The future of financial services in 2020

November 19, 2020
Caroline Sheahan

The roller coaster of 2020 has had far-reaching impacts on many industries, and most certainly on the financial services & insurance industry.

‘Pivot’ along with (along with ‘unprecedented’) may have become yet another 2020 buzzword, but with our lives and habits changing so dramatically in such a short period of time, the financial services industry has been forced to iterate incredibly quickly.

COVID-19 has rapidly changed customer expectations and needs – pushing the vast majority of financial service providers (banks, insurers, lenders etc) towards new technologies to be integrated seamlessly into the customer experience.

Prior to the pandemic, the industry was in a unique position of change, moving swiftly towards a heavy focus on personalisation and targeting. Datisan’s 2019 Annual Digital Marketing Maturity Growth Report identified the financial services industries as being on a more mature trajectory to many industries, as the FSI average was seen as ‘Connected’, compared to the Australian average of ‘Emerging’.

What else did our 2019 Digital Marketing Maturity Growth Report find out?

Econsultancy.com surveys conducted in mid-late 2018 found that while 37% of financial services firms say that ‘targeting and personalisation’ was a top priority for their organisation, surprisingly 94% of banks said that they hadn’t quite figured personalisation out yet.  

Our 2019 Digital Maturity report also discovered that only 15% automate their digital marketing optimisations. Our report also found that 85% of financial services businesses didn’t leverage automated media optimisation and bidding tools, relying instead of manual bids updated weekly or rarely.

For a ‘connected’ industry, one disconnect we found in our Report was that only 15% automate their digital marketing optimisations.

Customers are no longer satisfied with being told that ‘everything is okay’ by a faceless corporation, and trust has become more crucial in the customer decision-making process (especially with regards to financial matters). 

The use of data-based personalisation in fostering emotional trust is new to many financial services companies and can be a tricky area to navigate.

Use not enough personalisation, and customers may find their experience to be inconsistent, generic and confusing. Use too much personalisation and it can get overwhelming. In fact, according to Gartner:

38% of consumers have stated that they would stop doing business with a company if they found personalisation to be ‘creepy’. 

The challenge is striking a balance of personalisation in the customer experience.

Through setting up systems to gather customer intelligence and acting on this data in a contextual manner we can hope to create the desired journey.

According to PwC,

We expect that the ‘new normal’ operating model will be customer- and context-centered.

“That is, companies will change the way they interact with their customers based on the context of the exchange. They will offer a seamless omnichannel experience, through a smart balance of human and machines.”

Personalisation and trust should be working together in these times. Marketing news site ‘The Drum’ notes:

“There’s an element of politeness which should sit alongside personalisation in finance, whereby people need to agree (beyond just accepting cookies) before brands can go ahead and get friendly. When approached sensitively – which is especially important in these uncertain times – personalisation will help finance brands set themselves apart from competitors; not just other banks, but fintech start-ups too.”

To find out how you can set your financial services brand up to foster more personalised and trusted customer experiences, and make the leap to cloud for marketing technologies, get in touch with Datisan today.