Marketing Financial Services Is Set for Major Changes in 2012

Financial services play a very important role in the economy of a place simply because this is a set of businesses that manage money. These institutions include banks, credit unions, insurance companies, credit card companies and any other institution that is in the business of managing money. 2012 is a year that has immense financial opportunities for a financial service company with the right marketing strategy and plan. Financial marketing services need to have proper and real solutions to counter present challenges while making use of the available resources and at the same time minimizing on unnecessary costs.

One of the greatest features and elements that played a major role in marketing financial services during the past year was ICT and mobile telephone services. This is an area that needs to be tapped into again during this year. The internet and mobile phones have brought so many service and goods closer home which is an advantage to consumers and created a wide international market to the existing financial service businesses including other business too. This is an area that needs to be tapped into more due to the available resources. Mobile phones that are internet enabled ensure that information is passed on whenever and wherever.

One of the greatest breakthroughs in marketing financial services is market research. Research plays a very integral role in planning the success of any business. Hence helps a business realize the markets mindset through which a great business plans is created. Financial services need to take advantage of research in order for them to create new ways in which to satisfy their clients’ needs, maintain the existing client, plan to increase their niche market and at the same time come up with ways in which they can increase their presence in the market.

Financial marketing services will see to it that businesses make use of the tough economic situations to ensure that they have a solution for the existing challenges that the market is facing. Once the research is done, financial institutions need to ensure that they are communicating what the clients need to hear so as to be at purr with them. This creates an understanding under which the client will see the need of using the financial solution that a financial institution has to offer and at the same ensure that the business has all the necessary tools to meet the same. A winning financial service marketing plan is one that is client driven, offers quality service and at the same time promises client satisfaction.

Financial Services

Apart from providing a wealth of information, the Internet has also become an avenue for companies to provide products and services for their clients. Given the demands of modern life and the strain it puts on your schedule, services provided on the Internet greatly reduce the time and effort you have to put into transactions. One such example of such a service that is available on the Internet is that of online banking, where banks can offer their financial services not only to existing but also to potential clients who have access to the Internet.

Through online banking, you are provided with a secure and convenient way to use online services that will make it possible for you to check your account activity and balances, view images of paid checks that you have issued, transfer funds, receive balance alerts, and even pay your bills. Apart from the usual banking services, some companies also provide other services such as providing retirement plans and an online brokerage, where you can actively trade and get information on the stock market.

Enrolling in these services for existing clients is very convenient as it can be done online, where you are usually just asked to provide your access codes and accept online disclosures. You are also provided with hotline numbers that are available twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week that you can call with regard to any concerns that you may have with your account. In addition to this, transactions such as ATM withdrawals, money transfers, and credit card transactions are immediately posted on the system, which can provide you with the most up-to-date information on your account.

If you’re worried about security, the companies that provide these financial services promise that doing transactions online is very secure. This is because apart from having your own personal access codes (usually a user ID and password) that will limit access to your account, the transmission of the transactions uses a browser with a high level of encryption and data coding. It would also be helpful if you do some research on online banking security so you will be up to date on the most modern technology with regard to securing your accounts.

The Internet has indeed provided its users with a source of information and a variety of services that help make life more efficient; online banking, which provides a convenient and secure way of availing of financial services, is a testament to this.

KPMG Financial Services Consulting – Defining a Market Strategy

To be more successful, businesses should manage more strategically. There is at least one business that took its own advice and did just that, with outstanding results. This brief article discusses the early steps in that business’s strategic management process, and provides a good example of how strategic management can dramatically improve a business’s performance.

During the years from 1993 to 2001, KPMG’s financial services consulting practice (FSC) in the United States grew at an unprecedented rate. Revenue for the practice grew during that period at a compound annual growth rate of just over 40%. Outside the US, this high rate of growth began a couple of years later than in the US, but once started the results were similar. From a starting point of less than $100 million in 1993, in 2001, after several years of significant growth, global revenue for FSC exceeded $1.2 billion.

There were many factors that contributed to this extraordinary growth. The purpose of this article is to discuss one of them, the market strategy that was defined for the practice. A strong case can be made that market strategy was the most important factor in the success of the practice, but regardless, it did at least represent the first step in moving the practice forward.

Market Strategy

The market strategy that was selected for FSC was “business management”. That market strategy proved to be an excellent choice for FSC, for a couple of major reasons:

  • The “business management” strategy clearly differentiated FSC from competitors. At the time, firms in the market that were consulting to financial services organizations could be categorized into three major types. There were systems integration and managed services firms that approached the market with their functional skills and large pools of resources. There were general strategy firms that approached the market with their consulting process and corporate level reputations. There were also dozens of niche firms that approached the market with their knowledge and experience in a limited array of services. No firms in the market offered services where depth of business knowledge was a requirement. FSC chose that path, and quickly became differentiated in the marketplace.
  • The “business management” strategy built on FSC’s core strengths. Traditionally, FSC hired consultants with at least three years of industry experience. This hands-on business experience became a good starting point for developing even more depth of business knowledge and understanding of best practices across an industry.

Natural Client

The natural clients for FSC’s “business management” strategy were the heads of the internal lines of business at the large financial services organizations. These were people who usually had Executive Vice President titles, or sometimes Vice Chairman titles, and who had full profit and loss responsibility for retail, corporate, capital markets, and other major businesses. Other firms were focused on the heads of technology, the Board of Directors, or at lower levels across the organization. Other firms did not identify strongly with the executives who had day-to-day responsibility for the P&L, and who were also the chief visionaries for their businesses in the market.

FSC’s market strategy appealed to line of business heads, and they controlled significant consulting budgets. The market strategy demanded in depth knowledge of the business. Functional knowledge was also important, but only within the context of the business knowledge. Most of the time, the issues faced by line of business heads could not be segmented into functional components. It was necessary to blend various functional skills, such as strategy, risk, finance, operations, and technology, into project teams, all with deep business knowledge.

Buying Factors

The line of business heads, who were FSC’s natural clients, had two buying factors that could not be compromised when selecting consulting firms:

  • There could be no learning of the business on the job. FSC not only embraced this buying factor, but tried to take it a step further. The goal was to assign professionals to projects that knew the business better than client personnel ever could. Therefore, best practices in the industry were introduced to clients in the normal course of consulting projects.
  • Consulting expenditures had to have bottom line payback. Once understood, this buying factor became a benefit to FSC. The heads of business lines were much more inclined to spend money on consulting projects when there was a quantified known payback. FSC had the knowledge and confidence to make commitments when necessary on paybacks.

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FSC enjoyed unprecedented growth during the 1990’s. One of the major factors contributing to that growth was FSC’s market strategy of “business management”. The market strategy appealed to the internal heads of lines of business, who became FSC’s natural clients. These natural clients had requirements for selecting consulting firms that demanded deep business knowledge and payback on consulting expenditures. The market strategy proved to be effective for FSC.

Taking the first step along the strategic management pathway required a tremendous amount of information gathering, analysis, insights, and hard work, but in the end, the results were worth the effort. FSC would not have been as successful during that period without, first, thinking strategically.