Mortgage technology firm focuses on emotional messaging

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Three years ago, Alpharetta, Ga.-based Advectis Inc., teamed up with its integrated marketing agency, nearby Atlanta-based Arketi Group, to introduce its paperless mortgage technology to the banking industry. The software, dubbed BlitzDocs Collaboration Suite, provides loan lenders and originators access to an online document network in which users can submit, organize, share and archive loan documents.

"The goal was for Advectis to claim market leadership for all mortgage participants," said Sami Jajeh, principal at Arketi Group.

However, at the time of launch, the company faced two major obstacles. "First, there was a lot of marketing spin about 'e-mortgages,' and our target audiences were confused about what was real, what was not and what the various solutions actually did," Jajeh said. "Second, during this period, the audience dealt with a refinancing boom followed by a refi bust that made it difficult for us to engage very preoccupied senior management teams."

Advectis identified top mortgage lending executives, specifically VPs, exec VPs and C-level executives of sales production-the people most concerned about eliminating waste and cutting costs associated with paper processing-as the primary targets for the BlitzDocs campaign.

Advectis and Arketi discussed a number of tactics and strategies but ultimately chose an integrated mix of public relations, trade shows, channel business development, e-mail marketing and association marketing-media and methods that emphasized relationship-building. "The mortgage industry revolves around relationships, so we chose programs that could help us tap into building and creating partnerships with companies and industry players," Jajeh said. "Also, we saw public relations as a particularly critical tool that could help us establish industrywide credibility."

The BlitzDocs Collaboration Suite campaign was launched at the Mortgage Bankers Association Conference three years ago, with the tagline of "The No. 1 network for mortgage document collaboration." The campaign message stressed that at the heart of the BlitzDocs network lies a collaborative electronic loan folder, which mirrors the paper loan folder that most mortgage companies still use today, Jajeh said. Campaign imagery focused on likenesses of multiple people putting their hands into a computer to get the electronic loan folder.

All these elements have been incorporated into trade show exhibits, as well as ads running in both print and online mortgage banking and technology publications over the past three years.

BlitzDocs sales have grown more than 550% since 2003. In addition, the company has scored an annual compound growth in its network subscribership of more than 150% each year over the last three years.

Jajeh said the campaign didn't do anything particularly new or surprising, but nonetheless it has been extremely effective. "The key to our success was simple: Know thy audience and build a message that caters to its emotional triggers," he said.

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