20/09/2016 Finance

The ‘C’ words in financial services marketing, and how best to use them

Off the back of new research released on customer engagement in financial services marketing, we wanted to break down this bank of useful information, insights and presentations into a few takeaways for traditional financial service providers (FSPs). 

Here they are - not just one ‘C’ word but five:  short in their wording, huge and head-turning in their business impact when approached correctly.

1. Customers

Give them a reason to stay based on their value, or someone else will.

The idea of ‘customer-centricity’ and the ‘customer journey’ have been points of obsession for marketers for sometime; but how can we understand customers and how they manage their money? How do people act and feel in relation to their banks and insurance providers, in an age of digital transformation?

‘62% of consumers remain with their bank simply because they have no issues’  whilst over a fifth have added a service with another bank in the past year’.  

Own the full DMA report >> 

The message now is not only ‘know thy customer’ and sit tight on their nest eggs; but act on this capacity for conversation - and conversion - in a way which benefits them.


2. Context 

Know your frenemies, and remember humanity reigns.  

Where fintech apps and innovators are disrupting the money-managing landscape, this statistic teaches traditional finance players that they can no longer stay put and tread water. From virtual currencies and rewards-based insurance apps, to high functional financial-planning and comparison tools, these nimble and responsive tech companies can deliver in a fast-paced digital context. But although people demand immediacy and ease through digitised services, they also crave human interaction.

‘While mobile banking reaches a fifth of UK respondents, 45% of consumers also use branches as a way to manage finances.’

How can FSPs use their vast wealth of customer data? An advantage they have over fintech players. 

3. Connectivity 

Get the basics right, whilst laying the groundwork to get there first.

The key issue is a disconnection between platforms, which turns into a gaping void when it means we cannot identify what customers already have, and hence, what they’re looking for.

‘Consumers are interested in digital customer services that are delivered in intuitive ways: 36% are interested in a service that delivers alerts regarding account activity via a social or chat messenger service’

‘Data management’ might be in vogue in the marketing tech world, at the top of wish lists across the industry, but really, this isn’t just a fleeting trend for finance; it’s a future investment. For big legacy banks in particular, data management technology should suit your ecosystem exactly as it is already.

Getting the very basics right in terms of connecting CRM, call centre, website - then second party platforms such as price comparison websites, will lay the groundwork to try out future customer channels.

By understanding when a customer is looking elsewhere by synchronising data sources, FSPs can be there to save the switch, by being on the right channel for their valued customer, through efficient and effective data management.  

See how this works in practice >> 

4. Control 

Put customers in control - it’s empowering.

These were the wise words of Barry Clark, Senior Account Director at research body Future Foundation.

In this world, where customers seek a feeling of order and autonomy over their choices, FSPs need to abandon the idea of leading prospects on the ‘highest yielding’ channel by firing them with ads for the latest finance product, but rather adopt a mindset where they follow each customer journey across devices, platforms and touchpoints, responding accordingly to their preferences.

‘64% of consumers want to be seen as having control over their lives and finances.’

Putting customers at the centre of the marketing strategy, means freedom to test and learn what they want with tangible results.

5. Convenience  

Convenience is its own incentive.

Create convenience, and deliver on another customer desire - rewards for loyalty.

As a new standard of customer service and convenience incentives creep through to mainstream monetary services, people demand ever-more relevant and easy-to-use platforms to keep their finances in check.

‘Nearly 60% are interested in a service automatically notifying them of the best rates on savings accounts they could use.’

Perhaps today’s rising expectations of convenience lie in the balance between digital and real life: by bridging the digital and real worlds - FSPs can deliver real-time product recommendations, service updates, and conversational advice, whilst maintaining the human as well as the technological connection which gives convenience meaning and authenticity.

In the blossoming world of customer engagement for Direct Line, Head of Customer Marketing, Katrina King, drops a few more ‘C’ words into the mix which will tie these cornerstones together.

By connecting every channel, and fostering a culture of consistent testing and learning, FSPs can follow customers on their individual course, cater them based on their value, and create that crucial value equation in data-sharing.


Want more concrete learnings from us on engaging your finance customers? Our CEO, Tomas, shares more with Marketing Tech News.

Then why not take a deep dive into a transferable case: