Concerns about privacy and legacy tech have meant the financial services sector has been somewhat slow to embrace digital transformation.
According to a Forbes Insights report, 71% of financial executives believe financial services companies are failing to use technology to transform customer relationships, experiences and strategies.
A digital trends survey by Econsultancy and Adobe paints a similar picture – just 55% of companies say they have the processes in place to ensure strategy is carried out effectively, a few percent less than the previous year (57%).
The aim of inbound marketing hasn’t changed: stay relevant and offer value to customers. What has changed is the technology that allows businesses to successfully generate those leads. Even though financial services companies are well-suited to grow through inbound marketing, the sector has struggled to keep up.THE CHALLENGE FOR FINANCIAL SERVICES
With so many financial services businesses falling behind the digital marketing curve, newer, tech-savvy companies are taking the opportunity to stride ahead.
A recent survey conducted by CMO.com revealed that 71% of financial services respondents plan to increase their digital marketing investment over the next 12 months. Recognising an increasing customer demand for online engagement – from customer service and advice to helping people research specific products and services – digital is the driving force behind the financial services sector’s efforts to improve its marketing.
Customers are at the heart of inbound marketing, placing the focus on relevant, useful financial content at every stage of their buying journey. An effective inbound marketing strategy creates channels through which customers can find you – for example blogs, social media and search engines.
The theory sounds simple; the reality can be something else entirely. However, some marketers working in the sector are finding ingenious ways to create more engaging, innovative branding and marketing solutions.
Here are five ways you can navigate inbound marketing more successfully too:
1. MAKE SMARTER USE OF INBOUND MARKETING TECHNIQUES
Done well, inbound marketing carries real value for financial services. It’s cheaper and more effective in connecting with customers and generating sales compared to outbound marketing. Outbound leads cost 49% more than inbound leads, and inbound marketing delivers 54% more leads into the marketing funnel than traditional outbound marketing. Plus, companies are three times as likely to see higher ROI on inbound campaigns as outbound marketing. By giving customers the chance to reach out to your business, you make it easy for them to find out more about your products and services. And by providing relevant information at each stage of the buyer’s journey you can successfully engage defined target groups.
Joining up online and offline data can give recognised brands the edge over digital-only competitors; however, just 11% of financial services marketers see it as a priority. Control over data is a challenge for FSI marketers, largely because the data they deal with is so heavily regulated. Taking a more connected approach to data control can help companies overcome this challenge.3. USE THE RIGHT TOOLS TO STAY RELEVANT
Taking the time to analyse consumer data allows you to better engage customers. Automated tools and systems mean you can optimise customer data. HubSpot is a forerunner in inbound marketing and can be integrated with Salesforce and Google Analytics for quick access to data.
4. MARKET TO MILLENNIALS
It’s prudent to consider millennials and Generation Z in your inbound marketing efforts: they want more online engagement from financial advisors and more control of their financial futures. Research by Mintel reveals that 31% of 18-22 year olds consider themselves more hard-working than previous generations. FSIs need to future-proof systems and tools to allow more connected DIY financial wellness.5. BE TRULY CUSTOMER-CENTRIC
It’s so important to understand your customer, and persona development can help you personalise marketing messages according to a persona’s demographic and behaviours. By identifying fictional representations of buyers and understanding what information they’re looking for, you’re able to create content specific to their needs (e.g. choice of topic, frequency and format), and identify suitable social media platforms.
The secret to success is to use an integrated digital approach to inbound lead generation. If you’d like advice on how to create an inbound marketing model in your financial services company, contact the experts here at Curious Cat Digital for a free inbound marketing review.