2020 Financial Content Marketing Award Winner Interview with Gate 39 Media CMO, Sarah McNabb

Marketing, News

In October 2020, Gate 39 Media announced that it has earned a 2020 Financial Content Marketing Award from the financial marketing intelligence think tank, Gramercy Institute. The Gramercy Financial Content Marketing Awards is held annually, with a panel of judges ranking submissions from the world’s leading financial brands (and their agencies and partners) across a variety of categories for excellence in content marketing. The firm earned a Financial content award in the Global Consumer Lending category for developing a Crypto Investing eBook for the digital asset investing and lending firm DrawBridge Lending / DBL Digital, which was developed in spring 2020. Bill Wreaks, founder of Gramercy Institute, talked with Gate 39 Media CMO about the strategy behind the winning content in the video, which is also transcribed below.

Financial Content Marketing Awards – Consumer Lending Category

BW: Hi, my name is Bill Wreaks and I am the CEO and Chief Analyst of The Gramercy Institute. We’re a think tank for senior marketers at major financial firms. Recently, we hosted The Gramercy Institute Financial Content Marketing Awards, and I’m very happy to tell you that we’re here today to chat with one of our winners. Her name is Sarah McNabb, and she is the Chief Marketing Officer of Gate 39 Media. Gate 39 Media won in our Consumer Lending Category, and we’re here today to learn her story.

Sarah would you please tell us a little bit more about what Gate 39 Media does?

SM: Hi, thank you. Yes, Gate 39 Media is a full-featured marketing and technology agency providing solutions for financial, agricultural, and professional services firms. So, we create solutions — from marketing and branding, and web design, to customer portals and mobile apps, and advanced technology for a range of firms. From some of the world’s largest exchanges, financial advisors, funds, brokerage firms, to smaller startups in fintech, including emerging managers.

In addition to the advanced technology solutions we provide, we do develop and execute inbound marketing strategies. We are a HubSpot Platinum Partner Agency and I’m happy to say that we’ve also recently ranked as an Inc. 5000 fastest growing company for 2020.

An Agency Team Effort

BW: Please tell us a little bit more about you and your team. Tell us about some of the people who drove this initiative forward.

SM: I’ve been with Gate 39 Media since 2016 and I’ve worked within progressive marketing roles in the financial space since 2003. I specialize in digital content development, distribution, automation, and strategy. At Gate 39 Media I manage the planning, development, and implementation of a range of marketing strategies for our clients, including the one in this particular case study for DrawBridge Lending.

My lead designer involved in this project, Nick Landsberger, also brings his design experience in the software industry to create designs for our clients that solve problems, elevate the user experience, and ultimately contribute to the positive bottom-line impact. He truly has a passion for the creative process and has provided all of our Gate 39 Media clients with customized purpose-driven aesthetics, including the eBook we will be talking about today.

Financial Marketing Campaign Backstory

BW: Tell us a little bit more about the backstory to this winning initiative. Tell us the circumstances behind what led you to this particular initiative.

SM: DrawBridge Lending / DBL Digital, which I’ll refer to as DBL going forward, is a Chicago-based innovator in digital asset, lending, borrowing, and structured products. They approached Gate 39 Media in late 2019 with the need for a complete marketing infrastructure. That included an adjusted logo, brand guide, a new responsive website, HubSpot CRM and marketing software, new sales pitch decks, marketing materials, paid social — the whole gamut — all within a clear and measurable strategy. Gate 39 Media built a full marketing infrastructure for the firm in about five months, which included key content marketing campaigns aimed at the firm’s different buyer personas.

The goal of one of these campaigns called for a marketing piece to help educate and influence accredited investors who were in in the awareness / consideration stage of the buyer’s journey, and that’s where our eBook idea came into play.

Key Marketing Objectives

BW: Thank you for that. Sarah, tell us a little bit more about the mechanics of your winning entry. Let’s start with the objective. What was the objective of your marketing initiative before this all got going?

SM: The objective of DBL’s content marketing project was one: to build brand awareness in the crypto fund space. Two: to demonstrate the firm’s core subject matter expertise as professional industry veterans offering a unique opportunity to investors. And three: to generate qualified leads through sophisticated crypto investing content.

Let’s Talk Marketing Strategy

BW: That makes total sense! Now to get more to the heart of it, tell us about your strategy. What was your strategy that you guys engaged to get this done?

SM: The strategy employed by Gate 39 Media was to create an attractive downloadable offer that appealed to sophisticated investors interested in crypto fund investment opportunities. The description in language and the amount of content were carefully chosen to not only appeal to, but help vet a more sophisticated, accredited audience.

Working with DBL’s compliance officer, Gate 39 Media collected and wireframed all content for a 15-page PDF offer. My design team then applied branding, including an attractive cover, and set up the piece as an interactive PDF. We also wire-framed content for the dedicated landing page and set that up in HubSpot with a form for lead collection.

Additionally, we also set up the automated marketing triggered by the offer download, such as the subsequent drip nurture email sequences tied to that call to action (or CTA).

Financial Content Marketing Execution

BW: Now that we understand the strategy. It’s important for us to know about the execution. Could you tell us a little bit more about how you executed this strategy, and could you answer for us, too, was this an obvious execution or was there some uncertainty surrounding the way you’re about to do it?

SM: Gate 39 Media leveraged several existing thought leadership articles and blog posts written by members of the DBL executive team, that had compliance approval already, addressing the topic of sophisticated crypto investing from multiple angles. After compiling this content, I was able to deliver it to my lead designer, Nick Landsberger, who created a professional on-brand interactive eBook PDF.

This offer was placed behind a HubSpot landing page with a form where we succinctly summarized the benefit points from the offer to help reinforce that call to action on the page. We then placed ads and banners throughout the DBL website using colorful thumbnail cover images and directional cues to help promote the piece and a special CTA row for this offer was added above the footer on the homepage as well as throughout key areas of the website including the Newsroom blog and the Resources page.

You know, additionally, key calls to action for the offer were strategically placed in the firm’s newsletter. Promotional social graphics were created linking to the landing page, and existing clients were emailed a copy as an extra value add.

BW: Thank you, Sarah. Now tell me,  was there anything particularly Innovative about the way you executed this initiative? Was there anything unusual? Was there anything that had never been done before we’re interested to know?

Financial Content Marketing Innovation

SM: The innovation of the offer arose through a combination of leveraging the right topic-tight variety and right amount of existing subject matter content by the DBL experts in the form of blog posts and articles. So, that, in tandem with fresh professional design and branding we provided, resulted in a beautiful digital interactive download that could also be printed if desired. And the strategic placement of the offer throughout DBL’s public marketing channels.

Measuring Marketing Results

BW: As you know, measurement is really important particularly in financial marketing. Can you tell us a little bit about how you captured the metrics? Can you tell us about how you knew you were doing it, right or did you?

SM: Sure, so metrics employed to monitor and manage this content marketing campaign included a combination of setting up the full campaign with all associated assets in HubSpot. As well as using HubSpot calls to action and tracking code so that we are able to see views, clicks, traffic, referrals, conversions, shares, follows, likes – and to see how those conversions actually moved through the Sales Pipeline, and how those data points from the campaign, overall, ultimately influenced revenue.

Marketing Success Metrics

BW: Nothing speaks to success like results. Could you please share with us what your metrics of success actually were? And what results did you achieve?

SM: Using HubSpot forms to track conversions, along with Google analytics, the offer quickly rose to become a top lead generator for the firm over the course of three months: April to June. And it earned the firm a considerable number of Marketing Qualified Leads. DBL confirmed with Gate 39 that this content marketing effort contributed to the firm reaching a substantial AUM milestone, which was announced in mid-July of 2020. So, it really did have a positive effect on their brand and their brand visibility.

Longer-Term Marketing Strategy

BW: Is there a longer-term strategy you have in mind for this ebook initiative?

SM: With the eBook offer being active for about a quarter. We had looked to create a second eBook offer as part of a larger resource library build, as a next iteration to more fully support SEO and to enable mobile users to have an option on how they view and consume the eBook PDF content. Gate 39 is reviewing a next variation of the eBook as a pillar page for the DBL website, as well as transforming it into a video series.

And as part of a longer-term strategy for the eBook, we’re looking to refresh its content annually to offer the latest insights into crypto.

HubSpot continues to be the central engine in which data is collected around the effectiveness of the contents and Gate 39 Media continues to leverage the software to help triangulate that data and helping pinpoint optimization opportunities.

Final Thoughts

BW: Now Sarah, are there any additional thoughts or additional learnings that you can share with us today about this really impressive initiative?

SM: I do have some final thoughts. So, following this Financial Content Award win, DBL announced in November that they had been acquired by Galaxy Digital Holdings, a publicly traded diversified financial services and investment management firm in the digital asset, cryptocurrency, and Blockchain tech sector.

This is an incredible win for DBL and, as marketers, we have to put forth great work to help our client firms accumulate visibility for wins like this. And I just want to say that, on behalf of my agency, Gate 39 Media, I’m grateful for being recognized by Gramercy Institute for creating effective financial content and am simultaneously proud of (in any small part) contributing to the larger success of our client, DBL.

So, thank you again, Bill.

BW: Sarah, thank you so much for sharing this journey with us. It really has been not only fun, but also informative to our audience. I can’t thank you enough for joining us here, and I look forward to our next time together.


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