7 Ways Financial Services Brands Should Adapt Their Marketing For The New Normal
IF YOU’RE A MARKETER IN THE FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY YOUR WORLD WILL IN ALL LIKELIHOOD HAVE BEEN TURNED UPSIDE DOWN OVER THE PAST FEW MONTHS.
Not least because you’re probably reading this in the comfort of your own home and not from your firm’s increasingly anachronistic looking office building.
Adoption of digital platforms for households has accelerated, contactless payment and electronic signatures are on the rise. Online service has grown exponentially, marketing budgets have been slashed and advertising has migrated to digital and social channels. At a more granular level consumer behaviour has even changed when it comes to mobile versus desktop searches. Consumers are increasingly carrying out financial and insurance searches on mobile, and yet continuing to complete their purchases on desktop – which may be due to the sensitive nature of financial services transactions. Searches including the word ‘best’ have also surged, suggesting consumers are looking for increased value and quality of service.
As consumer behaviour has been forced to adapt to the changes created by the pandemic, the challenge for financial services marketing functions is how they shift gears to keep in touch, let alone anticipate consumer priorities in a world in which nothing looks certain. Traditional financial services brands must wake up to the need to be a digital business, rather than being a business that does some things digitally.
With top down or committee based corporate structures many financial services organisations are inherently too complex and cumbersome, meaning they struggle to operate at pace. A Bain survey of marketing executives in financial services found that slow decision making was a major barrier holding back effective marketing.
“SEARCHES INCLUDING THE WORD ‘BEST’ HAVE ALSO SURGED, SUGGESTING CONSUMERS ARE LOOKING FOR INCREASED VALUE AND QUALITY OF SERVICE.”
Fixed annual budgets and large-scale, legacy campaign models cut against the grain of the real-time, one-to-one and continual in-market testing that the new normal demands. A test and learn discipline has become essential to allow marketing departments to learn about changing behaviours of consumer media consumption.
But while the pandemic has set significant challenges for the marketing efforts of financial services firms, it has also created a unique opportunity to connect and build relationships with consumers, by delivering dynamic content that applies sophisticated data insight and personalisation based on their challenges, interests, personal values and their evolving needs. Much of this information often already exists in financial services firms but because of internal silos, it often can’t be optimised. Combining advanced analytics and AI with digital technologies will empower a new cycle for digital marketing that will enable conversational marketing, messaging based on location intelligence and proactive product recommendations that make marketing more efficient and effective.
The financial services leaders, defined as top quartile for revenue and market-share growth, are adopting these technologies and are more than twice as likely to to use a test-and-learn approach. The expectation today is that their agencies will need to create content in days, not months and produce a 100 campaigns a year not 5-10. These new marketing demands mean clients need to work closer and in a more agile way with their agencies and embed them into the firm’s marketing processes. As a model, financial services marketing leaders are 60% more likely to take this integrated approach and 2.8 times more likely to use agile management methods.
To ensure they adapt to the new market conditions it’s clear financial services firms need to find ways to move faster, to test their assumptions, to better coordinate their internal teams and external partners and to build cross-functional teams that help remove organisational silo’s that stifle innovation.
“TRADITIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES BRANDS MUST WAKE UP TO THE NEED TO BE A DIGITAL BUSINESS, RATHER THAN BEING A BUSINESS THAT DOES SOME THINGS DIGITALLY.”
Scenario planning is also crucial. With the current climate being so unpredictable marketing teams need to plan for every eventuality, whether that’s a second wave, a deep recession or a quick return to ‘normal’ when things take a more positive turn.
CONCLUSION: 7 WAYS YOUR FINANCIAL SERVICES BRAND CAN ADAPT TO MEET THE CHALLENGES OF THE NEW NORMAL.
- Build cross-functional teams to break-down departmental silos and use multi-disciplinary teams to convert complex challenges into simpler tasks to drive faster, more collective decisions.
- Empower your marketing teams to make decisions to operate at pace by streamlining your marketing compliance and approvals process.
- Increase your in-market testing and overall test and learn approach to ensure it can adapt rapidly to changes in consumer behaviour and optimise your ROMI.
- Review your creative, media and search marketing strategy in the light of how consumers research and how purchasing behaviours have changed since the pandemic.
- Invest more in dynamic, personalised content to improve your engagement with customers and your prospects.
- Use location intelligence to enable conversational marketing and messaging.
- Talk to BBD Perfect Storm about how we can help your financial services brand adapt to the new normal.
For information on how BBD Perfect Storm can help you adapt to the new normal please contact Jason Foo.
Tel: +44 (0)20 3198 4329