Financial services marketers frustrated

12 November 2014

LONDON: The City of London may be a leading centre of world finance but it is not particularly creative in its approach to marketing, as a new survey finds many marketers working in financial services frustrated by the lack of support for creative communications strategies.

Digital agency Dog interviewed 200 marketing, advertising, PR and specialist digital creatives within the UK financial services sector and found that only 7% believed their creative skills were being fully valued and utilised. And almost all felt that creative content was not seen as being very important to the bottom line of the business.

Further, more than three quarters said their company's attitudes to new creative content strategies had not changed in the last three years, while one in four did not believe they were working in a creative industry.

A major problem appeared to be the reluctance of boardrooms to fully embrace the potential offered by digital channels and more creative marketing methods.

Almost one third of marketers cited a dearth of support at board level; just 2% of respondents reported an excellent level of engagement from the top echelon when proposing and delivering new creative content strategies. In addition, only 9% said their company had a forward thinking attitude towards the creative process.

A silo mentality clearly did not help, with over half of survey respondents seeing poor integration with other areas of the business as the biggest barrier to their effectiveness as a creative professional. Just 8% considered the marketing and communications functions in their organisations to be well integrated and connected.

Gerry McCusker, managing director of Dog commented on the frustration felt by marketers in the industry and the opportunities that were being missed. "In today's digitally led world, every marketing strategy should be creative, and all marketing activity should support wider business strategies." he said.

"The potential is huge, yet the financial services industry is lagging behind other sectors," he added.

David Cowan, managing director of The Financial Services Forum, welcomed the findings and challenged marketers to prove business impact while at the same time encouraging CEOs to be more open to the creative solutions brought by their marketing teams.

Data sourced from Dog; additional content by Warc staff