How can established financial firms continue to create interest? Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) for these firms face this question every day. Growth has been lackluster in developed markets. Marketing strategies and tactics are changing dramatically in response to evolving consumer needs. New approaches are needed for acquiring and retaining customers, and then cross- or up-selling.

This means financial services CMOs face some challenges. For example:

  • The old model of one-off purchase of a product or service is being challenged by subscription-based offers, such as pay-as-you-go insurance.
  • To tailor offers, and to predict the “next best action” the business can pursue, large amounts of real-time “consented” data—internal, external and inferred—are needed.
  • Traditional channels are giving way to new vehicles, such as always-on messaging support, voice assistance and other cutting edge techniques deployed by Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon (GAFA).
  • Industry boundaries are blurring as cross-industry providers, such as real estate agencies, car manufacturers and travel agents, look to address consumer core needs such as housing, mobility, health and leisure.

Accenture believes Living Financial Services (FS) Marketing offers a solution for financial CMOs, by positioning them as agents for growth. In fact, our survey of 1,500 CMOs and CEOs, which included 270 financial services professionals, found 31 percent of the CEOs we interviewed expect their CMOs to lead the charge in driving growth.

Living FS Marketing may be the key to sustainable growth for Financial Services firms going forward. It ensures brands, products and services are hyper-relevant to each and every customer, and are presented as part of a unique, personalized experience that dynamically changes as customer expectations evolve.

Living FS Marketing involves two key steps:

  • Financial CMOs work to increase contacts by tapping multiple channels and social media, and by participating in extended ecosystems.
  • Next, they aim to convert those contacts into sales by personally engaging them, using state-of-the-art customer relationship management (CRM) software along with Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning and other new technologies.

It’s a full-fledged mindset shift that will include mastering organizational complexity, cultivating deep insights about the customer mindset, deploying the newest technologies, and capturing internal and external data to support sophisticated analytics.

Figure: Financial Services marketing’s shifting mindset


Many of the CEOs and CMOs we surveyed agree customer experience is today’s linchpin. Among financial services respondents, 78 percent see new entrants using customer experience as their key differentiator. Seventy-six percent believe these new market players are thus better at providing more customer-relevant offers.

Living FS Marketing is, we believe, a strong strategy for driving sustainable growth. Financial services CMOs in pursuit of a Living Marketing model are headed in the right direction. To learn more, read our point of view on Redefining Financial Services Marketing.

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