Content strategist Jennie Kim lays out the three components of a winning content strategy and...
Reprogramming Financial Services Marketing
Indeed, “innovative” may be the new watchword in financial marketing. Take FiLife, for example, which topped Fast Company’s list of the top ten most innovative financial companies in 2010. Rated the fourth-most visited personal finance site on the Web, this joint venture of multi-brand media empire IAC and Dow Jones “relies on a Q&A format with a host of social and game-like features to get Americans talking about money, still a taboo." Relaunched in February 2009, the site is reportedly attracting 3.5 million unique visitors each month, up from 140,000.13
“Small, nimble and new” also appear to be part of the equation, with The Financial Brand noting that eight of the ten companies on Fast Company’s list are not banks. “The best ideas in the financial industry come from outsiders—mostly startups,” writes FTB. “In fact, the majority of financial innovators haven’t even been in business for more than a decade.”14 FTB might have a point there. A report on corporate blogging trends found that as of March 2009, only 81 (16 percent) of Fortune 500 companies had maintained a public-facing corporate blog with a post in the preceding 12 months, and of these 81 companies, only eight (four commercial banks, four insurance companies) were in financial services.15
Sitting still or sticking to old ways may not be an option for much longer. “The financial industry is ripe for new ‘challenger brands’ to come in and rock the status quo,” writes FTB, pointing to a potential market entrant who is certain to rewrite the rules of financial marketing—Sir Richard Branson, who recently announced plans to launch an online bank and then expand to a branch network.16 The financial cable gram officially reads thus: stay tuned.