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WHY
PURPOSE
MATTERS

In Financial Services

Written By: Michael De Boer
Edited by: Kevin Brown

Three months into the New Year and, not surprisingly, the financial services category continues to face major change and disruption. Technology is driving much of this change. But, arguably even more impactful are the effects of change in buying behavior we’re seeing as millennials become the dominant market segment. To survive and thrive will require financial services brands to adapt, adjust and change accordingly …or be left behind.

Three months into the New Year and, not surprisingly, the financial services category continues to face major change and disruption. Technology is driving much of this change. But, arguably even more impactful are the effects of change in buying behavior we’re seeing as millennials become the dominant market segment. To survive and thrive will require financial services brands to adapt, adjust and change accordingly …or be left behind.

Leading and forward-thinking banks, insurers and investment houses are rethinking their marketing strategies. They are going beyond pushing basic functional benefits to communicate emotional messages and focusing on their efforts to make the world a better place.

Andrea Brimmer, CMO with Ally Financial, feels that success with purpose requires much more than simply hitching their brand to a cause. Their strategic approach has worked because they intertwine their cause and purpose-driven efforts with their business objectives.

Leading and forward-thinking banks, insurers and investment houses are rethinking their marketing strategies. They are going beyond pushing basic functional benefits to communicate emotional messages and focusing on their efforts to make the world a better place.

Andrea Brimmer, CMO with Ally Financial, feels that success with purpose requires much more than simply hitching their brand to a cause. Their strategic approach has worked because they intertwine their cause and purpose-driven efforts with their business objectives.

Leading and forward-thinking banks, insurers and investment houses are rethinking their marketing strategies. They are going beyond pushing basic functional benefits to communicate emotional messages and focusing on their efforts to make the world a better place.

Andrea Brimmer, CMO with Ally Financial, feels that success with purpose requires much more than simply hitching their brand to a cause. Their strategic approach has worked because they intertwine their cause and purpose-driven efforts with their business objectives.

Millennial consumers in particular will pay a premium to do business with brands that align with their values. The onus is on the cmo to figure out how to make this relate to the business that you’re in.

Andrea Brimmer, CMO, Ally Financial

Millennial consumers in particular will pay a premium to do business with brands that align with their values. The onus is on the cmo to figure out how to make this relate to the business that you’re in.

Andrea Brimmer, CMO, Ally Financial

In both his 2018 and 2019 letters to CEOs, Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock (the largest money-management firm in the world with more than $6 trillion in assets) has focused on the importance of purpose in their investment criteria:

A purpose-driven strategy works to meet the Holy Trinity of financial services marketing objectives; acquisition, retention and usage. Not to mention, the obvious benefits this strategy will deliver to your Net Promoter Scores (NPS). When added together, this should translate to significant improvements in your bottom line.

In both his 2018 and 2019 letters to CEOs, Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock (the largest money-management firm in the world with more than $6 trillion in assets) has focused on the importance of purpose in their investment criteria:

A purpose-driven strategy works to meet the Holy Trinity of financial services marketing objectives; acquisition, retention and usage. Not to mention, the obvious benefits this strategy will deliver to your Net Promoter Scores (NPS). When added together, this should translate to significant improvements in your bottom line.

Today’s always-on and transparent digital world provides consumers with the tools to choose brands that align with their values. Consumers can now (and do) choose brands that communicate a clear purpose on their messaging, and live out a true commitment across all areas of their business. A number of other positive outcomes that can improve your bottom line by committing to a purpose-driven model include:

  • An authenticity that creates more transparency across your entire business while informing your decisions, strategies and communications in ways never imagined.
  • A more consumer-focused strategy that requires a deeper understanding of buyer concerns and how your products can be a solution to help improve their lives. A purpose-driven approach also encourages a culture of innovation which combined with consumer insights means that product development happens faster and with better results.
  • Greater efficiency. The investment into becoming more authentic and purposeful typically reduces waste and improves your delivery processes.
  • The goodwill it generates will extend out to your consumers, workforce and key vendors. They will be enthused, energized and fully engaged in their work. You will attract (and retain) top talent while also optimizing productivity from your workforce.

Profit and purpose are now inextricably linked. Brands that stand for something bigger than just what they sell are experiencing high levels of success in the marketplace. Plus, very important to financial service marketers looking to gain greater share-of-wallet, purpose-led companies can easily move to sell additional services and products thanks to a higher level of trust among existing customers.

Today’s always-on and transparent digital world provides consumers with the tools to choose brands that align with their values. Consumers can now (and do) choose brands that communicate a clear purpose on their messaging, and live out a true commitment across all areas of their business. A number of other positive outcomes that can improve your bottom line by committing to a purpose-driven model include:

  • An authenticity that creates more transparency across your entire business while informing your decisions, strategies and communications in ways never imagined.
  • A more consumer-focused strategy that requires a deeper understanding of buyer concerns and how your products can be a solution to help improve their lives. A purpose-driven approach also encourages a culture of innovation which combined with consumer insights means that product development happens faster and with better results.
  • Greater efficiency. The investment into becoming more authentic and purposeful typically reduces waste and improves your delivery processes.
  • The goodwill it generates will extend out to your consumers, workforce and key vendors. They will be enthused, energized and fully engaged in their work. You will attract (and retain) top talent while also optimizing productivity from your workforce.

Profit and purpose are now inextricably linked. Brands that stand for something bigger than just what they sell are experiencing high levels of success in the marketplace. Plus, very important to financial service marketers looking to gain greater share-of-wallet, purpose-led companies can easily move to sell additional services and products thanks to a higher level of trust among existing customers.

Write it. Ponder it. Live it.

How can your company develop a successful strategy to both build business and create long term bonds with your customers and communities?

Write it. Ponder it. Live it.

How can your company develop a successful strategy to both build business and create long term bonds with your customers and communities?

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