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CRM trends for financial services marketing in the digital era

Author's avatar By Dave Chaffey 14 Apr, 2021
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Discover the latest trends and innovations in customer relationship management to truly integrate your financial services CRM marketing

From account opening, saving money, investing, to foreign currency exchange, financial services marketing leaders are looking to create a user-centric digital environment to respond to users’ expectations. Financial services CRM today means providing customers with more innovative and complete financial services with partners from different industries, including telecom companies, FinTech start-ups, and insurance companies.

Financial services companies have often perceived the strength of digital purely as an acquisition channel. As customer relationships have become more complex, the growth of new distribution channels has increased combined with the exponential growth of new technology means financial services CRM marketing is more important than ever, for both customer acquisition and retention and lifetime value.

Larger financial brands also understand as their historic dominance is continually being squeezed by startups such as FinTechs focusing on retention can drive up to 4/5 times more value than new customers and thus a robust financial services CRM plan is vital for these brands in maintaining market positioning and driving sales growth.

Determining where the latest financial services marketing trends and innovations fall within the customer lifecycle is crucial if you want to delight your customers at every step of their purchase and repeat-purchase journey. That's why our financial services trends 2021 report structures 9 top sector trends across our popular RACE Framework of reach, act, convert, and engage.

As we will explore below, CRM is a key conversion tactic right now. That means you can expect your conversion to grow by implementing the marketing tools and techniques we cover in this blog. But, conversion alone is not enough to build a strong marketing strategy for your financial services business. You will need to also consider your reach, interaction, and engagement strategies to build a successful marketing funnel.

Omnichannel Marketing funnel

Download our free report to discover my full 9 recommendations for your financial services business across all the key touch points in your customers' journeys. Integrated across the RACE Framework, our marketing solutions empower marketers across the globe to apply a data-driven, customer-centric approach to their marketing structure

Financial Services marketing trends 2021

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How has CRM evolved in the financial services sector?

Creating a single view of the customer

CRM for financial services firms is about creating a data-driven single view of the customer. This means having access to a single view of all customer interactions, communications, and experiences, across every channel and touchpoint. This can be a very costly and time-consuming process, and many businesses are still in the early stages of maturity when it comes to having a CRM program that is fully integrated with all business channels and datasets.

CRM retargeting helps to build online audiences with only an email address or postal address, it works in partnership with publisher networks who securely match anonymous email or mailing addresses. It’s also available through Google Customer Match and customer lists in Facebook Custom Audiences.

It allows marketers to retarget with minimal information, and find potential customers within large publisher networks. It helps bring offline data online, allowing potential customers to be retargeted via online ads.

financial services vision for CRM

Reducing information isolation through Open Banking

In the past, customers needed to repeatedly fill out application forms when they applied for different financial services. To save time for customers, using an open API to transfer customers’ information between different partners and help customers fill out forms automatically will improve the experience. Once customers have successfully completed this process they will no longer need to fill out forms when they apply for other financial services.

The growth of Open Banking applications is shown by nearly 50 consumer-facing applications from aggregators to investment tools listed here.

banking consumer facing apps

By simply clicking a few buttons, customers can easily complete their application of various financial services such as insurance purchasing, foreign currency exchange, and investing they will be more likely to choose your services rather than moving to another provider.

For example, Taishin Bank’s Richart App was developed as an open banking platform, which integrates all the services that customers need in one place. They knew that customers in Taiwan usually have 5 or 6 different accounts to manage different services such as insurance, foreign currency, investment, etc. but with their app Richart, they only needed one account.

This sophisticated financial services CRM process means customers no longer need to memorize several different accounts and passwords. In addition, they are able to manage and keep track of different financial products in one App and one account.

Our RACE Framework is the ideal structure for any complex marketing strategy since it breaks down your marketing activities with a focus on the customer and their relationship with you. So for a financial services company, such as open banking, or any financial services provider, you can apply data and best-practice to ensure your marketing is optimized to drive the results you want to see at each stage of the journey. Find out more about our marketing training for financial services businesses by downloading our free report.

Financial Services marketing trends 2021

Accelerate your growth in 2021 with trends, examples, and practical strategy integrated with our RACE Framework

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Financial services CRM integration across all channels to create omnichannel customer contact strategies

Financial services CRM systems that combine digital, mobile, and social data alongside traditional touchpoints are rapidly outstripping those that don’t. A priority for financial services organizations is for all key marketing activities to be integrated across channels. This can create channel conflict so many firms have created their own CRM teams.

The need for integration to give a managed, measured approach across all touchpoints is suggested by this example of a customer onboarding sequence for a bank.

Customer onboarding crm financial services

If we return to the Taishin Bank example, it has also extended the Richart App connect to LINE, the most popular instant messaging APP in Taiwan, allowing more than 6 million customers to enjoy its financial services more easily and conveniently. This means that customers can now enjoy financial service to check their transactions and reach out to Richart customer service through a common channel they use every day without logging into the banking App.

It is the combination of offering competitive and integrated products through the Richart App, that has attracted more than 1,400,000 applications for Richart’s saving accounts – more than 70% of them are aged 35 or under, and more than 74% of them are first-time customers for Taishin Bank.

As such, Richart has become the most popular digital bank in its market with over 95 % of its customers showing high satisfaction and strong willingness to continuously use Richart and recommend it to their friends.

Increased use of Big Data systems in the financial services sector

The role of data in facilitating the segmentation and personalization of communications and experiences cannot be understated. It is not enough to simply have a multitude of datasets on customers. There is much research to show that many organizations are overwhelmed by the volume of incoming customer data.

Even if financial services organizations have implemented the most sophisticated CRM infrastructure, the data must be able to pass between the various channels and technology platforms, and across all aspects of the business.

In order to successfully compete for customers, organizations require a holistic view of their customers. This requires data and a focus on shifting behaviors according to customer data.

“Companies need to shift their culture to focus on ‘data hygiene practices and to fix archaic processes of saving and storing customer data in different ways. In our CRM transformation, we realized that its success would ultimately boil down to the ubiquitous availability of accurate and detailed data."

“This would require a behavioral shift across the company. No longer could offline data be an acceptable practice. Nor could we have individuals in marketing, sales, services, and supply chain storing and tracking data inconsistently. Change is never easy, but it gave us a 360-degree view of customers across Hitachi Vantara and is a significant business opportunity for our sales teams if they are reporting and analyzing accurate data trends.”

- Renée McKaskle, CIO, Hitachi Vantara

Maria Mellegers – Palaiologos, Vice President adoption lead of Barclays, showed Barclay’s SmartBusiness Insights dashboard for SMB customers.

58% of SMEs base more than half of their regular business decisions on gut feel or experience rather than being driven by data and information. On average, businesses only use 50% of all information available to make decisions.

The life span of a product has shrunk by 400% in the last few years – it’s not about what you offer but how you offer it. Barclays SmartBussiness is aimed at providing data-driven information to help SMEs make the right decisions. It has been curated with over 1 million sources of data from businesses that bank with them and is easy to use.

With the new Barclays SmartBusiness Insights easy-to-use dashboard, customers are able to identify patterns through clean data filters to see what is necessary without being overloaded with data they don’t need.

Financial services CRM dashboard example

SmartBusiness provides local insights based on average transaction value, the average wage in your area, industry turn over, etc. This helps contextualize data for SMEs, providing spend and performance data and customer dynamics.

Although this doesn’t directly impact marketing financial services, this shows innovation in FS is vital in keeping customers and integrating solutions based on customers’ pain points. From a business point of view, Barclays is able to help its SME account holders and drive engagement with content.

According to a Gartner report, customer experience (CX) projects are 50% about technology, with the remaining 50% about customer emotion, perception, and related qualitative factors. In order to achieve CX success, organizations need to adopt a broad view of their stakeholders.

This is where our RACE Framework can transform your approach to digital marketing, with the ability to break down each of your customer's touchpoints to plan, manage, and optimize your channels and platforms to achieve your goals of reach, act, convert, and engage, accordingly.

Omnichannel customer lifecycle

Maintaining CRM applications and capabilities is a must for financial services organizations, but taking a broader view of how technology can influence customer perceptions through customer experience is the key to sustaining a long-term customer. Keep up to date with the latest trends and innovations for 2021 with our financial services report.

Financial Services marketing trends 2021

Accelerate your growth in 2021 with trends, examples, and practical strategy integrated with our RACE Framework

Get Started Today
Learning Paths for marketing teams

Quantum computing for the financial services industry

An exciting technology trend that is gathering momentum in the analysis of super datasets is the use of quantum computing. In late 2019, a Bank of America strategist said quantum computing would be “as revolutionary in the 2020s as smartphones were in the 2010s.”

At the beginning of 2021, the most promising use cases are likely to be those that require highly complex and/or exceptionally fast models such as valuations. For example, the ability to speedily identify an optimal risk-adjusted portfolio is likely to create a significant competitive advantage. For loan and bond portfolios, more precise estimates of credit exposures should lead to better optimization decisions. More broadly, capital allocation across a range of corporate finance activities can be improved by insights into the size and materiality of risks, while payments and transfers can be protected through better encryption.

Some in the banking industry believe that quantum computing is more science fiction than fact and that there is more to serving clients than computational speed and agility. Still, quantum computing increasingly appears to be a game-changer in tackling complex or intractable problems, particularly in the optimization area.

Many financial industry participants rely on computing power to improve decision-making and serve customers better. Over the next few years, quantum computing is likely to supercharge these activities. To be sure, this will be a long road, and most banks are taking their first steps.

Effective financial services CRM is vital

While IT plays a vital role in CRM choice and implementation, it should be driven by a strategic management perspective from the Board. Too often, companies seek to build CRM capabilities by designing a powerful IT system without considering wider business issues. But, an effective financial services CRM must also integrate all the business' channels and platforms from a marketing perspective.

A fully integrated customer relationship management solution is the most powerful tools financial services firms can deploy to enable them to provide better service and grow revenues from customers.

“CRM-related advances are changing the landscape. There have been a lot of products created to plug into these heavyweight systems offering more sophisticated lead generation opportunities, greater client servicing efficiencies as well as internal process efficiencies.

This is significant because failing to adopt these tools would put us at a serious servicing disadvantage.”

- Rebecca Allsop, Head of Customer Strategy and Planning, Skipton Building Society

Our dedicated marketing training supports financial services marketing leaders and their teams to recognize opportunities for CRM and automation to add value to their customers' experiences. Find out more about the latest trends and innovations in the financial services sector and our recommended next steps.

Financial Services marketing trends 2021

Accelerate your growth in 2021 with trends, examples, and practical strategy integrated with our RACE Framework

Get Started Today
Learning Paths for marketing teams

Author's avatar

By Dave Chaffey

Digital strategist Dr Dave Chaffey is co-founder and Content Director of online marketing training platform and publisher Smart Insights. Dave is editor of the 100+ templates, ebooks and courses in the digital marketing resource library created by our team of 25+ digital marketing experts. Our resources are used by our Premium members in more than 100 countries to Plan, Manage and Optimize their digital marketing. Free members can access our free sample templates here. Dave is a keynote speaker, trainer and consultant who is author of 5 bestselling books on digital marketing including Digital Marketing Excellence and Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. My personal site, DaveChaffey.com, lists my latest Digital marketing and E-commerce books and support materials including a digital marketing glossary. In 2004 he was recognised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of 50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide who have helped shape the future of marketing. Please connect on LinkedIn to receive updates or ask me a question.

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