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The key trends which will shape financial services marketing in 2017

By Robert Allen 20 Dec, 2016
Digital transformation strategy

Big trends in tech and digital are set to change how financial services firms market themselves in 2017.

In many countries, the financial sector is facing significant challenges as new online services are created. In some, such as the UK, the government is actively seeking to encourage new entrants such as the new wave of challenger banks Atom and Modem and the incumbents are seeking to upgrade their legacy systems in order to meet the ever increasing expectations of digital savvy customers.

In this blog, we explore key trends, latest developments and digital innovations and how they apply to both business and consumer markets ranging from established financial services brands and new fin-tech startups to IFA intermediary market.

AdWords changes affecting financial services

Google AdWords and display advertising, often referred to as Paid Search Marketing or PPC, is not new territory for most financial institutions and still occupies an area of critical importance to new customer acquisition in the FS sector. This graphic shows how financial keywords change throughout the year, and it may be wise to adjust your bids and campaigns accordingly.

Some key trends for financial services brands using AdWords are; Google's new re-design, the increasing importance of quality scores, the growing importance of negative keywords, and increased AdWords spend driving up bids. For more information on these trends, expert business members can view our full guide to financial services marketing trends.

Apps and great mobile UX becomes crucial for financial services

Financial transactions via smartphone apps witnessed explosive growth, showing a major trend in how customers manage their finances. Data shows that UK customers have downloaded banking apps on 22.9 million occasions by end of March 2016, a rise of 8.2 million in just one year (Source BBA) as mobile banking overtakes branches and desktop as the most popular way to bank. This trend is not confined to just banking, mobile apps are now being used to renew policies for insurers, serve interactions between the company and intermediaries/suppliers in the insurance sector and apple pay is transforming the mobile payments at the point of sale.

New technology is starting to make a major impact on the functionality of mobile app for financial services. New features such as biometric logins, mobile alerts and AI in mobile apps are all starting to be used by the most innovative companies in the marketplace. For more information on utilising these new tech trends, Expert business members can access our new financial services trends guide.

UX and CRO

Perhaps the most major change within digital FS is its approach to UX and product design. The Financial Services Industry has traditionally created UX and design experiences from an experts point of view but this has significantly changed with a greater understanding of UX being about the digital customer combined with a data-driven process of customer insight. As a consequence banks, insurance companies and financial institutions are now building strong in-house design capability which are shaping new product design and development. Examples of this change include Direct Line, Nationwide and Old Mutual who have both invested heavily in recruited design and UX skills in-house.

UX and design should be included at a strategic level of product development because FS brands lose a valuable opportunity in framing the problem from a customer’s point of view. Make sure you have invested good in-house resource for design and robust user experience research up front.

Other major trends

Other key areas where financial services companies need to be aware of major trends for 2017 include:

  • Emerging Technology, such as Bitcoin, Blockchain and digital share dealing.
  • Changing in Social Media Channels, such as increased use of video and social messaging platforms.
  • CRM trends, such as single customer view, channel integration
  • Digital investment advisors

For a detailed guide to these trends, plus further information on the trends already discussed here, along with case studies of what has worked in various financial services brands, download the full guide to financial services trends for 2017.

By Robert Allen

I was the Editor of Smart Insights between 2015-2017. I managed the blog and you will find blog articles on a range of subjects- Marketing Technology trends and latest tech developments are a regular focus, as well as exploring key marketing concepts. You can get in touch with me on Twitter and connect with me on LinkedIn. The new Editor is Carolanne Mangles.

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Digital Marketing for Financial Services

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