As 2018 draws to a close it’s the perfect time to look ahead and plan for the challenges and opportunities 2019 will bring.

With this in mind, we’ve lined up the top 6 digital marketing trends expected to shape financial services marketing in the year to come. These trends aren’t necessarily new, some have been around for a while, but they are all expected to have a significant impact on the industry in 2019 and beyond.

1. Chatbots and Artificial Intelligence

Many asset managers are already using chatbots on their websites to deal with common questions and document requests (like requests for fund factsheets, for example). The use of chatbots in the financial services industry is, however, expected to increase exponentially in 2019.

Soon, chatbots will assist customers in carrying out transactions and they can even offer basic investment advice based on a potential customer’s answers to specific questions.

A chatbot can be a powerful marketing tool as it allows potential customers to get access to the answers they seek at any time of the day or night. So, if you have not yet incorporated a chatbot into your website, you have to move quickly to avoid falling behind your competitors. 

2. Voice Search

We recently published a blog on why asset managers should start thinking about voice search, which highlights that, by 2020, 50% of all search is expected to be done by voice. With this in mind, 2019 is the time to start incorporating voice search in your marketing strategy if you haven’t done so already.

Some asset managers have already started targeting marketing efforts in line with this trend. JP Morgan for example, has a ‘Skill’ on Alexa Skills that can be enabled, and then accessed with “Alexa, ask JP Morgan”. This enables users to ask JP Morgan specific questions.

The impact this can have on brand awareness and support is huge. But you don’t necessarily have to jump straight into your own profile on Alexa. As a start, we’d recommend you prepare your website for voice search in 2019 by identifying common questions that investors use to find you online and converting these into into natural language keywords and phrases and then use modern SEO techniques to embed these into your page content.

3. Personalisation

Personalisation has been a digital marketing trend for a few years now, but still there is more financial marketers can, and will, do to make their marketing more targeted to specific investors. As such, we see personalisation as one of the main financial services marketing trends for 2019.

In our latest Asset Management Digital Marketing Survey, personalisation emerged as a key priority for financial marketing in 2019. A growing number (44%) of asset managers are already using third-party software to tailor specific content to certain audiences, and this number is only expected to increase.

As this infographic by The Financial Brand demonstrates, investors are no longer satisfied with generalised communication, so focus on providing good quality, personalised marketing to help your brand stand out.

4. Data-driven Marketing

As a financial services firm you have vast amounts of investment data that would likely be very interesting to your customers and potential customers, but if it’s all stuck in silos across your various departments it’s not of much use to you (or anyone else).

In 2019, we expect to see an increase in data-driven marketing in the financial services sectors. Companies will work to eradicate data silos and bring investment and product data to the forefront where it can be used across marketing campaigns and content.

Your company already has a lot of the information you need to develop truly great marketing – so work to gain access to it and use industry and product data that demonstrates your firm’s expertise to drive your marketing efforts.

5. Mobile-first Marketing

More and more investors are performing searches and accessing their account information on their mobile phones. This means that your website and platforms need to be completely mobile-friendly.

But it goes further than that – in 2019 you should focus on providing content specifically targeted at mobile users – with designs that look good on a small screen and information that can easily be digested on the go.

If your company has an app (and in 2019 it really ought to have one to make it easier for investors to transact) you should also take a look at your in-app marketing. In-app marketing provides a fantastic opportunity to give your investors personalised content to enhance their experience and to potentially upsell them through personalised offers based on their behaviour.

6. Video

Video is a powerful digital marketing tool, as most customers would rather watch a video explaining something than read a lengthy article. In fact, according to HubSpot, video on your landing pages can increase conversion rates by up to 80%, while simply mentioning the word ‘video’ in an email subject line can increase open rates by 19%.

What’s more, video also allows you to say more, in less time, thus fitting seamlessly into your investors’ busy, always-on, mobile worlds.

If you’re not already using video in your marketing, we’d urge you to do so in 2019, the possibilities are endless, you can make demo videos to show how your product works, brand videos showcasing what your company is all about and how-to videos to educate investors on how to use your products – to name but a few!

7. Omnichannel Marketing

In 2019, your marketing material should allow investors to move seamlessly from one platform to the next. This means that, if an investor logs a query via email, for example, this query should show up on their app, when they log in – perhaps alongside helpful FAQ articles that could help them solve their problem.

Or if they watch a video or read an article on their desktop computer while logged in to your platform, your email marketing should be responsive in recommending them new content – as opposed to articles they have already read or videos they already watched.

In short, omnichannel marketing is about providing a seamless, consistent experience for your customers through integrated systems and advanced data analytics.

Ready, Set, Go!

As 2019 is around the corner, now is the time to plan which digital marketing trends you will make a priority next year. You don’t have to focus on them all at once, but definitely make sure you include a few in your marketing strategy.

Have we left out any prominent digital marketing trends for financial services? Let us know.

Kurtosys wishes you a prosperous and productive 2019.