If there’s one thing we’ve learned in 2020, it’s that customer centricity equals relevancy — and financial services are no exception. Customers have increasingly high expectations for what the digital landscape can provide, and there’s no shortage of competitors vying for attention with flashy new capabilities and content. For financial services, a major shift from product centricity to customer centricity is imperative to keep up with the times, but it’s easier said than done.
At Summer Friday, we’ve seen financial service brands face three main challenges as they shift gears to a more customer-centric approach:
1. Data collection
Many financial institutions are working to bring their manual customer data collection methods into the digital age. Large, established brands have the furthest to go, with traditional business silos and legacy technologies that lend themselves to outdated and incomplete data.
But the heavy lifting is worth the payoff. From now on, content will constantly be tailored to customers based on traditional criteria, like which stage of the buying journey they’re in. But it will also be based on much more nuanced data, like time of day, customer location, and the customer’s recent social media engagement. Seamless multichannel communications and the ability to effectively and consistently manage customer data become critical to keep up with this demand.
And procuring the data is only the first step. At Summer Friday, we harness that data to make connections and find insights that improve engagement and conversion.
2. Quality content at scale
While data collection is its own challenge, there’s a second hurdle to overcome — shifting to a publisher model and creating quality content at scale. Brands already need engaging, high-quality content. Now, they also need that content to add value and build relationships with customers using targeted, audience-specific calls to action at each stage of the customer journey.
At Summer Friday, we understand this is no small task. Targeting customers throughout their brand experience necessitates a robust and segmented content calendar. Without the right content partner, this undertaking quickly becomes cumbersome and difficult to sustain.
We have a few guiding principles that keep us on track while producing content at scale:
Surrender your ego. Your audience knows what they like and don’t like. Your content is there to serve them.
Consider the back button. The back button defines what is and isn’t seen, so create something that makes its use impossible.
Behave like the guest you’d want to host. Practice good digital manners and be open and honest with your intentions.
Another challenge brands face while shifting to customer centricity is implementing a cultural adjustment. It’s not easy to evolve a brand of any size from the mindset of “How can we sell products?” to a mentality of “What does the customer really want, and how can we provide it?” But this commitment is just as crucial as streamlining data collection if you want your business to be customer-centric and competitive in the current digital landscape.
With how quickly things can change, staying relevant and culturally involved is a 24-hour operation. Summer Friday approaches this challenge with a publisher mindset and “always on” content studio. We understand that even the most meticulously planned content calendars must leave room to evolve with what’s happening in real time, and we’ve done just that for many brands, including our work with TradeStation.