With the New Year fast approaching, we take a look at the key digital marketing trends that will influence the financial services industry in 2016. Mobile activity and social media were big talking points this year, but how will these progress in 2016? Is data set to become the digital powerhouse? Where is content heading? These are the questions all marketers are asking themselves, so let’s find out.   

The power of data will be realised

Big data is a big deal. But its true value has been locked away so far, particularly in the finance sector. Marketing objectives are often formulated around internal stakeholder decisions. But it’s the external ones, your clients to be precise, that hold the key to success.

In 2016, big data is set to take centre stage to not only deliver personalised content, but to leverage decision making. A big drive to capture accurate and supplementary data is expected so that marketing communications have more direction and client focus. Personalisation goes hand-in-hand with brand credibility, and trust building is still a major objective for financial services companies heading into the New Year.

Mobile has caught up…and could overtake

At the start of 2015, desktop was winning the race over mobile as most financial services companies’ journey towards mobile maturity was just beginning. And although mobile activity against other industries remains comparatively lower, 32.5% of email opens are now on mobile and this figure is steadily rising.

As such, 2016 will see marketers re-evaluating online user experience and pushing for mobile responsive formats. It will likely encourage interactive content too, moving away from text heavy communications and towards mobile applications that rely on cutting-edge technology.

Social media maturation

The social media boom in 2015 saw financial firms reaching out to their clients through a whole new channel. But from a B2B perspective, there is uncertainty around social media presence and client perception. Do hashtags have a place in financial services? What content should we be sharing?

In the New Year, marketers will have a greater understanding of how to use social tools effectively to engage with financial advisers. Strategies will be defined and we may see a bolder approach adopted. (tweet this!)

Video is the new king of content

Thought leadership is central to marketing efforts with the industry still striving to improve its image. So delivering best-in-class content is justifiably proving to be a priority. According to a recent report, less than two percent of financial services companies deemed their content marketing highly effective, but 90 percent saw content marketing as an important area of growth for the following 12 months. And speaking of maturation, the growing capabilities of video will likely see it become the most effective format of content in 2016.

Investing in the digital shift

Infrastructure, regulatory challenges and the industries slow adoption of modern technology have presented hurdles in the past few years. But recent forecasts expect an 11.7% annual growth rate in digital spend for the finance sector over the next four years, one of the biggest shifts in all segments. With more aggressive sales goals to be met, it seems that a greater impetus will be placed on digital marketing in 2016 and beyond. It will be interesting to see how big data, mobile, social media and video content will influence the digital shift.