Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Canadian Marketing Blog - Canadian Marketing Association: Marketing for Financial Institutions

From savings to loans, millions of Canadians turn to financial institutions for sound, sage advice. With significant competition in the Canadian marketplace, financial institutions need to stand out and grab the attention of risk-averse consumers’ during an economic recovery. When it comes to marketing, financial institutions stick with terms, subjects and formats that are most familiar to them. While safe can be good in our bank accounts, it won’t set you apart from your competition, nor will it keep you top of mind for your clientele. Marketing has become an integral part of business development and maintenance, but it is also an area that is sometimes forgotten.

Here are some smart and easy tips on marketing solutions to help your financial institutions succeed:

1. Know your brand. Before you can tell someone what you do, you need to know what you do. Consider the personality of your company and stick to it. Be consistent in your message, values, slogans, images and colours. These items should not only be consistent with each other but also with your product. Make sure everyone that represents your company knows the brand and portrays that message.

2. Know your audience. To know your brand is only half the challenge. The other half is to know your audience. Research your audience. Who do they trust? What do they like? Where do they go for information? When do they need your services? Why are you targeting them? How do they communicate?

3. Keep it simple. The financial industry can be overwhelming to your audience. Not everyone understands the difference between stocks and bonds and it can be easy to mix up RRSPs and RESPs, so make sure to keep your marketing clear and simple. It will help your customers feel at ease, which can be extremely important given the subject matter. It can be that simple.

4. Keep with the times. We live in a world of constant change, from interest rates to the latest in mobile technology. This week’s trends will be different than next week’s trends. It’s important to stay tuned to what your audience is watching, using and listening. This will help you predict upcoming trends and use them to communicate effectively.

5. Utilize social media. Social media has become the hottest thing since parity. With so many different sites and applications, it can be overwhelming – and tricky – to understand when and how to use each. Don’t try to join everything. Pick the tool that best suits your brand, audience and product and incorporate it into the rest of your marketing initiatives. Remember, social media is not a one-time thing. If you use it, make sure it is updated regularly with relevant information.

While the role of financial institutions has remained consistent, we must acknowledge that clients’ needs have changed. Companies must learn to stand out through effective marketing communications to demonstrate an understanding of clients’ needs. The time to act is now. By investing in effective marketing today, you’re ensuring a significant return on investment for both your organization and your clients.

Nicky Milner, Vice President, Program Management, Transcontinental...Canadian Marketing Blog - Canadian Marketing Association

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