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‘It’s getting worse – financial marketers are expected to do even more’ reveals damning new survey

Financial marketers are now under pressure to juggle an increased number of objectives within their roles, according to Australia’s largest-ever survey of both consumers and industry professionals.

The findings, unveiled at Mumbrella’s Finance Summit, also revealed that customers don’t trust financial services companies and that those businesses are failing to meet the needs of modern consumers and how they use technology.

A snippet of the research from Yell Creative and YouGov

The research, compiled by marketing agency Yell Creative and YouGov, questioned both 250 financial services professionals and, for the first time, 1,500 ordinary consumers.

Yell founder Nigel Roberts didn’t shy away from stating that these results paint a gloomy picture for the industry.

He said: “It’s getting worse. You are expected to do even more than last year.

“More than 50% of marketers said nine or more of the following were primary objectives: increasing sales revenue, increasing number of sales, customer acquisition, increasing digital engagement, customer retention, customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, cost reduction and campaign engagement.”

Despite these increasing demands, professionals are expected to take this strain with less resources than ever before.

Roberts: Technology both excites and scares us

“The increase in budget, year on year, has lessened from 2016 and cost reduction as a primary objective has risen by 100%.

“Moreover, 59% of those questioned said you were being asked to reduce your costs, too,” Roberts said.

Roberts explained that while technology has its potential benefits, it is also being viewed suspiciously by many in the industry.

“When we asked you what excites you, technology was the answer. Things such as AI, robotics, new tech, CX and automation.

“Yet outside of government and regulatory interference, technology also concerns you. We’re talking data and legacy platforms, AI, technology, delivering on promise and changes in digital and our ability to keep up.”

Elizabeth Clark, another Yell co-founder, took to the stage to talk about how consumers’ trends are changing, but warned that the industry isn’t doing enough to respond.

She said: “Consumers are in a constant consideration mindsight. If content is interest, we’re willing to engage.

“But the empowered consumer demands convenience, too. The old traditional model of a bank opening at 9 and closing at 4 is over.

Clark: Consumers are comparing brands across categories

“We’ve found that customers compare your brand against others outside of your industry such as Amazon, Uber and Netflix.”

The survey asked consumers what they did before making a financial services purchase in the last 12 months.

The most popular answer was going directly to a company’s website or app, followed by searching online based on their needs.

Clark added: “Your own media is so important. You need to be answering all questions so people can make those purchases more easily.”

Unlike last year’s survey, this year Yell Creative enlisted YouGov to interview ordinary consumers. The goal was to investigate whether industry perceptions of customers’ views were actually correct.

The results revealed that financial services firms think they’re more trusted than they are. Not one marketer thought that consumers may not trust financial services organisations at all, with the majority thinking that customers felt favourably towards the industry.

However, the actual results revealed that a significant proportion of the population, 33%, felt negative towards fiancial services.

Finally, the research then asked participants to rank different industries by trust. Consumers trusted financial services least, behind telecommunications, federal government, technology and pharmaceutical.

The full results of the survey can be viewed at yellcreative.com/survey

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