Marketing mindset critical to digital transformation in financial services

Seattle, Washington, 06 August 2020 – research conducted by Metia Group shows that the most successful digital transformation initiatives can be found in banks and credit unions that apply a marketing mindset to determine and shape their digital futures. The study also noted that organizations that applied a marketing mindset to the changes forced by COVID-19 were better equipped to serve their customers.

Metia’s specialist research and insight unit, polled 500 senior financial marketers in the US and Europe between April 27th and May 17th. The survey covered financial institutions of all sizes, all with live digital transformation initiatives underway.

The key findings of the Metia Mindsets Matter report include:

  • 38% of institutions surveyed applied a marketing mindset to digital transformation – this was demonstrated by giving their marketers a full seat at the table in determining their institution-wide transformation. These institutions are further along their digital transformation journey and offering more comprehensive and mature digital services than their competitors.
  • 43% of banks applying a marketing mindset said their marketing-led digital transformation initiatives exceeded expected ROI. This compares to only 23% of the other institutions not taking the same marketing-led approach.  
  • Institutions with a marketing mindset were able to pivot their customer experiences more rapidly in response to COVID-19, with 32% finding it easy to pivot the digital customer experience, versus 25% of other institutions.
  • Financial institutions with a marketing mindset were found to be more likely to have built digital experiences superior to their competition: 60% versus 35%. They also reported greater success in terms of customer acquisition, increased deposits, and improved cross-sell rates.
  • 69% of those surveyed believe that the role of marketing will be even more critical post-COVID in securing a strong future for financial institutions.

Liz High, Vice President of Insight and Strategy at Metia said: “Marketing experts are the most customer-centric personnel in any organization, and their absence from the digital transformation process in the majority of financial institutions is a missed opportunity. Our research shows that applying a marketing mindset to digital transformation delivers substantially better outcomes from both a customer experience and commercial perspective. Smaller institutions that have been further disadvantaged by COVID-19 have a clear opportunity to extend the impact of the resources they do have, by putting their senior marketers in the driving seat. The same is true of the larger banks that want their investments to deliver what matters to their customers.”

Barely one in three marketers reported being active decision makers responsible for their institution’s digital transformation. This resulted in lost opportunities to capitalize on customer expertise, and less profitable digitization. One in four (26%) of those organizations without a marketing mindset were behind the competition in terms of their digital experience.

This finding tallies with a 2019 Kony study which estimated that US banks have invested $162bn into their live digital transformation initiatives, yet only 25% of customers reported a difference in their digital experience. 

Metia’s Marketing Mindset report also gauged the disruption caused by COVID-19 to financial institutions, finding that 41% had closed all services and branch interactions, and 20% had let staff go.

The ‘Mindset Matters: Redefining Digital Banking Transformation with a Marketing Mindset’ report can be downloaded here.

About Metia

Metia Group is a global marketing agency with offices in London, Seattle, Austin and Singapore. Employing over 100 highly skilled strategy, insight, digital and marketing professionals, the company provides highly integrated marketing programs for global brands and businesses.

Metia’s clients include many of the world’s leading corporations and largest business-to-business brands. During the past two years, the company has executed marketing activities in 88 countries and in 39 languages.

In addition to working with technology and digital native businesses, Metia works with global banks, credit unions and fintechs across North America, Europe and Asia, helping them to design new customer experiences, build brands that resonate online and connect with new audiences.