10 digital challenges facing financial marketers

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It's in the computer?!
Bynull thedubs. 3 October, 2019
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The past several years have seen revolutionary changes in the finance industry, particularly in terms of technological innovations, regulations, and customer experience. This, in turn, has triggered various changes in the way financial services promote their products and brand.

Despite all the changes many players in financial services are still slow to adapt to new trends and technology. In today’s digital world, the inability of the industry to adapt to technology and reach customers effectively can create a number of challenges for financial marketers. Here are ten digital challenges financial marketers face today.

1. Inability to measure and analyse marketing efforts

Every marketing effort should lead to a result that proves the efficiency of the action. However, with so much data available, it can be challenging to determine which metrics are really important and why.

According to a 2018 report from Adobe Digital Trends in Retail, 19 % of marketers make data-driven actions that help them achieve significant results. Meanwhile, according to ITSMA and Vision Edge Marketing, 74% of marketers lack the ability to measure and analyse how their marketing efforts impact what they are promoting. If you’re struggling to make sense of your data, check out our Google analytics cheat sheet for finance marketers.

2. Lack of data

Relevant data is vital for creating a marketing strategy that resonates with your audience. In fact, 88% of marketers believe that using relevant data is the best way to get a better understanding of each customer’s expectations and needs.

Financial marketers face the challenge of being unable to collect, assimilate and analyse data efficiently. The finance industry uses systems that are often too old for the big data volumes that exist today, which means financial marketers are only working with a partial picture of their customers and their needs. Having a system in place to capture and digest customer data and demographics presents a valuable opportunity for financial marketers to engage with customers in a more targeted, personalised and engaging way. Here we look at how finance marketers can harness and use data to market in a more effective way.

Having a system in place to capture and digest customer data and demographics presents a valuable opportunity for financial marketers.

3. The need for a mobile-first mentality

According to 2019 data from Statista, mobile devices accounted for almost 48% of web page views all over the world. An important element missing from the digital strategy of many finance brands is the distinct focus on the mobile experience delivered to customers. While customers expect real-time mobile experiences from financial providers, many financial marketers still place higher importance on their desktop experience or fail to cater for mobile at all. And given Google favors mobile-optimized sites, it’s not just customer experience motivating finance brands to pay closer attention to mobile.

4. Compliance

The existing regulatory rules have a profound impact on financial service marketing. And while many see the guidelines as a limitation to creativity in finance marketing, that doesn’t have to be the case. Defaulting to what the organisation has always done in terms of content creation as a way to safeguard against compliance delays only disadvantages the brand in the long run. Here we offer some examples of creatively compliant finance content and some tips on how to ensure you’re creating compliant content.

5. Addressing customer experience

In today’s marketing world, customer experience has become one of the top priorities of all companies. In fact, it is predicted that by 2020 the customer experience offered by a brand will become more important than the price or product for consumers. According to HubSpot, more than 80% of companies worldwide who consider customer experience as a top priority have experienced a significant increase in revenue.

Today’s consumers want to feel that companies fully understand their needs and expect personalised solutions as a result. Far more agile and adaptable than many of the well-established finance brands, the customer-centric approach of fintechs represents strong competition for more traditional brands. Many of these new-to-market brands are building products with their customers from the ground up, leaving traditional brands scrambling to rework their entrenched systems and processes. For example, Monzo has created a community forum and a dedicated Twitter account where customers can provide the company with feedback and contribute to the creation of new features.

Adapting to the 21st-century market and customer trends in an industry that still heavily relies on 20th-century processes is a huge challenge for financial marketers. Failing to make the shift to digital and match the personalised experience offered by new market entrants presents significant challenges for the financial services market. Established finance brands can no longer simply rely on customer loyalty as digital makes it easier than ever for customers to review and compare their offerings to that offered by new players in the market.

6. Understanding the customer journey

Understanding the customer journey is one of the best ways to understand the individual needs of each customer and provide them with personalised solutions. It takes an effective collaboration between the customer-oriented departments within an organisation to create relevant journey mapping. According to Forbes, 75% of customers feel more motivated to purchase products or services from a company that addresses them by their name and recommends them products based on their purchase history.

7. Regaining a good reputation

One of the biggest challenges currently faced by the financial services industry is the need to rebuild trust. According to a survey conducted by PwC, only 32% of people trust their retail bank.
The good news is a bad brand reputation can be corrected with an effective content marketing strategy. Financial institutions can start by running some searches on their brand and identify all the mentions of their organisation. Forums such as Quora, Whirlpool, and reddit are also a great place to glean brand insights. Addressing customer complaints online is another important step to improve a poor reputation. Positive and engaging content in the virtual world is also vital.

8. Newmarket entrants

Nowadays, the finance industry no longer relies on brick and mortar traditional banks or financial institutions. Today’s tech-savvy consumers prefer services that allow them to do everything with just a click of a mouse or a tap on their smartphone. Fuelling the uptake of new market entrants offering digital products, finance brands that have failed to adapt to technology are at risk of being left behind. According to Statista, while in 2018 almost 61% of Americans used digital banking, the percentage is expected to reach 65.3% by 2022.

9. Limited differentiation

Another aspect that raises challenges for financial marketers is the limited differentiation between financial services providers. Where brands need to set themselves apart is in the experience and support they offer customers, utilising tech to deliver a customised and convenient experience.

10. Digitising the entire brand

In this new era of digital banking, customers expect financial providers to have more than just a mobile app. While today’s consumers have twice as many interactions with companies using their smartphones than in any other way, they want to see brands go completely digital, not only with the services they provide but also with their content and the support they offer. Financial marketers need to invest in more than just a few social media ads to attract customers. They need to use big data and AI to provide customers with personalised offers in real-time. Not a case of deciding if you’ll go digital, finance brands need to rise to these challenges if they are to survive and thrive in this new era of digital banking. If you need help implementing a digital content strategy, get in touch.

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