By Susan Varty of HeadStart Copywriting

You’re always exploring new ideas in Digital Marketing. You see your competitors using new technology – so gaining a competitive edge is critical for leaders in financial services. Digital technologies, customized experiences based on artificial intelligence (AI) and omnichannel strategies, plus new and evolving digital marketing arenas, such as voice search, all offer opportunities for companies in financial services to get that competitive edge. The Digital Marketing for Financial Services Summit in Toronto, June 11-12, 2018, is your gateway to these hot topics in marketing.

Embracing Digital

Recent studies show that the best way for leaders in financial services to reach their business objectives is by embracing digital. Research by Ernst & Young has indicated that data is the most valuable strategic asset for financial services firms, and that the fastest growing companies in the sector are much more likely to use data in revenue-generating areas such as marketing and sales. As companies transition from data management to data analysis they will increasingly experience a competitive advantage and build products that can act on this information.

According to Deloitte, companies that embrace “Digital DNA” are agile, constantly innovating, and welcoming to constant disruption – and this brings results for their customers. Companies who embrace digital see that their customer experience is generated through a real-time, on demand, customer-centric view. This leads to increased customer involvement and engagement with their brands.

Customers have become accustomed to the ease-of-use and trusted experiences they have when interacting with companies such as Google, Amazon, or Apple, and they want to have those same types of experiences when they access financial services. In fact, in 2017, a global survey undertaken by CGN Research and Advisory Group revealed that 49% of respondents would work with Apple if it offered banking services; 39% indicated a willingness to bank with Google, and 31% with Amazon!

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Customizing Experiences

Providing attractive offerings for these customers will be a key focus for leaders in financial services, especially since PwC’s 2017 Digital Banking Consumer Survey indicates that more than two-thirds of financial services customers will be digital-only by 2020. With an omnichannel digital strategy, financial services companies need to create a variety of digital offerings that will give their customers convenient and innovative ways to access their products.

Another area with significant prospects for growth is in AI. By providing faster and more accurate access to data such as customer behaviour patterns, AI has an opportunity to offer an improved customer experience through innovations such as voice or chatbot technology, improved marketing communications, or the creation of products and services that are tailored for individual customers.

Building Credibility

There is also tremendous opportunity in the financial services sector for companies to build credibility through influencer marketing. Influencers in the sector include journalists, company executives, and industry representatives, as well as satisfied customers who can promote a product or service that they have used. Although care is needed to ensure that these campaigns comply with federal regulations, there is scope for influencer marketing campaigns that focus on education and financial literacy, as well as specific products such as digital wallets and apps.

Although financial services companies have been slower to adopt social media marketing, if used well, social media offers an exceptional opportunity to improve the customer experience by providing innovative and engaging content. In an online environment where 74% of consumers use social media to guide their purchasing decisions, marketing in these channels will continue to show positive results, particularly in terms of loyalty, trust, and revenue. Social media marketing strategies that keep the customer at the forefront will be particularly successful in building loyalty, trust and revenue.

To gain more insight into these topics directly from those on the cutting edge, register now for the Digital Marketing for Financial Services Summit in Toronto, June 11-12, 2018.

Susan Varty, Managing Partner of HeadStart Copywriting, writes about payment trends, products and technology in Financial Services.