Julia Manoukian

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February 15, 2018

Finance Marketing in 2018: How Digital Can Help You Win With Experiential

Julia Manoukian

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With customers migrating away from physical interactions, experiential marketing has never been more essential. When it comes to finance marketing, immersive live campaigns help put a name and a face to the brand, draw attention to concepts and ideas consumers might otherwise avoid, and helps to add personality to brand relationships that are in danger of becoming too impersonal.

The results are striking: 74 percent of attendees report viewing a company, brand or product more positively after an event and 70 percent of event attendees become regular customers after an experiential event.

That might not be your experience - and there's a reason for that.

Is a Disconnect Between Your Online and Offline Marketing Undoing Your Hard Work?

Consumers increasingly expect to be provided with an integrated experience that combines their interactions both online and off. As far as consumers are concerned, their relationships with businesses should mimic the way they interact with their peers: ongoing exchanges that seamlessly shift from online to offline and across multiple platforms without skipping a beat.

When a customer participates in an event and has some great conversations with members of your team, they feel like their relationship with your brand has moved up a notch. It's all the more jarring, then, when your online initiatives continue the same as before as if nothing has happened. It's an opportunity missed and a significant step back.

For many businesses, achieving that synergy that customers desire is impossible because they don't have the right technology supporting their marketing.

You Haven't Missed the Digital Transformation Boat… Yet

There's more at stake than just the success of your experiential marketing. If the interaction between your online and offline marketing is still clunky (or non-existent), it's a key sign that your firm may be falling behind in its efforts to achieve digital transformation. And that's a big problem.

According to Forrester, organizations won't see half their customers in 2018. As customers move away from making visits to physical stores, digital engagement becomes even more successful. It's the same trend that is making experiential marketing more essential -- because events are one thing that does bring customers to your physical location.

The rewards for solving this problem before the competition aren't insubstantial. So-called "digital banks" are expected to see a boost to revenue of as much as 50 percent per customer, in addition to a reduction in operating costs of up to 20 percent.

Embracing Digital Transformation

By increasing digital transformation, businesses can significantly improve their experiential marketing. Most financial service providers are already embracing digital at the events themselves, but this isn't just about the event itself, but what happens after. The follow-up and effect an in-person interaction has on future interactions is as important, if not more so, than the actual event.

Digital transformation will:

  • Break down data silos that prevent your business from using the great relationships your events are helping to build.
  • Enable seamless communication that puts the customer at the center of the conversation.
  • Allow teams to create personalized solutions and experiences across all devices (and offline), supporting a strong relationship and brand loyalty.
  • Provide the same great experience regardless of which store the customer is visiting, or device they are using.

Next Steps for Experiential Marketers in Finance Marketing

The most important step marketers need to take is to start tracking the wealth of information created by live marketing events. When you track a digital event or transaction, you see what the customer has done. But, when you speak to them in person, you start to get insights into why they interact with your business and how you can improve that interaction.

For example, an existing customer attends an event to launch a new investment product but declines to start using it straight away. In conversation with a team member, they say they can't commit yet but might be in a position to do so in a couple of months.

In many interactions, that conversation will simply be chalked down as a failure to close, but if you track and log that information, it becomes far more powerful. Your sales team can follow up with more information after the event and give them further opportunities to commit in a few months' time. Or, you might use that information in your digital marketing to push a lower-tier product that they might be able to afford.

Of course, perhaps this customer shouldn't have been at the event at all. Maybe they visited a branch earlier in the month and revealed to their branch manager that they were expecting another child and interested in taking out a mortgage for a larger home. It would make sense then, that they aren't willing to invest in a new product. The question is, if this scenario occurred in your organization, would it be tracked? And would that information then have an impact on your other marketing efforts?

Some executives are wary of embracing new technology, but by reducing the friction that prevents information from flowing between your online and offline finance marketing, you unleash insights that will drive efficiency and generate exciting new ideas.

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