In financial marketing answering a number of core questions is the starting point for any digital marketing plan: who we are/what’s the brand identity, who are our competitors, what kind of products or services do we want to sell, what our core differentiation is, to whom do we want to sell and how.
In this contribution I will be focusing mainly on dissecting a number of core services that characterise financial marketing.
From previous experience and by browsing a number of websites we can come up with a simple understanding of what the core services being provided by small, medium and large financial companies are. It’s helpful to divide these core services in two areas: B2C services and B2B services. Also, it´s important to mention other services that emerged mainly because of the internet. Let’s start dissecting each then.
Business to Consumer Services
Traditional financial services comprise a number of B2C services.
Probably the most prominent is the ability of a financial institution to be a safe heaven for our savings. Big corporations, i.e. banks, can keep our money safely while giving the holder of the deposit a small interest. This is the bread and butter of any big financial institution – without the constant inflow of credit these institutions could not safely have reserves to lend credit.
Small to medium size companies can also provide financial services to individuals. The second service that a financial institution can provide is advice on what we can do with our savings. Imagine we want more than just keep our money in the bank in a savings account. And we want to invest in a number of financial instruments – be they stocks, bonds, forex, etc. Financial institutions can help us achieve this goal.
Financial institutions also provide more specific advice on what can be done with our savings. Different from more speculative investments and directed to particular personas, advice on pension schemes is also an important activity developed by most financial institutions.
Forth, an important function of any financial institution is also to provide credit for investment to individuals. Whenever we want to invest and create a business, we may need to go somewhere to find credit. Financial institutions can help business owners with loans and this is also an important service provided by these institutions.
Fifth, providing advice on the best insurance we can have can also be an activity commonly provided by financial institutions. Insurance advice can take a number of different forms, but this is a distinctive service of financial institutions.
Financial institutions can also provide mortgage advice to consumers. This is the last service I would like to stress here.
Once the activities are set in place, financial institutions can take either a passive or an active role in the implementation phase. In other words, they can just provide advice or really control and manage the funds for the client.
Business to Business Services
Traditional financial services also include helping companies in their day-to-day life.
For example, business owners can be helped with ways to acquire new financial resources that they need to invest or re-invest in their business.
Associated is the activity of suggesting mergers and acquisitions and helping in their implementation. Some financial institutions specialise just in this activity.
Other more specific activities commonly seen in financial institutions include help with tax mitigation and general accounts. Some financial institutions provide similar services as accounting firms.
Affiliate Marketing and Coaching
It is not uncommon to find on the internet a bunch of other services and products in the financial industry. The internet made popular a number of other avenues to make money in this industry.
Probably one well-known strategy are affiliate marketing strategies. These projects require an online platform to become a broker between a particular financial service provider and the consumer. A number of digital marketing techniques are used to achieve this.
What existed in the past but the internet made even more popular were coaching and consulting programs on a number of financial industry services. Coaching and consulting should also be mentioned as distinctive financial industry service therefore.
Problems and Solution
The most important aspect for any financial institution is to have a clear game plan. What I see most of the times is that people try to sell a lot of services without a clear marketing plan behind each and every service.
What is therefore important is for the business owner to understand that for each service he/she is trying to sell there are important questions to answer. Each service needs to be treated separately.
Once that is done, a coherent digital marketing strategy should follow.
I can help with that.