At FinovateFall in New York last week, several of the technology companies exhibiting their latest solutions designed to help advisors, banks and other financial institutions stressed the importance of personalization.
Clear examples of that included BlueRush’s IndiVideo interactive personalized video technology platform for advisors and other financial institutions, the data aggregation and analytics platform for digital financial services of Envestnet and the Yodlee software company it bought in 2015, and Orion’s rebalancing platform.
BlueRush started in Toronto as a digital marketing agency, serving banks for about 30 years, before shifting its focus to become a software-as-a-service company providing personalized customer engagement solutions in 2017, after CEO Steve Taylor took the helm of the publicly traded firm, Ted Mercer, its vice president of sales, said at the conference. The company had offered several products but recently sold them off to focus on its IndiVideo platform, Mercer noted.
“Personalization for custom communications is no longer nice to have — it’s mandatory,” he told ThinkAdvisor, noting most consumers expect personalization today with just about any product or service they’re using. Meanwhile, “video is the fastest-growing medium in the world,” he said, noting: “We believe personalized video will be the predominant communication format for banks within five years.”
The IndiVideo platform regularly tracks whether viewers are still watching a particular video and checks every few seconds to see if they’ve selected a call-to-action button while viewing, he explained. “We overlay that data — those engagement metrics — with personalized data categories to help” its corporate customers “understand how their different audience segments interact,” he said. It then feeds that data back into the video dashboard to help companies “optimize” their videos based on who’s watching them, he explained.
“BlueRush is going to do for custom communications what Google did for internet ads,” he predicted, noting internet ads didn’t start gaining traction until the launch of Google Analytics in 2005, enabling video ads to be optimized for specific audience segments. “BlueRush does the same thing around personalized video,” he said.
Since the product was introduced about two years ago, more than 40 banks have started using it at 20 of the largest organizations in North America, he said. Despite starting with banks, it’s also targeting financial advisors and companies outside the financial sector, he told ThinkAdvisor.
The company intends to sell the product to large RIAs but not individual advisors because of the cost involved in developing personalized video content, he said, adding a license fee is also charged by it each time an ad runs using its technology.
“An individual advisor is probably not going to spend the money to do this unless they have a sufficient number of customers to make it worth it — and they’d need thousands of customers,” he said.
BlueRush disclosed in early September that it sold the technology and source code for its DigitalReach platform and Broadridge’s Smart Advisor application to Broadridge Financial Solutions for 2.3 million Canadian dollars. The move was designed to “enable us to heighten our focus on our core IndiVideo platform and provides us with greater financial flexibility to support our sales, marketing and product development objectives,” Taylor said in a statement at the time.