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How Financial Marketing Can Improve Consumer Trust

by Trenton Reed   |   Nov 12, 2020

It’s no understatement to say that 2020 was a tumultuous year. As a global pandemic, social unrest over systemic racism, and a subsequent economic downturn affected the world, it seems as if no industry went unscathed—including financial services. According to an Edelman special report from 2020, brand trust took a toll as well.

Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report: Brand Trust in 2020 outlines a fundamental shift in consumer priorities. In fact, 70 percent of survey respondents said trusting a brand is more important today than in the past. Similarly, 85 percent of consumers said they want brands to “solve my problems,” 69 percent wanted them to “be a dependable provider,” and 64 percent wanted them to “be a reliable source of information.”

The importance of consumer trust in financial marketing cannot be understated. Consumers are now looking for brands to take action. But they’re equally invested in their own personal financial security. According to the survey, 81 percent of consumers said personal vulnerability around financial stability and privacy is a reason why brand trust has become more important.

The impact of trust in financial marketing.

Trust has always been at the foundation of marketing and sales. In recent years, this conversation has centered on data usage. Perhaps no other data headline hit as hard as the Cambridge Analytica scandal in 2018, when it was revealed that the data analysis firm had acquired data on tens of millions of Facebook users without permission. Following the scandal, trust in Facebook dropped by 66 percent. Sure, your financial organization is inherently different than the social media giant—but events like this put things into perspective.

Regaining trust should be on the top of your marketing team’s docket as you round the corner into an uncertain 2021. Although we’re still unclear what next year will look like, it’s important to cater to your customers. This changing, challenging economic environment presents a unique opportunity for financial marketers to reassess how they connect with consumers.

So, how can financial marketers earn consumers’ trust while still focusing on running a complex digital marketing strategy? By creating business models that make the most of customer data and account for an omnichannel customer journey. Let’s review.

Account for the digital customer journey.

Customers are barraged with marketing messaging daily. And many of them may see through the smoke and mirrors of traditional ads. These days, they want relevant, personalized brand experiences on the devices of their choosing. They’re also increasingly in charge of their own buying journey—which means that they’re in control of the business relationship.

With the right data collection and automation tools, your financial team can deliver personalized campaigns to your audiences. By connecting the dots along their customer journey, you can track how customer relationships grow over time—including the channels they engage with. These data points can then be used to define your ideal customers.

As we’ve discussed before, big data matters in financial marketing. Financial teams are in the unique situation where data is baked in their workflow. For example, when customers sign up for savings accounts or insurance products, they’re exchanging important (and confidential) information. Of course, trust comes into play because your clients want you to protect their data. However, using this data in a responsible way can result in better marketing interactions.

Data segmentation can help marketing teams track which customers interact with specific products and content. Knowing where customers are in their journey can influence which types of marketing campaigns that’ll resonate with specific types of people—and which products they may be interested in. And personalized messaging can only increase loyalty.

Drive omnichannel marketing.

Omnichannel marketing is a sales approach that provides customers an integrated experience. It draws data from multiple campaigns to create a more robust customer narrative. Whether your customers are looking for your brand on desktop devices or smartphones, omnichannel marketing aims to provide a connected brand experience across every channel.

From a marketers perspective, omnichannel strategies consider your entire marketing technology stack—whether that’s your CRM software, social media platforms, or analytics tracking and reporting tools—and enables your teams to see which campaigns are successful. As this illustrates, having a grip on your data collection strategy and analytics efforts helps you ensure your digital marketing efforts are synched up with your customer acquisition efforts.

Which digital marketing services should you use?

At Workshop Digital, we suggest a mix of paid and organic search marketing. Aligning your digital marketing strategy across these channels helps you get the most mileage from both. An integrated digital marketing plan accounts for both existing customers and prospective ones—and helps financial teams understand which campaigns to run on which channels.

By providing a consistent experience across platforms, your customers know what to expect—which can boost consumer trust and retention. For more information on reaching customers with customized campaigns on their preferred devices, contact Workshop Digital today.

portrait of Trenton Reed

Trenton Reed

Trenton joined the Workshop Digital team in January 2019. After earning his B.A. in English from Virginia Commonwealth University, he moved to Denver, where he explored the Rocky Mountains and built a writing career that spanned the digital marketing, advertising, and journalism realms. Since relocating back to Richmond in late 2017, Trenton has freelanced with local agencies and national nonprofits. As our in-house writer, he’s in charge of maintaining our brand voice across all channels.