Jim Misener, President of 50,000ft explains how financial services brands have had to transform in recent years, and why leveraging creativity is the route to stronger finance brands that serve their audiences better.
The past decade has been transformative for brand marketers in financial service organizations. Technological innovation, along with the global pandemic, helped accelerate the digitization of traditional platforms, channels and media; the innovation of newer modes of currency, payment and transaction; and the democratization of products and services that previously had only been available to institutional and accredited investors.
From established global asset managers to high-growth FinTech startups, digital innovation has translated into a newer generation of products, services, channels and experiences. With more options and access has come greater opportunity for shareholders and stakeholders alike.
To support the digital transformation of their businesses, the most successful marketers have helped to lead brand transformations that keep pace with the dynamics of their businesses and the expectations, habits and behaviors of their customers and consumers.
For brands, transformation has meant many things:
- Building and strengthening trust among customers and consumers during the rollout of emerging technology, products, services, channels and experiences
- Providing education on why and how to choose from unprecedented financial options and how to navigate the number of channels through which to explore, shop, transact and engage in service
- Supplying insight and analytics that measure and then manage the interest, openness and adoption of newer products, services and approaches
- Supporting and addressing the challenges that have accompanied the transition from physical to digital sales and service models and humanizing these high-tech, high-touch customer experiences
- Assuring audiences of newly introduced products’ safety and security as well as larger, categorical changes including cashless economies and cryptocurrencies
The brands who continue to succeed and lead recognize that digital transformation drives brand transformation and that brand transformation drives business transformation.
For brand marketers, this time has brought great opportunities for creativity as well. Creativity begins by discovering the graceful solution that lives among limitations while remaining relevant with its audiences. Depending on the objectives and context, creativity forges and strengthens connections with its intended audience through emotional bond and rational appeal. It may stop you in your tracks, or it may be so subtle that it goes unnoticed until you realize a brand experience has surrounded and supported you for years. For a brand to succeed, audiences need to understand, believe and feel its message and become inspired to act through stories told on both an epic scale and during individual moments.
Because financial services are foundational to our economic development at every level, many of the most visible and respected brands educate their audiences and demonstrate unique insights to impact shareholders and stakeholders in positive, powerful ways. These brands are taking on topics concerning their purpose and the contributions they make beyond delivering return on investment.
They are helping address greater diversity, equity and inclusion within their organizations and the industry as a whole. And they are highlighting the critical role that environmental sustainability has in the health of our economy, our financial wellbeing and our lives. During the first years of the pandemic, financial services brands have helped lead important conversations that have been brought to the forefront in light of the global pandemic, becoming bellwethers for brands in other industries that are making positive changes within their respective markets and communities.
An excellent approach to driving creativity for financial services companies is to commit to an interdisciplinary approach, grounded on audience insight and contextual needs within an omni-channel world. Delivering a well-informed, multifaceted perspective that directly addresses the needs and appeals to the aspirations and preferences of customers in unexpected ways is foundational to solving complex marketing challenges for some of the largest financial service brands.
One example of this interdisciplinary approach is our team’s work with Enfusion. Enfusion is the only cloud-native investment management SaaS platform that unifies front-, middle- and back-office firm operations through a single golden dataset to allow everyone in the investment process to act on the same information in real-time, anywhere in the world. After years of proving their powerful new technology paradigm in the hedge fund space, Enfusion tasked 50,000feet with helping them prepare for a period of aggressive expansion into the institutional investor segment and for their approaching IPO.
To help the company move from the ranks of tech start up to a proven global platform, our team worked to translate the power of Enfusion’s differentiated technology into a compelling brand experience. To begin the process, we conducted market research to clarify and highlight Enfusion’s profound competitive advantages. This resulted in a strategic brand platform and multi-audience messaging framework that aligned Enfusion’s core benefits, helping the company appeal to their various enterprise audiences more effectively.
Creativity gives us the power to build community, bridge gaps, break barriers, inspire action and evoke emotions. And with it, financial brands are stronger and serve their audiences better.