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

1. Restoring Trust in Our Financial System: It’s all about culture
This article from Pensions and Investments, Pacific Investment Management’s COO, Douglas Hodge, argues that in order to restore trust, financial services must begin with culture. This article piqued our interest because we are big believers in the power of consistent brand messaging, employee engagement, and active communication in building an effective and long lasting corporate culture. A strong culture is a corporate asset and in order to maintain a strong culture, values and initiatives must be consistent across an organization. Hodge explains that finance is meant to “serve the broader interests of society,” and with this in mind culture must be based on serving client needs, sound risk management, and a sense of responsibility and commitment, therefore fortifying trust and leading to positive business results. Read the article here.

2. American Bankers Association Marketing Conference
The American Bankers Association is hosting a 3-day long Marketing Conference in late September, entitled “Put it all Together, Marketing for your bank’s success.” The conference will feature a variety of panels relating to branding and marketing, with a focus on one key question “how do you put together the best marketing mix for your bank, customers, and your community?” The insights and discussions that will result from this event will be critical for marketers looking to optimize their marketing strategy as well as stay in touch with industry trends. Our very own brand strategist, Seth Margolis, will be leading a panel entitled “What Banks Really Need to Know about Branding: The Agency Perspective.” The discussion will outline real world examples regarding how an agency develops and implements a brand, among other key strategizing tactics. Learn more about the conference here.

3. SEI Survey: Advisors Start to Realize the Business Benefits of Social Media
This article from Bloomberg outlines some key insights from an SEI report that was released in mid-August, surveying 185 financial advisors on their level of social media presence. While 56% of advisors did have some social media involvement, but only on a preliminary level, nearly 18% of advisors surveyed have secured a new client as a result of their social media strategy. The Head of Practice Management from SEI said of the survey results, “What the survey shows is that advisors have the opportunity to see real business returns if they can begin to put social media plans, processes, and policies in place, rather than just using it sporadically.” The survey also reveals why advisors have been more reluctant to adopt social media strategies in their marketing efforts. Read the article here.

4. JFAM: Forum-NYC “Wish List: What Financial Marketers Want in 2013″
Another noteworthy conference hosted by The Journal of Financial Advertising and Marketing will take place September 28th at Deutsche Bank. The conference will cover topics ranging from branding and reputation, social media, mobile and tablet marketing. There will be five panel discussions led by over 20 senior financial marketers from the world’s leading brands. Some panelists include the CMO of AIG Bank, the Head of Digital Marketing and Social Media from Deutsche Bank, as well as a number of other experts and thought leaders. We will be attending the conference next week, and will be sure to follow up with key insights and takeaways. Learn more about the conference here.

5. What’s Hot In Financial Marketing? What’s Not?
What’s hot and what’s not in the world of financial marketing? This infographic from The Financial Brand outlines which trends are still being discussed and promoted by the banking community, and which trends are no longer on the radar. The mobile space is still regarded as a critical tool for engagement among financial institutions, along with iPad apps, e-checking, and website redesigns. However, some trends, which have proven less successful, include promotional microsites, CRM technology tools, and Pinterest. Check out the infographic here to see what other trends are worth noting. Read the infographic here.