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January 24, 2017

Digital Darwinism beginning to appear

The next few years in the financial services sector are going to be transformative from a marketing perspective – partly driven by a new generation of marketing technologies but also by changes in consumer behaviour, which will lead to Digital Darwinism, so says senior financial marketer Stephen Ingledew

By Verdict Staff

The next few years in the financial services sector are going to be transformative from a marketing perspective – partly driven by a new generation of marketing technologies but also by changes in consumer behaviour, which will lead to Digital Darwinism, so says senior financial marketer Stephen Ingledew

To start, what do I mean by Digital Darwinism? Quite simply, it means when technology and society are changing faster than organisations can adapt to, and the only positive way to respond is to become customer-driven.

One consequence of this is that organisations will need to radically evolve their marketing operations to become more customer-driven.

To do this, financial organisations will need to ask themselves how they are relevant to a consumer’s life, and how their products address real-life changing consumer needs.

Failing to address the real and changing needs of consumers will open the way for the new emerging group of market disrupters that will do so.

Established businesses can too easily assume that because they are the biggest and have the most resources that they will be the survivors, but Darwinism proves that is not the case. Those who adapt and change will succeed, not those that continue to do what they have always done.

The right marketing operations platform
Within this rapidly evolving marketing environment, the selection of the most appropriate marketing operations platform is important. From my broad experience of leading technological advances in large organisations, I believe a good marketing operations platform can help transform the way businesses interact with its customers.

Aprimo supports the key foundations of marketing – issues such as governance, risk management and supplier relationships. Technology has always been around – on a basic level it facilitates automation and efficiency, but it does not in itself create a customer-driven businesses.

This enables these technical advances to be combined with innately human marketing skills, such as creativity, imagination and empathy – skills that technology cannot replace. As time goes on and the possibility of more jobs being replaced by technology grows, we must find a space that allows people to add value through human skills.

The right solution goes beyond the front-line marketing team and supports many aspects of the wider marketing ecosystem such as legal, risk, sales channels and third-party suppliers. It helps break down silos within a company and provides a keen focus on client contact, the customer need and the purpose of why you are in business. It allows the focus to not just be on technology; this is important because otherwise it is all about efficiency, which is not necessarily something that gets people out of bed in the morning.

Within businesses there is a need to give consistency with regards to personality. The brand is the personality – it is not the company colours nor the logo. Customers relate to personality, and they expect it to have a certain level of consistency. The more comfortable you are with a personality, the more you engage with it. However, within marketing different channels are often used: mobile, telephone or social. Frequently each channel can give a different experience or facet of your personality. This can then lead to confusion on the part of the customer.

By having a single source of marketing truth providing transparency and consistency of message tone and style, you ensure the root core of your personality is amplified across all channels. While enabling creative conversation, it gives an opportunity to provide a consistent personality.

Marketing operations helped me sleep
My background as a lawyer has meant I have always seen the importance of marketing compliance. I believe that the best marketing operations platforms provide governance and control while still driving operational efficiencies.

The right technology platform enables you to have confidence that your marketing messages are compliant. Once you have compliance confidence, you can empower your teams to be more creative and co-create with customers. We need governance and control – this is where marketing operations technology becomes invaluable.

Regulators have the power to investigate, fine and potentially sanction the senior person who is ultimately responsible for signing off marketing from a regulatory perspective. Therefore, as senior executives are increasingly distanced from a firm’s day-to-day operations, they need the assurance that their marketing messages are compliant and legal.

Once you have that confidence and competence teams can self-regulate, but to do this there is a need for governance and control, and this is where technology comes into its own.

Stephen Ingledew is a senior financial marketer, formerly of Standard Life

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