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How Mature is Marketing Technology in the Financial Services Industry?

The financial services industry is feeling the pressure from multiple fronts. While still recovering from the financial crisis, companies are struggling to generate profitable growth, due to regulation and increased competition. They strive to improve the quality of customer engagement and compete with fintech – an industry that is considered a modern and faster alternative. They feel they must play catch-up to other verticals that have adapted to the increasingly higher standards of customer experience and mass personalization. On a recent Merkle webinar, “Marketing Technology Benchmarks Across Financial Services and Insurance,” I joined Brian Morris, SVP of Merkle’s customer strategy group, to address these vulnerabilities that financial services companies feel across their marketing approach.

These organizations are turning to digital marketers to answer a crucial, often complex, question: "How do we get to market quickly with the right message that doesn’t cost us a tremendous amount of money, so we can make a profit?" Merkle has been working with these clients to fine-tune their marketing technology plan to achieve the people-based marketing strategy they desire.

Merkle conducted an 82-question survey of numerous financial services and insurance marketing leaders, accumulating 120 responses. Th results show what these marketers feel are their greatest weaknesses. On average, the industry finds itself at a low level of technology maturity across the board when it comes to its digital strategy and capabilities.

Based on the results, a key challenge for financial services organizations is the ability to further mature legacy technology capabilities - particularly the ability to manage a true customer experience. This challenge becomes trickier due to the vertical’s limited resources, skills, and business alignments.

The survey has given Merkle the insights needed to respond to these challenges by pinpointing areas to focus on for improvement. If the financial services sector hopes to close the technology maturity gap between them and other verticals, they will need focus on aligning their businesses with technology and refining their marketing technology strategy.

The webinar also highlights the importance of looking at the whole picture while making these decisions. Don’t allow business silos to control technology decisions.

For more insights from the survey, tune in to our on-demand webinar titled “Marketing Technology Benchmarks Across Financial Services and Insurance.”