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New research reveals disconnect between financial services brands and consumers

by | Sep 26, 2022 | Marketing, Public Relations

New research from customer engagement platform Braze provides guidance for financial services brands, specifically those that provide banking, budgeting, and wealth management services, to better understand and meet shifting customer needs.

The findings from the firm’s newest industry data report, Banking on the Customer Journey: 2022 Financial Services Insights, revealed a major perception gap between consumer expectations and brand performance. In collaboration with business consultancy CACI, the report also provides actionable insights and a pathway for brands to close this disconnect. The data combines insights from two global surveys—of 5,000 consumers and 1,500 marketing executives working in the financial services industry, each conducted by Wakefield Research.

New research reveals disconnect between financial services brands and consumers

“In recent years, we have seen rapid shifts in technology and consumer behavior fuel the evolution of all industries, particularly heavily regulated ones like financial services,” said Myles Kleeger, president and chief customer officer at Braze, in a news release. “There’s often a gap as brand understanding catches up with new consumer behavior. In this new report, we examine perspectives from both sides—customer and marketer—which found that right now in financial services, that separation is sizable.”

Notable findings include:

Brands are overconfident in their communications

Only 39 percent of consumers surveyed believe communications from their financial service company are relevant to their needs, and only 41 percent of customers say they are satisfied with their messaging. Compare this to 82 percent of financial services brands that believe customers are satisfied with their messaging, revealing financial services leaders are overly confident about the customer experience they are providing.

New research reveals disconnect between financial services brands and consumers

Relevant messaging leads to higher customer satisfaction

The data found a strong correlation between sending valuable messages with overall consumer satisfaction. A whopping 87 percent of surveyed consumers who feel they receive relevant communications say they are satisfied with their financial services brand, whereas only 50 percent who receive irrelevant communications are satisfied with their financial services brand.

New research reveals disconnect between financial services brands and consumers

Personalization vs. privacy paradox

Customers want personalized, relevant experiences—62 percent of consumers surveyed are willing to share more personal information to get more relevant communications—but financial service brands must balance that with the stringent standards around data privacy. Much of that starts with the right approach to data collection. With the impending cookieless world, the first step is to move away from third-party data and focus more on zero- and first-party data driven strategies. However, the findings show that only 59 percent of surveyed financial services brands are leveraging zero-party data, and 61 percent are collecting first-party data to create a more personalized experience for customers.

New research reveals disconnect between financial services brands and consumers

Keep it simple, keep it short

When it comes to customer communications, financial services brands should stop sending irrelevant messages, and focus on sending messages that add value to a customer’s experience. The firm asked consumers to rank the type of messages that they actually want to receive. Over half (56 percent) of consumers surveyed ranked account updates (low balance, deposit confirmations, etc.) as the most preferred. Only 14 percent of consumers selected promotional offers, 13 percent selected information on new products and features, 9 percent on educational content, and a paltry 7 percent wanted to hear about corporate updates.

New research reveals disconnect between financial services brands and consumers

“The financial services industry has seen major changes over the last decade when it comes to customer expectations,” said David Sealey, director of strategy and growth at CACI, in the release. “This report answers important questions for leaders, marketers, and experienced professionals in the financial services sector. Using real customer and marketer research data, the Braze report shows where the experience gaps are and how to fix them.”

The study also breaks down findings across APAC, EMEA, and the US—taking a deeper look at the nuances of consumers and marketers within each region.

Download the full report here.

Wakefield Research B2B Survey
The Braze Financial Services B2B Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research among 1500 Lifestyle and Growth Marketing Executives working in Financial services in the following regions and markets: US, EMEA (UK, France, Germany), APAC (Australia, Singapore, Japan, Indonesia) between June 23rd and July 6th, 2022, using an email invitation and an online survey.

Wakefield Research Consumer Survey
The Braze Financial Services Consumer Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research among 5,000 Nationally Representative Adults Ages 18+ in the following regions and markets: US, EMEA (UK, France, Germany), APAC (Australia, Singapore, Japan, Indonesia) between June 23rd and July 6th, 2022, using an email invitation and an online survey. The data has been weighted to ensure an accurate representation of adults ages 18+.

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Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 12 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richardc@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter

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