14 August 2013
Where is financial service marketing headed in 2013?
Whether businesses are focused on developing existing customer relations, customer acquisition or retention, financial service marketing is all about underlining the relevance of products and services, justifying price, embedding what you provide into daily workflows and capitalising on market developments.
Here are some of the key trends we expect brand and product managers involved in financial services will want to be conscious of and respond to in 2013.
1. A broader brand presence across multi channels
Marketing channels are growing all the time just as the expectations of customers, analysts and “centres of influence” continue to grow. Businesses will start to recognise the increasing importance and value of joining up marketing comms across multiple channels: strategic trade, web, social media, direct mail, mini (external) briefings, strategic sponsorship, internal comms and business development resourcing. This will be driven not only because businesses need to better manage resources in challenging times, but because organisations need to project a more streamlined brand presence with customers and prospects receiving the same tone of voice, level of information and 'experience' globally, even if service standards and how business is managed locally differs in practice.
2. Mobile marketing will reach critical mass
In the b2b campaigns AEP design, execute and report on, we are typically seeing 20% views on a tablet or other handheld devices. As a percentage of opens and clicks, this group is increasingly significant. The financial services companies that fully prepare their marketing approach for mobile in 2013 are the ones that will benefit from a potential client-base that browses, and buys, on the move. This demands targeted, mobile-ready content and a willingness to adapt internal marketing processes. With 59% of UK consumers now in possession of a smartphone and 18% owning a tablet device (Source: EPiServer), mobile marketing is a trend that businesses can’t afford to ignore. The principles are true across most markets, even Africa, and apply to virtually every audience from interbank traders and investment bankers to treasury managers and accountants.
3. The gap will close between financial services brands and social media
We all know social media is big news for financial services organisations. But in 2013, it will be even bigger and slicker. Financial services companies will plan and employ increasingly sophisticated social media strategies within their media investment strategies centred around brand, regular product or service communication, and the targeting and nurturing of prospects. The reason? Because social media can and often does take prospects further, and introduces referral and reinforcement elements that traditional web and direct marketing often cannot adequately deliver most of the time. Properly integrated, social media adds more leverage especially when focused on clients and will be an increasingly important tool for b2b marketing campaigns.
4. A clearer vision on the value of data and analytics
Financial services companies tend to value data and are generally good at conveying tangible and intangible benefits of products and services derived from data. However, technology now allows marketeers to take customers and prospects further on an information and potential purchase journey. Companies will recognise the value of analytics that allow them to adapt their content according to live viewer response. Add to this an increasing focus on cost management and responsive online marketing tools look set to become increasingly valuable for lead generation and nurture. For example, reverse IP technology is now robust enough for AEP to track client web visits by firm by location and pass these leads within CRMs to the relevant business, country or sales heads. Privacy issues aside, data and analytics are justifying marketing plans and enabling clients to track results more closely than ever before.
5. Effective segmentation of content
Not only is marketing becoming more personalised and one-to-one, information that is segmented by audience type, service line or territory is viewed as increasingly valuable and sticky'. Financial service companies that invest time and attention in the segmentation and intelligent repurposing of content will be more effective brand builders and brand managers. They will communicate more cost effectively with customers and prospects and are more likely to be able to pass qualified leads to sales teams. Tailored content means shorter and more precise content. This will be recognised by the number of followers, customer engagement, forwards and referrals businesses have.
6. Client feedback and comment will be increasingly valuable
In 2013, the voice of the user or the client will get louder. Financial services businesses are becoming smarter at integrating opportunities for client feedback and response within their marketing approach. Social media word of mouth will keep growing, with people increasingly relying on their own online social circles to advice and comment on their choice of product and services providers. The financial services companies that actively embrace this shift will be the ones that boost their profile and credibility this year.
7. Video is centre stage
Anticipated to be big for quite some time, it looks likely that eVideo is set to be one of the leading marketing trends in 2013. The growth of video within financial services business marketing fits naturally with the broadening of social media channels and with increasing client focus on feedback and recommendations and media consumption via handheld devices. Expect video to take on some surprising approaches this year, with many financial services companies developing fresher and more user-focused forms of viral marketing.
Chris Abraham leads aepadvertising.com, a creative integrated marketing agency that works with financial service companies to build brands, develop relationships, enhance customer value and win results all over the world.