Financial Services Firms Seek to Engage Younger Audiences

By Alyssa Nejaime  | 

The financial services industry is putting bigger portions of their ad budgets into smaller screens to keep pace with changing consumer behavior, according to eMarketer’s latest report on digital ad spending. In the U.S., financial services advertisers will increase digital ad spend by 18.8% to $15.69 billion, relying heavily on mobile, digital video and social in order to make their products more accessible and appealing to younger consumers. Here are a few implications for marketers.

Fresh Directions for a Once-Staid Industry
While the conservative finance industry traditionally has not been well represented among the top 100 digital advertisers, digital spend has been on the rise for the past few years, in part because competition from new online financial firms is sparking traditional institutions to spend more on devices and formats beyond linear TV.

For example, according to an American Banker report cited by eMarketer, major banks such as Capital One, Pinnacle, WSFS, Huntingdon and PNC, increased marketing expenses by at least 40% last year in response to new online entrants. And American Express stepped up its digital marketing game when it realized more than half of credit card acquisitions were coming through digital channels.

Mobile Majority
As financial firms traverse new digital pathways to consumers, mobile is overwhelmingly the device of choice. This year, mobile will account for 69.4% of total financial services ad spend and is expected to rise to 73.1% in 2020—a higher percentage than most other verticals. Millennials, not surprisingly, are the reason. As they age into a period when financial products are increasingly relevant to their lifestyles, they are more and more open to engagement by firms eager to cultivate new customer bases. But they need to be reached on their terms.

“Millennials are more digitally focused than previous generations. And identifying a meaningful, relevant way to connect with them through products they find interesting is a priority for financial services advertisers,” Sarah Scherer, product marketing manager at digital media buying company Goodway Group told eMarketer.

Sight Sound and Motion on Social
As far as formats, video is rapidly gaining ground, particularly on social platforms. Of the $8.18 billion firms will spend on display ads, 41.4% will be spent on video, an 18.3% increase over 2018. Half of that spend is going to video on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter where marketers strive to create video messages and offers that speak authentically to Millennials’ financial needs and circumstances.

Ultimately, in order for financial services marketing teams to execute on these new strategies successfully, they’ll need good information. Using the most relevant and actionable data for targeting ads is essential to delivering personalized messages that demonstrate you understand your customers. And, with the utilization of new channels, devices and formats, marketers will need a means of managing the greater numbers and formats of creative assets, as well as an effective means of delivering those assets to all their new destinations. To learn how AdBridge can help make your ad creative workflow a competitive advantage, contact us here.

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