An effective marketing strategy is critical in the financial industry if you want to rise to the top.
The financial service firms need an effective marketing strategy and plan and drive new sales leads and make marketing accountable for their actions.
Attracting potential clients can be hard, but getting clients can even be harder when you’re working in the financial services industry. Money and finances are a personal and sensitive subject, so clients need to be sure they’re entrusting their money to a company that knows how to take care of it.
Your marketing approach is different than say a tangible good. DO you know what is service marketing? If you are running marketing you should.
The problem is, it can be difficult to decide which company offers the best deal when personal finances are involved. This is true for those who are looking to save or invest their money for the first time.
The big financial collapse of 2008 caused many financial service businesses to lose significant amounts of cash, and worse, lose the trust of their clients. After that, these companies began shifting their marketing strategies to build themselves back up and mend the professional relationships that were broken along the way.
Let’s explore why financial firms struggle with an effective marketing strategy.
Why Is It Hard to Market Financial Services?
As much as we’d like to take away the power of money in our lives, it runs the world in a lot of aspects. It’s an emotional fuel that enables us to live the best lives possible.
Unfortunately, it can also be a primary culprit in the corrosion of many relationships. The lack of it is also one of the main reasons stress levels are soaring while health levels are dipping.
Now, more than ever, do we need the help of financial experts to help us better manage our funds and assets. Yet, financial institutions are still not seeing a significant rise in clients.
Even though there are promising pitches and concepts that are circulating behind the scenes, these never become realities, despite having huge potential to be the game changers we need.Thirty-seven percent say that targeting and personalization will be top priorities in the next 12 months. Click To Tweet
Why is this so? Most marketing for financial services is still targeted at getting huge ROIs, instead of putting the customer and their real financial needs first. Certain systems just take that long to change, when it hasn’t been questioned for as long as it started.
Gaining the trust of consumers can be a complicated ordeal in the world of financial services. It can be as complicated as the job of financial experts itself.
More often than not, customers will just entrust their funds to established businesses, even without understanding what it entails.
This happens when the personal interactions that they had with the experts had been pleasant. Hence, brands face the challenge of establishing a protocol that would make potential clients feel safe when working with them.
The caveat, however, is that financial services are working under strict regulatory laws. It’s, therefore, necessary to conduct adequate market research and risk assessment to determine the feasibility of any new campaigns.
When Do Financial Services Need Effective Marketing?
Financial services belong to the service industry. Like all the other businesses that belong to this field, their products and offerings are intangible and are therefore difficult to quantify outright. Their success mainly depends on customer trust and word-of-mouth.
People will line up their financial service options before choosing one that seems to stand out. The decision process is long and exhaustive, as money matters can be a tricky subject to navigate with a potential client.
Gone are the days when financial advisors can just brute force their way into people’s pockets. Customers can see right through those tactics, and this just drives them away.
Adding to the complication is the fact that many people still can not comprehend what financial services are, and why they need it. Therefore their decisions are fueled by their direct experiences with the business, and not by the actual greatness of their products.Forty-eight percent of FSI respondents said that their company has a well-designed user journey that facilitates clear communication and a seamless transaction. Click To Tweet
Successful conversions in financial services are people-driven. If you’re having trouble attracting clients and getting them to avail of your products, it’s mostly a sign that you already need to reconsider your current marketing strategies.
Listed below are more specific signs why potential clients are finding it hard to choose your business, and why an all-new marketing campaign is necessary to change it.
Their Brand Preferences are Shifting
Product quality and price are known key brand differentiators, but a study by Walker suggests that customer experience will now be the top criterion for brand preferences by 2020.
If your current marketing campaigns are focused on showcasing great deals and prices, it might help shift your focus on understanding your customers’ financial psychology, instead of the things you think they might need.
The problem, however, is that financial service companies don’t have that many opportunities to showcase their superb customer treatment. The challenge is to find an effective way to market their hospitality–alongside their available products.
Aside from asking what your customers are looking for and then giving it to them, going deeper about their unique circumstances can add to positive customer experience.
This is because you’re not just asking and throwing a ready-made product their way. You’re also adjusting what you already have to fit their needs better.
They Don’t Easily Give Their Trust
As struggling financial firms, you must start with a marketing assessment. This will give you insights to help build the best effective marketing strategy for your financial firm.
When it comes to finances, it’s natural for people to be skeptical about who they entrust their hard-earned money to. Nothing turns them off more than a so-called expert who wants them to give up their money to the company, right here and right now.
Hard sellers and cold callers have become effective at this day and age. People nowadays are a lot more likely to run away and look elsewhere when you come at them this way.
How can they trust that your services are as great as you say when they can feel that your interactions are focused on a monetary transaction?
Potential customers are no longer convinced, and you can’t fool them into your product’s quality by spewing your spiels with jargons. Instead, you need to market your business to allow them to warm up to you.
If you give them room to be curious instead of skeptical, it will pay off, though it could take a while before they are convinced of your sincerity. That is a much better trust-building tactic than any outdated hard sales method.
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They Expect Reliable Communications
People these days rely heavily on convenience, accessibility, and instant availability. The less waiting time they have to deal with, the happier they usually are. And the more satisfied they are once the problems have been properly dealt with.
They also like it when they’re able to communicate with a company through various channels. Although e-mails, social media, and chat support have now become available, some people still prefer the good old landline to address their concerns. The more communication channels that you can provide, the better.
When potential customers see that it’s easy to get in touch with you, it helps remove their skepticism and distrust. If they’re having a hard time finding your contact details, or realize that you’re uncontactable, they will quickly lose interest.
Make sure that clients and potential clients know how to reach you because this is one of the easiest ways to build rapport with them. Their money is at stake here, so they need you to be always available when they have questions.
If you noticed that you aren’t marketing your communication channels enough, now is the time to change that. You already know that your chances of showing your hospitality are limited, so this is one way of compensating for that. This can help convince your clients that they made the right choice because you’re dependable when you said you would be.
They Crave Informative Content and Adds to Your Effective Marketing Strategy
Many of your clients may be the lazy kind who are convinced that you are competent enough to do your job, while just as many are interested in knowing what goes on when they put their money into your company.
Financial concepts can be hard to comprehend for those who have just taken money matters for the first time. Have you tried creating an infographic?
Despite that, many of your customers are still willing to take the time and effort to know what they’re getting themselves into. They want a better understanding of the most common financial terms and see how these relate to their current plan.
Hence, it’s helpful to share contents that your clients would find valuable. People are concerned about these things, so if you are not marketing important information yet, consider integrating it to your campaigns.The average Google first page result contains 1,890 words. Click To Tweet
To give you ideas, you can share infographics and case studies for a start. Potential clients are more likely to be convinced that you are legitimate if you can back your claims with verifiable data and numbers.
For informative materials, consider content marketing, video marketing, and even ebook marketing. Blog posts and e-books are great reference materials for explaining many financial ideas, while videos that show a person (instead of plain voiceover) can give your brand a more human touch.
People always want more information, not less. Releasing informative content can improve your reputation as an industry expert.
They Have Become More Tech Savvy
The financial services industry is still having a hard time transitioning to digitized services. A digital transformation may have to occur to build an effective marketing strategy. How digital savvy are you?
With all the issues regarding information privacy and security, and with competent hackers lurking around waiting to steal tons of customer data, it can be a challenge to appeal to the tech-savvy customer who needs immediate access to their account.
The emergence of technology-based processes has no signs of stopping or even slowing down. Hence, if financial services wish to stay ahead of the competition, they need to work on providing accessible and well-protected platforms for performing financial tasks.Just 7% of FSI companies have implemented a highly integrated, cloud-based technology stack. Click To Tweet
Companies need to work with the best developers to ensure that their platform remains stable and secure. Otherwise, they will have trouble attracting clients or keeping the ones that they already have.
In such cases, you will need to remind your clients that they are safe with you, even when they’re doing business over the World Wide Web.
Aside from building good customer relationships, it’s also worth investing in an effective marketing strategy and tested marketing campaigns that focus on data security. This can help lessen potential clients’ anxiety about risky transactions.
They Want to Feel Valued
Financial service companies used to be impersonal, though most of them still are until now. That’s not the impression that you want to leave with anyone. If you want people to trust you with all they have, you must at least show that you value them more than their money.
As the first point stated, consumer preferences are now moving towards customer experience (CX). They are looking for companies that will value them, and not treat them like they are just part of a quota.
It’s great if your customers can vouch for excellent customer experiences, but you can’t keep on relying on word-of-mouth. You also need to show that you are interested in building and keeping relationships.
If you already have a great content marketing campaign going on, you can team up with your clients in creating content that focus on their stories. Sharing a part of your clients’ lives can be an excellent way to show that you have changed lives for the better.
Conclusion: Financial Marketing and the Future
People’s financial requirements are changing together with the rest of the world. Effective marketing campaigns have now become more necessary for financial service businesses than ever before if they wish to continue thriving in the industry.
They can invest in various marketing strategies all they want, but they must also invest in something intangible: trust.
Marketers in the financial industry must be able to strike a delicate balance between their marketing campaigns and their customers’ satisfaction. While it is, still about the money, their success is guaranteed to come in when they make customers feel that it is not just about that.
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Authored by Nathan Tarrant.
General FAQ’s for an Effective Marketing Strategy
Most marketing for financial services is still targeted at getting huge ROIs, instead of putting the customer and their real financial needs first. Gaining the trust of consumers can be a complicated ordeal in the world of financial services. It can be as complicated as the job of financial experts itself.
When do financial services need marketing?
Financial services products and offerings are intangible and are therefore difficult to quantify outright. Their success mainly depends on customer trust and word-of-mouth. Here are the top three reasons: (1) your sales pipeline is weak; (2) you have no web traffic; and (3) customer churn is too high.
What is financial service marketing?
Financial services marketing relates to the combined use of marketing strategies and tactics used by marketers in the financial services sector to attract new customers or retain existing ones.