Navigating 2024: Key Strategies for Financial Services Marketers | DMA

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Navigating 2024: Key Strategies for Financial Services Marketers

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As the year races forward and Q1 draws to a close, financial services marketers face significant shifts that demand a re-evaluation of strategies. For Marketers and CRM professionals seeking to thrive amid evolving consumer behaviours and needs, proactive planning and adaptation are critical.

Here are four key strategies topping the agendas of financial services marketers this year:

1. Inject positivity into your marketing when customers need it most

Financial institutions now assume the role of mentors, providing resources to enhance customers' financial lives. Successful brands become active partners in their customers' journeys towards financial wellness, not only offering support during economic uncertainty, but also humour when it is most needed.

HSBC’s CMO Becky Moffat was quoted in The Drum saying, ”Humor in marketing is critical…when you turn the news on, and it’s doom and gloom, there’s such an important thing about feeling good, feeling hopeful. Laughter and positivity can bring that. As marketers and advertisers, we have a role to play in actually helping people to feel better.”

We know that financial well-being is on most brands’ message hierarchy this year regarding customer-first communication. But it's easy to get trapped in an alarmist approach, or worse, taking on a patronising tone of voice. That’s why it’s important to lighten your tone in multi-channel communications where it feels appropriate.

2. Recognise the Mass-Affluent Opportunity

While attention most often gravitates towards those struggling financially, the mass-affluent segment is also increasingly in focus for many marketers this year. Brands are investing in tailored experiences for this demographic, recognising their desire for sophisticated banking solutions.

At the end of last year, Aviva indicated to FT Advisor that they plan to double-down on this segment by investing further in their advice and direct wealth offerings following their acquisition of Succession Wealth in 2022.

Lloyds Banking Group also announced a digital-first proposition for their mass-affluent customers, Lloyds Bank 360, who Jo Harris (CEO of Lloyds Banking Group’s Mass Affluent Business) estimates represents 1 in 7 people in the UK.

Curating enhanced user experiences that are personalised for the nuanced needs of the mass-affluent segment is a crucial way of fostering loyalty and satisfaction.

3. Integrate Data for Complete Consumer Insights

The rise of side hustles, for instance, has reshaped consumer financial behaviour, necessitating a holistic approach to data integration. Brands must connect insights across various financial interactions to fully understand customers' evolving needs and goals.

NatWest’s new Team GB Campaign perfectly embodies customers’ evolving needs, with their CMO Margaret Jobling commenting, “...Whether that’s saving for a new pair of trainers or your next family holiday, setting up your side hustle or performing in one of the world’s biggest and most inspiring sporting events – action feels good, and at NatWest we want to help you achieve those goals.”

Side hustles and new financial behaviours are often fragmented across channels. Collaborating with data teams to connect insights holistically will allow you to understand and engage each customer as a whole person.

4. Communicate AI’s Personalisation Potential

AI holds immense potential in revolutionising financial services, offering personalised solutions and improved customer experiences. However, its adoption requires robust governance frameworks to navigate regulatory scrutiny effectively.

Craig Bright, Group Chief Information Officer at Barclays, explains how Barclays is using AI innovations to strengthen its services: “By reading data well enough to understand our customers’ contexts, behaviours and relationships with us as a bank, we can use AI to help make sure Barclays is providing the best possible personalised service.” He does stress that, as with any new technology, they have to test and adopt it responsibly to align with their values – with security and customer experience at the heart of any decision. This means ensuring compliance with existing and emerging laws and regulations.

Just as explained above, it’s crucial to highlight AI-driven personalisation's transformative impact through compelling storytelling, ensuring marketing has a voice in AI adoption discussions.

The key for financial services marketers in 2024 will be recognising major shifts in consumer mindsets and behaviours early on. Adapting messaging and experiences across channels to align with evolving needs and preferences will enable you to build deeper customer connections and remain competitive.

To delve deeper into this topic, you can download Movable Ink’s latest report for financial services marketers here.

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