In early 2016, Mintel Comperemedia released a series of marketing trends across key industries, including financial services. The five Financial Services Marketing Trends we identified for the industry were:

  • Power to the People: Technology is making it easier and more straightforward to play the stock market, which is opening the doors for investors of all ages and income levels to build a portfolio.
  • Starting Early: Generation Z are the customers of the future, but they are also the children of customers today.
  • Watch Out for Me: Consumers are looking for a financial institution that they can trust, but there is a fine line between looking after your customers and spying on them.
  • Human Touch: Technology is changing the financial landscape, but not everything can be self-service.
  • Eye Bank: Comfortability with and use of smartphones are growing at a record pace, and so is the new language of mobile including images and emojis.

Now, as we prepare to release our trend predictions for 2017, let’s see how we did with a review of three key trends:

Power to the People

This trend continues to take off as consumers are able to conduct more financial transactions on mobile devices. FinTech is leading the way when it comes to driving the financial landscape and giving consumers more autonomy to manage their finances. The increase in robo-advisor services and mobile investment apps is giving consumers an always-on advisor that can help with specific financial situations. For example, new entrants such as United Income, scheduled to launch in beta version in the first quarter of 2017, promises a holistic and cost-effective solution for Baby Boomers to get the advice and guidance they need to plan for retirement.

Mobile lending is also growing, giving consumers the flexibility to search for and buy homes or cars anywhere at any time. Roostify is an example of a new online platform offering an accelerated solution to the home loan and closing process with a white label, self-service platform.  Consumers can connect their home loan application to their TurboTax, Mint.com or similar account, which will then auto-populate all of the necessary information and eliminate the need for paper statements, essentially condensing the loan application process down to as little as 5 minutes.

Watch Out for Me

As consumers demand more transparency into their financial wellbeing, FIs are being challenged to offers tools and services that will help consumers better understand their finances and monitor them every day. This was made especially apparent this year with the increase in PFM (Personal Financial Management) apps and budgeting tools.

One of the most noteworthy examples of this trend was Discover’s announcement in May that they would begin providing anyone with a free credit score, even if they are not a customer. Additionally, SunTrust took advantage of the Super Bowl to premiere a new ad for its onUp Movement, an initiative aimed at taking a stand against financial stress. And Ally Bank introduced a new app called Splurge Alert with the aim of helping customers fight against impulse purchases and informing them of their budget prior to making a purchase as opposed to after the transaction is already complete.

Human Touch 

46% of consumers prefer to interact with their FI most often in person

FinTech is driving the demand for mobile-first and mobile-centric tools; however, this is not coming at the expense of traditional channels. In fact, Mintel’s Attitudes Towards FinTech US 2016 report found that among consumers of all ages, 46% would prefer to interact with their FI most often in person compared to 34% who would prefer to interact most often via mobile website or app. What this indicates is that digital is not going to be a replacement for in-person interactions, but rather consumers are looking for more options when it comes to interacting with their FI, to best fit with their needs for that transaction at that particular moment.

Throughout 2016 we have observed many financial brands acknowledging this. Personal Capital continues to focus on a multi-channel engagement strategy in its marketing campaigns, emphasizing the ability to utilize online and mobile tools as well as speak with a real person. Envestnet’s Advisor Now is a turnkey and fully brandable digital advice offering that automates the process of goal planning, portfolio selection, account opening, fund transfers, client communications and more. Not only can you utilize the online platform, but they make it easy to schedule an appointment with an advisor through the website or chat with an advisor online. This hybrid approach to engagement through both digital and traditional channels is giving consumers the control over where and when they choose to interact with financial brands.

As we look ahead, we’re already excited about the key trends that will drive the industry in the coming year. Stay tuned for the release of the Financial Services Marketing Trends 2017, coming soon!

Lily Harder is the Vice President of Research for Mintel Comperemedia. Lily specializes in the financial services industry, researching and presenting on the latest industry trends, competitive intelligence insights and newsworthy developments.

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