Top 6 Marketing Trends for Financial Services in 2023
5 MIN READ
Way back in 1997 (or thereabouts), Claus (BH&P’s Creative Director) and I were part of the team that set up the NatWest Village on Dean Street – a partnership between TBWA\London and TBWA\GGT Direct (which later became Tequila), created to manage the bank’s above the line and below the line advertising accounts.
Between posters, TV, in-branch comms, customer leaflets, door drops and direct mail, we pretty much had all channels covered.
We ran Abbey – which became Santander – and successfully launched the Marks & Spencer credit card and loyalty programme and more.
“But what does this have to do with financial services marketing in 2023?” I hear you cry.
The answer is simple. The channels, consumer expectations, and technology may have changed. But one thing remains vital: creative thinking.
Fast Forward to 2023
From 2016-2021, BH&P ran the Business Finance Guide for The British Business Bank and ICAEW, offering original content, compelling ideas, and frictionless user experiences.
Today, we continue to deliver these services for finance clients with a key difference: our use of automation. We've integrated tools that streamline repetitive tasks, boost insights, and free us to focus on creative strategies that truly impact our clients.
In the highly competitive finance industry, customer-centricity and personalization are crucial for success. With consumers increasingly price sensitive and seeking cost savings, multi-channel marketing and data-driven digital campaigns are essential to reach B2B and B2C audiences effectively.
In finance, "innovation" only matters if it meets customers' needs and is communicated in a captivating manner. This requires two things: standout creative storytelling and an effective channel/media strategy.
Let’s break it down…
1. Multi-Channel Marketing
Multichannel financial services marketing in 2023 prioritizes a seamless and integrated customer experience across various touch points, including digital channels from websites, social media, email, and mobile apps, and traditional channels like branches, call centers, and direct mail. The goal is to provide personalized communication and consistent branding. Creative and content are still king.
Data and technology play a crucial role in understanding customer behavior and preferences, delivering tailored experiences, and building brand loyalty.
New social channels, such as TikTok and BeReal, offer opportunities for financial brands to reach and engage with their target audience in unique ways. TikTok's popularity among younger generations and focus on creative video content allows financial brands to showcase their products and services in a fun way. And its short-form videos are shareable across other platforms too – even LinkedIn!
BeReal's emphasis on community and authenticity can help financial brands establish a more personal connection with their audience.
Email marketing remains hyper-relevant and cost-effective, with 84% of B2B marketers using it as their primary channel. Despite new digital channels, email continues to be a reliable and effective way for financial brands to communicate with customers and prospects, allowing for easy segmentation and customization.
An effective email marketing strategy and execution can drive engagement, conversions, and loyalty, making it an essential part of a financial brand's multichannel marketing approach.
There’s certainly no escaping the email inbox anytime soon …
2. Data-Driven Digital Marketing for Finance
Financial services marketing starts with data governance. It's a critical piece of the puzzle that often gets overlooked, especially in large finance businesses that have recently undergone a merger or acquisition.
Data silos create a lack of data visibility, making it challenging to get a full picture of your customers and make data-driven decisions about how to market to them.
It’s critical that this changes, with much better connectivity between internal systems. Chief Marketing Officers have the power to break down these barriers and unify data analytics across all departments. Imagine having access to the data you need, exactly when you need it. By breaking down silos and joining data from all lines of business, you'll be able to create more informed marketing strategies and reap the rewards of personalized, data-driven campaigns.
Hang tight, more on that in number five!
3. Automation and AI
Machine learning, automation, and artificial intelligence (AI) are revolutionizing financial services marketing by improving efficiency and accuracy, providing personalized experiences, and increasing customer engagement.
Automated processes like email marketing and chatbots can handle repetitive tasks and provide 24/7 assistance, freeing up human resources for higher-level tasks. AI algorithms can analyze vast amounts of data to inform targeted marketing campaigns, offer personalized recommendations and increase conversion rates.
Additionally, AI-powered chatbots can handle customer inquiries and provide real-time assistance, improving customer satisfaction and loyalty.
They have quickly become a critical tool for financial services marketing and customer service, offering fast and efficient responses to customer inquiries, particularly for those in need of quick answers around financial products or concepts.
Chatbots can contribute significantly to customer retention and growth, making them an important consideration in a comprehensive finance marketing strategy. Adopting and utilizing AI in finance marketing can lead to significant improvements and optimizations in overall performance.
4. Predictive Analytics
Predictive analytics combine historical data with advanced machine learning algorithms to make accurate predictions about customer behavior, preferences, and buying patterns. With the help of predictive analytics, financial services marketers can predict which messages and channels have the highest conversion rates and lead to new customer acquisitions.
Incorporating predictive analytics into marketing strategies helps financial service companies to stay ahead of the competition by making data-driven decisions. By utilizing predictive analytics tools and intelligent learning frameworks such as Mevo, financial service marketers can optimize their media spend, targeting the most relevant audiences and reducing waste. The algorithms are designed to learn from historical data and continuously improve, providing more accurate predictions over time.
Predictive analytics also enable financial service marketers to deliver more personalized and relevant experiences. By understanding their customers' behaviors and preferences, marketers can tailor their communications and offers to specific segments, resulting in increased engagement and conversions. Additionally, predictive analytics helps financial service companies to reduce marketing costs by prioritizing the most effective campaigns and channels, while improving the ROI of their marketing efforts.
Personalization has been a staple in finance marketing for a while, but hyper-personalization sets top performers apart. 72% of customers consider personalization crucial in banking, whether B2B or B2C. By understanding their target audience, finance marketers can create unique customer experiences, securing loyalty and reducing costs.
But it's crucial to test messages for effectiveness and adjust as needed. Test them, fail fast, and learn what works.
Finance personalization takes various forms, such as personalized product and service packages, individual pricing, and targeted website pop-ups.
Inbound personalization also involves relevant email notifications based on website activity, as long as the data is compliant, and users opt in. Well-personalized emails can increase conversion rates to 5.8%. Even if conversions aren't immediate, financial brands can continue communication through their CRM to improve engagement and continue educating contacts.
Smaller finance players may rely on sales teams for personalization, but this can be time-consuming and costly. We’ve seen this many times when working with clients. Particularly when the data in their CRM isn’t up to scratch.
Accurate, up-to-date, and enriched data drives higher customer lifetime value, improves loyalty, retention, and referrals, making the sales team's job easier in the long run.
6. Customer Lifetime Value & Net Promoter Score
To maximize lifetime value, financial services must focus on delivering exceptional customer experiences.
Net Promoter Score (NPS) remains a crucial metric in measuring customer satisfaction and driving retention. Banks use NPS to identify areas for improvement, increase word-of-mouth referrals, and prevent churn. By making decisions based on NPS scores and customer satisfaction surveys, banks can align their strategies with the customer's best interests and foster long-term loyalty.
In addition to traditional incentives like interest rates, security, and customer service, financial services can differentiate themselves by delivering personalized, creative communications that enhance the customer experience.
By leveraging digital trends, financial services can offer higher-level, experiential benefits and build a strong NPS, attracting new customers and increasing lifetime value.
Our work with fast-growing financial businesses has shown that combining creativity with marketing trends can result in significant growth. Listen to a finance CEO's success story to learn how they used this approach to expand their client base many times over.