The Forum Buzz: “sun is shining, the weather is sweet”

David Cowan

Managing Director

The Financial Services Forum

Although the summer sun has been shining down on us this week, we’ve been thinking ahead to the Autumn, planning our schedule for the second half of the year.  

We are now only a couple of weeks or so away from being able to share the dates and topics with you. It’s looking to be a busy couple of months to round off 2020, with some exciting new ideas and speakers.

We’re also still really looking forward to hopefully seeing you again, as we plan to restart socially-distanced seminar events from the end of September onwards. That said, our webinar programme has been hugely successful, so we’ll continue to incorporate more online sessions into the calendar, in addition to live events.

Five Things We’ve Learnt This Week

1.    Research carried out by ENGINE in the insurance and banking sectors found that Post-Covid, 53% of customers think businesses will need to change the way they operate. 4 in 10 UK consumers believe that to stay relevant, banks will need to focus on employee wellbeing, reviewing their pricing structure and communications with customers. And, in insurance 48% consumers felt insurers must focus on reducing prices to remain relevant and competitive post-pandemic. 44% felt that they should also focus on preparing for the possibility of another pandemic.

2.    86% of women and 74% of men under 35 say they consider employers’ reputation for diversity, equality and inclusion when deciding which company to work for (PwC).  Siegel + Gale surveyed 1,275 people aged 20 to 25 years, unpicking the key barriers that are preventing this cohort from applying for a job in the financial services industry – and, what brands can do to overcome them.

3.    Agency pitches have moved entirely online during lockdown, but how can you optimise the experience? Online can make the process feel a lot easier – no agency visits, meetings are easier to run to time, unnecessary ‘pitch theatre’ is removed so that the agency, and you, have to concentrate on the potency of the idea. However, there are still ways to inadvertently trip up. Agency selection experts Haystack have compiled a12-step guide to running remote pitches, full of suggestions to making sure you get the most out of the process.

4.    This week, MESH Experience found that banks need to live up to the standards they have set for themselves during the pandemic, to avoid negative news. Banks have responded well to the pandemic setting a high standard. However, this means that negative news now hits home harder for customers. Consumer comments this week suggest it is more important than ever to make sure your actions live up to your promises.

5.    RBS’s ‘Business Unusual: Business Banking Switch’ campaign encouraged business customers to switch away from their brand, in perhaps the most unusual retail banking marketing campaign to date. If you missed our webinar yesterday, watch on demand to find out what RBS learnt and how they navigated the inevitable reputation and communication risks.

Coming up Next Week

Next Wednedsay morning, we’ll be looking at a topic that I think is interesting to most of us: ‘How Coronavirus is Changing Consumers’ Financial Behaviour’. During this session, Savanta will be revealing proprietary research detailing how consumer mindset has shifted during the pandemic.

The research found that consumers – particularly millennials – have never been as engaged in financial services as they are now. This opens up considerable opportunities for Financial Services marketers to re-examine how they engage with a receptive and open audience.

Kathy Ellison, Director, Financial Services, and Kate Turner, Vice President, of Savanta, will be joined on the panel by Charlotte May, Group Head of Customer Research, Legal & General to unpick the findings in more detail.

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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