The Future of Financial Services: Balancing Digital Demand and Disparate Teams

The global pandemic created by the novel coronavirus has ushered in a new reality for financial services organizations. After spending time tracking how major players in the financial services industry are dealing with the crisis, we’ve identified three main themes in the way those teams work:

  • Work is Digital: Financial services teams have taken a digital-first approach by investing in solutions that enable automation and online reviews and approvals. These teams have been digitizing even more of their operations so that their consumers can continue to have consistent—and most importantly, contactless—omnichannel experiences.
  • Work is Disparate: In financial services organizations, teams are often scattered, each responsible for meeting different goals and KPIs. From local branches, agents, and advisors to legal and digital teams, it’s often difficult to align business priorities and know who’s working on what at any given time. This often results in recreating existing content, delayed campaigns, and ultimately creating disconnected brand experiences. These teams require visibility, transparency, and accountability more than ever.
  • Work is Demanding: Financial services organizations are not only faced with surviving during the current global pandemic, but they also must keep up with rapidly changing regulatory and compliance requirements. From slow turnarounds on reviews and approvals to hefty regulatory fines, these organizations have to be well equipped to keep up with the demand.

Work is Digital

Note the emphasis on “work” instead of “marketing.” CMOs have already doubled down on digital channels as consumer preferences have shifted toward digital engagement. Financial services organizations that have already made these investments are sailing through the most disruptive part of this current market turn. Why? Because they weren’t reliant on in-person meetings to decide the next step; they had the vision to design processes and digitize them for sustainability.

On the other hand, the majority of teams that haven’t made the switch to digital, are continuing to experience challenges. According to a 2019 survey done by the Content Marketing Institute, 65% of respondents said that their biggest expected strategic content management challenge will be communication between various teams.

Workers are Disparate

By now, virtually everyone who can is working from home, so the best way for disparate teams to communicate is with collaboration tools. That reality also means that the personal lives of workers are now 100% intertwined with work such that you’re not planning for a workflow, but a lifeflow. That said, there are three unanswered needs that will help make a financial services organization frictionless:

  1. Collaboration across teams (e.g. mortgage, retail banking, and wealth management)
  2. Deeper operational insights to optimize return-on-effort (ROE)
  3. Automation to get work done as quickly as possible while remaining on-brand and compliant

If you’re trying to figure out how to solve for communication issues when your workforce is increasingly disparate, here’s a key question for you: Amid ongoing business disruptions, what would it mean to your business if you could get to market faster than your competition without burning out your teams?

The answer to that is the future of modern work: work management solutions. Work management solutions can support your team whether you’re all sitting next to each other or if everyone is working from home. And since most teams are now forced to work apart from each other, it’s increasingly a challenge to keep everyone aligned. Technology designed to solve for the future of marketing work will help you actively take measures that slow ‘organizational drift.’

Work is (Still) Demanding

Even though many teams are 100% remote, marketing still has to deliver outputs on time with multiple teams providing input (often from outside of marketing), all needing to be aligned with a complex mix of channels—an average of 23 different channels. It’s all a lot.

Lucky for marketers everywhere, the new way of working is trending toward Agile marketing. In the 2020 State of Agile Marketing, Aprimo teamed up with AgileSherpas and learned that Agile teams are far more satisfied with their teams and their results than are traditional marketers and ad hoc marketers—those who operate without a long-term plan. Teams who go Agile reportedly “feel more capable of handling fast-paced work than their peers,” but to reach the heights that Agile marketing can deliver, teams need to be sure that they’re leaving space for a core technology that will bring their Agile vision to life. And if you’re still a little unclear on what it means to go Agile, learn more in this recent post.

In an early Gartner survey of marketers during the COVID-19 outbreak, only 12% of respondents suggested that work was severely restricted or not even possible. That leaves a whopping 88% of respondents living with the challenge of driving their company forward with increasing, the same, or only slightly reduced impact on operations. Remember, too, in times of crisis, simply doing the same thing you did before can’t result in the same successes you’ve come to expect. If you don’t have the right infrastructure, you can’t contribute to your company’s growth as much as you otherwise could, which is a much different, but more valuable barometer of success.

The future of work has arrived a lot faster than any of us predicted, but there are many financial services companies out there who have charted the path forward.

About the Author

Betty is a Product Marketing Analyst at Aprimo focusing on overseeing and developing competitive intelligence, managing analyst relationships and assisting with product updates and releases. Betty joined Aprimo from Allied Solutions where in her role as a Product Manager, she worked closely with Allied’s vendors and sales field to create and distribute educational pieces and marketing materials to help bolster its brand, market presence and scope. Her areas of focus included loan origination services, consumer lending programs, business intelligence solutions, and mobile lending solutions.

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