The Forum Buzz: goodbye for now, CMO Surgery

David Cowan

Managing Director

The Financial Services Forum

Since 3 April, we’ve been joined by a truly excellent lineup of senior marketing leaders for our Friday afternoon CMO Surgeries.

Thank you to everyone who has joined the panel, contributed challenging and thought-provoking questions, answered our poll questions or simply just listened in.

Over the past 10 weeks, we have observed the evolution of marketing throughout the pandemic; from navigating managing remote teams, post-pandemic planning and adapting services to accommodate changing consumer behaviours and expectations.

This afternoon, we’ll be going out with a bang before we take a rest over the Summer period. At 3pm, we’ll be joined by three marketing directors who will be applying their extensive experience of driving digital transformation at board level to discuss how change has accelerated as a result of Covid-19.

We will be hearing from:

– Mark Brayton, Marketing & Digital Channels (de facto CMO), Yorkshire Building Society
– Laura Cholerton, Director, Financial Services, Clear M&C Saatchi
– Mark Evans, Managing Director, Marketing & Digital, Direct Line


Five Things We’ve Learnt This Week

1. This week, MESH’s weekly consumer insight report found that people who are more worried over the pandemic versus peers naturally think banks aren’t doing as much to help. The advice to retail banks this week is to ensure that communications show support to those living alone or with friends as well as employers, job seekers and the self employed

2. With demand for ESG continuing to grow, Asset Managers must make sure that their communications and visuals for ESG products differentiate against competitors, say Arthur London: “On the whole, asset managers are all using the same approach to communicate their ESG product offering. The language and visual style used has a consistency, while the content lacks differentiation. Investors cannot make a choice between products because they do not have a distinct impression of each one”.

3. The pandemic has changed customer expectations of service, with ease of accessibility of services from home set to be the new normal across all industries. But how does this translate to financial services? “Those financial brands that don’t embrace this digital connectivity will see their customers leave them for someone else that does” state Arthur London; from IFA’s to asset managers, brands must adapt and innovate to ensure continued engagement

4.  “Will the pandemic spark a mental health crisis, and how can fintechs help?” asked our fintech panellists on Wednesday’s webinar with Teamspirit.

5. Research carried out by Grist on the value of B2B thought leadership to C-Suite executives found that 44% of senior executives felt that robust data was the most important attribute in studies, up (significantly) by 26% since 2016. Grist note that this is a result of the now very crowded content landscape. Research that achieves cut-through with senior execs must have ‘robust data with sound and informed analysis’. And, it doesn’t hurt to be a bit opinionated either.


Coming up Next Week

We’ll be joined on Thursday afternoon at 3pm by Jamie Brookes, Head of Communications & Marketing, Business Banking Switch, Natwest Group and Joanne Orgill, Head of Business Strategy & Planning, Business Banking Switch, Natwest Group, to talk about their winning Marketing Effectiveness Awards entry ‘Business Unusual – Business Banking Switch’.

Perhaps one of our more unusual entries, RBS’s campaign for Business Banking Switch encouraged customers to switch away from their brand, which won them the gong for Most Effective Use of Data and Analytics.

As ever, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line if there is anything you’d like to discuss, or if you have any ideas for a Forum discussion or webinar. I’d love to hear from you.

Have a great weekend.


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