3 Marketing Trends the Financial Services Industry Can’t Afford to Ignore

Over the past decade, technology has evolved rapidly, and consumer trends have shifted just as fast. Social media took the Internet by storm, marketing analytics got more powerful, and email marketing opened new doors for communicating with customers about the products and services they’re most interested in using.

And while some industries were quick to jump on board and adopt the new technology, most financial organizations were slower to make changes. However, recently many financial companies have started to take notice of a few marketing trends that are too costly to ignore.

The Rise of Social Media

At first, the majority of social media users were young and might not have fit into the target market of a financier, but as time has passed, the average age of social users has climbed. In fact, the fastest growing demographic on Twitter is the 55 to 64 year age bracket, according to Fast Company, which has grown a surprising 79 percent since 2012. In addition, social media has risen to the number one activity on the web.

Social media, in a sense, is like word of mouth multiplied. With social media, customer experiences can go viral within a few short hours, which is both a concern and an opportunity. It is more important than ever for your brand to have an established social monitoring strategy and infrastructure in place to nimbly respond as more customers turn to social media as a platform for gauging a brand’s reliability and capacity to deliver excellence. Don’t get caught off guard by a viral story being shared and have to scramble to get your brand’s social presence in place in order to respond properly.

Marketing Analytics is changing

Over the past decade, the amount of data available to marketers has exploded. Companies can now gather website behavior, social media interactions, and other information from digital campaigns. Some financial firms are working to adapt, but what’s the best way to capture this powerful trend?

Start by combining CRM data with marketing analytics. Using this approach, you can systemically up-sell, cross-sell and nurture long-term customer relationships from the information that you collect. You can also personalize alerts and sales messages based on your customer’s history and activity. As a result, return on investment is maximized by leveraging these powerful tools.

Maximizing Email Capabilities

Your customers have moved online. They’re using online banking, bill pay services, and are completing transactions from smartphones. Customers like the convenience of banking and communicating virtually. However, historically, financial institutions have only used email for operational alerts – and not marketing purposes.

Many times this stems from compliance fears; however, as a result many financial institutions are losing out on the benefits of email marketing. So what’s the best solution?

First, you should leverage the data collected from marketing analytics to segment, target and better personalize marketing emails. Messaging that communicates Secondly, you should move away from the one-way communication model. Instead, encourage a two-way conversation and use this as another opportunity for direct customer feedback and to learn more about what makes them tick.

Building a Stronger Future

In the beginning, some of the above strategies, especially social media, may have seemed like an unlikely fit for financial institutions. But as consumer behavior has changed, it’s become increasingly important to leverage the platforms your customers are already using to create stronger relationships.

Customers will appreciate your goodwill while you enjoy a competitive edge in the marketplace.

03/04/2014 at 05:48

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