Dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing opens many new avenues for finan­cial ser­vices orga­ni­za­tions to suc­ceed, yet many mar­keters are still unclear how to cap­i­tal­ize on those oppor­tu­ni­ties. The land­scape is evolv­ing so rapidly that it can be dif­fi­cult for dig­i­tal mar­keters to estab­lish pri­or­i­ties, act on them, and mea­sure the impacts.

Accord­ing to Adobe’s Dig­i­tal Dis­tress sur­vey, con­ducted among 1,000 mar­keters across a broad range of indus­tries, 76 per­cent said mar­ket­ing has changed more in the last two years than in the last 50. Sixty-six per­cent of respon­dents said their com­pa­nies will not suc­ceed with­out a dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing strat­egy, yet 60 per­cent say their mar­ket­ing is inef­fec­tive. Also, 75 per­cent said they have dif­fi­culty prov­ing mar­ket­ing returns overall.

After eval­u­at­ing the find­ings of the Dig­i­tal Dis­tress sur­vey, we drilled down fur­ther into finan­cial ser­vices to see how these find­ings trans­lated. We polled mar­keters and exec­u­tives in retail bank­ing, insur­ance, and invest­ment firms with more than 2,500 employ­ees to under­stand what com­mon chal­lenges they share with other mar­keters, as well as pain points that stand out within the indus­try. (Of those sur­veyed, 88 per­cent of employ­ees sur­veyed worked in com­pa­nies with 5,000 or more employ­ees, and 23 per­cent were mar­keters at orga­ni­za­tions with more than 50,000 employees.)

Specif­i­cally, finan­cial ser­vices com­pa­nies are unique in terms of prod­uct offer­ings and orga­ni­za­tional struc­tures. How­ever, the most impor­tant and telling dif­fer­ence was the finan­cial industry’s need to meet strin­gent com­pli­ance require­ments and regulations.

First, finan­cial orga­ni­za­tions were asked about top pri­or­i­ties, ranked among four choices. Seventy-one per­cent said that pro­vid­ing high-quality cus­tomer expe­ri­ences was their utmost con­cern, fol­lowed by grow­ing the client base (57 per­cent), deep­en­ing exist­ing cus­tomer rela­tion­ships (55 per­cent), and reduc­ing ser­vice costs (18 percent).

Sur­vey respon­dents were also asked where their main focus was in dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing over the next 12 to 18 months. For 88 per­cent, increas­ing cus­tomer reten­tion was the main goal, fol­lowed closely by increas­ing new account vol­ume (87 percent).

Addi­tion­ally, we wanted to know about what they felt was hold­ing them back. Com­pli­ance ranked top of the list at 84 per­cent, with data secu­rity and pri­vacy issues (82 per­cent) a close sec­ond. Dif­fi­culty per­son­al­iz­ing cus­tomer expe­ri­ences (80 per­cent) and frag­mented data (78 per­cent) were other issues mar­keters felt strongly affects an organization’s abil­ity to per­son­al­ize cus­tomer experiences.

Over­com­ing these chal­lenges requires soft­ware solu­tions that can help finan­cial ser­vices mar­keters deliver on their dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing objec­tives. Those sur­veyed most com­monly turned to Web and mobile ana­lyt­ics soft­ware to auto­mate data col­lec­tion, deliver real-time per­for­mance met­rics, and pro­vide data-driven insights. Oth­ers are also using Web con­tent man­age­ment, seg­men­ta­tion and tar­get­ing, and social media software.

The ulti­mate real­iza­tion is that suc­cess­fully improv­ing cus­tomer expe­ri­ences across mul­ti­ple chan­nels requires an inte­grated mar­ket­ing solu­tion to over­come com­plex busi­ness chal­lenges, not just indi­vid­ual tech­nol­ogy hur­dles. As dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing evolves and cus­tomer engage­ment diver­si­fies, finan­cial ser­vices firms need ways to deliver con­sis­tent expe­ri­ences across all chan­nels by using uni­fied solu­tions that offer robust insights, as well as uncom­pro­mis­ing ease of imple­men­ta­tion, inte­gra­tion, and use.

I invite you to read our full finan­cial ser­vices sur­vey here and our cus­tomer suc­cess sto­ries at Adobe​.com, where you can learn how other finan­cial ser­vices com­pa­nies are address­ing these chal­lenges using Adobe Mar­ket­ing Cloud solutions.