Make It Count: How Top Finance Brands Connect With Customers

Financial service providers must look for ways to forge lasting connections with customers. Citi, Deloitte, and Bank of the West have found marketing success through simple, memorable messaging and clear core values.

In the world of financial copywriting, every word counts.

Here, guest writer Rebecca Benison shares modern marketing strategies that have helped top financial companies secure millions of loyal customers.

In many respects, the world of finance isn’t known for being personable. People often choose their service providers based on convenience, expertise, and promotions. Beyond these, it can be difficult to imagine what else to insist on from a financial services company. 

As it turns out, top brands are considering that very question. Here are some marketing strategies that have helped Citigroup, Deloitte, and Bank of the West stand out from competitors—and meaningfully connect with consumers across the globe.

Citi Makes It Memorable

When signing up for a credit card, you’re probably focused on interest rates or the rewards associated with purchases. Maybe you’re looking forward to getting some cash back at the end of the month or gift cards to your favorite restaurants. But what if a credit card could do more—providing exclusive access to events in major cities and the chance to rub shoulders with celebrities? 

Citigroup offers just that.

Banking on the idea that people value experiences over “stuff,” the company launched Citi Entertainment—providing entry and preferred seating to major events like concerts and sports matches, as well as intimate affairs with renowned talent. Even in the age of social distancing, members are able to share a Virtual Happy Hour with Jon Bon Jovi, among other unique experiences.

Each year, Citi coordinates 15,000 events for members around the world. It’s part of the growing trend of experiential marketing, where brands deliver memorable experiences to target audiences. The result? Engaged customers who go on to serve as brand ambassadors, promoting the company through social media and word-of-mouth. Because who doesn’t want to be a trend-setter?

Deloitte Makes It Simple

Conduct research. Review reports. Analyze trends. Repeat. To develop targeted marketing strategies, brand managers regularly scour data—while also balancing daily tasks. 

In 2018, Deloitte decided to simplify the process. Delivering streamlined data analysis, their Make Your Impact campaign centers on the idea that we all want to make our mark—brands included. Here, Deloitte serves as a trusted advisor, helping companies address contemporary challenges like cybersecurity and digital transformation while better connecting with audiences. Through simple images and messaging, the campaign delivers a bold call to action: Make Your Impact.

Bank of the West Makes It Impactful

Building off the idea of making an impact, Bank of the West presents an easy way for people to do good for the planet—offering a checking account that lets customers visualize the carbon footprint of their purchases.

The tool’s algorithm determines which purchases are most harmful to the environment—and assigns them a bigger carbon footprint. By seeing the environmental effects of their daily spending, account holders can make more informed decisions. The checking account itself, called 1% for the Planet, is paperless to reduce waste, with 1% of revenue going to environmental causes. (So even if spending habits remain the same, customers can still make a positive change simply by using the account.)

Beyond these offerings, Bank of the West champions sustainability through a partnership with the nonprofit Protect Our Winters, which is committed to  fighting climate change. In doing so, the brand shows that sustainability is a core valuenot just a talking point. 

MarketSmiths Case Study: PM Credit Management

After developing a thriving credit management business in the U.S., Regal Credit Management wanted to expand to the United Kingdom. But with little experience across the Atlantic, they struggled to strike the right tone for British customers (especially ones unfamiliar with credit management). By tapping MarketSmiths, Regal—now known as PM Credit Management in the U.K.—soon found a solution. Working under tight deadlines, we revamped everything from web copy to promotional flyers to product names. Our creative efforts soon paid off: Regal quickly saw increased client interest and used our copy to boost its credentials with London partners. In short, we’ve helped Regal secure a foothold in the old world—and get British audiences on the road to strong credit. 

Read the full study >

Why Personal Connections Matter

Walk through the streets of Manhattan, and you’ll likely find a bank on every corner. Stacked with competition, finance brands have to determine the true driver behind customer loyalty. Obviously, factors like convenience and utility will always be selling points—but it’s added, one-of-a-kind offerings that really stand out in a crowded market.

When people hear your brand name, what feelings are evoked? Which features are described? Finance may be a dry subject—but your brand doesn’t have to be. Find the spark that incites customer excitement and build an experience around it. The more engaged customers are, the more likely they’ll be to share your message with friends and family—building brand loyalty and boosting your bottom line.

Want to connect with customers on a deeper level? At MarketSmiths, seasoned copywriters deliver personalized content strategies to reach global audiences. See how.

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