We continue our series of conversations between respected bloggers from a range of fields and experts from Adobe. These unique encounters will 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.
Sarah talked to Toccara Baker (TB). As Product Marketing lead for Advertising Cloud in EMEA, Toccara is responsible for growing awareness and adoption of Adobe Advertising Cloud’s products, solutions and services among existing EMEA customers and prospects. She works in a cross-functional role to manage execution of EMEA marketing strategies across Advertising Cloud’s products and partner solutions working closely with sales, product management, business development and client services
SP I’m Sarah Pennells. I’m a journalist and also the Founder of savvywoman.co.uk, which is a leading money website for women. I’m here at Adobe’s London offices as part of a series of interviews where I talk to several leading voices in the world of digital marketing. I’m here with Toccara Baker and we’re going to be talking about social media advertising.
I was trying to think about campaigns that I think are working and where I think companies are actually talking about what they do. There was one, it was a while ago, it was a pensions company, and it was talking about a series of video interviews that they shared on social media about what matters to you now, while you’re working, that you might want to carry on doing once you’ve retired. That sort of stuck with me, though it was a few years ago, because it wasn’t talking about pensions and savings, tax relief and all the things that make people switch off. It was actually thinking about, you know, if you like a certain hobby or something, then you want to be able to afford to do that when you can’t work.
But sometimes when banks especially have these quite soft films they just don’t seem to ring true. It’s a fine balance sometimes between finding something that really resonates and finding something that people just think “nice film but it doesn’t make me want to switch to you, or doesn’t make me want to buy your products, or your rates are lousy.”
TB In general, building really great content is tough. And then, if you’re in a sector where the information can be a bit dry, figuring out and finding how to build great content is even harder. You’re not as exciting as a consumer brand or an entertainment brand.
So, a lot of times there is a lot of investment put into how to provide value to a customer with content without just talking about our products and services and ensuring that that information isn’t dry. Now, sometimes it is what it is, it can be a little bit bland, but there’s still the idea, especially when it comes to content development, specifically, I’d say, for a lot of these financial institutions, about how you make it interesting and how you make it relevant. So, it might not be relevant maybe to you or I, but maybe my dad has found that piece of content really relevant, it resonated with him. So that was the niche audience that they were looking to target with that piece of content.
When it comes to banking I think it’s a very interesting industry, specifically when you think about advertising. A lot of people choose the bank that they’re going to use for the rest of their lives at a very young age. I know that I chose my bank when I was a kid—actually my mum chose it for me.
How valuable do you think social media advertising is when it comes to the banking sector, specifically when people have already made those choices about their bank at a young age and don’t really move around?
SP I think the way we bank and who we bank with is just so interesting, because if you ask most people what they think of their bank they probably don’t love it, but they’ll stick with it. And, you know, I used to be with the same bank for years as well, I mean, decades probably. But I think what makes people change—I’m not sure it’s necessarily about social media advertising, maybe that might reinforce something, but in my experience it’s perhaps something much more tangible.
So, maybe it’s a good rate while you’re in credit or it’s an app that works really well, or it’s something that you are going to directly get from being with that bank, and if the message can reinforce that then that might help. But, you know, if you look at the figures of people switching over the last few years, they’re still really low, I mean, the percentage of people who switch is still really low.
And I think it’s not so much that people are lazy or don’t want to switch or, you know, aren’t sure about the process, people I talk to, they’re not quite sure who they should switch to because they often think they’re all as bad as each other. I mean, it’s not a very positive experience I have to say; they’re kind of thinking “well actually if I switch to this one what happens if it goes wrong? Is their service going to be any better?”
I kind of think that things might change with open banking if we get much better information because you’ll be able to see what the new bank could do for you personally, based on how you use your account. Having said that, I mean, I’ve done a couple of polls on my website about open banking and there’s a real big concern about fraud and the sharing of information, so that’s a big hurdle in itself.
Thanks very much Toccara.
TB Thank you.
SP To see more of our interviews go to blogs.adobe.com/digitaleurope.