Marketing Like a Pro in 2020: Financial Services
January blues are now a thing of the past and the year is in full swing. That means you’ve probably set new goals and objectives, both in your personal life and in business. For marketers, that means planning a solid strategy to achieve this year’s targets. So, what approaches will be key in 2020? I’ve highlighted 4 channels and strategies that are going to be top of mind in financial services marketing this year.
Inbound and Content Marketing
Inbound marketing is arguably the most cost-effective and forward-thinking strategy that financial services marketers should leverage in 2019. Inbound is all about attracting customers through useful and informative content that provides solutions to their pain points, and therefore demonstrates your knowledge and expertise in that area. It is a more natural and organic way of generating qualified leads that you can nurture, engage and convert by providing continued value and building trust through content.
Examples of inbound marketing include SEO, blog posts, videos, whitepapers, podcasts and social media. Email and automated workflows also form part of a solid inbound marketing strategy, particularly for lead nurturing.
When applied to financial services, inbound marketing is typically more difficult to execute due to regulations and complex subject matters. However, the sector is undergoing rapid transformation, and the likes of online banks and savings apps call for modern, inbound marketing and a move away from traditional advertising.
A study by the Content Marketing Institute found that 86% of UK marketers implement content marketing, although only 45% measure the ROI of their efforts. If inbound forms part of your strategy this year, be sure to measure, analyse and optimize!
Data and Technology
Innovations in technology have had a huge impact on marketing capabilities; from using artificial intelligence for chatbots to enhanced targeting and automation, we have more access to data and insights than ever before. Data and analytics will continue to be key drivers in decision-making processes for marketers throughout 2020 and beyond. In particular, marketers will use data to improve customer experience, which has been a hot topic over the last few years and will continue to be a priority.
In financial services, using data for personalization remains a key initiative for marketers and product managers. What’s more, advanced technology continues to facilitate the creation of new products and services, especially in retail and mobile banking. For example, some challenger banks, such as bibimoney, strive for financial inclusion through patented SIM-skin technology, which provides secure mobile money wallet services on any phone, on any mobile network. Others aim to enhance financial literacy through educational and customer-centric apps. These key differentiators are at the forefront of marketing communications, and now more than ever before, they are explained through storytelling.
Brand, Identity and Storytelling
Fintech is still a relatively young and growing industry, however with so many new players entering the market it is quickly becoming saturated. As a result, brand identity and differentiation become increasingly important. For some fintech startups this has meant a rebrand shortly after launch. For example, money management app Emma unveiled Emma 2.0 in September 2018 which included a more distinct logo design.
Storytelling has been the foundation of growth strategies in recent years. Last year, 49% of respondents for Adobe’s Digital Trends Report said that ‘improving content marketing through immersive storytelling’ was ‘very important’ in delivering a great customer experience. However, the concept has been used by major brands such as Coca-Cola for much longer. Storytelling is effective because people remember a good story, especially when it provokes emotion. It is an engaging way to communicate the features and benefits of a product. It also allows prospective customers to better understand and remember those in context using characters and a narrative.
In financial services, storytelling is popular among innovative startups in the B2C space and will become more prevalent throughout 2019.
With so much hype around digital marketing, events are sometimes overlooked. Conversations that start online can develop into great business opportunities, although to convert them into new business they often require offline interaction. Events and networking are essential for bringing people together to build and nurture authentic relationships. It’s these face-to-face interactions that have a lasting impact and ensure you stay front of mind for your prospects.
When deciding which financial services events you should attend, be selective and keep your end goal in mind. For example, if you’re a financial intermediary and your goal is brand exposure and awareness then a large-scale established event like the Financial Services Expo would be suitable. Or, if you’re a startup firm with a finance app for retail consumers, then securing a pitching slot at Fintech Connect would be ideal for meeting prospective customers, partners and investors.
So, there you have it, the top 4 financial services marketing strategies that ought to be on your radar this year. While they may look much the same as last year, there will be further emphasis placed on inbound lead generation, content creation and data analysis. As more firms and marketers adopt these same strategies, in what is a highly competitive market, they will need to consider alternative ways to capture attention.
- These marketing activities are not standalone one-time events, they are interdependent parts of a wider strategy to achieving your objectives
- Don’t become reliant on one channel for lead generation, adopt a multi-channel strategy
- Always test, analyse and optimise
- If you ignore social, content and inbound you will quickly lose, whether B2C or B2B, it’s not coming, it’s already happened!