Posts Tagged ‘financial services’

Financial services marketing: expanding your customer base in uncertain times

December 2, 2015

Certainly the financial world is keeping one eye on interest rates, but regional financial institutions are more focused on keeping their customer base strong amid tight local competition. Diversified revenue streams help to protect them from over-dependence on interest income, and they must stay nimble enough to compete on a number of different fronts.

Deciding which front to watch most closely is a tough call, with a constant churn of external factors keeping the marketplace waters muddy. Some timely questions may help determine where the best routes lie:

  • Will the emphasis on fee income shift when rates increase, with some customers re-evaluating their balance of dividend-yielding stocks and insured deposits?

Just as the balance sheet benefits from a diversified approach, so too does marketing. The right mix of messages emphasizing local service and a long term view of customers’ financial stability can set a foundation that allows banks to pivot with the landscape. By leading with a value proposition focused more on partnering with account holders than pushing them product, banks can build a layer of trust that will allow them to engage customers throughout their lifecycle.

In an ideal world, that mindset translates into making direct connections with customers. Tactics like social media engagement, highly targeted digital campaigns, direct marketing, and public relations should not be planned in isolation. When financial companies coordinate these elements around a consistent message and thoughtful rollout, they are much more likely to make an impact on the market that will outlast sudden shifts in sentiment. Simply put, a well-rounded approach brings deeper, broader relationships.

Financial institutions have no shortage of challenges to choose from. Whether seeking opportunities to expand geographically, reaching out to a different customer segment, or reacting to a competitor’s new local branch, business and marketing strategies must be fluid and multifaceted. Those companies that embrace a flexible message that transcends any given moment will find their customer base is more likely to grow with them.

Financial services firms and social media: inconceivable!

March 9, 2011

The first few years of social media saw no love from financial services firms.  Marketing teams squirmed uneasily in their seats when presented with uncontrolled, open dialogue on the Internet; words like “blog” and “twitter” brought derisive smirks.  These were terms that we raised with clients and prospects at our own peril.

The past year, however, has seen a rush to late adoption by financial providers in all walks of the industry.  There is, we realized together, a happy medium that embraces regulatory guidelines but still allows for use of the channel.

And now…here we go again.  The SEC and FINRA are gathering data to determine how, where, and when social media is being used by financial advisors, setting off alarm bells and perhaps sending us back to the beginning of the learning curve.  This piece in InvestmentNews sums it up, but as it’s subscription only here’s the basic thrust:

Last month, the Securities and Exchange Commission began a sweep of advisers’ use of social media and social networking, according to executives at compliance vendors who have seen an SEC letter requesting information from advisers or have clients who have received it. Meanwhile, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc.’s Social Networking Task Force is meeting next month to discuss whether it needs to update its guidance on how advisers should use social-networking websites.

In an ironic twist, InvestmentNews issued another story two weeks later with the headline Gen Y looks to Twitter, not advisers, for investment info.  That article launches with the line “financial advisers looking to attract younger clients had better sharpen up their tweeting skills.”

Rock, meet hard place.  Hard place, meet rock. (more…)


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