What are the priorities for financial services marketers in 2017?

Econsultancy’s Digital Trends in Financial Services and Insurance report, in association with Adobe, attempts to answer this question and a variety of others.

Here are a few highlights from the survey of 850 financial services and insurance (FSI) respondents, who were among more than 14,000 digital professionals that took part in Econsultancy’s annual Digital Trends survey carried out in December 2016.

FSI lags slightly, but targets personalisation

9% of FSI organisations claim to be digital-first organisations, compared to 11% across all sectors. This is inkeeping with the stereotype of FSI businesses being slight laggards (due to privacy and legacy tech concerns) when it comes to digital transformation.

Asked which three digital disciplines are being prioritised in 2017, targeting and personalisation came out on top (33% of respondents), followed by customer journey management (31%).

These two areas are firmly out in front, which makes sense given banking’s focus on moving from a product-centric marketing strategy to a customer-centric one. Fully 55% of respondents plan to increase investment in personalisation in 2017.

financial service priorities in marketing

One such example of a bank focusing on the customer journey is RBS and its Superstar DJ programme. Beginning in 2015, Giles Richardson, Head of Analytics at RBS, installed 50 ‘journey managers’ with an analytics remit.

At the Adobe Digital Summit in March 2016, RBS reported that their expansion of optimisation efforts has generated more than $1.5m in incremental revenue.

Marketers need more control over data

Only 11% of FSI marketers are prioritising the joining up of online and offline data. This an area the author of the report asserts could offer ‘an important advantage for established organisations with a high street presence, over the digital-only challengers’. However, it remains to be seen how practical the capture of in-store data is.

Control over data in general is a problem for FSI marketers. The chart below shows that 64% of respondents agreed they had ‘control over customer and marketing application data’, compared to 75% across other sectors.

This reflects the challenges that FSI marketers face with respect to heavily regulated data.

control over data

Within the FSI sample itself, wealth and asset management companies are most likely to have access and control over customer and marketing application data (72%). This is followed by retail banking (62%) and insurance (59%).

New ways of collecting data, such as connected devices in insurance, may be one way in which companies can overcome some of these challenges.

For more on trends in FSI, subscribers can download the Digital Trends in Financial Services and Insurance report, in association with Adobe.