Finding the Formula for Successful CM: Managing Financial Content

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Looking Ahead
In the next few years, Gartner's Bell foresees financial services firms developing CM systems that enable an executive or department manager to write business rules that would automatically collect and distribute content to the appropriate people inside and outside the enterprise. For example, the vice president of a credit department could write parameters for a home equity promotion for current customers meeting certain credit scores, income levels, and other criteria (e.g., targeted geographic regions).

Once the rules are written, the CMS would interface with the company's customer or prospect database, pulling up the total number of prospects. If there were enough, the system would pull content, including truth in lending statements, loan documents, etc., so a loan offer could be sent to prospects via direct mail or email, depending on the way customers wish to be contacted.

Necessary content (offer details, etc.) would also be sent to loan officers and customer contact people within the bank so that they know about the offer if a contact makes an inquiry. Currently, one department may develop a campaign, but others in the financial institution aren't always aware of it. Such a system would not only mean better communications among departments and with customers, but would also help slash the time needed to develop and execute new promotional programs. By enabling business rules to access content systems, a financial institution could also cut a day off the time needed to close a loan. This would enable a lender to close more loans, meaning higher revenues and profitability.

As financial services firms look to add more comprehensive content management systems, Sarich from FileNet recommends that they first take the time to understand specific issues surrounding the management of digital content and how best to leverage CM initiatives. "They need to understand what better business processes are and what defines them," Sarich explains. "They have to look at the unstructured data that comes into their organization. They need a methodology and structure for archiving. They can't just store it. They need to include the necessary taxonomy for indexing and managing the information."

Sidebar: Compliance Issues

While compliance with government regulations is a concern among many industries, it is a leading issue among financial services firms. There are very specific rules about what can and can't be said (e.g., promises of certain returns), types of information that must be included with certain content, and stringent guidelines about record keeping about content distribution. Therefore, much of the financial services content for inside and outside the organization must be reviewed by the legal or compliance department prior to distribution.

"Compliance is a huge burden for the financial services organization," according to Gartner analyst Toby Bell. Any of the enewsletters or other communications must meet specific compliance rules if it offers specific investment advice. Therefore, many avoid specific advice, while others go through a comprehensive review process prior to distribution.

Financial services content must be reviewed by a number of people, says Steve Miyao, CEO of Kasina LLC New York, a financial services strategy consulting firm. "You can't just say any way you want it." Unfortunately, financial content reviews take time. Some content never gets to the customer because by the time it's reviewed, it's no longer relevant.

Adding to the compliance burden of econtent are Sarbanes-Oxley rules, which were enacted in the wake of the Enron and Worldcom scandals. SOX-effected companies, including financial services firms, must maintain records of communications with individuals, including emails, voice recordings (typically with a brokerage firm), and paper correspondence. An increasing amount of the latter is being scanned and stored as digital files, according to Jeff Phillips, senior analyst for Doculabs.

Companies Featured in This Article
Dow Jones News Wires
Gartner, Inc.
FileNet Corporation
iMakeNews, Inc.

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