A little over a year ago, our UK CEO wrote a piece on the communications trends capturing our attention and imagination. At Vested, we like to be ahead of the curve, whilst maintaining a firm grasp on the best of the past and present too. It seems that last year’s blog was pretty popular and as we’ve just entered 2020 and a new decade, here’s our view on what’s going to have an impact for financial marketers and their audiences as we enter the roaring twenties!
Know your customer(s)
For us, the importance of some things never changes. Audiences are one of those unmoving things and our focus is always on reaching the right audiences and motivating them. Being audience-centric isn’t a trend that’s going to change – it’s a foundation of what we do. But, that said, we can’t ignore the fact that what excites audiences and gets their attention does change. Know Your Customer (KYC) is now embedded within the financial services industry but as a basic principle, it has much to offer to comms and marketing professionals too. We can’t build strategies and identify the opportunities until we have a clear idea of who we’re trying to reach, what they think, what influences them and how they make decisions. Whether you have 20 or 2020 customers you’re trying to reach, getting under their skin is crucial to delivering success and we know that knowing your customer even better is something all marketers want to achieve this year.
It’s what’s on the inside that counts
Let’s keep it simple, connections are emotional. And as financial marketers, we’re usually trying to convey rational messages! It’s emotions that connect us; love, hate, excitement, ego, the list goes on. Brands need to elicit an emotional reaction to build connections, but they need to be authentic to make them real. It’s not easy! However, businesses can be authentic by taking the inside to the outside. As consumers (and shareholders) demand to see the true face of the brands they buy from, what’s increasingly more important is what’s on the inside. Culture, vision and a great team will be central to the brands that drive success in 2020.
Confidence in a ‘crisis’
The threat of a crisis can be more damaging to the consumer psyche and spend than a crisis itself. How much of a crisis will Brexit be when it happens? Or has the countdown to Brexit done more damage? When will we next enter a bear market again? When will the corporate debt bubble burst? To what extent will the China/US trade war lead to a slowing of large global economies? The threat of the unknown, endless negative possibilities and constant change makes people and businesses feel uncertain. And making decisions when we’re uncertain is hard, so how can brands instill confidence? Does everybody have four or five stars on TrustPilot now? It comes back to more basic human emotions – personal interactions, networks, and recommendations. “I’ve heard of you”, “so and so recommended you”, “I’ve seen you here” … how often have we all said and felt these things as a part of buying processes. It matters; the power is personal. Building personal connections and driving emotive reactions will enable brands to connect with their audiences this year.