Digital publishing for the financial sector: what do you need to know? – Part 2

Digital Publishing for financial services

Tina Sadeghi

Account Manager

Posted on May 5, 2015

Many corporate organisations run the risk of dismissing digital publishing as either ‘something we already do’ or ‘not really for us’. But with vast advances in digital publishing technology, is the financial sector underestimating its potential to enrich their inbound marketing and lead generation?

In part one of this short series, we ran through the landscape of modern digital publishing for the financial sector and revealed what’s working best and why.

We concluded with our strong belief that now is the time to embrace what digital publishing can let us do as marketers: create interactive, accessible communication channels that work with our audiences’ reading and information-sourcing habits, and that feed back vitally useful data that we can use to strengthen our strategy. It’s practical inbound marketing in action.

Innovation can be slow within sectors like the financial industry, but now the digital publishing arena has found its feet, it’s a golden opportunity to take a creative lead before the sector gets too saturated.

So who’s leading the way? And what are the options available to organisations ready to explore a digital publishing project?

Who got there first?

Over the last 18 months at Talisman we have produced digital publications for a number of clients including Partnership, Investec and Santander. It was one of our global banking clients who were the first to truly explore the latest developments in digital publishing with us. Like us, they recognised its potential as a multi-faceted communication tool, but came to us for help to implement their ideas and use available software to the best of its ability. Their idea was to create a digital brochure in app form, publically available on the Apple Newsstand, but that could also perform as a persuasive sales presentation in one-to-one meetings.

An app provided a new way to illustrate and communicate their Philanthropy Investment Services to high net worth and ultra-high net worth earners. Interactive participation and enhanced viewer experience were made possible through high-end graphics, animation, video and audio while built-in analytics tools provided valuable ROI data.

So how did we do it?

A few years ago, a project like this would have proved enormously costly, requiring labour and time-intensive investment. Designing an interactive application from scratch would require bespoke programming, and publishing native apps on a platform like Apple would be lengthy and problematic.

But new software programmes are removing more and more of these barriers. Adept digital production teams are still needed, but in the right hands and with the right training, digital agencies like ours can speedily and easily incorporate new ‘plug and play’ type technology into our service offerings, keeping costs lows.

FutureFolio and Adobe Publishing Suite are the two leading software options right now and the ones we keep coming back to.

In principle, they do pretty much the same thing. Utilising intuitive easy to use formats like InDesign and HTML templates, designers can quickly create flawless, customised and impressive interactive content, without the need for complex coding. Both then allow public publishing to mobile devices like phones and tablets in the forms of downloadable apps, collating data that allow us to track user engagement and see what’s working.

The technology is fast, responsive and slots seamlessly into our audience’s existing technology use. And because they use flexible design programmes that we’re already high-skilled at using, it’s easy for us to incorporate existing branding and translate big ideas into reality.

Why choose these?

Both services offer secure, reliable and affordable subscription services that mean it’s never been easier to add digital publishing to your marketing toolkit. Apps can be refined and updated easily, metrics viewed, and workflows created that allow quick creation of themed or branded publications.

One of the significant advantages of using FutureFolio especially is the ability to create custom container apps, from which multiple publications can be made available to download. Once your container app has gone through the typical 3 week Apple approval system, you can upload new newsletters, brochures, thought pieces, etc. virtually instantly.

It was FutureFolio that allowed us to develop a new interactive brochure and sales presentation for UBS and that now acts as the hub for their range of digital projects, but both software options offer substantial scope for creative marketing.

If you think your organisation is ready to take the next step into audience-engaging digital publishing, we’re always happy to talk you through the options and demonstrate what’s possible.

It’s an exciting time for marketing innovation. Our audiences are already using app-based programmes on the move – technology we can use to connect with and excite them is literally in their hands.

Now is the time to make full use of that.