Given that financial services play a very visible role in the smooth functioning of our society, many fail to realise how important financial services marketing is, in this process.
In an industry where 27% of banking customers purchased or subscribed to new financial products and services in the first half of 2017, alone, retaining customers is no longer as easy as it once was. Given the growing digitisation taking place within the industry, financial service providers will be left to the wolves in the absence of effective marketing.
In today’s post, I take a look at some of the most relevant trends in this field. In the process, it’s necessary to examine why banks and other service providers need to take financial services marketing seriously if they wish to remain profitable.
Personalised and data-driven marketing is becoming an industry favourite
For most marketers, personalised and data-driven marketing is not something new. Yet, to the financial services sector, this approach skims the edges of being revolutionary.
Stiff competition in the industry has forced service providers to focus on enhancing and expanding their relationships with existing customers, apart from bringing in new ones. Here, improving customer experience and personalisation has become the name of the game for banks that are serious about maintaining loyal patrons.
In a poll conducted by Adobe and Econsultancy in 2018, 28% of nearly 700 industry leaders surveyed indicated that optimising the customer experience was the “single most exciting opportunity”, compared to just 18% of leaders in other industries.
Following this, 23% of leaders showed enthusiasm for data-driven marketing and 37% favoured personalisation, with both preferences much stronger compared to the same in other industries.
Open banking is becoming a form of financial services marketing
Sharing customer information with third-party service providers sounds like the start of an ill-fated horror movie. Yet, this is one of the biggest financial marketing trends in the banking industry at the moment.
Open banking allows regulated banks to share customers’ financial data with authorised third-party providers, through APIs, offering customers an expansive list of regulated services. This has allowed banks to partner with companies in peripheral industries like the insurance sector. They also include money management apps, allowing bankers to enjoy innovative financial services that are customised to their financial habits and savings.
If you think this sounds risky, you’d be surprised to find that major banks such as HSBC, Lloyds and RBS are working on projects like this to improve customer experience and position their services as the ones to beat.
Mobile banking efforts are improving
For the modern banking customer, convenience and accessibility is everything. With the rise of mobile app-based services, customers not only enjoying banking-on-the-go but also give their service providers the opportunity to increase their marketing efforts.
JP Morgan, for instance, is busy integrating their financial services with Alexa, allowing customers to ask their smart home assistant questions about their finances. Banks are also using the data generated from geolocation, including most frequently visited branches and places where money is spent the most, to further tailor the services they offer mobile banking customers.
Given the precarious nature of data security, however, banks need to ensure that they receive permission from each customer to extract this data and use it to customise their marketing efforts. This is especially so because certain customers may not be the biggest fans of location tracking.
Similar to most other industries, chatbots have become one of the biggest marketing trends for banks this year.
By combining chatbots with the power of big data within this sector, service providers now have the option of automating customer interaction, freeing up hours of human labour and providing customers with the information they need, instantly. Whether this relates to setting up an account or finding out about particular loans, chatbots improve customer experience and satisfaction.
With these automated solutions, customer service takes on a whole new edge for financial institutions.
Financial services marketing can prove transformative if done right
Banking customers are complex, but they’re also not. This may sound like a contradiction until you look at the facts before you.
While modern bankers want significant service improvement, better security, and are almost never satisfied with what’s on offer, their desires boil down to a few things. Convenience. Accessibility. Affordability. A personalised experience.
These, fortunately, aren’t hard to deliver. By sampling some of the financial services marketing strategies highlighted above, banks can change the tide and retain loyal customers, who keep coming back for more.