FINANCE

How to implement a holistic digital marketing strategy in finance

How to implement a holistic digital marketing strategy in finance 1

By Kevin Joyner, Director of Planning and Insight, Croud

A great advertising campaign has an effective slogan, provides a useful solution and evokes an emotional response. But the customer experience of a brand doesn’t stop there and it must go further to maintain its relationship and connection with consumers to prove its value.

Consumers now expect personal, interactive, adaptive communication rather than irrelevant one-sided mass content. The new wave of digital tools and platforms are allowing forward-thinking brands to develop more sophisticated digital marketing models that serve customers in more useful ways and have a real relevance to their day-to-day lives. This shift in attitude and intention from visionary companies means all brands have needed to up their game to stay relevant.

Banking is in an exciting and unique position. It has an opportunity to use rich sources of data, through the emergence of open banking, in a responsible way that makes experiences more personal, meaningful and, crucially, more useful for customers.

The director of marketing at Lloyds Banking Group recently admitted the team struggles with measuring the ROI in social and content and has found it hard to implement a successful digital marketing strategy, despite personal and stunning brand advertising driven by the emotional message ‘By Your Side.’

These kinds of tentpole campaigns are great at sustaining brand equity but are not enough to build or rebuild a brand, on their own. When an ad campaign like this opens the conversation between brand and customer, brands should be desperate to continue the dialogue rather than seeing it as an end point.

If Lloyds can build an emotional connection and trust through traditional advertising, it is in a position to amplify this digitally to create richer, more interesting, truly personal content. Everything Lloyds knows of the consumer, from their bank balance to the way they’ve interacted with the brand, should be fed into how they next engage.

Lloyds needs to learn how to take an initial connection and use it to talk directly to consumers as individuals. That’s the joy of digital – it’s constantly evolving and never-ending and can establish a much more natural relationship. An example of a brand that is getting it right across the board is Nest, the connected-home devices company that is a subsidiary of Google.

It sells products at a premium price and then consumers also need to pay to subscribe for top-level services – how does Nest justify this? By becoming a true partner embedded in the customer’s life via a deeply personal and effective ongoing relationship. Nest emails me monthly updates with a detailed plan of my energy use, maintains excellent customer service and blends product, design and marketing into a perfect customer experience which is truly holistic and justifies the value it gets from me as a customer.

Challenger bank Revolut is almost shameless with its personalisation. When I go on holiday it uses my personal location to know when to activate my travel insurance and when I’m home it is deactivated, without me needing to notify the company. This is so simple but fundamental in the service it offers, and it’s been made possible by innovative technology that is used to make my life, as a customer, easier.

This is the direction, and the kind of experiences, financial institutions, such as Lloyds, should be pursuing. It’s no secret that traditional brands have struggled to adopt nimble digital marketing strategies that offer effective personalisation. They can no longer afford to get away with treating customers as homogenous rather than on a truly individual basis and now that the expectation bar has been set so high, consumers will not be reticent to let laggards know. Banking institutions are at a crossroads and have the means at their disposal to be leaders in digital innovation – but they must act now.

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