Slowly and steadily, financial services companies are modernizing their marketing through magazine-like editorial hubs, personalization tech, and highly targeted promotional offers. Just take a look at First Republic Bank, The Hartford and American Express. All of these financial services leaders have thriving content marketing programs, are building audiences in the communities that they serve, and are strengthening their relationships with target audiences as a result.

But these opportunities are also creating big challenges. How can financial services CMOs better utilize the data that they’re collecting from readers? What are the best technologies and approaches for improving customer experiences? How can firms increase the speed at which they’re responding to user signals?

To answer these questions, you’re going to need to do some testing and exploring to see what works best for your organization. The following stats can help steer you in the right direction.

Trend: 71% of consumers believe that their banking relationships are transactional rather than relationship driven, and 57% see a disconnect between the traditional and digital experience they receive (source: Accenture).

Long story short: financial services CMOs have a big window of opportunity to improve their relationship-building processes—particularly through digital channels. With 51% of consumers wanting their banks to proactively recommend products and services and 48% of consumers wanting access to real-time, forward-looking analysis, banks are in a great position to improve conversion rates across their marketing funnels.

Financial services CMOs need to give serious consideration to real-time personalization. Techniques like in-app messaging, for instance, can help improve user engagement and information delivery. Rather than deploying a marketing campaign and hoping someone takes action, you can be confident that you’re delivering the right information at the right time in the buyer journey.

If you’re looking for a good example, take a look at Allstate.  The insurance leader tailors its advertisements and discount offers to specific audience needs.


This process ensures that consumers only see ads with offers they are likely to take action on. They have seen great results from promoting insurance bundles based on the products a consumer has actually researched.

Trend: A 2015 study from the Ponemon Institute and IBM found that the average cost of a data breach has increased 23% over the last 2 years (source: Security Intelligence).

What does marketing have to do with security?

The short answer: everything.

When you introduce new tools and technologies to your business, you need to do your due diligence in selecting vendors who understand enterprise needs. Make sure to ask the following questions when conducting your search:

  • “How are you storing and protecting my data?”
  • “How do you handle personally identifiable information?”
  • “How do you comply with international privacy and IT compliance standards?”

Financial services companies, especially, need to be aware of potential risks. As you already know, you’re handling your customers’ most sensitive data. As a marketer, the consequences of a beach will have a direct impact on you; you’ll end up with unhappy customers, a PR storm, and a marketing climate that makes your job even harder.

Martech shouldn’t get in the way of your customers’ safety, so make sure to involve IT in your vetting and compliance review process. For tips on compliance and risk management and more, check out this helpful “industry outlook” resource from Deloitte.

Trend: More than 30% of customers of major banks are using mobile banking apps (source: Google).

Mobile isn’t the future anymore. It’s here, and it’s now. In addition to having a basic app, you need to make sure that it’s fully optimized to meet your customers’ needs. Consumers don’t have time to deal with clunky UX flows and confusing menu options.

One way to streamline these interactions is through in-app messaging, where you can reach your users with ‘just-in-time’ information. In-app messaging can help facilitate engagement, improve product usage, and facilitate strategic upsell opportunities for key products and services.

An app is more than an ‘extra service.’ It’s an opportunity to build a rapport with your customers. The right technology can help you, listen, learn and respond effectively.