The Forum Buzz: internet usage up 47% across 65 countries

David Cowan

Managing Director

The Financial Services Forum

Research from Hootsuite and We Are Social demonstrates that 47% of internet users across 64 countries reported that they are spending more time on social media during the current crisis

The pandemic has accelerated digital trends, with more consumers now utilising social media to solicit advice from brands, seek customer service and also, as a hub for news. Perhaps surprisingly for some of us, research from GWI, referenced in FleishmanHillard’s ‘After the Crisis Report’ states that almost half (48%) of UK and US consumers reported that they are reading ‘more’ news stories on social media ‘in the past month’.

To understand more about how financial services brands are responding to this shift in behaviour, we will be joined by three social media experts from three very different brands for today’s CMO at 3pm, discussing how their business has utilised social channels during the crisis.

Tune in to hear from Camilla Hoskisson, Digital Marketing Manager, AIG Life; Tracy Knatt, Global Head of Social Media, Corporate Messaging & Web, AXA Investment Managers and Richard Eccleston, Social and Digital Media Manager, Wesleyan.


Five Things We’ve Learnt This Week

1. Consumer focus shifted towards considering ‘what they can’t do’ last week, MESH Experience’s weekly insight research discovered, with participants reporting an increase in worry about the pandemic after a few weeks of declining concerns. The recommendation to retail banks is to counteract frustration by ‘lowering the threshold for customers to take their situation into their own hands and give clear guidance tailored to individual needs’

2. FleishmanHillard identified 5 key trends influencing consumer perception of financial services in their ‘After the Crisis’ report; Purpose or Profit, The Power of the Personal Campaigner, Victim or Villain and The Need for Persuasion

3. The report also noted that Ofcom data demonstrates 41% of people in the UK were using social platforms as their main online news source in 2019, despite the rise in ‘fake news’, with GWI research finding that almost half (48%) of UK and US consumers were reading ‘more’ news stories on social in the past month

4. Whilst large amounts of marketing budget are allocated to paid search, 70-80% of search engine users ‘only want organic results’, Matt Lowe, CEO of explained during Tuesday’s webinar alongside Colt Foutz, Director, Digital Content Optimisation at Transperfect

5. Additionally, ‘Conversion is almost 6x higher for organic search results than they are for paid, yet marketers still spend money on paid’ noted Matt.


Coming up Next Week

Another busy week coming up, with two webinars next week. On Tuesday at 9am, our panel of fintechs will be discussing how they have been helping SME’s to weather the pandemic.

This session will be chaired by Fiona Couper, Business Development and Marketing Director at Teamspirit, and I am sure those of you who join our regular sessions with Fiona can attest that these panel discussions are a must-attend for those working at or partnering with fintechs.
On Friday, we’ll be focusing on the acceleration of digital transformation during the crisis for our regular CMO Surgery. We are looking forward to being joined by experts Mark Brayton, Marketing Consultant & former Marketing Director, Barclays, Laura Cholerton, Director, Financial Services, Clear M&C Saatchi and Mark Evans, Managing Director, Marketing & Digital, Direct Line.

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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