Financial services marketers in 2017.


What are the priorities for financial services marketers in 2017?

In a report entitled ‘Digital Trends in Financial Services and Insurance’ issued by Econsultancy in association with Adobe, an attempt is made to answer this and a variety of other questions.

Below are just some of the outcomes in that report, produced by a survey of 850 financial services (FSI) and insurance respondents who were part of the survey of 1400 digital professionals taking part in the annual ‘Digital Trends’ survey which was carried out in December 2016.

Of FSI organisations 9% claim to be digital-first organisations whilst the figure is 11% across other sectors.  The stereo type of FSI business is that they are slightly lagging behind other sectors, due to privacy and legacy tech concerns, when it comes to digital transformation and these figures seem to show that.

The survey asked which three digital disciplines are being prioritised in 2017.

Targeting and personalisation came out on top with 33% of respondents, with customer journey management a close second at 31%. It makes sense that these two specific tasks came out ahead since banking focuses on moving from a product-centric marketing strategy to a customer–centric one.

55% of respondents are planning to increase investment in personalisation in 2017.


There were 18 categories available for the question ‘Which three digital-related areas are the top priorities for organisation in 2017?”

The results were as follows: –

Targeting and personalisation                                      33%

Customer journey management                                   31%

Content marketing                                                        25%

Social media engagement                                            23%

Multichannel campaign marketing                                21%

Brand building/viral marketing                                      20%

Marketing automation                                                   19%

Mobile app engagement                                               18%

Conversion rate optimisation                                        16%

Mobile optimisation                                                       14%

Video content                                                                13%

Search engine marketing                                              13%

Joining up online and offline data                                 11%

Customer scoring and predictive marketing                 10%

Programmatic buying/ optimisation                                7%

Social media analytics                                                    5%

Real-time marketing                                                       5%

None of the above                                                          2%



With Banks focusing on the customer journey, RBS reported at the Digital Summit in 2016 in its ‘Superstar DJ programme.’ Beginning in 2015, the Head of Analytics at RBS, Giles Richardson, installed 50  ‘journey managers’ with an analytics remit. He said that their expansion of optimisation efforts generated more than $1.5m in incremental revenue.

One of the areas that the report asserts could offer ‘an important advantage for established organisations with a high street presence, over the digital-only challengers’ is prioritising the joining up of offline and online data, only 11% of FSI marketers are doing this, It still remains to be seen, however, how practical the the capture of in-store data is.

Control over data

In general, control over date is a problem for FSI marketers with 64% of FSI respondents saying they had control over customer and marketing application data. In other sectors the figure was 75%. This is a reflection of the challenges that FSI marketers face with the compliance issues in a section that is heavily regulated when it comes to data.

Within the FSI sample itself, wealth and asset management companies are most likely to have access and control over customer and marketing application data (72%). This is followed by retail banking (62%) and insurance (59%).

New ways of collecting data, such as connected devices in insurance, may be one way in which companies can overcome some of these challenges.