When industry experts were writing future trends articles in late 2019 (ourselves included), no one could have predicted that a pandemic would throw a wrench into all of our plans.
Despite everything our world has been through, I believe we can learn from this collective experience. For one thing, 2020 has taught us the importance of staying agile. We can use all of the industry data and expertise available to predict what’s coming next, but we can’t foresee something like a pandemic. This is why being able to quickly pivot strategies to match circumstances is so crucial for fintech companies.
In fact, Deloitte predicts that agility will be one of the top trends for marketers in the future, saying that it, “…encourages organizations to embrace immediate and novel ways of thinking while helping them restructure in a way that allows their brand to join conversations and moments organically.”
Future success for fintechs will hinge on the ability to react quickly to emerging trends and events. In 2020, nearly 80 percent of marketing channel budgets across paid, owned, and earned channels were entirely digital.
This, coupled with the increased need for fintech brands to be agile, has led us to identify the top three marketing priorities in 2021. Today, I’ll be introducing these priorities for fintech and financial brands, and then we’ll explore in greater detail over the next several blog posts.
3 Fintech Marketing Priorities for 2021: An Introduction
1. AI and Machine Learning for Paid Media and Acquisition
Artificial Intelligence (AI) refers to a machine’s ability to imitate human behavior. According to the SalesForce 2020 State of Marketing report, 84 percent of today’s marketers report using AI. In 2018, it was a mere 29 percent.
AI enables marketers to be agile by processing all of the data we have at our disposal quickly and at scale. It also provides fast, 24/7 service to help build more personal relationships with customers. When AI is present, 49 percent of consumers are willing to shop more frequently, and 34 percent will spend more money.
Fintech marketers have started using AI in the form of chat bots, underwriting, and robo-advisors. And in 2021, we expect to see more financial marketers adopting AI and machine learning to create more agile paid advertising and customer acquisition campaigns. AI can help marketers quickly optimize their bids, test and perfect ad copy, choose top-performing ad channels, and make better, faster data-driven decisions.
2. Multi-Touch Campaigns
As we continue to stay safe at home in 2020, we’re spending more time on our devices and exploring more new platforms than ever before. Which is why a multi-touch marketing strategy will be crucial for businesses in 2021. Today’s consumer journey is digital-heavy. You need to be present in all the places your customers are online to get noticed (i.e. increase impressions).
Today, about 52% of marketers use three to four marketing channels compared to just 44% in 2015, and 50% of multi-channel marketers say they “usually” or “always” hit their financial targets. When analyzing this, we should think about all of the places our customers see our content. Think beyond the main social platforms and consider whether video, mobile messaging, online forums, SEM, and other digital marketing channels may be right for you in 2021. And remember that customer preferences are constantly changing due to new platforms and technologies. In order to stay agile when it comes to multi-touch campaigns, continuously evaluate where your target market spends time online and adjust your campaigns based on those findings.
3. Diversify Customer Acquisition Channels
Google and Facebook own the lion’s share of attention online and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Their advertising platforms deliver some of the most efficient conversions (when coupled with a strong multi-touch marketing strategy). However, government oversight and shifts in user sentiment have led to more account shutdowns and ad disapprovals on both platforms.
This puts advertisers in a difficult spot since an AI error from Facebook could cause their ads to go dark for seven or more days, which is an eternity in today’s age of rapid digital consumption.
This recent shift requires brands to be agile and create a diverse mix of customer acquisition channels to reach more customers online. Doing this helps mitigate the risk of random ad shutdowns, and it also improves campaign efficacy and efficiency across all digital channels.
Fintechs that prioritize a well-rounded mix of acquisition channels will see more traction and scale, despite the uncertainty of running ads on Facebook and Google. Consider advertising on audio channels (like Spotify and Pandora) or direct buys at industry publications to yield better results in 2021 and beyond.
What’s Next for Your Brand?
Over the next few months, I’ll be exploring each of these priorities and sharing how fintech and financial services companies can incorporate them into their marketing strategies. In the meantime, here are some things I think you’ll find valuable:
- If you’d like to see how actual fintech companies used this economic crisis to innovate and better serve their customers, read this article.
- If COVID’s economic impact has you questioning how (or if) your brand should continue marketing, check out this Marketing Through Economic Uncertainty guide.
- If you’d like to learn more about how your brand can get ahead of these trends and stay agile through 2021, schedule a free, no-0bligation consultation with me today.
Wherever you are on your journey, please know that I–and the entire CSTMR team–is here to help you keep moving forward. Even in these uncertain times.