What is the State of Financial Marketing Today?

Banks and credit unions who participate in the 6th annual 'State of Financial Marketing' survey will receive a free copy of the final 56-page Digital Banking Report ($395 value).

Last year’s State of Financial Marketing report, fielded by The Financial Brand and the Digital Banking Report, yielded rich insights into the priorities, challenges, strategies and effectiveness of marketing in the retail banking industry. This annual report also analyzes a range of topics — from branding strategies to branching trends — to provide an unparalleled look into how financial organizations are responding to the changes that are transforming banking and marketing today.

It’s time to update these very important findings.

Financial marketers who take our 2017 financial marketing survey by Wednesday, March 22 will receive a complimentary copy of the “2017 State of Financial Marketing” report ($395 value). The report will break down dozens of trends — who’s doing what, spending more, in which channels and generating the biggest results. The global report will analyze over 30 different parameters and include insightful charts and graphs, segmenting respondents by size, type and location of organization.

Highlights from the 2016 State of Financial Marketing Report

In the 2016 report, the most evident areas of change during from the prior year was the increase in importance of ‘reaching a younger audience’ and the decrease in importance of ‘building a brand.’ For the largest organizations, ‘increasing adoption of digital channels’ and ‘improving analytics’ become top priorities.

Increasing share of wallet was the most important marketing priority in 2016 (49%), with loan growth being a very close second at 48%. The three most frequently cited priorities – improving wallet share, growing loan volume, and acquiring new customers – had remained the top three priorities for the previous four years.

Other highlights from the 2016 report were:

  • National and regional banks placed increasing adoption of digital channels as the second highest “top three” priority (62%), while this was one of the lowest priorities for smaller banks (44%) and credit unions (48%).
  • National and regional banks had the desire to improve analytics capabilities as their third highest “top three” priority (47%). The emphasis on advanced analytics completely overshadowed the level of emphasis indicated by both community banks and credit unions (8% ranked this as a “top three priority).
  • Community banks placed a much heavier emphasis on building business relationships in 2016 than larger banks or credit unions. (this was consistent with 2015)
  • Community banks doubled their emphasis on expanding markets in 2016 vs. 2015. (23% rated as a “top three” priority in 2016 vs. 12% in 2015)
  • Credit unions continued to emphasize the acquisition of a younger member base compared to banks.
  • Credit unions indicated a higher “top three” emphasis on acquiring new members overall compared to 2015. (55% in 2016 vs. 44% in 2015)

Despite ongoing conversations regarding moving from a product silo marketing perspective to a consumer-focused marketing model, most organizations indicated they still budgeted and built strategies around products. In addition, the use of social media channels by banks and credit unions continued to climb in 2016, yet most organizations questioned the effectiveness. Finally, while personalization of communication and measurement of results ranked very high on priorities, very little budget was allocation to advanced analytics.

Will there be a major shift in priorities and strategies reflected in our 2017 State of Financial Marketing report? Will banks and credit unions make significant changes to their marketing strategies to adequately address the changing consumer and competitive landscape? Banks and credit unions who participate in this survey by Monday, March 20 will receive a detailed analysis of what peers and competitors are doing at no cost.

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