There seems to be fairly little written about the successful marketing of an SDP but having been working with many customers who have been providing successful SDPs for a few years now it is becoming clear that as this area of the market grows and the technical and pricing hurdles are overcome, that having an integrated marketing plan for your SDP will become a more important element for overall success.
There are naturally many aspects to such a plan but one in particular came to prominence last week when I caught up with one of Caplin’s customers’ who built their emerging markets FX SDP 3 years ago. When we were originally architecting the system with them, they wanted to design a completely parallel deployment that could be used for demoing the service and for users to trial it all with dummy accounts.
The idea was simple enough; to ensure there was a stand-alone capability, identical to the live service, that could be safely used to show off the web-based approach they had taken, quite a pioneering decision 3 years ago. Whether by good luck or good judgment, it has proved to be a key marketing decision. Due to the geographical diversity of emerging markets, selling the service effectively has meant many road shows have been required to reach the target market and it has been hugely beneficial to be able to just flick a switch in a database to convert registered trialists’ on to the real service.
Indeed, the service now has over double the number of users expected in the original business plan and by taking this approach to marketing their web-based SDP, the on-boarding rate reached over 400 external users per month for a few months, an impressive endorsement of their overall planning and approach. Similar set-ups are quite commonplace in retail offerings, so perhaps, as Mike Hill points out in his comments on the Single Customer View, this is another facet of how elements of the retail market are filtering through to the institutional one.