The most successful businesses worldwide have made it mostly due to their customers, support and trust, plus a brilliant marketing campaign(s). Of course, that is ridiculously simplifying it but you get the idea. Financial institutions, however, are very often faced with a lot of scepticism and a lack of confidence from their consumers about getting help with their money.
For instance, Singapore, the fourth most competitive financial centre in the world, ranked in the last places in relation to consumers trusting their financial strategy provided. At the same time, a survey by CISI pointed out that only 4 in 10 people would trust a qualified financial adviser more when seeking money advice.
As a consequence, the financial sector is looking for a brand new approach to gain popularity, and digital marketing has proved to be the answer. In a survey by CMO.com, more than half (53%) of the respondents from the financial branch increased marketing investment in 2017.
Financial Sector and Distrust
The main question is: Why do people have such little confidence regarding financial advisors? The answer is financial jargon, misplaced guidance and an inconsistent customer experience. Financial terminology, be it spoken or written, most of the times, alienate customers or investors because the advisor is viewed as unapproachable, making people’s desire to interact with the weak.
Another issue is how reliable do customers view the advisor’s guidance, as in most cases it is followed by doubt. This is because bad press surfaced scam companies or individuals, tainting this industry’s image.
“They see all the bad publicity over all the years, they don’t really understand what financial planners do, and they don’t understand the changes that have happened in the way financial planners are remunerated,” says certified financial planner Patrick Canion.
Many clients complain that the advice given becomes inconsistent over a long period of time. That’s because they’ve been in situations that required regular guidance, and the support provided was not the same, varying in terms of dedication and quality.
Mike Thurman, CEO of Retirement Income Planning 567, a leading educational resource for those nearing retirement, says relevance and consistency are paramount.
At the core of any business are customers, and targeting them with information specifically designed for their needs will build trust for your brand, will keep them close to you, and everyone smiling. Fail to be consistent, and everything can turn against you. This is true for any brand in any industry and it’s no different in the financial world.”
Marketing to the Rescue
Considering the unfavourable context described, you’re right to think that marketing is the solution for the financial services industry because it can transform perceptions and bring together companies and the world.
In order to change how the financial world is perceived, certain techniques can help immensely:
- Lose the financial speak. Consumers do not want to feel ignorant or clueless when you explain your strategy. You should focus on putting warmth to the conversation, on using comparisons when the terminology is too stiff, and on personal engagements. At the end of the day, you want clients to trust you to fulfil their needs and interests, so they believe in your brand.
- Appear in industry-related publications. It’s crucial to take advantage of trade publications and to specialize. For instance, if you’re known as the ‘doctor’s financial advisor’, pitch your business in medical trade publications. These magazines are constantly looking for fresh content, so pitch editors with several ideas to make sure they choose your article.
- Have a professional website. Everyone knows how important first impressions are, so do not overlook this crucial aspect of your business. What’s more, financial websites are known to have the worst and most boring websites,o put it mildly. So, find a good web designer that will match your company’s culture and style. Equally as important: put your face on the website for the emotional connection; it can make a huge difference.
- Hold events. It’s important to actually know your clients’ tastes, likes and the activities they enjoy to put together a meaningful event for them. If your customers are wine connoisseurs, for instance, put together a wine and cheese tasting and encourage them to bring friends. Elite firms organize at least four social events per year.
Financial services marketers have it perhaps tougher than other marketers in that they must contend with regulations. So in order for them to follow the K.I.S.S. method they need to walk a fine line between keeping it simple while adhering to the rules and regs at the same time. Not an easy thing to do.