Movable Ink’s Strategy Team continues to grow, adding more digital marketing experts that deliver meaningful insights to our clients. The three newest members of our team are here to share a little about themselves and their perspective on the remainder of 2021.
Robbie Freeman: Associate Director, Financial Services
Robbie has more than ten years of customer marketing experience, leading communications strategies across email, mobile, web, and social channels. Most recently at American Express, Robbie ran the award-winning hyper-personalized Small Business eNewsletter driving 4X spend in openers. Before that, he pioneered the first completely Movable Ink-powered onboarding journey featuring the first-ever Welcome Offer Reinforcement API integration.
His eight years at American Express also spanned driving customer lifecycle strategies for the Small Business, Consumer, and Foreign Exchange units with a focus on driving the best customer behaviors, increasing share of wallet, and optimizing production efficiency. As a strong believer in the agile approach to marketing, Robbie is constantly thinking of innovative ways to test new campaign elements while reducing time to market. Robbie joined us in 2021 to focus on clients within Financial Services.
Robbie’s FinServ Insights
Silos are over. With the rise of FinTechs people are looking for a one-stop shop for all their financial needs. Big Credit Card companies are part of the trend as well, offering more options for loans and banking in addition to their baseline products.
Mobile adoption continues to rise and personalization will be key to servicing these new users.
The Average Joe is tired of being left out and is going to continue to look for ways to get their piece of the pie. Meme Stocks and Crypto have created a high demand for financial services and brands will need to make sure their platforms meet these users’ expectations and think of new ways to communicate with this type of customer’s unique needs.
Alex May: Associate Director, Travel, Hospitality, and Food Services
Alex joins us from the client-side, spending the past eight years in various marketing roles focused on digital communications, CRM, and personalization. Most recently, at Neiman Marcus, he focused on test-and-learn programs to scale personalized, omnichannel customer experiences. He also led the strategy, implementation, and ongoing execution of Neiman’s personal shopper matching program.
Alex began his career working in the QSR space for brands including Pizza Hut and Dave & Buster’s. He is well-versed in the challenges of marketing and loyalty in the QSR landscape and applies those learnings to develop innovative personalization strategies for our Travel, Hospitality, and Food Services clients.
Alex’s QSR Insights
Loyalty Programs are now table stakes for Food Services. They can super-charge retention, personalization, data collection, and customer lifetime value. Paired with strong mobile app experiences, loyalty leads to stickier customer connections and collection of rich, first and zero-party data. Additionally, studies show that members of loyalty programs spend twice as much as those who are not members.
Mobile integration & personalization are imperative for Hospitality. Moving forward, hotels will have two locations: their virtual one and their physical one. Each will play an equally important role and mobile integrations will act as the bridge between both. Mobile apps can now facilitate room bookings, restaurant reservations, room service requests, and spa appointments. They can even act as the room key. In addition to self-service functions, mobile apps can incorporate virtual reality for customers to preview properties and augmented reality to make guest experiences more interactive and engaging.
Artificial intelligence and personalization for travel are blending. Algorithms can be used to cross-sell products and make predictions about customer needs based on the behavior of other customers from the same location, booking the same travel, and booking at the same time of year. Additionally, mobile technology enables marketers to input elements of personalization during the customer journey from booking, arrival, and departure.
Alex Manly: Associate Director, Financial Services (EMEA)
Alex has more than a decade’s worth of experience delivering best-in-class marketing strategies for some of the world’s leading brands for both agencies and brands. Over this period, Alex gained significant experience in the Financial Services industry, launching her career at UK-based Nationwide and subsequently working on the Grant Thornton & RSA accounts during her time at Intermarketing. Most recently, Alex joined Movable Ink from American Express where she led a global team to deliver the digital campaign strategy for some of the brand’s top-tier benefits across 15 markets.
Alex is passionate about innovation and, in her spare time, has spent more than five years on TEDxBrighton’s committee as Head of Strategy & Marketing. This enables her to bring undiscovered voices to the global stage, where she also coaches speakers to share their energy and curiosity on the famous ‘big red dot’.
Alex’s FinServ Insights
Consumer trust in financial services brands is fragile. In the FCA’s Financial Lives survey, the UK regulator benchmarks consumer trust within the sector. What we’re observing is that, broadly, trust is driven by experience which makes it incredibly fragile. Only 38% of the UK population describes themselves as worse off financially since the pandemic; the way Financial services brands respond in these critical moments can either build or erode trust. While retail banks are at the top of the pile, building trust through initiatives like mortgage payment deferrals; the FCA are still only observing that 1 in 5 UK adults say they trust banks.
As marketers, 2021 is the year to focus on building trust. In Deloitte’s recent series “The Future of Banking,” they underline the importance of hyper-personalization to build trust with customers throughout the retail banking sector.
We need to collaborate with CX teams to zoom in on the digital shift. The forecasted digital growth is well-documented. In fact, eMarketer predicts that in the UK, 39% of the entire population will be banking with digital-only brands four years from now–that’s up from 26% today. A Signicat study across Europe found that, while digital adoption increased last year, so did the rate in mobile onboarding abandonment. As digital adoption in FinServ increases, so do consumer expectations.
As Signicat describes in their report, “the ‘first mile’ of digital sales—capturing and converting the customer—is likely stifling many providers’ ability to grow, irrespective of how seamless the rest of their digital service is. Facing poor onboarding and myriad easy choices, consumers are refusing to simply accept bad experiences. They are now shopping around, prepared to abandon applications if they are too time-consuming or cumbersome.”
COVID should build a new benchmark for speed & agility in FinServ. In a Dentsu survey, 95% of marketers reported that they reassessed their marketing plans last year. We know that Financial services can experience tortoise-like pace when it comes to change–particularly when we fuse the crucial aspects of technology and data together. But many brands found that red tape was torn down and rule-books were torn up last year in our sector; to get things moving quickly we all heard the imperative of becoming more agile.
Marketers have a responsibility to use the techniques they learned and the teams they collaborated with last year to enable new benchmarks. Automation will enable digital marketing teams to continue focusing on the what, not the how. What is the most appropriate message for this customer? Not, how do I get this message to them?