May 18, 2019

5 marketing trends for financial institutions

Today, due to constant stimulation from a wide variety of sources, financial institutions are struggling to capture the limited attention span of potential users.

This reality does hinder these entities from creating trust and building a relationship. However, a reliable and successful way to improve communication and convenience, as well as connecting on a more individual level, is through marketing.

However, because marketing is constantly changing, evolving and moving to new tools, technologies and channels, knowing how to address potential and existing customers can be quite a challenge. Knowing the latest trends in marketing for financial institutions is key to developing a brand, to addressing users in a more effective way and to improve budget allocation, spending money in the best places. Learn 10 of the most important marketing trends for financial institutions below.

The Trends Every Financial Institution Should Adopt

1. Mobile Marketing & Voice Search

Mobile penetration is growing at a steady pace in Africa. In fact, smartphone penetration in South Africa is 51%, while Ghana, Senegal, Nigeria, Kenya and Tanzania are below, with a penetration of 35%, 34%, 32%, 30% and 13%, respectively, and according to several experts, the number will double by 2025.

Mobile-friendly websites and apps are two of the main ways in which mobile marketing in finance has been applied recently. However, there are several other ways to user mobile marketing such as geolocation, in-app notifications and rewards. An in-app marketing strategy is a great way to provide personalized content, improve experience and even upsell products or services.

Not only can these technologies reduce fraud rates but they can also create personalized offers. However, keep in mind that users should have the chance to opt-out of their financial institution knowing their location, because not every user is interested in providing this information to users.

Because of the incredible growth smartphones (approximately 250 million, a third of mobile users in Sub Saharan Africa, have a smartphone) and 3G are having in the African region (by 2025, 3G will account for 60% of all mobile connections), financial institutions should focus on content built for mobile users, with mobile-friendly design and clear, concise information.

Voice search is another feature that’s becoming particularly popular. In fact, by 2020, 50% of all searches will be done by voice, experts say. This is already becoming an important part of mobile marketing campaigns: JP Morgan has created a Skill on Alexa Skills that enables the user to ask specific questions to the financial entity simply by saying to the device “Alexa, ask JP Morgan”.

The best way to start incorporating voice search into your marketing strategy is to identify the most commonly asked questions that lead customers to your site and include these phrases in your content.

2. Machine Learning

By using machine learning, companies can use data from browsers, social media, apps, transactions and website searches or questions to create marketing campaigns, products or even specific solutions to cater to individual needs. You can match your services and products to the needs expressed by existing or potential customers and provide whatever they are looking for.

You can also user ML for tracking and cross-channel marketing, following the user’s journey from one platform to the next and providing more information on whichever subject they were interested in, creating a more complete experience.

Machine learning can also be used to make predictions about how well certain types of campaigns would work for specific customers.

3. Customer Outreach

Customer outreach is a great way to increase brand awareness and benefit the local community at the same time. By creating financial courses, one-on-one sessions or day workshops, financial institutions can reach existing and potential customers by providing valuable insights and useful financial information. Campaigns work best when they attend to solve specific needs or problems without pushing a product or service.

By reaching out to the community, institutions can build trust and awareness, which generally translates into profit. You can offer subsequent discounts to keep them interested.

4. Chatbots

Chatbots allow financial institutions to add customer value since it can provide assistance at any time in any day and on several subjects. Should questions become too complex to answer, the bot can simply transfer the person to a human. Customer services costs can be drastically reduced and customers don’t need to wait in line or call to get help. Clients can get the help they need without having to move.Some chatbots can help users complete specific transactions and even provide basic investment advice.

They are easily integrated to websites, apps and even social media platforms, they can gather useful information about what subjects or tasks users require more assistance to complete or the sort of doubts they have about a product.

5. Personalization

Personalization is a key to customers and according to several studies, they are more than willing to provide their personal data in exchange for it. According to the most recent report from Epsilon:

  • 90% of consumers find personalization“very to somewhat” appealing.

  • 80% of consumers are more likely to do business with a company that offers personalized experiences.

  • 66% of consumers feel that companies are doing “much to somewhat better” in their efforts to personalize their experiences.

Because data is such an important part of today’s world (data is the new oil) and customers know this, when offered things that can appeal to them, such as offers and discounts, they are more than willing to provide financial entities with it.

However, some are yet reticent to provide such personal information, so caution is necessary. Some even say they find personalized offers “creepy” while others fear companies just don’t do enough to protect their most intimate data.

Generic advice is simply not enough for today’s consumers. They want their data to be analyzed in order to provide them with better, more tailored offers and discounts, that help them achieve their financial goals.

This doesn’t mean that you need to create individual experiences, but take advantage of the tools you have (AI or machine learning, for instance) to create better tailored products and services that appeal to a certain type of individual or people with specific wants or needs. You can offer all sorts of personalized products and services:

  • dynamic quotes and pre-approval

  • accounts and rates that consider specific financial situations from groups of individuals

When contacting your existing or potential clients, keep in mind that 65% of consumers prefer getting personalized offers via email, 41% via text message and 40% via an app or another mobile device.

Regardless of which trend you wish to adopt, if not all of them, the way to attract customers is to know what they want the most from their financial institutions and how can your company provide such service in an efficient and affordable way.

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