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Why The Financial Sector Must Re-evaluate Its Stance On Content

Why The Financial Sector Must Re-evaluate Its Stance On Content 3

Why The Financial Sector Must Re-evaluate Its Stance On Content 4By Ian Barlow, Director of Marketing and Content Services, Zone

What makes you read something? Why are you reading this right now? The chances are because it is relevant to your business, work or life. People engage with things that matter to them.

Content is a fundamental part of modern business strategy – especially for banking and finance brands looking for different ways in engaging consumers and improving their overall customer experience. Our latest research, detailed in the report – Content Optimisation or Content Catastrophe: What Brands Need To Prioritise To See Performance Payback – reveals that the priority lies with producing content that offers a personalised experience. It must also leave audiences with a clear call to action.

Despite this, most financial brands still use inefficient content strategies. Content doesn’t work in a silo – it has to feed into the engine of an organisation. Financial brands’ content struggles can be traced back to two primary factors:

  • Data: businesses are striving to promote improved customer experience (CX), but are not utilising all available data to inform ongoing campaigns
  • Technology: brands aren’t utilising digital resources – such as martech tools – to better optimise the content they produce

Over a third of financial organisations find that outdated processes and inefficient workflows are major hurdles to producing effective content. Brands must distance themselves from the ‘one-size fits all’ approach that has proven to be obsolete – and take advantage of the new tools at their disposal.

Data’s worth its weight in gold

To move forwards, sometimes you need to look back. Almost half of financial brands concede that they do not look at previous campaign successes when creating new content. More concerning is the fact that 20% admitted to neglecting to look at historic data altogether.

The road to content consistency and improved CX is far from straightforward. Identifying elements that have already resonated well with consumers, however, would seem fairly obvious as being an ideal starting point.

Banking and finance brands are lagging behind other sectors, still failing to understand the need for consistency. A sizable 64% of retailers believe in prioritising consistency across all platforms yet only 24% of financial organisations agree.

CX is a major battleground for businesses and content is a powerful weapon for brands and marketers in this fight. Research shows that smaller organisations (between 100-249 employees) tend to use content to foster customer loyalty and increase conversion rates – whilst larger brands (those with more than 500 staff) focus on longer term brand building and enhancing their reputation.

Brands must focus on developing a transparent customer journey map – or refreshing the existing framework in place – so that each consumer touchpoint is unique. Brands must publish bespoke content reflecting the needs of the consumer wherever they are on their journey and harnessing the power of technology to achieve this can pay dividends.

Unlocking the digital door 

The modern world is becoming increasingly digital-first. Technology allows marketers to maximise content’s results through measurement and optimisation.

Content optimisation comes from learning from past successes – and mistakes. Implementing martech into the content process can aid in this endeavour. The rise of CRM software has been game changing for financial brands, offering a plethora of ways to assess consumer behaviours.

Case and point, capitalising on the A/B testing method when sending mailers – and subsequently measuring open and download rates can provide insight into the tone, messages and structures that are well received by consumers.

Financial services brands are well placed to implement these strategies. Only 12% of banking and financial organisations find executing strategies difficult, reflecting the sectors’ ‘mature’ status. However, this does not mean that the content roadmap cannot be refreshed.

More than half of smaller organisations acknowledge that they underutilise available tools – with a lack of access to technology also cited as an excuse for poor content delivery.

The value that can be gained from granular analysis of individual metrics cannot be underestimated. If the primary objective revolves around creating personalised experiences for consumers, data sets can act as a guiding light towards content consistency.

Content makes the world go round

Whilst it may seem overkill to go back to the drawing board, financial brands that wish to maximise content results – and produce positive CX – must re-evaluate where content fits into their overarching customer experience strategy.

Content has to be more than a stand-alone outreach method. It must nurture relationships with both existing and prospective customers by providing timely, personalised and relevant information.

As it stands, financial brands’ content strategies are ill-equipped to drive tangible results. Success is derived from adapting to consumer preference and keeping communication relevant. The right partner can help brands not only develop a content strategy but implement it for maximum return on investment. It can help ensure the business benefits from the new automated tools available for data collation and effectively target and measure teams to ensure they are engaged and excited for what they can achieve along the way.

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