Since June 23rd, when the United Kingdom voted to leave the EU, investors in the European market have been riding an emotional rollercoaster. Within less than a month since the referendum, Canadian stocks have seen both, record-breaking lows and record-breaking highs. Predictions of the future have been both, positive and negative, optimistic and cautionary. Marketers must develop a campaign strategy that reacts to a fluctuating market—and silence is not a part of it. Now is the perfect time for financial advisors and financial institutions to engage with consumers as they search for answers and turn back to experts. Banks and financial institutions should develop a dynamic strategy to reach consumers in real time and build brand relationships and regain consumer confidence.
Communicate in Real Time
The morning after the vote, financial advisor Rona Birenbaum sent out a mass email to clients to reassure them. She explains she wanted “to help them manage the inevitable emotional response to this kind of event” (CBC.ca). Not all financial advisors are forthcoming on the heels of a market slump, let alone during major restructures. As the market fluctuates at neck-breaking speed, banks and financial institutions should talk to their clients in real time. Messaging that is relevant while the market is low will differ from messaging while it is high—and in Canada, we’ve seen both ends of the spectrum in the last month. Canada’s main stock index reached its lowest close in seven weeks on the Monday following the referendum. Now, Canadian stocks are experiencing an 11-month high. Dynamic ads allow marketers to change their messaging based on market conditions. Marketers can then use the strategy to respond to fluctuating consumer confidence and market trends. Dynamic advertising will not change the market but it will show consumers that their financial advisors and financial institutions are in front of the issues they are facing and help to ensure their brand messaging is always relevant to the market.
Ask the Expert
There is no end to the constant flow of new content, technology and information in the online marketplace. Globally, consumers are dealing with the information overload in all markets by returning to the experts. Face-to-face experiences, once thought of as passé, are making a return as Canadians find a renewed value in actually speaking with a human being. Research company, Mintel, described this as a natural reaction to current trends, “with consumers looking for alternatives to an overreliance on crowd- and cloud-sourced peer advice and the cold convenience of automated service in retail” (Mintel, 2016). At a time when consumers simply don’t know what the true effects of this referendum will be on their investments and assets, banks should take this opportunity to increase their visibility and bestill the hearts (albeit pounding out of their chests) of investors.
Though consumers are returning to authoritative voices, research indicates that there is a “trust deficit” with regards to financial services, revealing that “around half of Canadian consumers believe that financial services companies take their customers for granted, are more interested in rewarding loyalty from wealthier customers and tend to offer better deals to their new customers”. Financial advisors and financial institutions should use this market as a time to open up lines of communication and reach out to investors—offer to review their portfolio, explain the high-risk investments, and put their minds at ease—to restore their confidence.
With a targeted, data driven media strategy, along with strong content marketing tactics, banks and financial investment firms can strengthen their impact and reach their audience in a much more meaningful way.
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