Catch a glimpse into what is top-of-mind for leading FinServ Marketers today.

We asked FinServ marketing experts the following question regarding the future of digital in the financial services industry, and they were kind enough to share their insights with us:

What do you think are the key digital trends that will shape financial services marketing, in 2018?


Serge Vartanov Headshot

Chief Marketing Officer,
Serge Vartanov

As a rising generation of digitally-savvy consumers looks for greater convenience, choice and authenticity, I expect financial services marketing to rise to the challenge with personalized messaging delivered where and when each consumer wants to engage with it. Savvy consumers use ad blocking tools to tune out brands that insist on interrupting them, creating new opportunities for brands like AutoGravity that understand how to reach out natively and serve consumers when they are most interested.

Silicon Valley Bank

Brian Dema Headshot

Director of Marketing Strategy,
Brian Dema

The key digital trends that will impact financial services marketing in 2018 are new search and advertising optimization made possible by machine learning-based targeting, increased personalization and real-time marketing driven by new chat technology and dynamic content capabilities becoming widely available, and data enrichment technologies tied to social media graphs that will help marketers learn more about their customers than ever before. This comes at a time when financial services organizations face new non-bank disruptors that are likely to be ahead of the curve on utilizing modern marketing technology.

Content Advisory

Robert Rose Headshot

Chief Strategy Advisor,
Robert Rose

One of the most important trends in financial services marketing in the coming year will be in the building of owned media audiences. New global data privacy regulations such as CASL and GDPR, as well as the continuing fragmentation of audiences across channels and devices mean that reaching customers will be more complex than ever. Creating valuable content-driven experiences for these audiences (and the rich data they can provide) will be a critical factor in meeting the threshold of “permission” as well as the effectiveness and efficiency of other marketing programs.

Arrowhead Credit Union

Emily Friesen Headshot

SVP Strategic Marketing,
Emily Friesen

With lots of talk about AI and voice being the future of financial services, I don’t think those technologies are yet in the “must have” list. What I think consumers are really looking for in 2018 is a perfect, seamless experience between your online banking and you mobile app. It seems obvious, but this is no longer a nicety, it’s an expectation.

Gone are the days of “our mobile app allows you to do 90% of what you can do in online banking.” Consumers want it all, they want it to work flawlessly (which is more of a challenge than any of us would like to admit). And, here’s the big one: They want an updated interface. Keep it big, clean and simple. Don’t overwhelm with icons or words. So basically, do everything we all know we should be doing, but perfect it in 2018 so you can be ready for how technologies will evolve in 2019.


Bryeanne Summers Headshot

Art Director,
Bryeanne Summers

Specific to the insurance industry, the trend moving forward will involve digital marketing campaigns that utilize a CRM system to produce personalized messaging and create a one-on-one conversation. We will push forward on developing data-driven marketing campaigns that deliver the right product and relevant messaging through targeted ad services, social media preferences and visitor tracking services. As well as, increasing digital presence with online video. A person can retain 95% of a video after 72 hours versus 10% of text they have read. Combine these assets and you will drive growth and profitability!

Oregon Community Credit Union

Deborah Mersino Headshot

Deborah Mersino

This is financial services’ Blockbuster moment. We’re either going to move forward or be left behind. Consumers are demanding seamless and personalized customer experiences through the omnichannel. Financial services has been slower than other verticals to adapt to providing this, and FIs need to establish leadership over CX. In 2018, this shift needs to happen if financial services are going to be successful from a competitive standpoint. Last year, according to Forbes, 75% of companies said their number one priority was to improve customer experience; however, many companies don’t actually put someone in charge of driving it. To add insult to injury, they often don’t support that customer experience effort with the proper resources. A whopping 66% of consumers who switch brands do so because of poor customer experience, according to Luke Williams, head of Customer Experience at Qualtrics. This is why we must take charge of our destiny now. We do not have time to waste. Banks, credit unions and wealth management firms need to arm themselves with the right talent and improve their CX management maturity, which involves not only leadership, but also the vision, research, prioritization, design, enablement, measurement and cultural buy-in. Only then will they be able to tackle the digital trends and forces shaping the industry.


Amy Loh Headshot

Paid Marketing Lead,
Amy Loh
Guli Zhu Headshot

Head of Marketing Analytics,
Guli Zhu

We see two separate but interconnected trends.  First, advances in database technologies and growth of the data ecosystem will enable marketing teams to build their own source of truth on customers’ marketing touchpoints.  Marketers will then be able to choose their own destiny on how and when to use this data, rather than necessarily being reliant on a single marketing technology provider.  All of this is enabled by the migration to cloud-based data lakes and warehouses; brands will be able to more quickly, easily and cheaply marry first, second and third party data across on- and offline channels to create a single, unified view of the customer.  Technologies like Looker, Fivetran and Snowflake Data Sharing will also empower marketing analytics and data science teams to spend significantly less time on data plumbing setup and maintenance, and focus efforts on what truly matters – campaign optimization analytics and modeling.

Second, brands’ marketing teams will then be able to leverage this newly unified data to create hyper-targeted campaigns that give the right message, to the right person, at the right time, and in the right channel; this will drive significant improvements in ROI and improve the customer experience.  With the ability to match PII and create audience lists to target individual users in digital channels, it’s now easier to create integrated online/offline campaigns.  Within the major digital partners (e.g. Facebook, Google, LinkedIn) and offline channels (e.g. Direct Mail, Addressable TV), we’ll see financial services companies create and scale integrated campaigns with custom messages for high value prospects.


Elliott Bundy Headshot

SVP, Head of Digital Marketing,
Christina Klenotic

I’ve been referring to 2018 as the year for connections for financial services. Data-driven personalization, trigger-based marketing, the rise of voice search, engaging content and the art of client centricity are all trends that are shaping how we go to market this year.

First Republic Bank

Kathleen Fetters Headshot

Head of Digital Intelligence and Analytics,
Kathleen Fetters

Consumers have opened their minds and their homes to conversational user interfaces like Amazon’s Alexa or Google’s Assistant.  Like how we learned to optimize search years ago, financial services marketers will need to learn how to do the same with these new tools if they want their brand to be the one that consumers hear about and hear from in this ever changing and increasingly competitive landscape.

Wells Fargo

Kathleen Fetters Headshot

VP Social Media,
Jennifer Heyman

I believe we’ll begin to see much wider adoption of true AI/Machine Learning applied throughout consumer touchpoints in the marketing ecosystem. If applied correctly, brands will be able to realize significant insights gleaned from data and apply these to future customer interactions. Consumer preferences will also drive a paradigm shift to brand experiences, rather than ads or “pushed” content.  Delivering a message through an experience may prove challenging, so I plan to watch closely for the brands who get it right.