Posted on January 21, 2019
Financial services marketing trends to look out for in 2019
As we put the festive period fully behind us and having survived the first full week back at work, we’re going to look ahead and explore some of the marketing trends we’ll be watching out for in the financial services for 2019.
Programmatic advertising for financial marketers
While display advertising is nothing new to the financial services with a reported £1.57 billion spent by the sector on digital ads in 2018 alone, it has been predicted by the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) that up to 90% of digital ad spend for 2019 will be spent programmatically.
This means that the online advertising space which ads are displayed on are sold through a number of automated processes, known collectively as ‘programmatic advertising’ as opposed to being purchased directly from the media owner. One of these automated processes includes ‘real-time bidding’ whereby advertisers can bid for ads to been seen by a pre-defined, targeted group of individual users. Bidding takes places in a virtual auction that lasts only milliseconds when a user visits a site.
As programmatic ad systems crunch massive streams of user data, essentially doing all the Big Data work for you, customers can be targeted throughout their journey with precision messages that take into account not just the characteristics of the audience but their browsing behaviour, interests and online activity.
Programmatic advertising allows for enhanced efficiency and effectiveness not just in the media buying process, but also in the automation of the delivery of ads to consumers at the right time, on the right device and for the right product.
How can programmatic advertising by leveraged in the financial services?
In an industry where accountholders can remain with their institution for a number of years, it is critical to connect with audiences early, then continue to engage and nurture them throughout the process of initial awareness down to the final action. Programmatic advertising is also one of the few options that can provide the scale needed to maximise reach across the entire sales funnel and ensure that you are achieving conversions across the full customer journey.
In 2015, Google’s content marketing team, Think with Google introduced us to the idea of ‘micro-moments’ describing them as an ‘Intent-rich moment when a person turns to a device to act on a need – to know, go, do or buy’ and touted them as the key to unlocking the ability for brands to influence
So what are these 4 game changing moments and how can brands deliver on their customer needs at these times?
The ‘I-want-to-know’ moments are when a customer is exploring, researching but not necessarily in full purchase mode. The ‘I-want-to-go’ moments are when a customer is looking for a local business or considering buying a product from the nearest shop. The ‘I-want-to-do’ moments describe when customers need help completing a task or trying something and finally the ‘I-want-to-buy’ moments are when a customer is ready to make a purchase and may need help deciding what to buy or how to buy it.
It is in these moments when customers have a clear need i.e. to know, go, do or to buy and are looking for brands to deliver on these needs. According to Google, brands need to anticipate the micro-moments of their audience and commit to being there to help when these moments occur. They need to provide a digital experience that is relevant to their consumers’ needs at that moment and quickly connect people to the answer they are looking for.
Micro-moments in the financial services
So how can the financial services capitalise on their audiences’ micro-moments and immediately respond to their needs? Modern technology enables consumers to research and find what they’re looking for faster than ever before but by embracing automation and AI to generate immediate answers, provide content for search, or by using predictive analytics to determine when and why consumers spend, financial organisations can better predict and prepare for the needs of their audiences’ micro-moments.
For example, chatbots fill gaps in helping consumers get immediate answers when searching the best interest rate on a savings account or ISA and help fulfil the ‘I-want-to-know’ moments of their audience. Institutions that offer pre-approval on loans help customers who spontaneously decide to buy a car, and successfully predicting when consumers are likely to buy a home enables banks to better predict how much their mortgage should be and thus give answers right away without customers ever getting the chance to consider a competitor.
Voice-based search in the financial services
Although gadgets that use voice-based search may already be sitting on your kitchen counter at home with the rise of devices such Alexa, Amazon Echo and Google Home, there are a number of interesting stats floating around on voice-based search that make it worth considering further. For example, ComScore are predicting that 50% of all search will be done by voice in 2020 and Gartner claim that 30% of all searches will be done without a screen by 2020 so what does this mean for financial services in the future?
The process of voice-based search uses Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) to convert your voice commands into digital text using a sophisticated microphone that can isolate voice commands and then go online to get the results. The key part to voice activated search however is the technology does not click through the results as we do but rather finds the best results and serves that as its answer. Imagine asking Siri what the best credit card or mortgage is? Although may seem unrealistic several institutions are already using voice-based search to their advantage.
Using Alexa Skills, where developers can create specific voice-based commands that work with their applications, J.P. Morgan have a ‘skill’ that can be enabled and then accessed with the command, ‘Alexa, ask J.P. Morgan’. This is targeted at asset managers who can then use the technology for commands such as ‘what is the target price of XYZ?’ or ‘send me the tear sheet for XYZ’, that saves them time and sends the requested content straight to their device.
The future for financial service marketers starts now, so take your time to develop a persuasive strategy centred around your audience’s journey and behavioural patterns.