The Next Generation Summit: Building the skills to be a future marketing leader

Alex Sword


The Financial Services Forum

The Forum brought together a group of young marketers this week for networking and expert sessions covering everything from engaging stakeholders to understanding Gen Z. Here are some highlights from the two-day summit.

Make sure to refer to the slides for more detail here: Day One Morning, Day One Afternoon, Day Two Morning, Day Two Afternoon.


Session 1: The Strategic Use of Social Media in Financial Services

Annmarie Hanlon, Digital and Social Media Marketing teacher at the Cranfield School of Management

Annmarie shared insights into the strategic uses of social media. She emphasised seven key applications: engagement, entertainment, lead generation, reviews, customer service, segmentation, and brand awareness.

While all of these strategies are used by some businesses, especially in B2C, Annmarie suggested B2B companies should steer clear of trying to be entertaining on social media as this can be risky.

Additionally, she stressed the importance when using social media for customer service to ensure that a strong Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is in place, in order to give agents the right information at all times.


Session 2: From Big Tech to Fintech: A Journey Through Financial Services

Suzanne Homewood, Managing Director of the Decisioning Division at Moneyhub

Suzanne provided an overview of the company’s vision of enhancing financial wellness. Moneyhub uses open banking and data to support individuals, communities, and businesses in achieving financial wellness throughout their lifetimes.

Suzanne highlighted the challenges faced by the UK population, including 55% of adults being afraid to discuss their financial situation and £19 billion in unclaimed financial support annually. She emphasised the power of data in empowering individuals to make informed financial decisions.

For example, she mentioned that 34% of the UK population has either no savings or less than £1000 in a savings account, while £300 billion of savings are earning 0.1% interest or less.


Session 3: Connecting with Customers, Not Cookies

Nia Thompson, Planning and Partnership Controller and Stephen Wild, Head of Sales South for Local Development at Sky Media

Nia and Stephen delved into the benefits of TV advertising and the strategic use of first-party data.

They explained how overlaying first-party data on audience data allows for hyper-personalised targeting of advertisements on television. By using demographic and location information, businesses can ensure that their ads reach specific households alongside their favourite TV shows.

The speakers showcased Sky AdSmart, an advertising solution that they said combines TV’s large audiences, high-quality content, and established measurement with digital’s precision targeting and customer response tracking. They also shared details of their successful collaboration with Volvo, which is deploying sponsorship and branded content to position Volvo as more of a luxury brand.


Session 4: The Finances of the Younger Generation During Uncertainty

Matt Thomas, Research Executive and Lydia Daniel, Research Consultant at Savanta

The session focused on understanding the financial behaviours of Generation Z. They shared insights into the prevalence of payday lenders among this generation and highlighted the need for improved financial literacy.

The speakers said that Gen Z is growing up in a complicated time and is deeply concerned about their financial health and resorting to dangerous methods such as payday loans to stay afloat, despite trusting financial services providers more than previous generations.

Social media is a preferred platform for Gen Z to seek information and guidance on financial management, so brands need to make themselves visible on these platforms, with financial brands that use social media experiencing high engagement with Gen Z.

The session also featured a live focus group of five Gen Z participants, who expressed varied perspectives on major brands. Some participants acknowledged the trustworthiness of companies like Klarna, while others expressed scepticism and emphasised personal financial responsibility.

The panellists emphasised the importance of improving accessibility to financial education and praised HSBC’s efforts in providing accessible YouTube articles and videos. TikTok was also identified as an effective platform for delivering concise and engaging financial education content to younger audiences.


Session 5: The Psychology of Being a Good Leader

Ziba Goddard, Chief Consulting Officer at Cowry Consulting

Ziba led a session on how behavioural science can inform management tactics. Quoting Peter Drucker, she emphasised that trust is the key to good leadership. However, while 84% of business leaders believe their employees highly trust their company, in reality, the figure for employees who do is 69%. Being trusted doubles retention.

Ziba further explained some characteristics of trust, including that it builds over time, is both rational and emotional, and is a two-way relationship. The positive characteristics of trustworthiness are credibility, reliability, intimacy, while being self-orientated is associated with lower trust scores.

She then discussed specific behaviours that can build these characteristics. For credibility, showcasing expertise through concrete and tangible examples is important. Lying or exaggerating can quickly undermine credibility, while honesty and passion are valued. Reliability can be enhanced by sharing relevant plans promptly, providing regular status updates, being punctual, and setting and meeting goals.

Intimacy can be fostered by testing different phrasing options for delivering sensitive messages, taking personal risks, and acknowledging a job well done. Lastly, reducing self-orientation involves involving employees in decision-making, active listening, and showing a genuine desire to help.


Session 6: Meet the Young Marketer of the Year

Laura Hammond, Marketing Manager at Waverton

Laura won Young Marketer of the Year at the Marketing Effectiveness Awards 2022. In her session, she discussed how Waverton is using data to enhance client services beyond wealth management and investment. She noted that the financial services sector is lagging behind other industries in recognising the role of branding to differentiate a company.

She talked about her organisation’s commitment to technological advancements and highlighted the central role of data capture, particularly as the industry continues to transition into a digital era and cater to future investors.

Additionally, Laura encouraged others to enter awards, as the nomination process made her take stock of her progress and accomplishments within the past year. She said receiving recognition from the industry was a great culmination for these achievements.


Breakout: The Financial Services Brand of the Future

For the first session of the second day, the delegates were split into six groups and challenged to create their own financial brand with no constraints.

Group 1: DRIP – An open banking app that educates and empowers 16-18-year-olds in managing finances through budgeting goals, personalised savings pots, supported by a TikTok campaign with relatable influencers.

Group 2: finfit – A brand focused on incorporating financial education into the school curriculum through a gamified app, involving influential figures from sports and social media campaigns to engage the target audience.

Group 3: MOOVO – Assisting individuals in cross-national relationships, retirees, and expats with tax and financial advice through targeted marketing, partnerships with real estate agencies, and daytime television ads.

Group 4: TANGIBLE – Bridging the gap between the younger generation and retail banks by partnering to provide short to medium-term financial goals, incentives, and mortgage advice, leveraging influencers and social media campaigns.

Group 5: STEX – Providing a free app targeting children in Key Stage 1 and 2 to build financial understanding through gamification, endorsements from influential figures in children’s media, and tangible benefits like loyalty schemes and free attractions.

Group 6: Ask Finn – Targeting Gen Z with bite-sized financial education through an app, using a relatable character named Finn, and marketing through an omnichannel approach including social media and school initiatives, to engage and educate the target audience.

Consultant Annabel Venner and FSF MD David Cowan judged MOOVO as the winner, with the most original concept and the best commercial strategy.


Session 7: Building Relationships With Key Stakeholders

Annabel Venner, Marketing Consultant

Annabel, who has a rich background working with brands such as British American Tobacco, Virgin Cola, and Hiscox, shared insights into effective leadership and influence. She emphasised the significance of continuous learning and professional development, particularly when transitioning from technical roles to leadership positions.

She stressed the changing responsibilities of leaders, including the ability to delegate tasks, establish boundaries, engage with the broader business, and prioritise operational aspects. The session highlighted that while great marketing skills may help individuals reach top positions, it is excellent leadership and influence that enable them to sustain and thrive in those roles.


Session 8: How to Build a Stellar Long-Term Relationships with your Agency

Justin Deaville, Managing Director and Simon Loughlin, Business Development Manager from Receptional

Justin and Simon shared their insights on building effective collaborations with agencies. They presented their “PRICE” model, which focuses on five key elements of success: planning, relationships, information sharing, collaboration, and evaluation.

The speakers emphasised the importance of comprehensive planning and goal-setting, maintaining strong relationships with agency partners, sharing relevant information to align strategies, fostering a collaborative working environment, and evaluating the effectiveness of the collaboration.

They stressed the value of open communication, trust, and transparency in building successful agency relationships.


Session 9: The Cheat Sheet: Ask a CMO

Mark Brayton, Interim CMO at Nationwide and Hazel Pitchers, Founder at Merakiting Consulting

The final session of the conference featured Mark and Hazel providing valuable tips for success as a CMO.

They emphasised the importance of aligning marketing outcomes with the overall goals of the organisation and consistently championing the customer. The speakers also stressed the significance of being a super connector across different departments within the business. They advised CMOs to clarify and share the role of marketing in the organisation and be comfortable operating in a blend of artistic and scientific capacities.

Additionally, they emphasised the need to stay prepared for upcoming industry changes, navigate organisational culture effectively, and continuously challenge oneself. For career success, they recommended networking, seeking mentorship or advisory support, understanding personal drivers, and surrounding oneself with ambitious and talented individuals. Authenticity was emphasised as a key characteristic for professional growth.

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