Big trends in technology and digital platforms are set to change how financial service firms market themselves in this New Year. The financial sector of many countries is facing significant challenges as new online services are created. Let’s explore the key trends, latest developments and digital innovations for 2017.
Google AdWords and display advertising, often referred to as Paid Search Marketing or PPC, is not new territory for most financial institutions and still occupies an area of critical importance to new customer acquisition in the FS sector. Some key trends for financial services brands using AdWords are; Google's new re-design, the increasing importance of quality scores, the growing importance of negative keywords, and increased AdWords spend driving up bids.
Apps and mobile UX
Apps and great mobile UX becomes crucial for financial services. Financial transactions via smartphone apps have witnessed an explosive growth, revealing a major trend in how customers manage their finances. Data shows that customers have downloaded banking apps on 22.9 million occasions by the end of March 2016, a rise of 8.2 million in just one year (Source BBA) as mobile banking overtakes branches and banking via desktop as the most popular way to bank. This trend is not confined to just banking, mobile apps are now being used to renew policies for insurers, help interactions between the company and intermediaries/suppliers in the insurance sector and apple pay is transforming the mobile payments at the point of sale. New technology is starting to make a major impact on the functionality of mobile app for financial services. New features such as biometric logins, mobile alerts and AI in mobile apps are all starting to be used by the most innovative companies in the marketplace.
User Experience (UX) and Contract Research Organization CRO
Perhaps the most major change within digital FS is its approach to UX and product design. The Financial Services Industry has traditionally created UX and design experiences from an expert’s point of view but this has significantly changed with a greater understanding of UX being about the digital customer combined with a data-driven process of customer insight. As a consequence banks, insurance companies and financial institutions are now building strong in-house design capability which are shaping new product design and development. Examples of this change include Direct Line, Nationwide and Old Mutual who have both invested heavily in recruiting design and UX skills in-house. UX and design should be included at a strategic level of product development because FS brands lose a valuable opportunity in framing the problem from a customer’s point of view. Make sure you have invested good in-house resource for design and robust user experience research up front.
Other major trends to look out for
Other key areas where financial services companies need to be aware of major trends for 2017 include:
- Emerging Technology such as Bitcoin, Blockchain and digital share dealing.
- Changing in Social Media Channels such as increased use of video and social messaging platforms.
- CRM trends, such as single customer view, channel integration
- Digital investment advisors