Richard Garner

Director, Marketing Technology, Lincoln Financial Group

Supernova Award Category: 

Digital Marketing and Sales Effectiveness

The Organization: 

Lincoln Financial Group provides advice and solutions that help empower people to take charge of their financial lives with confidence and optimism. Today, more than 17 million customers trust our retirement, insurance and wealth protection expertise to help address their lifestyle, savings and income goals, as well as to guard against long-term care expenses. Headquartered in Radnor, Pennsylvania, Lincoln Financial Group is the marketing name for Lincoln National Corporation (NYSE:LNC) and its affiliates. The company had $253B in assets under management as of March 31, 2019*. LFG is a committed corporate citizen included on major sustainability indices including the Dow Jones Sustainability Index North America and FTSE4Good.  *Assets under management to be updated after July 31, 2019.

The Problem: 

Lincoln Financial Group was faced with a tall order: orchestrate the development of marketing collateral across 5 lines of business, each with their own CMO and complex processes. 

Also, since 2008, Lincoln Financial Group’s marketing organizations leveraged a fully custom built, stand-alone, marketing process management solution to orchestrate the development of marketing collateral. The marketing organization depended on this in-house platform to support critical marketing functions.  But there were significant capability gaps that hindered scalability:

-The client-server architecture did not allow access via web or mobile devices  

-The legacy system did not support marketing resource management and capacity planning

-There were no digital asset management capabilities

-The legacy system lacked notification and alert capabilities

-The solution was not integrated with key platforms such as compliance, fulfillment, and procurement 

-There were limited reporting and dashboard capabilities

-The solution did not support the business process of today.  Instead it perpetuated a difficult to change linear process that represented the way marketing work was done in 2008.

The Solution: 

Lincoln Financial Group’s ideal solution would include the following:

-Web-Based Solution - Faster system performance, mobile application and less downtime due to unplanned outages.

-Scalability - Ability to grow the system in correlation with the growth of our organization.

-Integration Capabilities - Open API enabling them to connect with key systems and leverage data for analytics.

-Work Management and Reporting - Robust planning and reporting capabilities for managing work and resources for changing needs.  A system that was adaptable to the ever changing way work is done in the modern age.

-Digital Asset Management - Saving time and reducing cost with enhanced metadata and a searchable image library.

The Results: 

With LFG’s launch of Workfront, branded internally as “The Queue,” it positioned the org for future growth with a scalable, enterprise-class workflow management, DAM and proofing solution.

-Deployed in 2 phases across 5 LOB: in Apr and Jun 2018.

-Implementation included WorkFront, Workfront DAM, and Workfront Proof.

-The Queue is the operational source of record for multi-channel marketing collateral development and comms projects

-230+ users were trained across offices in PA, NC, CT, IN, and remote locations

-With implementation partner, LeapPoint, 4 years of legacy system data was migrated:

      -30,141 files from LFG file servers to Workfront DAM

      -31,951 projects, including 124 data points

-Existing complex business processes were configured, with 300+ templates developed while other processes were clarified and simplified to streamline the way work is done for users.

30, 60 and 90 days after launch, LFG conducted surveys/analysis to measure the success of the launch.  Compared with historical data from the legacy platform, the Queue garnered positive user feedback and significant improvements were found across all key metrics analyzed, including: User feedback and engagement; System Performance and reliability; Process efficiency; Platform adoption by existing and new teams; Productivity and process efficiency, and Expanded the scope of work managed.


Positive user sentiment and adoption - Through careful planning and a robust rollout, change management, training and communication plan, users across 5 Lines of Business transitioned seamlessly to The Queue from the legacy platform that was in use for over 10 years.

-The Queue scored 57% higher (3.6 out of 5) on survey of user sentiment, even after a major system migration

-User adoption rate increased 13% (at 86%)

-Over 4 times the number of DAM users (226) and 10 times the number of file downloads (2,128) vs. goal

-An additional Line of Business was added at launch that had not previously used the legacy workflow tool, supporting our advisor channel

-Additional users were migrated to Workfront supporting a recent merger and expansion of our Group Protection business

Productivity and process improvement - Leveraging the capabilities of Workfront, Lincoln Financial Group processes were revised and new roles created, freeing up more time for marketing managers to focus on strategy and designers on the creative process, increased overall speed to market and throughput of the team.

-Average file upload speed was 5 times faster (4 sec.)

-Time to market for print and email projects was reduced 64% (-16 days) and 77% (-40 days) respectively

-On track for 23% increase in number of completed projects year-over-year, with the highest volume yet recorded. (over 8,000)

-Image searches are 75% faster using the new DAM vs. legacy file server.

The Technology: 

LFG’s launch of WorkFront, branded internally as “The Queue,” offers a scalable, enterprise-class workflow management, DAM and proofing solution.  The Queue was deployed in two phases across five lines of business: in April and June, 2018. Deployment included multiple, complex data migrations, moving over 31,000 projects into The Queue in support of Go Live and future activities.  Implemented technologies included WorkFront, WorkFront DAM, and WorkFront Proof.

Disruptive Factor: 


-Launch timing -launch was pushed 2x to allow for major unseen initiatives 

-Change management -5 LOB operate differently. Change mgnt plan and strong partnerships with key stakeholders to ensure success.  

-Data migration from old system -10 years of data migrated to ensure continuity

To ensure a successful rollout, the LFG team developed a robust training and comms plan, providing a seamless transition from the legacy platform to Workfront, which included:

-42 live training sessions at the corp office, webcast to other locations

-29 presos and 24 support guides developed on key topics and functionality

-Corp microsite launched with training resources and comms, including video 

-Governance team and champions to be a sounding board during/after launch

-Being adaptable to business changes and ideas to ensure the rollout was a success

-Strong partnership between Workfront, LFG and LeapPoint to solve for data migration challenges

As a result:

-No negative business impact/downtime from old system to new.  Team came in Monday and picked up where they left on Friday.

-The Queue scored 57% higher (3.6 out of 5) on survey of user sentiment, even after a major system migration

-User adop rate increased 13% (at 86%)

-increase of 4x the # of DAM users (226) and 10x the # of file downloads (2,128) vs. goal

-All data was successfully migrated

Shining Moment: 

1) The Queue is not a “thing we have to do;” it is the way we work.  It’s an enabler of our success day in and day out

2) Setting internal teams up for success:

“As our Customer Experience focus evolved over the past year, our flexibility to customize The Queue schedules and reporting helped streamline the internal transformation and reinforce the org structure we need to drive outcomes.”

About Your Organization

Lincoln Financial Group provides retirement planning and life insurance to individuals and employers in the form of annuities, 401K and savings plans, and a variety of life, dental, and disability insurance products.