Digital strategies for a new age

A great rate, exceptional service and sweet campaigns have always played a central role in attracting people to your FI, but times have changed and these things alone are no longer enough. Customer expectations are escalating quickly, shaped by other sectors and led by giants like Amazon. In every industry – including financial services – it’s no longer just about a product.

Customers are choosing brands based on how they facilitate engagement across all channels and devices, whether or not they offer personalized service and how easy they make it to navigate the purchase funnel. The expectation for an outstanding customer experience is the new bottom line. Customer experience, and the technology that supports it, are the big drivers of innovation and strategy.

Knowing if you’re doing what you can and need to do to ensure that customers choose your brand is one of the keys to your ongoing growth and profitability. Maybe you’re already doing this. Maybe you’re ready to get started. Or maybe you’re not 100% sure where to start or what your goals and strategies should be. 

We’ve developed a great tool that will help you determine if you’re on the right track with your digital strategies or if there are things you can be doing even better than you already are. We call it OARA (Online Acquisition Readiness Assessment). It’s a free service we offer any FI, whether you’re a thirdstream client or not. We’ll use our OARA tool to evaluate your organization’s current digital marketing position, then we’ll compare how you measure up to industry standards and best practices. 

Our OARA measures tactics (or projected tactics) like:

  • social media activities
  • content marketing
  • using and building your email list
  • digital advertising and promotions
  • how your website is working for you
  • the effectiveness of your acquisition tool

It’s a simple process. During a short conversation with your team, we’ll ask you a series of simple questions about everything from social engagement to retargeting, Google AdWords and SEO. Your answers will give us the insight we need to:

  • analyze where you’re at today
  • offer detailed recommendations for each question asked
  • identify a few key take-aways on how to increase your overall readiness for online acquisition. 

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Once we’ve completed your analysis, we’ll present you with a personalized results dashboard/report for you to share with key players within your organization.

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You can take it from there if you’d like and choose to follow through with all or any of the recommendations that have come out of your OARA. If you’d prefer a more hands-on approach, we’d be happy to offer as much guidance and consultation as you’d like to get or keep your digital marketing strategies on track. 

If you’d like to know more about this or go ahead and set up an OARA for your FI, it’s easy. There’s no commitment and it’s 100% gratis. Just give us a call at 403-381-1360 or contact keith@thirdstream.ca. We’re here to help. And we’re happy to do it.

Meet our PM/BA

The words human dynamo come to mind when describing Tana Chasakara. Such a dynamo, in fact, that her role simply can’t be contained to a single set of tasks. Not only is she our our project manager, she’s also highly regarded (and valued) as our business analyst and QA lead. It boggles the mind what this gal can do. A graduate of the University of Guelph, where she earned an honours degree in Management, Economics and Finance with distinction, Tana’s combination of intelligence, experience and skill are a core strength for our team and our product line. While she’s analyzing, problem solving, testing and organizing and, Tana can be found roaming from office to office and desk to desk, laptop in hand, generally keeping us all on task. Other than that, she loves to entertain the team with stories of her childhood in Zimbabwe and ensure that we’re all clear that Africa is a continent and not a country.

Tana

Here are some other interesting facts about our project manager/business analyst.

When did you join the thirdstream team?
September 2014.

What is your role with thirdstream?
Project manager and business analyst but I also lead QA efforts.

What appeals to you the most about the work you do with thirdstream?
I appreciate always being challenged with interesting and diverse assignments.  I like that I can grow my career in the direction that best suits my skill sets and interests.

In 1-2 sentences, what do you appreciate the most about being part of this team?
I love that the work is challenging but the people are not. We value each other’s inputs and work collaboratively to produce some very cool technology. And we have fun doing it.

Now for the fun stuff  

Born
Harare, Zimbabwe

Raised
Harare until 18, Toronto thereafter

Grew up in which decade
The 2000’s. Is that a thing?

Biggest musical (or other) influence when you were growing up
Simon and Garfunkel

Favourite tune/band on your ipod right now
Jhene Aiko

Huge fan of
Fantasy Films/Books and Anime

You’re happiest when
I’m with my family

Favourite Beverage
Peppermint tea

Greatest inspiration
My mother (cliché but true – she is awesome)

Greatest achievement (so far)
Choosing to be happy, no matter what

In Kevin’s case

It’s gadgets and gizmos aplenty for our VP of Development, Kevin Anderson. However, not just any gadget (or gizmo) will do for this ‘everyday carry’ (EDC) enthusiast. Kevin’s carry case mainstays are more than just trendy technogeek. They’re also about utility and preparedness, so they each serve a purpose and have a specific, useful function. Especially the Nerf gun. Check it out.IMG_0067

Maxpedition Micro Pocket Organizer @MAXPEDITION, Fisher Space Pen @FisherPenCo, Thrunite T10T Flashlight @ThruNiteproduct, Sensordrone Bluetooth Sensor @Sensordrone, various thumbdrives, Gerber Shard @gerber_tools, Screwpop Utilitiy Knife, MacBook Pro @APPLEOFFIClAL, Gerber Clutch @gerber_tools, N-Strike Maverick Nerf Gun @NerfNStrike, iPhone 6s plus @APPLEOFFIClAL, Leatherman Wave @leathermanusa, Umbra Bungee Card Case, Gerber tanto pocket knife @gerber_tools, Bose UC-15 Headphones @bose, Fitbit One Wireless Activity+Sleep Tracker @fitbit, MasterGrip Digital Laser Thermometer @Costco.

 

 

 

StreamBean delight

A few months ago, we told you about our love of great coffee and how we’ve partnered with a local roaster to create StreamBean – a blend that’s unique to thirdstream. Since that time, we’ve been sharing the love with people across the country. We’ve been putting together personalized packages that include a 1/2 pound of our delicious thirdstream roast and gorgeous a one-of-a-kind handmade mug to drink it from.

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We’ve been hearing back from our awesome clients and friends about how much they’ve enjoyed their coffee package. Ed Pednaud of Sunshine Coast Credit Union emailed our CEO, saying, ‘Christian, thank you for the gift. I just got it today. I’ve been here three years and did not have my own mug so it is very appropriate. The staff look forward to the coffee as well. Thanks again.

coffee_image_3If you’re a coffee lover, too, let us know. We’ll start putting your package together.

 

 

 

Meet our new VP of Sales and Marketing

profile_C

We’re very excited to welcome Charles Buchanan to the thirdstream family.

Charles brings a long and successful background to his new role at thirdstream. He’s an IT and business leader with more than 25 years of experience in technology management, marketing, strategic selling and executive leadership. He’s founded and grown several technology companies, engineered mergers and acquisitions, taken companies public and served on boards of directors. He’s held senior management roles in and provided strategic direction to large enterprises like Suncor Energy, Royal LePage, Oracle and Devon Energy. He also holds an MBA from Queen’s University and B.Sc. (Hons) in Electrical and Computer Engineering.

As our VP Sales and Marketing, Charles is taking on the direction and management of all sales and business development operations. He’s also providing executive leadership of our marketing organization, strengthening our efforts to position thirdstream as a visionary and leader in the industry.

On top of his background and impressive business and executive leadership experience, Charles is a great addition to our team. Down-to-earth, driven by integrity and incredibly excited about where thirdstream is going, he’s great fit. 

Getting social with Zag Bank

Zag_Logo_RGB-Mauve_Sign_EnAs Canada’s newest direct bank, Zag Bank’s mandate is to give its brand a compelling voice on social media and to build a social ecosystem that makes it easy for people connect with the brand. We’re happy to say that thirdstream is helping Zag do this by posting, monitoring and then engaging in conversations with their online community. These conversations include everything from assisting with client services inquiries to sharing news and culture.

Our director of social media Kristy Jahn-Smith, who oversees thirdstream’s involvement in Zag Bank’s social engagement, says ‘Zag’s direct banking model is well served by people reaching out through social. It’s a great way to build value in both self-service and peer service’.

It’s also a lot of fun. Jahn-Smith says she loves working in this capacity with Zag. ‘The real time nature of it. Immediate feedback, immediate help. It keeps us on our toes and helps our team to stay very engaged in what’s happening and working in social media engagement.’

In Mike’s case

When Mike Wojcik, our director of digital design walks into the office every morning, he’s got his hands full. In one hand he’s got his trusty sidekick Bowser, the French Bulldog we’ve all come to know and love. In the other, he’s got what he needs for his work day. What kinds of things does a talented, hard working, die-hard Flames fan, hockey-loving, creative and all-round fantastic designer have in his case? Check it out.

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Want to know more about Mike’s gear?
Water Bottle @Ikea, Coffee Mug @CalgaryFlames, Shot Glass @CalgaryFlames, Sunglasses @DragonAlliance, Mario Action Figures @Nintendo, Lotion @BathAndBodyWorks, Yerba Mate Tea @GuayakiMacBook Pro by Apple; desk by @Ikea, Bowser @FrenchBulldog.