What You Need to Know: Digital Marketing for Financial Services Summit
by Samantha Medler
November 16, 2018
Conferences

This week, we spent two days in New York at the Digital Marketing for Financial Services Summit. The event was an opportunity for Ovative Group to share our thoughts on how financial marketers can increase their ROAS by creating a consumer-centric digital media strategy. We also learned a lot more about the key challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for financial institutions as they prepare for 2019 and beyond.

During the summit, we attended each of the 25 sessions that included speakers from American Express, Bank of America, PayPal, First Republic Bank, IGM Financial, BNY Mellon, Transamerica and more.

Here’s what we heard, why it’s important and how we can help.

Banks, credit unions, insurance agents, and investors are pushing their internal teams and agencies to find ways their brands can stand out in an incredibly crowded market.

One way financial brands have started to more effectively engage consumers is by striking a proper balance between paid and owned media.

Dawn Merchand, Vice President of Marketing at Lawyers Financial, emphasized the importance of owned media, specifically the role of .com in the digital experience.

“Your site is your hub. It is your brand. If you are not A/B testing the content and usability of your site, you are missing out on a huge opportunity to learn, iterate and improve. This is especially applicable for your mobile experience.”

To further emphasize the importance of mobile, Tony Marlow of Infogroup said:

“Time spent on TV, radio, print and desktop is going down. Time spent on mobile continues to increase. People are spending 29% of their time on mobile, but marketers are only spending 26% of their budget on it. This represents a $7B opportunity.”

To stand out and deliver a meaningful experience to consumers, financial marketers should be clear about how each of their paid and owned media touchpoints are working together to deliver a cohesive experience for people – starting with mobile.

If you don’t deliver a great mobile experience, people will switch banks. According to research done by Reasonate, 50% of people believe a bank’s app is the most important part of the experience. However, 75% of people think the local branch is the most important part of their banking experience. Seemingly contradictory, this is just one more reason brands must be thinking about connecting their digital media efforts to in-store sales. Capital One’s Cafes are a great example of a new twist on local branches.

Whether it’s measuring digital media investments to in-store sales, understanding the incrementality of your media investments or calculating ROI of new customers through lifetime value, measurement continues to be a challenge for financial marketers.

Maria Belmessova from PayPal didn’t mince words:  

“It’s time to say no to non-measurable marketing spend. Marketers who get promoted the most are those who show the monetary value (ROI) of their investments. Marketing should be viewed as a revenue center, not a cost center.”

We agree.

The first step showing the monetary value of your marketing investments is to create a customer-centric digital media strategy. During our session at the conference, Jo Hamburge (Vice President, Strategy Consulting and Engagement Management) outlined the steps marketers need to take to increase their digital return on ad spend.

Standing out in a crowded market like financial services may be challenging, but the insights gained from the Digital Marketing for Financial Services Summit offer an actionable way forward for brands. Push your teams think critically about paid and owned media, explore ways to further engage consumers on mobile, thoughtfully connect and measure online-to-offline experiences and put the customer in the center of how you think about media planning in the future.

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