3 Ways Finance Marketers Can Improve the Customer Journey in the Era of Digital Disruption

May 18, 2015

FinanceConnect Audience

At this year’s FinanceConnect conference in New York City, some of the biggest thought leaders in the financial industry discussed digital disruption and the ways that companies can engage with their customers to build trust, especially with Millennials, who stand to inherit trillions in the coming decades.

Watch some of the day’s most exciting highlights and read on to discover 3 ways finance marketers can improve the customer journey in the era of digital disruption.

1. Create A Disruptive Strategy In Alignment With How Millennials Invest

Mohamed El-Erian, who is the Chief Economic Advisor at Allianz, and Jill Schlesinger, Senior Business Analyst at CBS News, kicked off the day with a lively discussion of how digital disruption is changing the industry.

“We’re living in a world in which disruptors alter existing industries by applying a core competency somewhere else – that’s incredibly powerful…and a massive opportunity for investors,” El-Erian said.

El-Erian also discussed how financial institutions are regaining Millennials’ trust and the ways in which Millennials get information on how to invest through methods like social media.

“Millennials want a more self directed life,” El-Erian said. “They are looking for solutions, not products.”

John Thiel, Head of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, agreed that disruption can be used to enhance client relationships – especially among the young. “The strategy you have must align with Millennials’ values,” he said.

Speaking on a panel about Millennial investing trends, Donna Sabino, Senior Vice President at global market research company Ipsos, discussed trends they have seen with Millennials and financial services products.

“They tend to want to be more involved in their portfolios and their money,” she said. “Affluent Millennials are twice as likely to learn about retirement planning on social networks. Act now – they are thinking and gathering information. Don’t wait for them to come to you.”

2. Set the Stage: Disrupt Your Own Business

LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner participated in a Q&A with Dan Roth, Executive Editor of LinkedIn, about the ways in which companies can drive innovation through disruption and being “brutally honest” about their business.

“You have to know when it’s time to think about a different approach,” Weiner said. “If you’re not going to cannibalize your business, know that someone else will. Ideally, you want to be as proactive as possible. If it’s truly a vision, it hasn’t happened for a reason. You have to have to be able to communicate the clarity of that vision.”

David Edelman, Partner and Global Co-Leader of McKinsey Digital, Marketing and Sales, discussed specific ways that companies can disrupt and restructure their marketing operations to better engage with clients, via digital and social efforts.

“I think it’s easy to get distracted and lose track of what these core capabilities are trying to allow you to do – which is to connect with your customers in ways that are going to drive growth,” Edelman said.

Watch Edelman’s presentation.

Additionally, disruption in wealth management was covered on a panel that looked at robo-advisors and traditional elements of the field; all parties agreed on the role of technology in providing the best service to clients.

“It’s not man versus machine,” said Hardeep Walia, Founder and CEO of Motif Investing. “It’s about leveraging technology to provide the best guidance for our customers.”

3. Always Look Forward, Never Backward

Ed Gilligan, the President of American Express, said that American Express has been able to survive for 165 years because the brand has evolved with time and aimed to be part of the customer journey. He noted that brands in the past tried to stay neutral and refrain from taking positions on social issues, but now it makes more sense to adjust and cater to your customers, who have a voice in the “sharing economy.”

“Brands can live or die based on those conversations,” Gilligan said. "Our job is to reinvent our relationships with customers and to go where they are."

Watch Gilligan’s presentation.

For more insights from FinanceConnect 2015, watch the videos or take a look at the presentations on our SlideShare channel.

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