Top Takeaways from the Digital Marketing for Financial Services Summit West

March 10, 2017: Luke Anderson, Senior Marketing Specialist

Check out these hot topics from the Digital Marketing for Financial Services Summit West in San Francisco a few weeks ago.

Improving the consumer experience, and meeting consumers where they are, remains a top priority.

Consumers have the ability to interact with financial services institutions in ways that were not imaginable 20, 10, even five years ago. They have the expectation that any information or service they’re looking for will be available on multiple devices, in context, at their moment of need.

Digital has truly commoditized banking relationships. There is more transparency into how banks operate and more consequences when consumers feel they are not operating in their best interest.

Consumers want personalized experiences, highly relevant content and simple user interactions. Given the escalated expectations, financial institutions that can anticipate consumer needs and meet them where they are and want to be (i.e. appropriate channels) will be most successful moving forward. 

Implement consumer-centric thinking to mesh with marketing technology.

New products and services pop up daily that promise to make consumers’ lives easier, spread messages more effectively and help employees do their jobs more efficiently. The reality is that it’s becoming increasingly complex for financial services institutions to deliver, while consumers expect things to be increasingly simple.

One way to assess consumer experiences is by implementing service design. Service design is an approach that is used to understand your actual service, as opposed to your documented or aspirational service, and finding meaningful ways to improve it. This considers:

  • How enjoyable are we to do business with?
  • How easy are we to do business with?
  • How effectively are we meeting consumer needs?
This exploration helps build digital-first experiences that are comfortable for consumers to navigate and efficient for businesses to deliver. To properly deploy the powerful technology marketers have at their fingertips, financial institutions must invest in creating cultures of innovation, collaboration and even co-creation, to ensure they’re using these tools in ways that support consumers and overall organizational goals.

Don’t proclaim branches “dead” just yet. Marrying the digital with the physical can still be very effective.

Branches might be changing, getting smaller and becoming more focused, but they still have value in today’s digital world.

Emily Friesen, SVP of strategic marketing for Arrowhead Credit Union, found that 18% of their members come into branches at least once per month. Further research also showed that 26% more products and services were sold to those members that came into branches regularly.

To further engage its members, Arrowhead developed an online tool (“Reality Check”) that helped its members analyze personal loans and discover areas to save money. Arrowhead developed a well-rounded marketing campaign focused on a seamless digital and branch experience. This included plugging the online tool in branch conversations and having people pick up actual giant checks in person.

Friesen shared that 65% of someone’s perception of services is how they feel. Since it can be difficult to make someone feel something strictly over the web, Arrowhead incorporated branches and made face-to-face interactions a crucial element of the successful campaign.

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