The financial services industry is undergoing rapid transformation, driven by customer expectations, governing bodies, technological advancements, and competitive disruption. Financial institutions (FIs) face pressure to adapt to new technologies and provide a seamless and personalized customer experience, all while under heavy regulatory scrutiny. Meanwhile, finserv marketers must reconcile those increased customer expectations and growing competition with significant digital ad spend growth and strict advertising compliance regulations.
Going into 2024, finserv marketers who monitor and respond to industry trends with a consumer-centric approach can build the sort of trust that puts FIs at the forefront of people’s evolving financial needs. Read on to learn more about the trends set to shape the year ahead:
While most (if not all) industries have felt the brunt of the past few years’ economic turbulence, it’s had a unique impact on financial services. Consumers are dealing with the rising costs of borrowing money and obtaining insurance, at the same time that higher price tags for goods and services are influencing record credit card debt. Meanwhile, banks big and small are closing, often due to investment strategies that failed for reasons correlating with the pandemic.
However, despite this confluence of factors, many FIs thrive today: They offer security that many alternatives don’t, their products and services are as valuable as ever, and the expertise within these institutions has benefits from educated consultations to hands-on transactions. FIs can be more involved in their customers’ personal finances at a smaller level like checking and savings accounts, up to major decisions like home and auto loans, financial advice, and retirement planning.
Financial services marketers should lean into those advantages to position FIs as a resource for customers anywhere on their trajectory. Brand advertising with consistency across channels can create awareness for products like accounts, loans, and credit cards or services like investing, accounting, and wealth management. Then, applying content marketing best practices to educate consumers on the value of those products and services through website and app content can create a tangible connection based on safety in a tumultuous economy.
Financial marketing that’s highly relevant, timely, personalized, and educational can create trust that leads to new or stronger relationships. And by zooming in on target audiences and their unique financial behaviors, marketers can provide personalized education and serve targeted messaging that meets consumers where they are on their individual financial journeys.
For example, tech-savvy younger consumers (think Gen Z and millennials) are increasingly expecting more personalized and innovative financial products and services, and they’re also more likely to use alternatives, such as peer-to-peer lending and embedded financial features. FIs are responding by investing in technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning; enhancing their mobile and online platforms to appeal to younger customers; and strengthening valuable fintech relationships by offering embedded finance. Promoting those enhancements through social media, online video, and other programmatic advertising options can find digital natives where they are, with messaging to educate them and make them feel seen and heard.
In another life stage, older Gen Xers and boomers who are knocking on retirement’s door are redefining what it means to “be retired”—some are taking a phased approach, pushing “pause” on their careers to travel and explore, then re-entering the working world for a spell before doing it again. That nontraditional retirement plan requires new ways to save and more fluid ways to spend, and FIs should advertise the savings products, points, perks, and wealth management services that can help retirees live their visions in—or before—their twilight years.
Along with personalization, innovation, and education, consumers are increasingly demanding transparency from FIs that, in turn, need to tap user data to tailor experiences, develop relevant new offerings, and segment customers for accurate ad targeting—all with a high level of compliance by institutions, marketers, and service providers. People want to know how their data is being used and trust that their data, like their money, is safe.
Finserv marketers who apply current tools and techniques can better communicate to their intended audiences both about their data and based on their data. For instance, FIs can add more details on data usage (for background checks, credit checks, or future marketing) at the point of collection (like form submissions, quote requests, and online chats) into dynamic web content or iterative ad copy, which they can create with generative AI or other scalable methods afforded by emerging technology.
Then, based on data, finserv marketers can efficiently deploy that personalized, trustworthy experience across platforms by leveraging automation to accurately target customers with relevant, optimized messages. For example, consumer signals for “buying a home” can trigger ads for home mortgage loans, while underlying creative optimization can help display timely, transparency-friendly notes like current rates and terms, fees and associated costs, and other decision-affecting factors. This goes for annual fees from credit card companies, transaction and maintenance fees from investment firms, and any instance when honesty, accuracy, clarity, and relevance can lead to a higher degree of consumer trust.
The financial services industry has never been immune to the economy, technology changes, evolving consumer expectations, or strict policies and mandates from governing bodies. If anything, the industry has proven itself quite resilient and resourceful amidst these complexities. When it comes to the marketing bridge between FIs and their customers, industry marketers who track economic trends that lead to consumers’ banking behaviors—as a whole and by demographic or life stage—and apply an omnichannel approach to deploying tailored, targeted messages that meet expectations and regulatory standards will be primed for success in the coming year.
Hungry for more 2024 trends? Check out our 2024 Trends Report for everything digital marketers need to know for next year.