Financial services firms that develop digital products designed to help customers reach their goals faster, will stay relevant for longer, and ultimately find success.

Over the past few years, financial services organisations have invested heavily in technology to improve the customer service experience and raise brand loyalty within their existing customer base. Doing this has frequently meant that their main shop window – their website – has been put at a disadvantage.

As an industry, financial services can do much better.

Making the journey easier, and helping customers and potential customers reach their goals, must be the ultimate aim of any financial services marketing function.

Marketing teams need to step back and ask themselves:

  • What are the problems my business is trying to solve for its customers?
  • How can digital be an enabler?
  • How can I create a digital product that creates real value for customers, my users, and my organisation?

This is not an easy task. It takes a change in mind-set. So, to help you kick things off, we’ve pulled together four lessons we’ve learned from doing it first-hand.

1. Evangelise your digital platform

Your website is a key marketing and communications channel. It’s your baby. Maybe it was once but a glint in your eye and you’re the one that brought it to life with your agency partner.

You’ve seen it grow up, nurtured it, fed it, worried about it. You might even have hired a whole team who are dedicated to looking after it.

In reality though, your website doesn’t belong to you. It belongs to the whole business. In fact, it’s more accurate to say that your web platform belongs to the whole business.

You need to start to evangelise the power of your web platform within your organisation, not just your website.

2. Build it before people know they need it

What do you believe your users and your customers, internal and external, need four years from now?

Will it be sending/receiving money at the touch of a button? Real-time collaboration? Ordering services with one touch? Sharing information easily and securely? Viewing products in augmented reality? Being able to manipulate data?

Whatever it may be, you need to focus on building “the thing” that creates real, specific value, before people know they need it.

Trust us. They’ll thank you later.

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3. Deliver in phases. Remember your goals.

Reid Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn, once said, “If you’re not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.”

When it comes to a digital product, nothing is ever finished, but there is always a goal, or multiple goals, in mind. We find it helpful to following the HEART principle when it comes to goals.

  • Happiness: Do users find the product helpful, fun, and easy to use?
  • Engagement: Do users enjoy the product content and features?
  • Adoption: Do new users see the value in the product or feature?
  • Retention: Do users keep coming back to complete a key action?
  • Task success: Do users find the product quickly, and complete tasks efficiently?

For each one of these goals, you need to constantly measure the signals that show uptake intent and the metrics that indicate success. Change things if they’re not working. Never be afraid to redo “done” features.

4. Create digital products

You need to make the move to offering all your products and services via digital means. Sell access to your digital tools.

Sell users access to data. Provide tools to help others build tools. Become a digital business.

The world is moving in this direction, and financial services cannot afford to be left behind!

Financial services marketing teams that choose to rethink their role in the business and build digital products that solve a problem or provide a benefit – for more effective colleagues and happier customers – will find they get better marketing outcomes and look good to the bosses.

How we can help

We have over 15 years’ experience building digital products for organisations within the financial services industry, and with 87% of financial services marketers say refining customer journey strategies is a priority, then it’s probably time to look at building a digital product.

If you’re organisation is looking to do something a little bit different, gather data together in one place to make informed decisions, deliver digital tools to help customers achieve their aims, and provide a personalised experience for every one of your customers, then get in touch.