While advances in digital technology are changing the game marketers at large, financial services companies have been slow to jump onto the digital bandwagon.
An abundance of regulations regarding how financial companies can—and can't—communicate with the outside world, reputation risks, and fear of the unknown have all hindered the industry's adoption of digital channels, such as social media. The good news is, these institutions are starting to catch up. See for yourself:
1. Financial services' worldwide digital advertising expenditure rose from $53.7 billion in 2008 to $95.7 billion in 2012, at a CAGR of 15 percent. It is expected to nearly double between 2012 and 2017 to reach $168.4 billion.
2. In 2012, global digital advertising expenditure accounted for 18.9 percent of the financial services industry's total advertising spend. Its share is expected to increase to reach 26.9 percent by 2017.
3. Seventy-three percent of retail and consumer goods companies have acquired a customer through Facebook, compared to 33 percent for banking and financial services companies
4. The majority of financial brands plan to increase 2014 marketing investments in mobile (59 percent), social media (58 percent), online video (57 percent), rich media (44 percent), search (40 percent), and display (8 percent).
5. Financial marketers are pivoting to digital because they are seeing diminishing returns and poor audience engagement in traditional advertising channels. Seventy-seven percent believe high-impact ads can breakthrough as much as TV/print ads. Sixty-seven percent say digital is more efficient, believing that it costs less to reach targeted consumers online than off.
6. Displaying recommendations is often thought of solely as a merchandising strategy most applicable to e-commerce. However, research reveals that while e-commerce businesses continue to lead in recommendations adoption, other industries, including financial services (with primary business goals excluding selling items online), are recognizing the value of automated recommendations and planning to implement this year.
7. More than a third of customers at major U.S. banks are now regularly using mobile banking.
8. About half of the top 25 financial institutions in the U.S. are now offering more advanced mobile app features, including person-to-person transfers and remote deposit services.
9. If there is any doubt as to why financial services firms need a social media strategy, a survey found that 28 percent of investment professionals had investigated an issue based on something they had seen on Twitter and 12 percent had made an investment decision after reading Twitter. The same study showed that institutional and private investors are increasingly contributing their own investment information to social networks.
10. Seventy-five percent of financial services marketers had separate content strategies in place for each marketing channel, the highest percentage of all industries polled.
11. Mobile financial apps take the top spot for the one consumers open most frequently. New banking and investment apps are more secure and make logging in and use much easier than a Web site. Consumers use these apps 30 percent more frequently than any other app type.
12. Financial services firms recently saw a 31 percent year-over-year growth on social media.
13. Fifty-nine percent of customers are unaware of their firm’s presence on social media.
14. It’s no surprise that bank and credit union marketing execs say that insufficient budgets and/or manpower is what’s holding them back. For the second year in a row, this was cited as a major challenge by at least a third of all respondents (33.8 percent). This was followed closely by difficulty measuring marketing ROI—a challenge for nearly four out of every five financial marketers.
15. Financial services rank highest in Web site conversion rates compared to other industries, with a 10 percent conversion rate.