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Crownpeak Logo Posted by Crownpeak January 27, 2016

4 Ways Financial Services Can Adapt Quickly to Digital Marketing Trends

Financial Services Marketing

It's safe to say that digital has taken over marketing. Marketers across all industries are faced with the challenge of keeping up with the hectic pace of digital innovation and customer expectations. As a result, players in industries that are traditionally slow to change - often due to institutional or regulatory constraints - may be left in the dust.

Financial Services, for instance, has traditionally been very slow to change, which means they are now playing catch up with today's trends. However slow they may be, they get it: change needs to happen and it needs to happen now. But where do they start and how can they maximize their results in a minimal amount of time and mobility? Here are 4 trends digital marketers in financial services companies have put on the forefront of their minds and 4 ways they can quickly and easily adopt these trends.

1) Content marketing

76% of B2C marketers report using content marketing, yet only 37% say their strategy is actually effective - Newscred

The Problem: This stat pretty much says it all: companies marketing directly to consumers don't often have effective content marketing strategies. Perhaps they aren't taking advantage of social media in the right way, they aren't developing an in-depth audience persona, their content is being delivered at the wrong time, or their content is way too deep in their site that customers can't even find it.

Whatever it may be, there is a huge opportunity for financial services companies to create a purpose for people to come to the site with good and helpful content that focuses more on the actual customer needs, rather than features or services offered.

The Solution: Creating amazing content that appeals to your audience is just the first step in solving the content marketing problem. If you aren't creating good, relevant content and providing the best answers on the internet, you simply aren't going to be in 70% of sales deals.

Good content goes hand in hand with website design: if your most important content isn't front and center, people are not going to find it or know who you are. Think about the design and layout of your site: Is it user-friendly? Is your content easy to find on the page? If your answer is no, you may want to consider a website redesign. Not sure whether a redesign is the best next step? Check out our blog post on the Top 5 Questions to Ask When Considering a Redesign.

2) Personalization

60% of marketers note they struggle to personalize content in real-time, yet 77% believe real-time personalization is crucial - Neolane & DMA

The Problem: Many financial services companies do know the importance of personalization; today's customers are looking to such organizations to be trusted advisors that understand them and have their best interests in mind. When such organizations can add a personal touch to their customer engagements, they will have more success to keep loyal customers. However, financial services organizations aren't implementing personalization because marketing isn't getting the buy-in they need from executives. As everything in the financial services industry is heavily regulated, finding the right solutions and technologies to conduct personalization is an expensive and challenging process.

The Solution: The key to secure and compliant personalization for financial services companies lies in how they integrate customer data and systems. With a digital experience platform that can simplify integration through secure connectors and proven APIs, setting up personalization in a compliant way takes a lot less time and resources. Easier connection between customer data and personalization tools enable financial services marketers to quickly launch personalized campaigns. Once the right tools have been put in place, marketers can focus on how to achieve their content marketing strategy by delivering personalized content at the right place and the right time.

3) Omnichannel marketing

Companies with extremely strong omnichannel customer engagement retain on average 89% of their customers, compared to 33% for companies with weak omnichannel customer engagement - Aberdeen Group

The Problem: Implementing omnichannel marketing across desktop and mobile is one of the most important things financial services companies are looking to do today. Particularly in the banking industry, if visitors aren't able to access their information on any device at any time, that bank could lose business. Websites absolutely have to be responsive or mobile optimized now, and the problem many banks are having is implementing that effectively in a timely manner.

The Solution: A cloud based solution that offers a seamless user experience across all devices and enables marketing or IT teams to add content quicker and make updates more efficiently with responsive design functionality.

4) Governance and brand consistency

Regulatory fines can run into the millions and could be for something as trivial as using the word "will" instead of "may" - Agora Pulse

The Problem: Controlling brand consistency is a pain for many marketers. In a large enterprise highly regulated financial services companies with multiple branches, brands, websites, channels and languages, this challenge is paramount and overwhelming. Companies need to build a customer experience across geographically diverse set of touchpoints, balancing central control and consistency with the need for localization. If they don't, the consequences could be a hefty fine or even jail time.

The Solution: A digital governance platform or digital experience platform with the ability to mitigate reputational damage, reduce legal risk and avoid potential fines. Governance and centralization capabilities allow a company to efficiently develop and manage a large array of customer interaction points, across many teams or agencies, while still providing the necessary governance and user-experience consistency. A digital experience platform can also help companies achieve the correct balance of central control and local autonomy while maintaining the highest performance and consistency for the customer experience.

The problem digital marketers in financial services companies are having isn't whether or not they have the ability to adapt to trends, but rather how quickly they can adopt these trends. Quick and fast are scary words in the financial services industry because it denotes a sense of negligence. If things aren't done carefully and securely, then they could lose the trust of their customers. However, with tools like a content management system that can promise a secure and stable digital platform, financial services marketers can quickly AND securely build great digital experiences.