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Finance At Google- How Financial Brands Can Get Ahead in Digital

This week I attended Google’s event on the world of finance in digital where we explored the latest trends, tools and tips for innovative and effective marketing in this sector. Here are some key insights from the event:

Finance lags behind in the digital revolution

Financial marketing is a latecomer to the digital revolution and markedly behind other industries. In the UK 57% of advertisers spend goes on digital now, yet in the finance industry, it’s a mere 30%. There is a huge gap between the UK marketing budget share and the finance industry, which is something that needs to change, lest the industry continues to miss out on the huge impact of digital.

Despite this, there has been 150% growth in the last two years for finance content searches on YouTube on mobile. This is a prime opportunity for financial companies and it’s imperative that finance advertisers engage with video through their digital content plan, or risk losing out on customers.

Leading the way are companies such as John Lewis, which was the  first brand to bring connected home tech to the insurance industry. Its work was incredibly successful in blending tech, finance and peace of mind for customers and set a new standard for the industry as a whole.

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Post-transaction challenges

The challenges faced by financial services with marketing to customers beyond the point of transaction was discussed by the panel, with Mark Evans, Group Marketing Director at Direct Line Group sharing that understanding how data links to your purpose is the key to innovating in digital in finance. He went on to say that data and insight need to be used to solve the customer pain points; the finance industry has all the data it requires at its fingertips, it just needs to use it.

Kevin Mathers, Google UK Sales Director, explained the push from consumers expecting more from their financial service providers in terms of service, speed and ease of use. This growing sense of urgency, in addition to the ease of review sharing socially, is putting the pressure on the financial services industry to adapt faster.

Brand strategies: How can businesses measure long-term brand health with digital?

Knowing that share of search is a leading indicator of market share, financial brands would do well to harness Google Trends, as a very easy gauge on the interest in their brand (and others) over time.

When using Google Trends for the financial services aggregators such as comparethemarket.com, confused.com, gocompare.com, and moneysupermarket.com, it’s clear to see how the launch of meerkats and irritating opera singers can impact the interest in a brand!

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Unlike most tracking metrics, share of search is a leading indicator, with genuine predictive power. All savvy brands should be looking at their industry search trends to spot emerging indicators of change.

The Co-Operative Bank have been leading the way with engaging their audience in this way with personal, ‘It’s good to be different’ brand messaging in a recent campaign.

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So whilst the financial industry may be lagging behind, the future looks promising. With increasing customer demand for financial video content, a recognition of needing to harness data and pioneering brands such as John Lewis and the Co-operative showing digital savvy, the only missing link is the technical skills required to action the changes. Once this is addressed, we can expect to see more and more financial brands stepping up and successfully embracing digital.