Despite our apparent painfully-earned new found savvy regarding personal finances, money management and getting the right deal, we are still swayed by TV advertising and a high street presence when choosing a financial services brand.
That’s one of the findings from the Latest Financial Services tracker from fast.MAP, commissioned by the Direct Marketing Association.
Looking at the financial customer’s relationship with the web first, the study put comparison websites, such as Comparethemarket.com, Moneysupermarket.com and Gocompare equal with recommendations from friends and family, with 40 % of respondents saying they use both sources of information.
In comparison, 32% of people use a financial brand’s own website.
Drilling down on what factors can influence trust and consideration of a financial brand, 76% of respondents said that “a clear, easy-to-use website is important”. That chimes with the truism that trust has to be earned and an obfuscating and complicated process when your hard-earned cash is at stake is never going to win people over.
But brands in this sector should not focus their attention on the web to the exclusion of other channels. Visibility on the high street is still an influential channel for prompting consideration of brand, with 47% agreeing this is important and 18% disagreeing.
Add to this the influence that high profile TV ads still have on reputation, demonstrated by the fact respondents chose the three brands with the biggest ad presence when asked which insurance brands they would choose if all the offers were the same, and it’s obvious a multichannel approach is the best way to bolster interest and trust.
My own experience bears out a multichannel communications strategy. For reviewing and moving my ISA products, I took note of newspaper ads and financial advice pages, checked product details online on brand websites and ultimately talked to branch advisors at three different financial brands. When talking to the in-branch people, it was useful to be armed with facts and figures to steer the conversation and speed up the process.
It’s great to see the idea of the “already-briefed” consumer is having an effect on marketing strategy in the financial sector. Pete Markey, chief marketing officer at RSA, says that the scripts and approach for More Than phone operators have been overhauled “so we are tuned into this changing consumer who is already full of data and information that they have gathered online, and wants to have a more simple, straightforward call..”.
Keeping it simple is a great mantra but doesn’t also translate to treating the customer as stupid, a good insight to take away from this piece of research. Read the original article here