Are Financial Services Companies Marketing through the Proper Channels? 

Are Financial Services Companies Marketing through the Proper Channels? 

By: Joseph W. Rahaim, Senior Advisor - Financial Services

The digital disruption of well-established services industries from financial services, hospitality, and transportation is well chronicled and has demonstrated lower costs and improved experiences for investors, overnight guests and for how you and I get to the airport.  

For the financial service providers going through disruption, the focus has been on delivering on the “last mile” between a bank, insurance or wealth and asset management institution and the end customer or investor.  Though with the focus on improving the overall customer experience greater attention now needs to be paid to how these institutions are delivering digital marketing services to their prospective and current customers and investors.   In some recent experiences working with Chief Marketing Officers and their leadership teams, the evidence is just as clear that disparate legacy technology, processes, and channels continue to hamper marketing organizations and prevent effective and efficient personalization campaigns through the most optimized channel to maximize exposure, impact, and results.

In a recent example, one wealth management institution with several business units and service offerings was delivering hundreds of marketing campaigns a year using a patchwork of over 65 disparate targeting, business intelligence, content development, campaign management, digital asset management, and analytical tools.  Most of these tools are engineered and resources concentrated on delivering campaigns and landing pages through the email channel where non-personalized response rates are at historic lows.  Even further, most marketing organizations, despite significant investment in trade databases with email addresses, often have low confidence that an email address is a “real” or proper target for personalized content or a targeted campaign.  

In addition, financial service companies and their marketing organizations have adopted social media as a significant channel to deliver marketing messages and value-added content to their business and end customer/ investor.  However, leading financial service companies who expect bankers/ advisors/ agents/ brokers to share content and make referrals find social media a preferred channel.  In fact, in a recent survey by Wealth Management.com of 121 financial advisors, over 50% stated they use social media for their digital marketing efforts to attract new investors, and over the next year 63% plan to increase their use of social media for marketing and business expansion.

Not only that, but leading companies with a line of business specific (vs corporate brand) social media channel have a unique ability to “listen” to the interactions that current and prospective customers are saying about them.   In order to “listen”, leading companies have integrated their marketing technology stacks in order to quickly capture their interactions in order to score leads, personalize marketing campaigns and understand how ready an advisor, banker, agent or investor is ready to buy.   

The Marketing organizations of leading wealth management companies realize marketing technology stack rationalization, integrated technology, across advisor business units and greater use of social media for content sharing will resonate with advisors and in turn the investors that buy their services.  Coupled further with the centralization of marketing professionals and content and along with data driven processes provide a significant opportunity for wealth management companies to effectively capitalize on their organic and inorganic growth.  In essence efficient and effective personalization to prospective and existing bankers, advisors, brokers, agents, and their end investors.  

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