5 Challenges Financial Marketers Need to Start Tackling Now

The vast majority of marketers in the financial services space upped their digital spend this year, but many are not using those budgets to develop effective strategies. Only 48% of those surveyed in an Econsultancy and Adobe study said their company has a well-designed user journey that facilitates clear communication and seamless transactions. 

As planning for 2020 starts to get underway, here are the top challenges financial marketers need to keep top of mind:

1. Building trust

With constant news of data breaches reaching consumers, there’s certainly a trust problem when it comes to financial institutions. 

And for many, it’s shaping the customer experience, according to J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Retail Banking Satisfaction Study. “Customer satisfaction and convenience have improved, but far too many customers have not re-established the trust and developed the deeper levels of connection required to improve the industry’s reputation,” said Paul McAdam, Senior Director, Banking Intelligence at J.D. Power. 

2. Better understanding consumer behavior to drive personalization. 

When it comes to data, financial customers are not turned off by companies who leverage it to drive one-of-a-kind experiences. 

In fact, poor personalization can cost financial companies their customers.

In its 2019 Financial Services Marketing Report, Salesforce found that 33% of customers abandon business relationships because personalization is lacking and 73% of consumers expect specialized treatment for being a good customer.

And financial marketers are not meeting these expectations. The Salesforce team noted, “Despite all of the discussion around ‘personalization’ and improving the customer experience, over half of marketers describe their marketing efforts as ‘one-size-fits-all’.”

3.  Breaking down internal silos.

Lack of communication between marketing and IT departments are a major barrier to innovation. 

Only 34% of banks have a digital vision that is crossing organizational units, according to a recent Capgemini study

“This is a wake-up call for banks and insurers to re-examine their business models,” said Anirban Bose, Chief Executive Officer of Capgemini’s Financial Services. “Tomorrow’s operating model is collaborative, innovative and agile. The digital masters we looked at are working with an ecosystem of third-party partners, developing and testing ideas more quickly under an MVP model, and nurturing a culture of bottom-up innovation and experimentation.”

4. The industry’s reputation as a stuffy industry. 

Overcoming this hurdle will come in the form of delighting and inspiring customers with valuable content. Most financial marketers are still delivering stale, stuffy content to align with the perception that banking is a serious industry. 

Today’s consumers expect more than that.

According to Econsultancy and Adobe, “(financial services) companies place less value on creating good content than companies in other industries. Only 7% of financial services marketers see creating compelling content as a top priority, compared to a 15% average in other industries. 

5. Roadblocks to tapping into AI and machine learning. 

AI can play a major role in enhancing data (which plays well into that whole personalization thing). 

But, there’s a barrier to implementing AI capabilities for many companies. Research cited by ZDNet found that 46% of financial services professionals said legacy technology is their top roadblock. The cost of investment and internal red tape are additional barriers. 

“While most organizations recognize that AI is a transformational technology with huge potential impact, their approach to adoption has been cautious,” Michael Tae, head of strategy for Broadridge, told ZDNet.