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What can financial services brands learn from Fortnite?

By Dotan Ginsburg, GM, EMEA at Idomoo

Legendary economist and behavioural scientist Richard Thaler once noted that “people have a strong tendency to go along with the status quo or default option.” In society and business, humans naturally tend to opt for what they know, and what has been done before.

But while following the status-quo may seem safe, it is often the most risky choice – for both consumers and companies. If you and your competitors look and sound the same, you lose valuable differentiation in the minds of your audience. If you only follow the past and what has been done before, you can inadvertently hinder your future.

The ongoing digital transformation of society shows us a clear truth: ideas and innovations emerge and spread fast in digital.

Take, for example, the ‘like’ button: an idea that appeared initially as a way to increase engagement on a social media platform, it has morphed into the go-to point of interaction between consumers, brands and content online.

Financial services brands have witnessed this rapid shift first hand. The omnipresence of digital has seen it quickly surpass physical branches as the first point of engagement for many consumers, and digital challenger banks like Monzo and Starling have effectively leveraged this to grow market share.

So what does this tell us? In this new, digital-first world, you can’t just be watching what your competitors and peers are doing in your industry, or simply do what has been done before. You need to take a broader view and look at how people are engaging with things in wider society. What captures their attention? What makes a message stick? How can you influence behaviour?

Learn to play

Fortnite is one of the most popular video games on the planet, boasting over 250 million users. The battle-royale shooter has, of course, nothing to do with banking and financial services. But players in this sector can teach brands a great deal about engagement.

Fortnite and the banking sector share a common challenge. They need to retain and grow their user base, keep them engaged, and keep them away from competitors. Gamification is a powerful way to do this – getting users to compete and compare scores and highlights is a great way to capture and keep interest. Brands such as Duolingo and Fitbit have illustrated how effective this can be.

Working with Idomoo, Fortnite delivered a Personalised Video to each individual player. The video gave each player a unique insight into how they play the game, recapping their year in data highlights. This personalised insight fuses a tightened bond between the brand and the user – whilst also providing content which can interest and re-engage lapsed players.

Pensions brand Aegon used a similar strategy. Pensions brands need to engage and reassure members that their savings are safe – and that saving is important. Pensions information delivered in a long-form formal report can be daunting and confusing. Enter personalised video.

Each member received a personalised video giving a timely update on their savings position directly to their inbox. That’s 3 million crafted, personalised videos delivered directly from brand to audience.

This personalised video tool has proved invaluable for brands looking to communicate important, but complicated, information through the COVID-19 crisis. Take for example a mortgage company offering customers several loan forbearance options to provide temporary relief to those who have suffered financial hardship during this time.

Unfortunately, customers don’t understand how forbearance works – namely, if, when, and how mortgage payments that were suspended are meant to be repaid. Technology allows these businesses to deliver an easy-to-digest video that directly addresses the viewers unique situation. All without overwhelming your customer service department.

The memory bank

During these uncertain economic times, it is critically important for financial services brands to engage and reassure customers, offering clarity to where they stand and what they can do. Deciding the best way to do this can be difficult – but financial services marketers shouldn’t wait for a game-changing lightbulb moment. Instead, look at what tools are successfully engaging audiences and changing behaviour in other markets.

To conclude with another famous quote from Richard Thaler, “if you want someone to do something, make it easy”. In the modern digital marketplace, the ideas and the tools which naturally capture attention and drive engagement quickly zip from sector to sector, and from Fortnite to finance, personalised video is emerging as a tool which transcends categories to deliver messages to customers with unique clarity.