We picked the brains of 12 marketing executives, including 3 CMOs, to share the hottest issues and trends for financial marketers in the coming year. We captured their full-length and thoughtful responses in our e-book, but also created the following summary if you’re short on time!

  1. Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Machine Learning (ML)

As financial services move beyond the first use cases of chat bots and robo-advisors, future applications will help augment work or processes. Effective use of AI/ML will allow humans to do the higher order and creative thinking, i.e. setting guidelines for ethical use and defining key strategic business rules.

  1. Voice Search

Historically marketers have focused on positioning brands in “words and images on a screen.” But now search is taking the form of talking to a smart speaker. As consumers start to do more, and expect more from digital assistants and smart speakers, marketers will need to respond to this new normal. After all, brands need to continue to meet people where they are and show up in all the touch points along the customer’s journey. The data from voice-based technology is also expected to help in building behavioral and psychographic analytics that could be used to build relevant products to optimize marketing efforts.

  1. Personalization

The data evolution and current capabilities in automation and targeting, alongside the aforementioned emergence of AI/ML and voice search are allowing marketers to create a fully customized and relevant customer journey. It is now more possible to better identify the right messaging, at the right time, to the right customer, at the right touchpoint. Successful marketers need to anticipate customer needs, rather than react, and deliver cross-channel engagements on a continuous basis.

  1. Seamless Customer Experience (CX)

Consumer expectations are at an all-time high due to the convenience, ease and personalization offered by innovative companies in entertainment, retail/e-commerce, ride sharing and more. Against this backdrop, the fintechs have emerged, pushing marketers to up their game. The good news is there are now more capabilities and tools than ever to wow and delight customers throughout their journey. As one executive noted, “no matter how good the message, the product and customer list, the effort will be for nought if the experience is not up to par causing customers to abandon the offers presented to them.”

  1. Marketing Reinvention

Customer-centricity is calling for marketing teams to take on new capabilities in CX, insights and analytics. Marketers now need to go beyond websites to understanding how customers want to interact at all touchpoints, through the relationship lifecycle. In addition, marketing needs to strengthen its communications with the C-suite, to better justify marketing investments that lead to a direct correlation in revenue. Marketing is also being called to drive bigger organizational shifts in adopting new methodologies in the effort to become more agile and competitive. In the new landscape, marketers need to be fluent in data, psychology, technology, finances and innovation!

  1. Content (Compliance)

While financial regulation continues to dictate what can be said and what can be promised, marketers can continue to embrace the opportunity to be more open and direct with content. “I believe the biggest win for financial industry marketers in the coming year will be in providing honest, educational content that meets our consumers where they are and when they need us,” said one marketing VP.

  1. Privacy and Security

In a data-driven world, data privacy and security remain critical, especially in financial services. Brands need to become guides and guardians of their customers’ data. They will also need to become more transparent in how information is used and prepare for a GDPR-type environment in Canada.

  1. B2B to B2P

Marketers need to get personal and shift to a mindset of Business-to-People to account for both the business and personal journeys. If for example, day traders are checking their fantasy football results, there is an opportunity to use the data and insights to connect the right message, in the right moment, to the right audience to capitalize on their digital hyper-connectivity. Social, video and web content are also key trends in B2B advertising.

If you’re interested in reading more, download the e-book.

For more exclusive insights on the strategies, tools and innovations to remain competitive in financial services, don’t miss the biggest gathering of financial marketers this June. Over 300 of the industry’s best and brightest will gather at the 9th annual Digital Marketing for Financial Services Summit, to be held June 19-20 in Toronto. Register now.