Over the past 8 years, financial services firms have worked hard to adhere to new federal rules and regulations, put new compliance strategies in place, and build out compliance departments to adhere to these new strategies. Slowly but surely, the industry is adapting to the major changes it was so suddenly faced with, and with this adaptation has come an increased ability to turn efforts to other areas of the importance: namely, marketing. Many firms have been increasing their focus on marketing initiatives to restore the public’s trust in the financial services sector, and according to our financial services recruiting specialists, hiring trends are reflecting that with an increasing demand for seasoned financial services marketers.
“There has been a noticeable demand from these firms for professionals who can help revamp their brand,” says Paul Herman, a Senior Managing Director within The Execu|Search Group’s Financial Services division. “As trust is being restored in these firms, they want to make sure their image is represented accordingly when it comes to marketing materials, branding, strategy, and events.”
However, according to a 2013 article from Content Marketing Institute (CMI), these efforts weren’t always successful. The article claims that, only three years ago, “financial service providers often fail[ed] to build and execute dynamic content marketing programs”—in other words, their marketing initiatives left a lot to be desired. Why is this important? Because marketing is responsible for the “face” of a company and the image clients have of it. Without an up-to-date marketing strategy, many firms can lose out on customers and clients to their more branding-savvy competition.
Thankfully, marketing is returning to the forefront, as our financial services teams have been seeing a greater push for marketing and branding professionals than ever. With the economy recovering and firms recovering from the hit of the recession in 2008, there is now more time and money to be spent on things like social media ad campaigns and building thought leadership through a blog. Through these practices, the industry is finally exercising its creativity in reaching customers, clients, and prospective employees.
To source the right marketing talent, firms typically look for:
- Hands-on financial services experience
- Experience working with CRM tools (i.e. Salesforce.com)
- A strong background in leading integrated marketing initiatives and campaigns
- Experience with implementing marketing programs utilizing social media platforms (e.g. – LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter etc.)
- Thought leadership
- Strong understanding of key trends affecting the marketplace
According to an article by docturated.com, the main purpose of firms hiring these professionals—and bulking up their marketing departments to begin with—is customer retention and loyalty. With competition amongst financial services firms at its highest and trust only just being restored in the industry, no financial services organization can afford to lose out due to lackluster marketing efforts.