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Staying on top of the latest marketing trends is difficult. After all, how do you research and implement new trends when your main focus is addressing the market volatility you’re facing now?
It’s difficult to be proactive with marketing when you’re stuck in reactive mode. We’ve identified three topics financial marketers can easily address, even in the midst of market unpredictability.
Updated SEC rules now allow financial advisor testimonials. The tools advisors use to determine which financial investments to make on behalf of their clients have shifted over time.
More investors have put an emphasis on online research and comparing results with peers before reaching out to ask an investment firm any questions. By the time this type of outreach has happened, a potential client has largely made up their mind or are close to it.
With this natural evolution in how individuals research, there is a change in the SEC’s rules, which now allow financial advisor testimonials (with proper restrictions and caveats, of course).
It’s important to note that, “93% of consumers say online reviews have an impact on their purchase decision,” and until recently, those 1970s-era restrictions from the SEC left the financial industry in the dust. By allowing valid testimonials, this additional insight into a financial firm’s performance and its brand can provide a new level of authenticity and potentially build trust.
2. Environmental, social, and governance
It’s more than just a passing trend. Though ESG is not a new or revolutionary idea—in fact it’s been around since the ‘70s—it’s gained plenty of attention with investors over the last few years.
In fact, the U.S. Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment’s (US SIF) most recent report noted that investors held $17.1 trillion in assets chosen using ESG criteria at the beginning of 2020, which was an increase from $12 trillion two years prior.
For those not as familiar with the topic, ESG criteria help provide a yardstick by which to measure how a company conducts business, by focusing on their environmental, social, and governance efforts.
For example, investors look for how companies monitor their carbon footprint, how they manage their employees’ well-being, and their standards for leadership and ethics. Sustainable investing will continue to grow in importance.
According to an ESG survey conducted by the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), 85% of asset managers consider ESG a high priority, and expect ESG allocations in their portfolios to increase from 26.7% to 43.6% over the next five years.
3. Personalized marketing
It has become the norm, not the exception. There are many sophisticated, data-driven marketing strategies that guide companies in how they interact with their clients and prospects. Face-to-face interactions were once the foundation for how financial institutions engaged with their target audience, unfortunately, 94% of banking firms are unable to deliver on the ‘personalization promise.’ The answer is simple: the mindset of the average client has changed.
They prefer the flexibility of researching financial topics and brands online, at their own convenience. By the time they reach out to you, they may have already decided and are just looking to compare your answers to the competition. So how do you get above the competitive noise? It starts with research and data.
There are a number of things that can help provide both clients and prospects that personalized experience they have come to expect.
- The buyer’s journey – This tool informs us on where clients and prospects are within the buying process and where they look for information.
- Website traffic and keywords – These help us understand what our customers are looking for. What products do they need? What services are they checking on?
- Marketing channels – Multiple channels produce more touchpoints for your brand to be recalled by a client.
- Thought-leadership content – Clients and prospects aren’t cookie cutter, therefore, your content shouldn’t be either. Identify the topics that interest them and provide content that will resonate with those interests or challenges they face. You can gain plenty of insight into your target audience through primary and secondary research.
Not only will personalized marketing help elevate your brand above the financial institution noise, it will also help:
- Increase engagement and conversion rates
- Improve customer loyalty and retention
- Enhance customer experience
- Consistency in messaging across channels
- Create stronger marketing ROI
Focusing on personalized marketing is a worthwhile investment, especially when we see that 89% of consumers would be more likely to do business with a company if it offered personalized experiences. There is room for improvement within the financial marketing industry with only 59% of consumers thinking the industry is nailing the personalized marketing experience.
There’s no shortage of emerging financial marketing trends. Instead of covering all of them at once, focus on one or two each quarter.
Develop messaging and campaigns to support each trend. Over time, you’ll position yourself as an expert and elevate your institution above the competition.