As we come to the end of another year in the world of FinTech marketing, what better way to finish than looking ahead to what digital marketing trends will dominate financial services in 2017? Of course, most of these ‘trends’ are not industry-specific or even new, but have been carefully selected to align with financial services, which as we all know is running slightly behind in the digital world.
Let us all Self-Serve
In some industries, this trend would have been listed as one several years ago, but the FinServ world is still playing catch up in many areas. The millennial generation expect to be able to do a lot via their laptop or phone these days. That includes being able to set up accounts, buy stuff (yes, even investment products), check customer info and submit/upload data. Being hit with a PDF form to continue is a user experience dead-end, as is a message telling you to “call this number”, which is possibly the ultimate digital damp squib.
I think we’re going to see more asset and wealth managers launch self-serve technology in their digital offerings in 2017.
Mobilise or Die
Indeed, we’ve all been bombarded with “must be mobile friendly” messaging for the past couple of years now, but it’s become much more than just a trend – it’s now crucial to make this happen. Mobile usage now represents 65 percent of digital media time and has pushed the desktop into the role of a “secondary touch point”. Millions of websites have evolved to be mobile-friendly and users have to come to expect it. Non-responsive sites have become an irritant to users; the only thing to temper this has been the rise of huge mobile screens and super high-definition, making it slightly easier to view non-responsive sites. But that is not a reason to not make your website mobile-friendly! But don’t take my word for it. Back in April 2015, Google Search began using mobile friendliness as a ranking signal. Waste no more time and go check your company website using Google’s handy Mobile-Friendly Test right away!
Make your Data Visualisation Sizzle
We love blogging about DataViz here at Kurtosys and we’ve even created a white paper on the topic. But what we’re really passionate about is improving the user experience for our customers’ investors, and a big part of that is creating engaging experiences using data. Hitting users with raw data is horrible and makes our brains hurt – there’s no excuse any more not to make use of these amazing web technologies at our disposal and bring data to life. Because DataViz is such a popular topic online, it’s easy to find inspiration from data scientists and other industries on how to better present your data. In fact, looking outside the financial industry is potentially a good idea.
Rise of the Marketing Automation Machines
Two years ago we wrote a paper on how Fund Managers could use marketing automation to their advantage and increase sales, as we were amazed at how much free, un-gated content they make available on their websites. Many of our customers have been implementing marketing automation systems such as Pardot and Marketo into their websites this year, and I foresee this trend continuing into 2017 and beyond. Because a truly successful marketing automation ecosystem relies on having a good amount of content, I think that many asset managers are now in a better position to use the technology since they have stronger content marketing strategies in place.
There’s also a new wave of cheaper, entry level marketing automation software being released to compete with the likes of the big players such as Marketo, Pardot and HubSpot. They might not be quite as powerful, but if you only need some core features and your marketing budget is limited, then it’s worth exploring some of these new alternatives.
Personalise, Personalise, Personalise
I see this as a trend for financial services marketing in 2017 as I don’t believe it’s fully taken hold in that sector yet. As mentioned earlier, with regard to marketing automation, as many asset managers have recently launched content marketing campaigns, having all that original content paves the way for personalisation. Targeting your users with more relevant content is going to increase engagement, reduce bounce rates and ultimately increase sales. Clever technology such as Idio’s platform can enable an investment manager to serve up different types of content based on user criteria and what they’ve previously read. It’s a perfect match for the asset management word when you consider the varied types of users sites cater for, from institutional investors through to intermediaries.
Get Creative with Micro Interactions
Micro-what? If you’ve not heard of micro interactions then that’s understandable; it’s a fairly new concept. Also known as micro-ux, it means “the subtle action that is applied to something interactive a user does.” This handy Vine thread has some nice examples of micro-interactions we might encounter in our daily lives. In terms of websites, this could be hitting a button, filling in a form or hovering over a fund performance chart. Often associated with mobile app design, micro-interactions are becoming a bigger part of good UX design and financial sites are a perfect opportunity to get creative when you think of all the data elements, charts and touch points on a financial website or app. Micro-interactions make users feel warm and fuzzy inside and therefore help retain that ‘stickiness’ factor.
I think we’ll see more asset managers implement micro-interactions into their websites and apps in 2017.
Say Hello to my Little CRM
It’s time to get some of that data and intel out of your dusty CRM and make it useful again. We’re seeing a trend here at Kurtosys of asset managers making use of APIs and connecting their systems together, including pulling out documents from their CRMs such as Salesforce and injecting them into their websites. Having one version of a document makes life easier for customer servicing teams and, provided there’s a way of controlling distribution, then this can work really well.
There’s also a growing trend of investment managers pushing valuable data back into their CRM. Marketing analytics and data can be appended to customer accounts and contacts, giving your sales team more intel and ultimately enable said sales team. There aren’t many companies who are not using Salesforce, so if you’re like me, one of the first things you do when buying software is checking the integrations page for that familiar logo.
What digital trends do you see affecting Financial Services marketing in 2017? I’ve not even mentioned virtual reality, artificial intelligence or live streaming video… if you’re struggling for inspiration – let us know! Have a wonderfully productive 2017.