumeier. “Once they’re [visitors] in the system, it’s cookied to their browser. So, they can access the content whenever they want, which is a much more pleasant user experience than having to constantly enter all of their information into forms.”
Using the Engagement Hub, Morningstar clients can easily search for content in a multitude of ways. They can even refine material by topic, theme and position and audience. Users can also be presented with other corresponding content and suggestions based on previous viewing history.
Seamless Software and Data Integration
Morningstar collects a lot of valuable leads with its webinars. But knowing how and when to engage those leads to turn them into clients is vital. It also takes a lot of engagement data to determine when the time is right. To make the most out of its data, Morningstar integrates ON24 with two critical tools: Eloqua and Salesforce.
By integrating with both of these programs, Morningstar can empower its sales teams to access data for live and on-demand viewers, plus those who access the Engagement Hub. This information is available through a single channel and is quickly sent to sales teams for timely follow-ups.
“This has generated a huge increase of sales to pipeline mainly because of our integration with ON24,” Neumeier said. “Pretty much within an hour, our salespeople have that information.”
With the help of ON24, Morningstar managed to transform its digital marketing efforts and create a lead-generating machine that seamlessly guides visitors through a curated content journey while empowering its sales team with the data they needed to turn prospects into customers.
To learn more about how Morningstar transformed its digital marketing, check out this webinar.