Financial Marketing in Turbulent Times

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The coronavirus pandemic has led to a rising number of challenges for financial institutions. Among these is the challenge of staying connected with clients during uncertain times. The firms that have managed to navigate this successfully are those that have focused on the human aspects of the crisis and how they can help their clients find the security they need in spite of volatility.

In our recent webinar with the Financial Communications Society, April Rudin, founder, and CEO of the Rudin Group and Dipti Kachru, CMO of J.P. Morgan U.S. Wealth Management, discussed some of the key themes financial marketers and advisors need to be aware of as they navigate the coming months.

Key Takeaways

  • Humanizing some of the challenges clients are dealing with as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic can help firms create more authentic campaigns.
  • For large firms, connecting with clients while also empowering advisors to do the same can be a great way to build and strengthen relationships.
  • Doing something timely rather than creating something highly produced can feel more relevant to the way people are living and working at the moment.

How Firms Can Connect With Clients Amid Ongoing Volatility 

As financial firms have come to terms with the changing landscape of the past few months, many have had to pivot their messaging. But the core of their mission remains unchanged—to help their clients create a secure financial future. 

“It comes down to a couple of themes,” says Kachru. “The big one is that our clients are trying to dimensionalize what this means for them and their money. As you think about where they are in their life journey, their sense of affluence, how they start to understand what is happening in the markets, there’s this need to answer the question of, ‘Am I going to be okay?’” Crafting a message around that question comes down to understanding not only a client’s needs but their bigger concerns about the changes that are happening and those that are likely to follow as we continue on the path to recovery. According to Kachru, campaigns that are able to capture that sentiment and respond to underlying concerns are likely to resonate more closely with both current and prospective clients.

Why Authenticity and Transparency Are More Important Than Ever

Authenticity has been a big theme in financial marketing for years but it has never been more important than in the current moment. As clients are forced to adapt to ever-changing situations, the need for guidance and a sincere connection is often at the forefront of their minds. The success of the recent J.P. Morgan ad on the importance of the advisor-client relationship speaks to this type of authenticity and how it can help financial firms move beyond strategic growth initiatives to create more lasting relationships.

“The role of media is different at different times and for different purposes,” says Kachru. With this ad, her team was able to bridge some of the divides created by social distancing and the uncertainty of the current moment to offer clients the reassurance they need. “To bring about that story authentically at a time where we knew our clients were looking for advice was the kernel that led to it. Not just in the context of giving our clients the ability to know that we’re here and ready to help, but giving our advisors the comfort that it’s okay for them to represent that reality and still know that they can help their clients.”

The Bottom Line

As financial firms continue to face new challenges in the current climate, meeting those challenges with a client-focused mindset while embracing transparency could offer new pathways of connection.