Written by: Eric Sleeth
The year 2018 has come to a close, and with a new year upon us, we want to review the top financial marketing trends that companies should know or being to implement in 2019. The digital marketing landscape is witnessing a dramatic shift. There was a time when you could have dismissed emerging technology like AI as a gimmick but that time is over. There are many new digital marketing trends and strategies that are evolving and businesses now need to use them to succeed in their efforts because what worked for you last year may not work this year.
Let’s take a closer look.
What do Marriot, Facebook, T-Mobile, Cambridge Analytica, MyHeritage, Under Armour, all have in common? All these massive companies have had data breaches within 2018, showing that really no company is safe… While data breaches have always been around , the public concerns around data security seem to have taken off back in 2017 with the Equifax breach. The whole situation was a perfect storm to wake up the common digital user to security issues. An estimated 190 Million people may have been affected, the breach took at least three months to detect, was not revealed to the public for another two months. The data lost included identity information, Social Security numbers, driver’s licenses, and credit cards.
Data protection will continue to be a concern in 2019 both in customer concern and in technology development. Customers are demanding greater personalization as well as more and more is happening in the digital space. With those demands and digital interactions, how this data stored and used will be business-critical. Organizations and marketing departments will need to include data in their strategy to balance the best customer experience without being creepy. Customers are trusting companies with more and more data, so the safeguard of that data should be a priority in the customer experience not just a checkbox to complete.
This trend needed to be presented first because the remaining trends have a heavy data requirement to use successfully in marketing strategies.
People spend an average of 12 hours per day on internet-connected devices, and this is increasing with usage at work, personal usage, and the world of internet of things that are bridging the gaps. However, we may be reaching “peak content” where people are simply not able to consume more information. Think of how often there is a piece of content that interests you, but you need to bookmark it for another time. Customers are bombarded by content, ads, offers, emails, push notifications, social media, and news, which makes it difficult for marketers to gain and hold their attention. This is where micro-moment marketing becomes important in the battle for attention.
A micro-moment is a new way to look at consumer behaviour. It is when people reflexively grab a device (usually a smartphone) at different times to: learn, do, or buy. According toGoogle, users experience micro-moments on average 150 times a day. Micro-moments are so important because it is when people are making instant decisions. This gives companies about three seconds to capture their attention. These micro-moments are very effective when the information is tailored to the individual when they need it.
Personalization has been an evolving trend in marketing. What used to be as simple as including a person’s first name in an email, has become a demand for individualized experiences. These experiences are expected at every stage of the buying cycle. Furthermore, customers’ expectations are no longer formed from experiences with competitors, but from experiences with companies in completely different industries.
Machine learning and artificial intelligence has driven increasingly more efficient data analysis, making it easier for financial marketers to deliver hyper-personalization to consumers. This personalization goes far beyond using a customer’s name, to personalizing content and creating unique customer journeys.
It’s safe to say that chatbot usage has now outgrown the hype phase as it is beginning to take hold as a key component of online customer care and marketing. Initially, chatbots were used to replace human customer service representatives by answering frequently asked questions. Now they can be used to gather user information to later provide tailored experiences and perform more complex tasks as algorithms learn from previous experiences. In some cases, the users are unable to tell the difference between a bot and a human, take that Alan Turing.
Chatbots can be integrated with a website, an application, and even with a social media platform. These chatbots can be utilized on different platforms in different ways to target different micro-moments and deliver the best experience. The more financial firms get comfortable using chatbots, the more I can be used for personalizing advisory messages and increasing engagements with customers and members. In fact, 80% of businesses are looking to utilize chatbots by 2020.
With more and more consumers performing search inquiries and accessing their financial accounts via mobile devices, financial firms must rethink their mobile strategies. Moving away from mobile friendly to mobile first. This goes far beyond making sure your site has been developed with mobile users in mind from a design perspective, but also impacts the content you provide. Think about the intent of people who are likely to search your website on a mobile device as well as those who will transact on digital devices. Make sure it is easy for the consumer to get the information that may be needed and to engage using real-time insights developed through advanced analytics.
One technology trend that will have a strong impact in marketing will be voice. Companies are still building applications for these devices so using them as a new advertising channel may not be an active strategy in 2019 but it’s coming! However, marketers should focus on making their existing channels voice friendly. Website SEO to deliver answers, social media posts, and email newsletters can be accessed today by voice.
Voice technology is still in its development phase. There are limitations in the technology and the tasks/applications that it has access too. Additionally, there are limitations in adoption caused by data concerns as well as a limited knowledge of what functions can be performed.
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