Dec 12, 2014
The Strategy Institute held its annual Digital Marketing for Financial Services Summit in New York City on December 9th and 10th. Over the course of the two days, speakers, vendors, representatives, and attendees all met to discuss best practices, new digital marketing techniques, and experiences that have brought both successes and failures. A majority of discussions were about how financial services can better connect to customers through mobile, content marketing practices, and leveraging data in an effective way. Here are some of the key observations gained from our time there:
Using Big Data: Much of the talk around marketers at the summit was about how to best use the data that they currently have on customers to create effective campaigns; for those in this industry, it is a constant struggle as something as simple as creating a LinkedIn page can spend months with lawyers to review the risk. One speaker, Brad Strothkamp, Vice President of Digital Strategy and Competitive Insights at US Bank, gave some insight to attendees on how to make their data work for them. One thing that financial service marketers can do is take a look at their current data infrastructure to gain actionable intelligence. Mr. Strothkamp recommended that financial services marketers use the data they do have to create benchmarks against national data and find ways in which clients could be better served. For example, creating benchmarks around the mobile banking app usage of current customers versus that of the national average can help to determine where the gaps exist in terms of on-boarding customers for mobile or hint at which channels would be most effective when promoting such an application.
Connections with Customers: Another big topic of discussion was how financial marketers can build connections with their customers via content marketing. One session led by Matt Dunn, Vice President of Digital Publishing and Social Strategies for Franklin Templeton, discussed the methods in which financial marketers can build a content framework for their brand by using content and social media practices. For many financial marketers in the room, the discussion around building content frameworks is a challenge since many feel that methodologies for content marketing are not yet well established in this vertical market. In his presentation, Mr. Dunn suggested that one good way to engage the customer is through sponsorship and thought-leadership. By building relationships with key media outlets and improving social media channels, Franklin Templeton focused on how discussions around financial management best practices or general banking information helped to develop a strong content management strategy.
Software Tools for Financial Services: During the event, many financial marketers that spoke with InfoTrends discussed the challenges they have with finding marketing software solutions that work for their vertical markets. Many marketers commented that by the time they finally get a marketing software platform implemented due to the long approval processes with legal, they are already behind the rest of the market in terms of execution. Additionally, there is still much concern around cloud-based software models and data security, leaving many of the marketers struggling to consider solutions that may better serve their enterprise class size. Due to the concerns of security and brand familiarity within the financial market, InfoTrends noted that there were several vendors present at the conference that would traditionally serve this vertical market on the data side transitioning to offer marketing technology. For example, Experian, previously best known for data securities, now offers a marketing suite that works with the data financial institutions already get through the company.
While many marketers at the conference expressed concerns of being “behind” when it came to campaign execution, this is not necessarily the case. The challenges faced by financial marketers are the same as any: learning to establish best practices for content marketing, big data, and technology investment that will ultimately lead to success.
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