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Capturing web records – how archiving made life a little easier for digital marketers

Marketing Team

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It’s hard to imagine, but there was a time when marketing in financial services was done nearly entirely offline with even the biggest banks and investment firms largely relying on face-to-face marketing.

Back then banks used their high street presence as the main point of contact, while other, usually non-retail brands (advisers, wealth managers, asset managers etc) would hold conferences, organise golf days and even – for some firms – wine and dine their prospects. And this would all be complemented by flyers, leaflets and even good old-fashioned letter campaigns.

Post being delivered outside Santander bank

Simpler times, eh?

Slowly but surely though,  people began to prefer engaging with brands digitally.

Working from home workstation

According to a recent NewsCred survey looking specifically at the banking sector, the majority of people (75%) prefer engaging with their bank through its website. Interaction on other channels is notably lower: apps 22%, email newsletter 15%, text message 12%...

With people now living digital lives, financial services brands have a real opportunity to create stronger relationships through social media channels and – through intuitive use of data – products and services can be better personalised.

These were the findings from the 2019 Global Financial Services Consumer Study from Accenture, which found consumers overwhelmingly were in favour of integrated solutions that addressed their core needs with many willing to share data in return for better advice and more attractive deals.


“Today’s financial marketer needs to embrace the dynamics of modern marketing. Despite this, most marketing departments in banks and [other financial services firms] don’t know how to acquire the skills it needs or how to blend traditional and digital marketing capabilities. Now more than ever, it is imperative to maintain a learning mindset for financial marketing teams that want to remain agile and adaptable in an era of exponential change.”

- Jim Marous, Co-Publisher of The Financial Brand


Regulation also had a driving impact. The 2008 crisis changed how financial services firms were allowed to engage with customers and in recent years GDPR has made consumers really think about their data and what kind of distribution lists they want to be signed up to.

man smiling on smartphone

As a result, marketing teams throughout the industry have to satisfy many regulations including strict record-keeping requirements. 

A big part of these are web records...


What are web records exactly?

Simply speaking, these are records of your firm’s digital estate.

Having a complete record of your marketing activity is a serious requirement in many jurisdictions across both the US and Europe (for example, Article 16 of MiFID II requires firms to have accurate records of all of their electronic communications).

Unfortunately, manually creating these records of your digital output is an extremely resource intensive and demanding chore.

Man stressed on laptop

Many firms attempt to meet this requirement with screenshots. However this format doesn't meet compliance requirements for record retention, fails to capture live media (such as banners and videos) and with digital estates being constantly updated you'd need an entire team to be monitoring and continually taking screenshots throughout the day.

Not a great use of any marketing executive’s time, we’re sure you'll agree!


“We were using a tool that was effectively just taking screenshots of every page, it wasn’t capturing all of the information. So, if there was a drop-down menu, it would show the button but not what the options were! It got to a stage where the tool actually stopped working."

- Digital Executive (Governance), AXA


Website records and website archives, what's the difference?

This brings us to the good news. Website records are a hefty burden to satisfy and website archiving is the way you solve it.

Considered a form of RegTech, website archiving is essentially website capture technology that scrapes your firm's entire digital estate, capturing a living replay of your web and social channels.

Unlike screenshots, these can be fully interacted with at a later date – with an archive you can go back to how your website looked on a previous date and click any link, navigating it as if the website was live in the present!

To give you an example of how this can work in practice, have a look at this nifty new tool we introduced on our platform: Archive Compare.


“With MirrorWeb we liked the solution was like a functioning website that you can navigate just as if it was on the day. That was a core principle, it had both the front end and back end. With MirrorWeb you have export functions, you can run reports and give access to the regulator if needed."

- Digital Executive (Governance), AXA


How are marketing teams using web archiving for their web records?

Website archiving brings benefits on several fronts.

Firstly, the solution can drive down the cost of compliance and free up valuable time and resources. We've encountered firms from small to large that are caught up in manual record-keeping processes that are inefficient, prone to error and impossible to stay on top of. Plus, ultimately, marketing teams want to focus on their customers knowing that compliance is taken care of.

For example, in 2017 SMEs spent an average of 80 days preparing for GDPR to come into force and that’s not including how much time is required for ongoing compliance. Regulations around web records in particular can be extremely demanding, thankfully though web archiving solutions reduce this dramatically.

Secondly, in terms of legalities, website archives are also legally-admissible and can be used to evidence when content changed for auditing or supervisory purposes They are time-stamped, ISO-compliant and even though they can be interacted with they are tamperproof making them an irrefutable record.

Thirdly, these kinds of archives can be extremely useful for brand preservation and developing future marketing campaigns. A lot of firms use these solutions to establish and preserve digital legacies, instantly showing marketing teams how brands have successfully worked in the past.

Hands pointing at laptop


“I’ve been very happy with MirrorWeb and the way the team help me. The onboarding was done nicely; the team were patient and understood the processes we had to go through. Other vendors we spoke to weren’t as understanding."

- Digital Executive (Governance), AXA

Which brings us to...


The MirrorWeb Platform is a web archiving solution used widely across the financial services industry, with firms such as LionTrust Asset Management and AXA Investment Managers using this to archive their marketing efforts.

As a leading provider in this space, we've created a comprehensive guide on everything to do with web archiving. It's completely free and you can grab your copy to learn:

-How web archiving satisfies regulatory requirements where other solutions fall short

-Why backups don't do the same job as web archives

-How web archiving works, using innovative and readily-automated crawl technology

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