Q1 2012 blue trophy

The “Best Content” series brings you a handful of the most thought-provoking and informative articles and webinars related to B2B financial services branding and marketing published over the last quarter, broken down into bite-size pieces for your convenience.

Technology Pays Dividends for Financial Services Industry
New and improved technology tools for online interaction have moved to the forefront of financial services marketing strategies. This article from CMO.com quotes, “Consumers and banks both want to do business online…” The reason for this trend can be explained by an increase in online advertising as a way of gaining customers and promoting certain practices. Social media in combination with social commerce, along with proper security tactics, all contribute to the presence of banks in mobile and digital spaces. However, a key obstacle facing the financial services industry when it comes to online participation is a need for proper security. Personalization and convenience have become critical components to the success of any online banking mobile app or website marketing strategy. As online marketing becomes a vital platform for the financial services industry, how can marketers stress security as much as they do personalization?

Financial Services slowly, cautiously embrace social media
When asking about someone’s finances, you often find that they aren’t keen on sharing such information. Personal finances, by nature, are an inherently personal, secure, and private aspect of society. As a result, it seems counter-intuitive for financial services industries to engage in social media as a way of increasing influence and outreach. A recent article published by BtoB Magazine states that financial services companies are participating in an “intense regulatory environment… stepping into the social maze, cautiously but deliberately.” Compliance is key when it comes to developing a social strategy, because data leakage is the least of their worries when it comes to engaging in such a public space. Targeting the proper prospects and clients while still checking in with legal is no easy task—but it’s a necessary one if financial services industries hope to survive in an increasing social, and less privatized, world.

Marketing to the Capital Markets
The landscape of marketing, and how it’s executed, is rapidly changing within financial services industries. With so many niches to appeal to within the industry, how can marketers attempt to target the right demographic, with the right information, through the right forum, and at the right time? There are so many stipulations, and so many different fields that its important for marketers to “get through the noise,” and deliver the right message. This hour-long webinar from Focus targets financial services marketers and provides insights on the value of relationships and trust. Engaging in content marketing on a more specified level, and tailoring each marketing program for a specific niche, and understand the issues of a client are just a few of the ideas touched upon in this webinar. Listen to the webinar.

What Color is Your Brand (And Who Cares)
Financial services buyers are constantly evolving. When they make decisions regarding their finances, it isn’t an immediate process. They shop around, and wait for the right message to connect with them on an emotional level, as well as intellectual and technical. This article from financialadvertising.com explains, “Messages have the upper hand when it comes to connecting to the deeper emotional centers of consumers, especially when we’re considering financial products and services… Messages have mental glue — a predisposition to bond with consumers has been created in a way that images simply cannot accomplish.” This is not to say that the visual aspect of advertising is obsolete—its about the way in which the message is presented, and how this plays upon deep-rooted emotional associations. In other words, marketers must remember that messages are what tickle our buying bone, especially when it comes to important decisions like which financial services provider to choose. The question remains, in an increasingly visual world, how do financial services marketers put some of the focus back onto the message? Read the article.