We are delighted to 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.
She spoke to Phil Duffield (PD), Managing Director, Ad Cloud EMEA. He oversees the implementation and growth of Ad Cloud across the EMEA markets.
SP: I’m Sarah Pennells and I’m a journalist. I’m also the founder of a money website called savvywoman.co.uk, a site that’s aimed at 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.
At the moment, I‘m joined by Phil Duffield and we’re going to be talking about video advertising.
PD: I think what you’ll see is the smarter financial institutions will be doing more of that. The world is changing. People’s perceptions are changing around who we want to bank with, who we want to use for our financial needs.
And if you look at the industry we’re in from a video perspective, and also from a programmatic perspective, direct response advertising is not growing as it used to and that’s down to many things. It’s down to the fact that people are tired of it, people are downloading ad blockers to block it, and just sick of being spammed with all these—
SP: It’s quantity isn’t it? You just get so much of it now.
PD: Exactly, and I think the smarter institutions are realising the message around being ethical, being very community led, will drive more consumers than it will just using direct response mechanisms.
SP: Sometimes it feels a bit of a race to be the most community focused and it’s got to be backed up by what they do behind the scenes. And not just having a message, because people are very cynical about the substance behind it, especially when it comes to banks, I think.
PD: Yes, I 100 percent agree. I think that being cynical helps. We have to have that view when we’re choosing a financial institution, but there are some great projects out there.
If you look at some of the stuff Barclays do, around their skills that they’re advertising right now, that’s a really smart way of using content online to really engage people about what you’re doing for the community, etc.
SP: What about the challenger banks and the fintechs? To what extent are they making the traditional banks sit up and maybe rethink what they do and how they do it?
PD: I think they’ve had a huge impact. I think the challenger brands and the fintechs are what is driving change in that industry specifically. Banks and financial institutions are having to rethink their messaging, their strategy, how they’re attracting customers, what it takes to attract customers, because I think people’s perceptions have changed so much over the last probably ten years around financial institutions. And we know why that is, because of all the turmoil we’ve been through.
And as I said before, the smarter brands who utilise content, who utilise messaging that talks about ethical stuff, community projects, stuff that’s going to help people as they move forward in their careers etc., that’s the brands that are going to be remembered and will drive consumers because they’re being smarter. And we need to be smarter and we need to change the way that we view it.
SP: But there has to be a connection between what they’re saying they’re doing in their engaging video and actually how they treat their customers. Again, I was watching another video the other day and it had this story about the banking staff. And something about it grated on me because I knew that recently they’ve been in trouble for some bad customer service.
I thought, well you can produce a really good video that’s actually quite engaging and watchable, but if I go onto the review site, then that tells me a completely different story about what you’re doing and how you do it.
PD: Yes. I think it’s perception over reality and I think that’s a challenge for any brand, whether it be a financial institution or not. You can invest in some that are very high-end brands and then the customer service you’ll receive off the back of it is terrible. But they have a job to do, and I think some of the brands have done a good job of changing that perception over the past five or ten years.
Others still have a long way to go because there’s a lot of press still and they have to manage that press, and they can do that with content.
SP: Thanks very much Phil. Well, for more insights and to see our other interviews go to blogs.adobe.com/digitaleurope.