Top 5 financial services marketing challenges and how to overcome them

The quality of digital marketing is make or break for financial brands.

The financial market is undergoing drastic change. Young, disruptive business are popping up from all angles, taking the market by storm with fresh, integrated products aimed at changing the way we collectively approach personal finance in our day to day lives and announcing it with exciting impactful digital marketing.

If you’re a large financial corporate looking to freshen up your approach in this increasingly modern marketplace, or a young buck hoping to take the financial world by the scruff of the neck, there are common challenges that you’ll face. To be successful in this area, you need to know what they are and how to overcome them.

Understand your audience and the solutions will follow

1. Building trust

No matter the size, financial services brands must secure the trust of their audience in order to be successful. For consumers, there’s simply no other industry where trust is so critical.

In general, trust levels have remained fairly low across the industry since the crash, due mostly the perceived gap between the institutions themselves and the individual consumers.

To move on from this, financial institutions must now find ways to build personal relationships with customers, communicating and interacting honestly and on a human level.

To do this effectively – especially with regard to younger audiences who are steadily migrating towards app-based day-to-day finance – financial brands must…

  • Be aware of demographic preferences
  • Be responsive to trends and issues
  • Be accessible and transparent
  • Be attentive and available
  • Take a human to human approach

The brands that do this best are those that listen to and understand their audiences, building creative strategies that tap into audience demands and concerns to fuel growth. Let’s call this the Netflix model – you can find out more about this here.

Understanding audience is crucial for the future growth of any business. In financial industries, trust is a huge part of this that must be addressed.

Download our buyer persona template to create better campaigns and strategy.

2. Conveying complex messages

Everyone knows that financial services is a complicated industry with complicated products and complicated services. That’s why trust is such a crucial factor for the everyday consumer in this marketplace. Understanding what you do and what you can add to their lives is the barrier for entry. You need to get this right.

The key to breaking down this barrier and conveying the valuable yet complex information and services you have to offer is creative digital content. With the power to show rather than tell, explainer videos are the perfect vehicle to showcase complex services and products in a way that is relatable and memorable.

For example, this explainer for financial app MINT is able to say so much, so quickly, and so simply about its user face it’s really not worth my time to tell you what the app is…

3. Connecting with your audience

Finding ways to build trust and convey complex messages is a huge part of properly connecting with your audience. In addition, there are a few more ways you can go the extra mile to understand them and help them understand who you are as a company.

When it comes to connecting with your audience, social media is such a powerful tool, that it must be a part of any successful modern business strategy. For financial services companies, social media can be used to engage audiences and build excitement around new products and offers.

Another great way to build relationships is through interactive apps and personal chat-bots that offer individual users a highly personalised experience with your brand. This is something that fintechs such as ClearScore are doing brilliantly, yet there’s no reason why larger financial corporates cannot match this type of personalised experience.

Beyond this, if you’re really wanting to stand out from the crowd, augmented reality apps can be a great way for users to visualise complicated products and services and connect with your business in an entirely new and innovative way.

4. Innovation

Financial services have always played such a major role in society it’s hard to imagine a world without them. However, today’s disruptive marketplace is making that a more conceivable reality, meaning, financial services need to innovate in order to keep up with the smaller and less restricted tech brands entering the financial fray.

In this context, the burden of innovation can refer to a number of things. This could simply be allocating budget to update outdated IT systems that many older institutions still use today. It could mean investing in partnerships with emerging fintechs, or internal digital-oriented departments.

Whatever it is, maintaining an up to date and innovative service offering has never been so important, and never so critical for financial corporates. Whole generations of younger consumers are growing up with completely different expectations of how their day to day lives should be organised, and their finance is no different. If it isn’t convenient, mobile and user-friendly, it has the potential to be left behind.

5. Marketing budgets

Traditionally, marketing budgets across financial services have been limited to above the line campaigns, which tend to be the main spend in this area.

However, now that everything has swiftly moved into the online space, countless doorways have opened up presenting opportunities for exciting new ways to put marketing budgets to work, creating more consistent and more long-term content.

This means… bigger reach, less spend.

Taking a unique and more modern approach to marketing can ultimately propel a business forward. Across financial services marketing, those who create the most exciting and innovative campaigns will often come out on top and be far less out of pocket than those still pursuing traditional methods.

A quick summary…

While these are just some of the problems for financial services confronting the rising tide of fintech, it ultimately comes down to a willingness and ability to understand and interact with the audience you have, and a desire to build that audience through further understanding and innovation aimed at solving the problems your audience face day-to-day.

Do this, and you can be successful in overcoming these problems and carve a space for your brand in the financial industry and in the everyday financial lives of the consumer.