We continue to bring you a series of conversations between respected bloggers from a range of fields and experts from Adobe. These unique encounters offer insight into how end consumers feel about digital marketing, including how and when targeting is effective, what makes for an appealing campaign, and how marketing affects whether these all-important influencers spread the word about specific products and platforms.
Our featured blogger for this quarter is Sarah Pennells (SP). Sarah set up SavvyWoman.co.uk in 2009, after becoming frustrated that none of the financial information online seemed to be written with women like her in mind. SavvyWoman aims to help women become a little richer by helping them invest, save for their retirement and deal with bumps in the road, such as divorce and debt. As well as online content, SavvyWoman runs seminars and events aimed at demystifying money and investing. The site has been shortlisted as number five in The Times’ “Top 50 websites to save you money.”
Sarah is also an award-winning broadcaster and journalist who regularly appears on the BBC as a financial expert. She’s written for a number of magazines and newspapers, including Stylist, Yours and Good Housekeeping.
She spoke to David Burnand (DB), Director of Enterprise Marketing EMEA for Adobe. He is responsible for the development and implementation of Adobe’s marketing strategy in Northern and Central Europe, as well as leading our Experience Cloud campaigns across Europe, Middle East and Africa. His work has won several awards including Best International Campaign at the B2B Marketing Awards, as well as multiple honours at the BMA’s B2 Awards in the United States.
SP I’m Sarah Pennells, I’m a journalist and I’m also the Founder of SavvyWoman.co.uk, which is a leading money website for women. I’m here at Adobe’s London offices taking part in a series of interviews where I talk to a number of leading names in the world of digital marketing. Today I’m joined by David Burnand and we’re talking about customer experience.
DBI think banks, and insurers actually, sit on a wealth of opportunity to create really, really good customer experiences, because they sit on this kind of golden field full of data that they can potentially utilise on the one hand, but on the other hand, in contrast to a lot of other brands, the data that they do have is much more heavily regulated.
So, I think that’s an inhibitor to creating really good customer experiences. I think that if you think about the legacy systems that a lot of banks have had as well, oftentimes it can be quite tricky for them to get those systems to play ball and interact with each other and also with a front-end interface that provides a better digital experience.
And then the final aspect of course, which is linked to that legacy system issue, is then the ability to link offline and online channels as well, that can also be a challenge for them. But I think actually, on the whole, and I think we’re seeing it now with a lot of the brands that we work with, you’re really starting to see the transformation accelerate.
And I think a lot of banks and insurers are now getting their head around what they need to do in order to create really compelling customer experiences that actually generate real value to a customer, rather than perhaps just to the bank or just to the direct marketer, as it would have been a few years ago.
So on the whole I would say things have improved drastically, but there are definitely still hurdles there.
SP I think it probably doesn’t always feel to the consumers like it’s improved so much in terms of what they see. There are some examples where consumers really like their banks and they really like their insurers and they tell me about that.
But I certainly see on the other side as well, where they’re, kind of, like, they’re asking me for this information and I only ever hear from them when it’s bad news—they don’t tell me when the rate’s going down, something that could mean that it costs me, I only hear from them when they want more money.
DB I think there are still definitely gaps, there’s no doubt about it. But I think on the whole, since the financial crash, I really feel there’s been a reset in the mindset of the banks and how they have to orientate themselves more towards consumers and think in a much more customer first way.
And actually if you look at some of the brands’ trackers, actually some of the most positive shifts amongst the brands that are generally tracked out of all the consumer brands, actually banks and insurers have seen some of the biggest improvements over the past few years.
SP That’s interesting because to me it doesn’t always feel like there has been such a big shift. I’ll have conversations with them or they’ll tell you that they are changing, and they get it, but from my point of view—and maybe I’m too much of a cynical journalist—but it feels like there is a disconnect between what they’re saying and maybe the message that they want their consumers to hear, or potential consumers, and actually all the paddling in the background.
DB We definitely see that they are changing, I mean, if think about the interactions that you have with your bank though, it kind of works two ways, so you’re right, on the one hand a consumer might sit there and go, well the bank only contacts me when they want something, they want this, they want that, they want more money, they don’t contact me for other things.
But actually there’s also an onus on the consumer to look for information as well. So, I think it is kind of a balance between the two things. If you think about how often do you actively interact with your bank from your side as well, I think sometimes, if you don’t interact that regularly, then you may have the perception that things haven’t changed that much.
But actually, if you actually take a look under the surface there have been huge shifts over the past few years. If you think about the ability to do banking through apps, through websites, the amount of information that is now available to consumers.
What you’re very much involved in as well, which is making a huge amount of information available to consumers about their financial choices. And also drivers like things like aggregator websites as well that give customers far greater transparency that they ever had.
SP David thanks very much. Well, for more insights and interviews you can go to blogs.adobe.com\digitaleurope.