Financial Services: Questions for Marketers to Ask Themselves Today for Tomorrow’s Strategies

Last week, I blogged about lessons that digital PR agencies can learn from recent research conducted by Bill Wreaks of the Gramercy Institute and Frank Dudley of Brand New Media in which they surveyed senior-level marketers at Bank of America, UBS, Prudential and MetLife to learn more about best practices in digital marketing for financial services.

In addition to those lessons, what struck me from the research is that today, when it comes to digital marketing, financial services companies are primarily focused on driving traffic to their website (i.e. their digital “home”) with banner ads and search engine optimization. And 24% of marketing budgets, on average, are spent on digital platforms, which means that there is significant muscle behind driving site traffic. Yet, by 2015, marketers expect the pendulum to shift, putting social networks and mobile strategies (i.e. their digital “children”) at the top of their list in importance.

One of the implications of this change is that it will become even more important for financial services firms to ensure that all digital platforms are integrated. With customers potentially just viewing your firm’s content via a social network or mobile application rather than your website, it’s essential that financial services companies ensure that every digital outpost is comprehensive (or provides access to further information).

This also means that individual groups creating these tools – perhaps HR developed the Facebook page and Sales created the mobile application – need to work together to guarantee that messages/information are consistent across all channels.

Customer segmentation will become more difficult in this new marketing age. On a website, it’s easy to target specific users via separate tabs – but social media outposts can have a feeling of “one size fits all.” For financial service marketers, this is something to think about now. What customer is your LinkedIn page targeted to reach? Your YouTube channel? Your iPhone app? Do you need to have multiple outposts on one tool to accommodate your firm’s distinct markets?

What other questions do you think financial services companies should ask themselves today to prepare for the marketing of tomorrow?


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