The “4 Ps” of marketing have been well-known for a long time: price, product, promotion, and place. Yet how do they apply to marketing for financial services, particularly in today’s digital world? In this article, our team offers some answers.
We hope you find this content useful. Please get in touch if you’d like to discuss your own financial marketing strategy with us.
Right from the start, this is a difficult subject for financial services.
Sure, many online shops might be happy to display the prices of their products. These items are packaged and highly repeatable, allowing for easier standardised pricing. Financial firms, however, often offer a bespoke service where cost varies from client to client.
Moreover, there is also the awkward fact that many financial firms are reluctant to share their pricing. Many, understandably, do not want this information to put off clients before they’ve even had a chance to talk to them.
Also, what if competitors find out what you are charging and try to undercut you?
Here, digital marketing can help financial firms. First of all, it allows you to more easily talk to your customer directly – without requiring them to come into your office (allowing you to qualify them beforehand).
For instance, perhaps your financial website has a “live chat” feature where prospects can make an inquiry and ask you about what you charge. This is a more “private” way to talk to prospects, which might suit your marketing strategy.
However, if you are happy to be more public with your pricing structure, you could consider other approaches. For example, perhaps you could host a “Live Q&A session” on Facebook or other social media channel, where you can answer followers’ questions.
Another important potential channel is your Google My Business profile, where people often submit questions to your business – including about pricing. Here, consider setting up an alert system so that you are notified if this happens (so you remember to answer).
What is your “product” as a financial services firm? Unless you offer something like packaged fintech software (e.g. a financial planning app), you likely offer people more of a service – such as financial planning. What does this mean for your digital marketing?
The online sphere is an ideal place to explain (in an engaging and useful way) what you offer. In particular, you should consider framing this more in terms of “solutions” that solve problems, rather than products/services which you think people would want.
Many financial firms are still stuck in this “product-led” mindset with their marketing, and this often makes people feel “unheard” – or too aggressively “sold to”. Here, you could have an opportunity to sound different from other financial firms.
For instance, rather than pushing “pension planning” to prospects and spending lots of time explaining what it does and how it works, think about asking questions which unearth the prospect’s problems – then, offer your “product” as a solution.
As an example, consider which of the two sentences on a financial website is likely to be received more favourably by the reader:
Our pension planning service is led by Chartered Financial Planners with a combined 50 years’ experience. Our service ensures the highest quality and satisfaction. We are an independent firm, allowing us to offer whole-of-market solutions.
Are you worried about whether you have enough for retirement? Are you confident that your savings will last comfortably? At XYZ Financial Planners, we help you answer these questions using pension planning tailored to your unique goals and situation.
Sure, the first one might sound “smarter” or even “more professional”. However, its product-centric approach, together with all the jargon, is more likely to cause the prospect to switch off.
The second, however, puts the prospect and their “pain points” first – offering the “product” as a possible solution.
Traditionally, financial planners are similar firms relied on word of mouth to get new clients.
Today, however, so many more promotional possibilities are open to you via digital marketing. Whereas before you might have been limited to printed advertising or perhaps local media, today there are digital channels such as:
- SEO (search engine optimisation).
- Google search ads, and Google Display Ads.
- LinkedIn advertising
- Facebook advertising
- Email newsletters
- YouTube marketing
- Guest posting/blogging
- And much more.
How do you choose which channels to use? After all, you have limited time and marketing budget. You cannot realistically hope to give your attention to all of them. Here, it helps to have a clear idea of your target client.
In particular, which channels are they likely to use? Are they active on LinkedIn or Facebook, for instance?
To gain a clear picture, it can help to build a “buyer persona” of your ideal client – not only detailing things like age and income, but also where they consume information.
Before the internet age, “place” referred to a financial firm’s offices (e.g. branches of a high street bank).
Today, however, your “office”, “branches” or “shop” is available on people’s phones, tablets and desktop computers when they visit, say, your website or business social media profiles. This provides more opportunity to engage prospects, but also involves more management!
How do you pick the right “place” on the internet for your financial firm to appear. Here, crafting a digital marketing strategy is crucial.
First instance, what would happen if your financial planning firm went viral all over TikTok? It might sound good, but most likely your ideal clients are not on this platform. Indeed, it could just swarm you with unwanted attention – leading to massive distraction.
However, getting your website to appear in the top Google search results for locally-based search terms (e.g. “financial planner near me”) could be much more useful. In short, think of where your ideal client is likely to be online, and be there too.