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Financial Services Marketing Predictions for 2014

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2014
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With 2014 predictions everywhere you turn, here are five more of mine that will be squarely in the sights of financial services CMOs in the coming year.

Consumer education. Financial education efforts by financial services providers saw substantial growth in 2013 and will continue to expand as banks and investment companies try to build back trust. There is evidence that consumers are returning to their pre-recession levels of excessive borrowing and inadequate saving. Financial education content, including native advertising, needs to be more engaging, with providers incentivizing clients for "good behavior."

Personal Financial Management. Apps that give advice, like SigFig, LearnVest, Mint, Personal Capital, Moven, Level, and others, will start to get real traction in 2014 among young, tech savvy consumers who may relegate traditional banks and investment companies to just handling transactions. These services are in synch with the migration of online banking to mobile devices that provide real-time feedback and guidance whenever and wherever consumers want. By consolidating the view of consumers' finances across all of their accounts and giving objective advice, these tools fill a void that any one single bank or investment company cannot.

Insurance providers and Millennials. The battle to win over this demographic will be game on in 2014. Web and mobile-enabled information tools and applications which appeal to younger prospects, have been improving. Methods of assessing auto insurance risk using telematics and different premium payment options are re-shaping the market. Digital marketing in this context will be increasingly seen as the most efficient way to reach the younger demographic for whom these features are designed, and drive engagement and acquisition.

Regulatory scrutiny is presenting new challenges to data driven credit product marketing. Add to this the hyper focus on data security and personal information privacy, and you have a hornet's nest of data related issues for banks in 2014. With data now the lifeblood of financial services, marketing has become a full team effort across analytics, compliance, legal, database, ad operations, media planning and buying, and creative development. The winners will be whoever navigates the obstacles best and accomplishes the most effectiveness from marketing budgets. Watch for clients to take more control of the moving parts themselves with in-house expertise.

Consumer messaging. With so many new digital marketing tactics and technologies available to financial services marketers, there is the risk of diffused, uncoordinated messaging across the marketing mix. The priority for integration across all elements of marketing campaigns will be paramount in 2014, with an emphasis on integrated marketing planning and process redesign to accomplish alignment across consumer touch points. Can marketing from complex financial services organizations speak with one voice?

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