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5 accelerating trends in digital marketing for financial services


I recently attended the Digital Marketing for Financial Services Summit (#DMFSToronto). Digital leaders from Citi, Facebook, Wells Fargo, MetLife, Allstate, Salesforce and more were there talking about what is working, not working and what is coming next within digital marketing for financial services.

5 accelerating trends:

1) It’s all about the data.

It has ALWAYS been about the data in digital marketing, but now with so many advancements in programmatic advertising, real-time media buying, CRM, data lake technology and data visualization services, it’s easier than ever to track results, test, learn and optimize your marketing efforts.

Hari Pillai from Invesco spoke on a panel about a struggle many companies have – being data rich, but knowledge poor. His keys to success were to create a strong infrastructure for your data, and an API to simply and effectively leverage your data, so you know where the customer is in the journey. In his words, “Data is the secret weapon to move the customer down the journey.”

2) Customers matter more than ever.

As we all know, the dynamic has flipped to a customer being in charge more than ever in the buying process. 57% of the purchase journey is done before a customer ever contacts a supplier per the CEB, so you need to listen to the key needs of your customers and figure out how to solve those needs.

Ramy Nassar from Architech had a great presentation about focusing on customer needs instead of financial products. My favorite line from his presentation was “Think about the need, not the transaction. No one wants to buy a mortgage, they want a house.”

3) Social will soon rule the world.

The typical North American adult checks social media 17 times a day. SEVENTEEN! That seemed high when I first heard it, but now that I think about my own daily habits, that seems a little low.

Combine that with the fact that cold calling and emailing response rates are hovering around 3-4%, and millennials preference for social as the #1 method of contact, and social will soon be taking over as the primary communication vehicle for marketing and sales.

Any financial professional or salesperson that does not have a complete LinkedIn profile, which is optimized for search will slowly begin to lose their client base.

I spoke on the value of social selling to financial institutions in this new digital world, and how to use the power of social media to generate leads and sales.

4) Wearables are not going away.

If you are looking for the next big thing, wearables are it. How long is it until that Fitbit we use on a daily basis to track our steps starts feeding that information to doctors? Insurance companies? Retail stores? It’s a matter of time until everyone knows everything about everyone else. Enjoy your 15 remaining minutes of privacy! And be prepared to have everything measured and managed in real-time.

Rachid Molinary of Banco Popular de Puerto Rico presented an informative use case on how they quickly integrated mobile banking into wearable technology. Now you can check your BPPR account balance in a matter of seconds on your Apple Watch. What was even more impressive was the processes and systems they have put in place to bring this new tech to market in a short period of time.

5) The pace of change is fast (and will get faster).

Mitch Joel gave a fantastic keynote about how fast the world is changing, and how every company thinks they are being innovative. However, to truly create innovation is to “create something that the market did not know that it needed, that then becomes adopted (and paid for) in a way in which we could have never imagined our lives without it.” Not many companies are doing this today.

Erin Elofson from Facebook spoke about their roadmap, and how VR is playing a huge role in their future. To get a small glimpse of their VR capabilities, check out the first film shot with the new Facebook Surround 360 camera. This is just the snowflake on the tip of the iceberg.

So, how will you and your company react to this new digital world in financial services? These changes are coming sooner than anyone expected. Those that adapt quickly, will thrive, those that don’t will struggle to survive.

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Photo: Alberto Garcia

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