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Top 5 Most Dynamic Financial Marketers & Their Advice for 2016



Written by: Susan Marshall

The rise of digital tech and marketing has altered the way business is done around the globe – in almost every possible way. These advances, which are happening faster and faster, can leave businesses and entire industries behind if nothing is changed. And for the financial industry, that’s exactly what has happened. The companies that are quick to adopt proven digital tech and engage with their customers in the way they want to be engaged with, will thrive, while others quickly fade.

According to a recent ebook published by Marketo entitled, “Don’t Get Left Behind: The Rise of Digital Marketing in Financial Services”, “Financial institutions have traditionally been slow to change, mostly due to the existing perspectives of how things should be done and the long time-scales required for their operations. This makes them rather conservative and unwilling to experiment with new and possibly unsafe technologies. In fact, a recent survey of more than 3,000 banks put out by Wipro Technologies found that fewer than 15% of banks have mature digital marketing policies. This is clearly much lower than other industries.”

Below, we’ll explore 5 dynamic financial marketers who are leading the charge in advancing digital tech across their companies:

Leila Lavaee, Data Analytics Lead, Digital Strategy & Customer Experience, TD Bank (@TDBank_US)

Leila recently gave a thought-provoking talk on “‘Big Data’ Mindset and How it Can Enhance Customer Experience”. “Big Data” seems to be a no-brainer and so many more organizations are trying to run big data projects. But last year the focus was more on infrastructure and all costs associated with it. What seems to be missing in the bigger picture is the true value of big data which is if and only if it drives strategic insights. Based on Gartner; 64% of enterprises surveyed indicated they’re deploying or planning big data. Yet, they still don’t know what to do with it. Leila explained how to develop “big data” mindset in an organization and how to use it for enhancing customer experience.

She suggested that instead of “Big Data” we should rather think about “Right Data”. Storing vast amounts of data in an extremely efficient manner does not benefit an enterprise if it isn’t using that data to generate insights that drive marketing and business decisions. People have a narrow vision of Big Data, thinking of the term merely in the context of IT infrastructure, storage, cost, training, privacy, security, etc. Big Data is a shift in strategy, and not merely a technology.

Alex Sion, CEO – Movenbank (@asion1 & @getMoven)

In a recent interview, Alex shared that he believes banking is going to be less about product innovation and more about innovation on the client experience. According to Alex, banking has to get back to the place where the banking experience is utility for the customer rather than profit and benefit for the bank. The top 3 decisions he believes marketers should consider are:

Who is my customer?

What is the value I’m providing them?

How do I best represent and talk about the value in the marketplace?

He believes financial marketers need to look closely at those questions and anticipates there will be a lot of reconsideration of what the banking experience actually should be.

According to Alex, banking is a digital offer and it surprises him that a product which is entirely virtual is so dependent on marketing and distribution, “which is a bad problem”. He believes the retail banking industry is at a key turning point. The cost of managing customers through massive branch networks is outstripping many banks’ ability to generate profits. Meanwhile, a jaded consumer base increasingly interacts with their banks through virtual channels. Ultimately, these two forces will lead to new distribution models, customer experience platforms, crowdsourced business models and other game-changing innovations that will redefine the banking industry.

Melissa Musgrove, VP, Head of Social Media – Regions Financial Bank (@MMMusgrove & @askRegions)

Melissa, who runs social media at Regions Financial Bank, recently commented “Consumers are making purchasing decisions in an increasingly crowded market.” In Financial Services, disruptive technologies in alternative payment systems, virtual currencies and crowdlending/funding are requiring companies to innovate or lose market share. Melissa believes Mobile is the future of Digital as marketers learn to use it to develop relationships across a consumer’s lifecycle. Programmatic buying, native advertising and personalization continue to drive innovation. It’s driving engagement where our customers are, not where we want them to be.

Keith Gormley, Director, Social Media – Prudential (@KeithGormley & @PrudentialBYC)

Prudential, which recently launch “Bring Your Challenges Campaign” via social, has found great success in connecting with customers and potential customers online. Keith recommends first, rather than using social media as a channel to simply broadcast messages, find a way to engage your audience in two-way conversation to harness the true value of the medium. Listen to your audience – if you give them the opportunity they’ll provide wonderful insight that can help you do business better.

Second, Keith advises to prepare for the worst, but expect the best. For younger and savvier audiences, social media will be the first place they look to find your brand – in good times and in bad. That can work to your advantage, but it can work against you if you’re not prepared. Set up a solid internal team to support the program, and include key stakeholders early.

Laura Barger, Managing Director, Head of Corporate Content Marketing – BNY MELLON (@BNYMellon)

“I believe that the days of B2B marketing – in the traditional sense – are gone when it comes to digital strategy. At the end of the day, the consumer at the other end of the device is a person, and participates in the decision-making process in a critical way, no matter how senior their level is within an organization,” said Laura Barger. According to Laura, it could be argued that this is old news for a number of other industries, but financial services is really starting to wake up to the opportunities afforded them through deep data analysis on digital channels, personalization, and automation. The most disruptive technologies in this space recognize the behavioral changes that need to happen for organizations to adopt these tactics and are steps ahead of their clients with their understanding of compliance and regulatory benchmarks. Laura believes that the technologies that are going to survive and make the most impact will be the ones that provide a truly open ecosystem so that brands can mix and match the services – analytics, content management, social listening, automation, personalization – to their needs and drive real-time data back to the businesses in ways that they can use.

We hope that you and your organization are inspired by the future of financial tech.


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