2019 is shaping up to be a year of further transition for in the Financial Services industry, as companies work to re-focus their efforts and modernize the way they go to market.
For example, we’re likely to see more “cafes” and fewer “branches” in retail banking, and more work on getting enterprise-wide marketing organizations functioning in order to standardize messaging and reduce risk. KPMG, Deloitte, and Forbes have all weighed in on their perspectives of industry trends for the year, and The Financial Brand takes an interesting look at 2019 from an innovation perspective. We wanted to distill these perspectives down to what we think will matter most for marketers and content managers within FinServ.
Here are 5 trends we are watching for:
1. Changes to the regulatory landscape
While the past two years have brought some relaxation and removal of some regulatory requirements in the U.S., we’re seeing more changes on the horizon with the recently enacted to the Dodd-Frank Act and potential changes to the Volcker Rule which may simplify compliance reporting. FINRA President Robert Cook outlined his agency’s priorities for 2019 in his January letter, mentioning a focus on securities distributed through online platforms, protections for senior investors, and an interesting tidbit on the subject of digital assets:
“Coordinating closely with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, FINRA will consider how firms determine whether a particular digital asset is a security and whether firms have implemented adequate controls and supervision over compliance with rules related to the marketing, sale, execution, control, clearance, recordkeeping and valuation of digital assets, as well as AML/Bank Secrecy Act rules and regulations.”
That’s a statement worth taking a closer internal look at, and we’ll do that in an upcoming blog post.
2. Convergence of marketing
“Efficiency and Effectiveness” has been a mantra for a few years now in FinServ, and we are finally seeing companies start to walk the walk when it comes to centralizing their marketing and communications teams. Some are earlier in the process than others, and there seem to be some internal challenges to overcome: traditional “line-of-business” thinking can lead to territorialism and some culture challenges when trying to standardize.
We’re seeing more and more FinServ companies looking toward starting fresh and using the organizational convergence as a catalyst to re-think how marketing operates as a function within the enterprise. This will result in faster time to market, lower costs, and much higher efficiency and throughput.
3. Reshaping of retail FinServ
When the first Apple retail store opened in 2001, the minimalist look and sparse merchandising was controversial. However, 18 years later, we’re seeing lots of industries try to shape their customer-facing experiences around Apple’s model. We expect 2019 to see more transformation of the consumer experience in FinServ, as more companies look to reshape or even repurpose their retail banking and financial advisory storefronts into experience-based, consultative soft-selling centers which put the customer in the forefront.
The pressure is on to produce all the new content necessary to support these changes, get it produced and through compliance, then pushed into the marketplace in a managed and secure way. We expect the amount of content needed to service customers in this way will increase dramatically. Is your company ready?
4. The digital experience
Turning the banking retail experience into a customer-oriented experience that’s less focused on product and transaction will put additional pressure on digital experience to fill the transaction gap. FinTech companies focused around sleek user interfaces and low overhead for customers will continue to pull the market forward into this space, and compel more innovation. The 2019 challenge is to understand where FinServ organizations stand with respect to digitizing their customer experience and being honest about where improvement is needed.
Companies we work with are announcing or already working on “digital experience” and “digital transformation” initiatives, and we expect the trend to continue. If your organization is not already thinking about how to integrate the consumer experience with your ability to create, manage, and distribute content to those consumers, it’s time!
5. Privacy is more than GDPR
While last year we worried about ensuring systems and policies were in place to handle GDPR requirements for protection and removal of customer data, this year attention must be paid to data privacy across the entire consumer experience. 2019 is the year of the holistic view of the customer:
- How is customer data collected through platforms and system?
- Do those platforms communicate with each other?
- How can you be sure that lead data stored by a captive agent is being protected properly?
- Do you have controls on how customer lead data is managed and protected?
GDPR requires more of us than simply allowing folks to control the information that appears online about them. Our key takeaway is to consider whether your organization’s overall content strategy is in line with your customers’ expectations around content availability and delivery.
These are just a few of the things we’re watching in FinServ this year, and we haven’t even touched Apple’s recent dramatic entrance into FinTech with the announcement of its new credit card! We’ll cover the impact of the tech giant entering the financial services marketplace, along with how recent enforcement actions are impacting how companies engage customers in future blogs.