Key Challenges for Financial Services Marketers
Three additional key challenges that are currently faced by financial services marketers are limited resources/talent, communicating intangible offerings and adapting to newly emerging marketing techniques.
- The limited availability of resources and talent was identified as a key challenge for financial services marketers based on Brandpoint's 2019 State of Content Marketing for Financial Services report, which found that insufficient resources and lack of talent were major challenges for 44% and 42%, respectively, of financial marketers.
- Moreover, resource and talent shortages are currently cited as one of the "top" problems currently faced by marketing professionals in financial services by a variety of industry experts (e.g., The Financial Brand, Big Rock, Experian).
- According to Brandpoint, The Financial Brand, Big Rock and Experian, the resource gap faced by financial services marketers is the combined result of relatively small historic marketing budgets within the industry alongside new and growing needs for marketing support.
- For example, a 2018 report from CMO Survey noted that marketing budgets at financial services companies represented only 11% of firm expenditures and have remained relatively stagnant over the past six years.
- However, the expansion of new digital marketing channels/segments has created a new and generally unmet need for additional marketing budget as well as different types of marketing talent that are increasingly in "high demand and tight supply."
- In parallel, the longstanding problem of marketing the intangible and somewhat complex offerings of financial services companies was selected as another key challenge for industry marketers based on the opinion of marketing industry experts (e.g., Big Rock, PFL).
- Specifically, PFL notes that financial services marketers continue to face the perennial challenge of "selling an idea" rather than a tangible product when advertising industry services.
- Marketing agency Big Rock adds that the complexity of these financial services offerings further acts as a barrier to reaching customers and conveying the value of a brand's specific products.
- Notably, PFL and Big Rock offer different recommendations for addressing this key challenge for financial services marketers.
- Specifically, PLF suggests that industry advertising professionals use customer stories to translate opaque concepts into something tangible, while Big Rock highlights the opportunities presented by digital content such as "explainer videos" to showcase products in a more relatable manner.
New Marketing Techniques
- Lastly, keeping up with new marketing techniques was chosen as another key challenge faced by financial services marketers, given that this problem was identified as the "biggest concern" of industry advertisers within Brandpoint's 2019 study.
- Specifically, 52% of financial services marketers stated that adapting to new advertising tools and techniques was their largest challenge, representing a 9% increase from 2018.
- In parallel, 40% of these industry professionals reported that another key struggle was their lack of knowledge and training related to new advertising strategies such as content marketing.
- According to Big Rock, the challenge of adapting to new marketing techniques is not only a result of how the digital world is evolving, but is also a reflection of the fact that younger consumers are introducing new and more aggressive expectations around their interactions with financial services companies.