The financial sector employed more than 800,000 Australians in 2018, accounting for about 6% of overall employment in the country, as per the Australian Industry and Skills Committee. In fact, the committee reported that 2018 saw the “highest employment level in this industry during this period at around 448,100, with growth predicted between 2018 and 2023.” While there is evidence of growth, the committee also reported that the number one top generic skill required of professionals in the financial services sector is customer service and marketing. Financial services marketing, especially in the B2B sector, can be challenge. Forbes reports that in general, the public has “such little confidence” in financial advisors and marketers because of “financial jargon, misplaced guidance and an inconsistent customer experience.” So how do B2B marketers get ahead and overcome this challenge in a highly competitive Australian market?
Financial Services Marketing Advice for B2B Companies in Australia
A concrete B2B marketing plan for financial services firms should include a strategy for mobile. CMO reported that in 2017, financial services enterprises had undergone significant digital transformation in order to meet customers where they are: on their phones and online. CMO also reported that the Brand New Media’s “Digital Marketing of Financial Services 2017” report found top five digital media platforms for financial services marketing. These are, in order, mobile, the firm’s own website, organic social network moderation, organic search engine optimization or SEO, and email marketing. Ideally, these digital media platforms all play a role in an overall B2B marketing strategy.
Emphasize financial services marketing analytics.
In the last few years, more and more B2B organizations are realizing the importance of using analytics tools to monitor results and track progress. CMO reported that financial firms are taking into consideration not only descriptive analytics or an account of what occurred, but also predictive analytics that can better anticipate customer needs. The reason behind this is that financial services firms are investing in skilled B2B marketing specialists whose expertise is in analytics. Whether in-house or outsourced, these specialists aid in accurately predicting the performance and ROI of certain financial services marketing activities.
Highlight the organization’s authority.
Financial services marketing has a few things in common with technology marketing and law firm marketing or legal marketing. These are fields in which experts can showcase their unique industry insights on specific topics, situations, or news and issues. This is part of the overall B2B marketing strategy of building trust and establishing authority in the industry. Showcasing unique insights through thought leadership, a blog by the CEO, newsletters from top management, or social commentaries on issues that impact the industry, can help build authority and position the company as a leader in the field.
Maintain an insightful review portfolio.
Today’s customers, whether B2C or B2B, are discerning. Armed with the Internet, customers do their own research and go through multiple marketing touchpoints before making a decision. In fact, a 2014 IDC study (via BusinessWire) revealed that up to 84% of C-level and VP-level buyers use social media when making purchasing decisions. Therefore, it is important for businesses to have their review portfolios ready on their website for when customers are researching the business online. Such online reviews and testimonials help boost credibility, especially if customers see where those reviews are coming from and if they are coming from a business operating in a similar industry.
Focus financial services marketing initiatives on what customers need.
In 2020, financial services marketing initiatives should be driven by customer needs. Forbes calls this “customer centricity,” in which there will be a “structural alignment around audiences” when it comes to developing marketing automation, digital marketing, and content marketing activities. Forbes also reports that 47% of B2B organizations already admitted that customer needs in fact drive their marketing strategies, while 40% of B2B businesses prioritize solving their customers’ problems over promoting their products or services. Right now, there is a gap between the “structural alignment” of such strategies, because 36% of B2B businesses still focus on industry segments, while 43% of B2B businesses organize by channel-specific domain expertise such as email, advertising, or social.” Moving towards a more structural approach will be the main challenge for some B2B’s.
If these financial services marketing strategies are new to you and your B2B organization, get in touch with a local B2B marketing agency that understands your unique marketing needs. Whether it’s developing new financial marketing activities or delving deeper into the analytics you already have, a financial services marketing firm can help you achieve your B2B marketing goals with more precision.