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Financial Services Organisations Must Match Their Digital Presence to the Humans That Interact With Them

6 minute read

With one in five brokers saying they don’t ‘get’ social media, Richard Morley, Broking Director at Markerstudy Distribution, takes a look at incorporating a variety of digital approaches into customer engagement strategies and discusses how a business must humanise their online presence.


Many factors impact a customers’ journey, but businesses must work hard to ensure all elements work together to achieve good customer outcomes. The FCA’s Consumer Duty regulations were introduced last year and have made businesses reflect on how they interact with consumers, both online and offline, and to make any necessary changes to ensure good customer outcomes.


Looking specifically at online touchpoints for customers, it’s important to have an optimised digital presence with all elements being considered including multimedia requirements and social media. Here are his four top tips:


More than one digital touchpoint helps customer retention and new prospects


The world is ever evolving and so must customer communication strategies. Insurance brokers need to consider a variety of digital channels and assets to engage and strengthen relationships with new and existing customers to strive for good customer outcomes.


Digitally-driven activity provides a highly targeted, cost effective and measurable approach to improve brand awareness and generate new leads. Activations such as, paid social, display advertising and digital audio/ visual platform activity can be viewed by some as supporting brand awareness objectives. However, many of these platforms also offer a high level of targeting and retargeting that can be used to ensure messaging is tailored to customer segments, supports brand awareness, and considers existing customers too.


Email and organic social activity can enable a broker to reach out and communicate directly with their customer base and engaged followers. These channels provide an opportunity to tailor messaging and share more detailed information at a time and in a way that suits the customer.

Most journeys begin digitally – so matching your online presence is a pre-requisite

Websites are a window for your customers to view your brand through and are fundamental in building and developing awareness of a company, its offering and expertise as well as its people. They allow companies to be agile, relevant and up to date with both the customer and business needs.


A well-designed website needs to showcase the broker’s offering and expertise, help build credibility through relevant and targeted content, be clearly signposted to allow a customer to find key information and provide the best possible journey for its customers and potential customers.


Marketing campaigns that use digital channels can drive traffic to the website as part of a thought leadership or brand campaign. With relevant and insightful content on a company website, SEO opportunities can be maximised to improve organic search rankings to capture in market search. Websites also provide a valuable lead capture source from PPC, SEO, and other paid and organic media activity with dedicated landing pages or related content.


Meeting regulations is required – but doesn’t need to compromise CX

Companies who see remaining compliant as a “burden” have potentially not fully bought into the new culture which the regulator expects. Consumer Duty values should not simply be viewed as a tick box exercise, companies should be thinking how they can embed and engrain the principes into all areas. It has clarified requirements on brokers to meet the needs of their customers, and in particular consider any additional requirements for ‘vulnerable customers’.

The FCA also expects consumer understanding and consumer support to be just as important outcomes as the products and services they offer and the price and value of those products. Strictly related to the insurance sector, the FCA lays out: “Some insurance products, such as ‘essentials’ home and motor policies, offer lower levels of cover. We are concerned some customers may not understand that the coverage under these policies is less than they may be used to. Under the Consumer Duty firms should ‘put themselves in their customers’ shoes’ when considering whether communications are appropriate.”

Fundamentally, it is about putting customers’ needs at the heart of every decision and being transparent, so the purchaser is clear about the product/service they are buying and what is included. Brokers need to truly understand the needs of the target market they are servicing, whether budget, standard or high net worth, in order to create brands and/or products that fulfil that requirement and are compliant.


Multimedia messages pack a powerful punch

Social media is an important part of the digital mix but over a quarter of brokers are not capitalising on the channel. Reflecting customers’ daily habits across social media and how they prefer to consume content is a vital part of a financial services marketing strategy.

For companies within the financial services sector, their messages and promotions need to follow the FCA guidance around consumer understanding around clarity and transparency of communications. The FCA have also stated that companies must use social media strategies that align with acting to deliver good customer outcomes.


Email remains a cost effective, highly targeted channel to engage existing and potential customers.


To maximise performance, consideration should be made when designing the email template to reflect the audience’s device preferences. Copywriting is key. Utilising strong subject lines and headlines will improve open and engagement rates. Keeping copy concise with clear and regular calls to action (CTAs) throughout will support CTR (click-through rates) and traffic generation.


By Richard Morley, Broking Director at Markerstudy Distribution


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