Marketers' Breakfast: Finance

Customer psychology and winning the last mile
Thursday 10th May
The Anthologist, 58 Gresham Street, London

Amigo helps marketers act on the cutting-edge ideas in their field. Many of these ideas are derived from behavioural economics and customer psychology. In our latest breakfast, we addressed how this is playing out in the world of finance.

Here are some highlights from our conversation.

Social proof in finance

Duncan Wilson, Paysafe’s Director of Marketing Strategy, Planning and Analytics, kicked off our discussion by observing the importance of social proof. Financial services rest above all on trust. Individual customers assess whether they ought to trust something largely on their perception of whether others do. This isn’t irrational. Most people know that in finance, there’s strength in numbers.

Kieran Doyle explained how Cleo AI, where he is Head of Growth, treat social proof as imperative. Cleo advertise their Trustpilot rating like other brands but augment this in their communications with frequent references to markers of trust like their thousands of users.

Lloyds Bank hint towards social proofing when they advertise that they’ve been “by your side for 250 years”. Digital upstarts use social proof regularly like Transferwise who have a map that pinpoints when real-time money transfers take place, demonstrating scale and popularity. Eva Krydowska, a Senior Manager at Lloyds, explained how her work in performance optimisation had been informed by examples from elsewhere in the industry but noted that established brands are sometimes more reluctant to use real-time data than their challengers.

Kimberley Forbes, a Marketing Manager at Royal Bank of Canada Wealth Management, mentioned that they had used real clients in their marketing campaigns to great success. However as an established and trusted brand, there can be more to lose by jeopardising existing relationships than there might be to gain by using those relationships to build new ones.

Reacting to mood in finance

Western Union’s Global Marketing Strategy and Brand Senior Manager, Natasha Chatur inspired another phase of our conversation with a pertinent question. “Should brands be looking for ‘Aha!’ moments or should we be looking for opportunities to make customers happier with the brand?”

Eva from Lloyds mentioned that she had found a happy middle ground with “random acts of kindness.” At Mercedes, she had found a way to surprise and delight customers by updating them about the engineers tweaking and optimising their car.

Meher Mumtaz, a Global Brand Strategy Director at Western Union, gave another view of the importance of mood and moments. If brands have well-defined key principles, they can surface these through the customer journey to influence customer mood at key moments.

Setting a price in finance

For Nicola Elliot, a Digital Personalisation Manager at Aviva, price needs to be thought about by marketers through the lens of customer psychology. Customers attracted on price alone are not loyal customers. Nicola explained how she had far more success interrogating customer behaviour data for trends, such as the high likelihood of home insurance customers also buying life insurance, than trying to grow based on price points alone.

Amigo lets marketers act quickly and easily on observations just like Nicola’s. If you have a good idea, you deserve to profit from it. Too often smart marketers are locked out of the conversation by insufficient or convoluted technology.

Kim mentioned that in her work at RBC, she sees price incentives as giving customers “little wins,” which can be profitable when done in a careful and balanced way. Similarly, Western Union, as Meher and Natasha explained, see pricing as important “only at certain parts of the journey.” While it might be useful to hit short-term KPIs, changing users mentalities around digital services offers a better chance at long-term growth.

Digital experimentation in finance

Marketers from Aviva and Western Union both noted that while there is a good amount of experimentation going on in large enterprises, they are only beginning to improve their ability to share knowledge across smaller teams. Other obstacles that marketers might face include churn at the top, which makes it hard to get commitment to long-term projects.

In Nicola’s view, educating marketers about the right ways to go about experimentation is crucial. After all, changing a customer’s mindset is hard. As Kieran put it, “finance is so personal that trust is a big thing and brands must tread carefully when making changes.”

Around the table there was consensus that the importance of experimentation in finance is linked to the fact that customers “don’t do what they say, or say what they think, or think what they feel,” as David Ogilvy’s adage goes. On the one hand, big banks are less personal and this can foster negative sentiment. On the other, when Strive asked customers who they wanted providing their financial services, they found that they wanted start-ups and big brands to work together.

You’ll find more content like this elsewhere on our blog. If you’re interested in attending an Amigo breakfast, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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