Industries such as financial services, however, are still undergoing the digital marketing transformation as they try to make sense of which digital marketing strategies are merely trends and which are the new reality. In fact, according to a survey by CMO, only 9 per cent of the 840 financial service industry (FSI) respondents professed to be a digital-first organisation.
The dramatic shift in just the past decade of how consumers engage with media can no longer be ignored. For the FSI to catch up, they will need to accept that traditional channels need to be abandoned if they want to target today’s customers and deliver the best experiences both offline and online.
While the financial service industry were early adopters of the technology behind customer data, they’ve struggled with how to keep up with consumer’s online behaviour and how to leverage social media to engage and interact. For an industry that has relied on doing business in person, social media and other online channels proved to be the most challenging concept.
We’re seeing the rise in financial advisors and firms making their presence felt on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. However, the FSI needs to recognise that social media platforms aren’t just used to spread brand awareness but also used a customer service channel. According to Jitesh Keswani, CEO of e-Intelligence, “Only one in eight social media messages to brands are responded to within three days.”
With more and more consumers using social media to reach out to brands for their queries and concerns, the FSI needs to maintain consistent communication through social media platforms or otherwise risk brand frustration.
According to a report by CMO where 840 FSI respondents worldwide participated in a survey on digital disruption, 55 per cent plan to increase investment in personalisation in efforts to prioritise customer service, targeting, and customer journey management.
The FSI hasn’t quite stepped up their game when it comes to leveraging video assets. Unfortunately, they are still using video content and platforms such as YouTube to advertise as they traditionally would have on TV. However, these conventional strategies simply don’t work on consumers anymore. Rather than selling to their audience, the FSI needs to learn how to tell visual stories that create experiences.
There are plenty of other ways that the FSI can utilise video in digital marketing and tap into an audience that is now more than 2.38 billion viewers strong such as video tutorials, behind-the-scenes, and customer testimonials.
Financial services have thrived thanks to word-of-mouth marketing. That hasn’t changed due to the digital revolution; what has changed, however, is where potential customers are finding recommendations. According to Bright Local, a whopping 85 per cent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. For this reason, those in financial services who are taking their digital marketing to the next level have focused more on gaining positive reviews from satisfied customers on platforms such as Facebook, Google+, and Yelp.
While financial services were slow to board the digital train, 78 per cent of FSI marketers say that optimising the customer journey across multiple touch points is their priority over the next few years. And because we know those channels involve content marketing, social media and other online platforms, we can look forward to witnessing how digital marketing will reshape and modernise financial services.