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How Finance Brands Can Navigate the Coronavirus Landscape

Angie Tran

Content Marketing Manager @ AdRoll

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The coronavirus outbreak has thrown industries across the globe in disarray, and the financial industry is no exception. This includes finance brands in fintech, banking, and insurance. In the case of fintech, consumers are leaning toward safer investments, which could negatively impact VC funding. With banking, social distancing has forced many branches to either close or limit access, and the insurance sector is being challenged to update their crisis management plans accordingly.

There are many moving parts to consider when it comes to these three sectors. However, during challenging times, there are certain marketing strategies that are proving effective across the board. Let’s explore how finance brands can pivot their strategies by focusing on brand marketing and customer retention efforts

Place Emphasis on Brand Marketing

Compared to other industries, finance brands usually aren't considered very compelling. But guess what? While the concept of finance might not be compelling, achieving and maintaining financial health is. So, how do you convince people to act during such challenging times? By anticipating customers’ current needs and placing emphasis on brand marketing efforts in the following ways: 

Switch up your messaging

Rather than pushing for immediate conversions, switch up your messaging and talk about how your brand can help. According to Carrie Parker, VP of Marketing at Valassis, this is a time when brands have a lot of  “opportunity to deliver real-time assurance, a feeling of connection.” When changing up your messaging and copy, think about the three elements of value for consumers during a global crisis. Does your brand offer services or products that can help lessen anxiety, reduce risks, and provide some sense of safety and belonging? 

Note that your brand’s voice doesn’t have to be serious all the time. For most people, the topic of finance is a jargon-filled nightmare. When delivering information about credit cards, etc., or any other dense topic, it’s important to stay light and relatable. 

Increase brand awareness efforts

It’s a given that during a global crisis, people are more careful about their money. Other companies are aware of this and are reducing their paid media spend. While this doesn’t seem like the most inspiring news, consider this: Our team has seen cost per thousand impressions (CPM) decrease by 15%, and more people than ever are looking to get their finances in order. All of this begs the question: Why wouldn't you use brand awareness campaigns to stay top-of-mind with customers?

After all, there are now more spaces to place ads, and it’s less expensive to stand out. Brand awareness efforts also help you increase customer lifetime value (CLV) and decrease customer acquisition costs (CAC)

Offer helpful (and standout) content

We mention “standout” content because let’s be honest — your favorite blogs and social media posts probably aren’t from insurance companies. Developing content for finance brands can be challenging — the actual content of financial marketing is usually similar from institution to institution, and you’re not showing off “fun” products and services.

However, with some pivoting and creativity, finance content can be useful and entertaining. Think about industry information that your customers would need most right now. For example, Nerdwallet recently teamed up with their internal experts to publish a blog post called “Experts’ Tips on Handling Finances During Coronavirus.” They also sent an expert to speak to NPR in a segment called, “Personal Finance Advice For The Coronavirus Crisis.” Put yourself in your customers’ shoes when creating content, and think outside the box when distributing. 

For more on brand marketing: 

Zone In On Customer Retention Efforts 

To succeed during these turbulent times, financial brands have to invest in customer retention, which means providing more than just financial services. As fintech brands like Venmo and Stripe become more people-centric and expand their services and offerings, all financial services companies need to keep up by improving communications strategies with customers.

To go above and beyond: 

  • Personalize your marketing. Use advances in technology, data, and analytics to create a more “human” experience for your customers. 
  • Practice empathy. Build trust by adapting to the changing needs of the customer. For example, many banks are offering relief measures like waived fees and deferment options.
  • Adopt a more specific and personal communication with customers. A recent study conducted by Victanis showed that more than two in five financial services customers say they rarely or never receive relevant marketing communications from financial services companies they’ve used. Consider this is an excellent opportunity to incorporate email marketing into your strategies.

For more on customer retention:

For additional reading around how your business can prepare for a new normal, download your copy of Tips for Acquiring and Retaining Customers Through Economic Change.

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