Searching For The Right Message

Richard Nolan

Operations Director

The Financial Services Forum

Comparison websites are becoming increasingly dominant in financial services marketing. Andrew Oxlade argues for a multi-faceted approach to online promotion where brand building is as important as getting the search criteria right.
In a world where customer confidence is paramount, recent corporate failures such as the Northern Rock debacle, the collapse of so many smaller pension funds, and the mis-selling of financial products have seen some UK financial organisations suffer. Combined with the continuing press coverage on customer service issues and bank charges, trust in the financial services sector has been continuously eroded. Rebuilding this trust is top of the agenda for many in the sector and online media could well be their rescue envoy.
The role of the ‘trusted adviser’ has always been central to consumers’ purchasing decisions in financial services but the evolution of this role has changed dramatically in recent years. Gone are the days when bank managers were respected pillars of the community who knew each customer by name and could recommend products to suit their personal needs.
Independent financial advisers have subsequently stepped in to fulfill the trusted adviser role. But cynicism quickly grew as people became aware that the products recommended were often the ones bearing the greatest commission value.
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