Effective campaigns in financial services
Undoubtedly, users have changed and so their experience as consumers. Nowadays, they make their own decisions and choose a service providing security and real value. Google itself explains that Internet is redefining the marketing funnel. People search for immediate answers while purchasing channels may vary. In the financial sector, future is not related to “points or discounts” but to a simplified banking experience that can provide customers with solutions that meet their needs.
Smart-phone in digital banking
In digital banking, users generally search online for specific services or, simply, for some relevant or useful advice. According to Smart Insights, 48% of all consumer start their purchasing research on their mobile phones. On the other hand, a survey carried out by Google -together with Ipsos in November 2016- showed that the use of smartphones as permanent partners in the financial market has significantly helped customers. Which were the most remarkable results?
- The two main financial activities carried out by users on their smartphones are: checking account statements or checking the history of purchases & payments to a company.
- Users trust both mobile applications and the mobile website. However, they use them differently. They turn more to the applications for financial activities but to the web for searches. For example, to buy a new product or service, 31% preferred an app while 48% chose the mobile website.
- The most important issues for users are simplicity of use and security.
The Big Data analysis
Organizations that take advantage of data effectively use it to get new opportunities. It is worth mentioning that having the information does not necessarily mean you know how to use it. In this sense, the technology of data collection and analysis is crucial to make right decisions and to reduce campaign costs. And even more effectively if the majority of the small decisions are automated.
The analytics can also help in fraud detection and prevention in any industry processing online financial activities such as banking, investment and insurance. Furthermore, the information about financial market transactions can be used to take fast corrective actions. The range of data types and sources is really wide, but most certainly, it is also a key factor to consider when designing a marketing campaign in finance.
Knowing customers does not only imply knowing their names, ages and sex. It means understanding their preferences, habits and behavior. This information will let organizations build on a deeper relationship with them. The goal of any campaign is always to go further, to know customers´ preferences to attract their attention, to highlight.
One of the main characteristics is to know the ideal customers´ pain points so that we can find out their drivers, i.e., whatever encourages them to do a certain search or choose a specific service. This information will help us create a message with the proper approach, define a goal and select the communication channels. Which valuable information do we need to achieve this?
- Personal: interests, people influencing their decisions, things that make them happy, their goals, motivations, etc.
- Online behavior: Social networks they use; whether they buy products online and, if so, what kind; where they search for information, how often they do it and which their favorite reference pages are; what time they are generally online, etc.
- Working behavior: responsibilities, challenges, major influences, etc.
- Relationship with our organization: how they have learned about our organization; their opinion about our company image; their reasons for hiring our services or buying our products; what they most value about us; their interaction with the brand, etc.
Campaign orchestration in an omnichannel and multichannel world
Another key factor is to centralize and orchestrate campaigns correctly. According to Curata, 42% of the companies hire a content executive. If we are planning to outsource or to use different platforms for our digital marketing plan and execution, it is important to consider that hiring separate services or tools may be problematic and detrimental. The effectiveness of centralizing the strategy, execution, design, security and monitoring is clearly relevant: it makes a difference.
This does not mean that we cannot carry out a customized follow-up through omnichannel strategies - quite the opposite. It is a matter of organizing the multiple factors to easily control them and perform a 360-degree evaluation. In fact, we are considering the same customer who is reaching the company through different sources: the website, the mobile apps in smartphones, tablets, PCs, social networks, ATMs, customer service offices and offline branches.
Naturally, we are here talking about the ongoing interaction between customers and banks/financial institutions, and not only about buying a new product. Therefore, all the above-mentioned points should be covered with high specificity to achieve an excellent performance in the interactions with the customers in a synchronized and comprehensive way.
The Nielsen Consulting Group mentions in one of their reports that e-commerce is revolutionizing the global retailing industry, but that offline sales are still relevant.
Inbound or outbound marketing
Both concepts are generally considered opposite, but in fact, they can be part of the same set of actions to be more effective. Many industries and services are clearly becoming more and more inbound-oriented since the audience and the ways of communications are changing.
The Inbound Methodology targets both the user and the potential customer. It attempts to attract their interest and trust with relevant content that helps them in their everyday life. For instance, the creation of content for blogs is on the top of the list for Inbound strategies. Which are the other main characteristics of this methodology?
- The most important communication media are digital: search engines, references, blogs, social media, customized e-mails.
- Communication is bidirectional and interactive. It boosts a more direct contact since it deeply knows the potential customer´s needs. It moves away from the outbound marketing main goal which is more focused on the product and its features as well as on the massive communication without taking account of each reader´s context.
- The audience is more qualified since we are constantly interacting and being nurtured by potential customers who choose to contact us on their own initiative.
- Content intends to entertain and inform as interactively as possible.
Nevertheless, both methodologies are complementary: Inbound “and” Outbound and not “one or the other”, based on the behavior of each contact.
The power of social media
According to The Financial Brand, the State Bank of India is the top #1 bank in the use of social networks for the 2018 Q2, followed by Wells Fargo. On the other hand, the #1 credit union is Navy, while Nationalwide Building Society comes second on the list.
The main channels used in the industry are Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. As regards content in social networks, the visual content is shared 40 times more than any other kind of content, and users spend 4 out of 5 minutes doing the same in the network with their mobile phones. Presence in social networks offers a wide range of opportunities, not only to position ourselves head-to-head with competitors but also to use more innovative options.
Out of the major social networks, Facebook has the greatest number of users. According to the Pew Research Center, 79% of the online users are on Facebook. In this particular network, the interaction in the financial sector provides both clear and convenient offers as well as information that can clear up a customer´s or potential buyer´s doubts. For example, the option to chat with customers make them feel heard and let them solve problems much faster. Once on Facebook, the customer should be redirected to the corresponding site. However, the initial contact will have already been made.
For instance, a customer may ask how to get his/her first credit card through a chat on Facebook. This is something very common in the new generations. Millennials will not go to the Bank to find out, will they? So, from Facebook, they could be redirected to the online bank site to fill out the forms and…that´s it! A representative will later contact them by e-mail or phone to send the necessary information. Following, they could either pick the “plastic card” up at a place of their convenience or receive it at their home address.
This is just a simple example of how to use the social networks in the financial market. If you need further information on this subject, read the full article from The Financial Brand.
To sum up…
This guide intends to show you the latest financial marketing trends for financial services so that your bank or financial institution does not fall behind. Remember: omnichannel strategies, complementary inbound and outbound techniques, centralized campaigns and orchestration of specialized digital tools, and customized messages based on the analytics from different sources. Have you already thought about these issues to run your organization marketing campaigns?
Feel free to contact us in case you need specific information about any of the topics above or about the innovative tools especially designed for financial marketing automation.