How to Write a Financial Services Marketing Plan that Generates Growth

Sep 21, 2022

Jason Fairchild

Co-founder and CEO, tvScientific

Read Time:

Creating a financial services marketing plan can help get your app off the ground in no time with a powerful mix of goal-oriented channels.

It’s not easy to break away from the pack in the financial services industry; here’s our guide to creating a winning marketing strategy.

Financial Services Marketing Plan

A detailed marketing plan is a helpful tool for businesses in any industry. For financial services companies in particular, codifying a marketing strategy can help your team navigate the ups and downs of a highly regulated industry. These are the five features to include in an effective financial services marketing plan that drives growth from day one.

What Is a Financial Services Marketing Plan?

Financial services marketing plans describe an actionable roadmap that financial companies can follow while aiming to find, convert, and retain customers. Developing a sound marketing plan that is both pragmatic and optimized to deliver a return on investment is particularly important as the world of performance marketing continues to mature.

Meanwhile, financial services is a highly competitive industry. Standard financial apps tend to deliver similar core functionality, making effective marketing strategies a critical step in standing out to consumers. It’s not any easier for disruptor apps in the financial services space, though; they face an uphill battle due to the challenge of establishing trust when it comes to consumers’ personal information and financial resources. In both cases, a sound financial services marketing plan can help pave the way for major business growth.

5 Elements of an Effective Financial Services Marketing Plan

These are the five key elements you should include in your strategy in order to write a marketing plan for financial services that actually moves the needle.

1. Clear Marketing Goals

Start out by determining where you’re headed. Establishing clear goals will help orient the rest of your marketing plan by giving you a benchmark you can use to constantly check your progress. For example, your primary marketing goals might be some combination of the following:

  • Improving brand awareness
  • Acquiring new customers
  • Building consumer trust
  • Increasing retention rates
  • Increasing average spend
  • Growing annual revenue

Marketing decisions aren’t always a choice between good and bad, they’re often either a question of degree or personal taste. With clear marketing goals in place, you’ll be able to gut check your choices at every turn to make sure they’re putting you on the right path toward your stated intentions.

2. Established KPIs

It’s always a good idea to put your goals through the SMART filter, ensuring they are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. The SMART marketing strategy will take your financial services goals from vague ideas to clearly defined endpoints. It’s the difference between “acquire new customers” and “increase customer acquisition by 150% in Q3 of this year.”

In order to get SMART, you’ll need to set the right metrics to track your progress over time. The key performance indicators (KPIs) you choose will depend not only on your stated goals, but also on the channels you choose to implement as part of your financial services marketing strategy. Some common performance marketing metrics include:

  • Clickthrough rate (CTR): the percentage of people who click on your ad, calculated by dividing the number of clicks your ad receives by the number of times your ad is shown
  • Conversion rate (CVR): the percentage of people who take a desired action, calculated by dividing the number of conversions by the number of attributable interactions
  • Cost per acquisition (CPA): the cost of acquiring a new customer, calculated by dividing total ad spend by the number of people who become customers after viewing the ad
  • Cost per mille (CPM): the average cost per 1,000 ad impressions, calculated by dividing total cost by the number of impressions and multiplying that by 1,000
  • Customer lifetime value (CLTV): the average income you can expect to earn from each customer over the course of your business relationship, calculated by multiplying average order cost, average number of purchases per year, and retention rate (this is a basic formula for CLTV; some advertisers use much more complex calculations)

3. Audience Personas

Unlike brands focused on selling physical products, many financial service companies cater to multiple kinds of people with different sets of needs at the same time. That’s why defining audience personas is a crucial step of creating a financial services marketing plan; the more specific you can be about the kind of consumers you’re aiming to reach, the more effective you can be with your targeted campaigns.

Take into consideration factors like age, gender, education, employment, income, hobbies, goals, and challenges in order to paint a complete picture of your ideal customer. Then with those details in mind, you can design messaging, ad creative, and even specific service offerings to satisfy each individual persona on your list.

4. Market Research

Studying the competition will help you gain an understanding of how your financial services company fits into the broader marketplace. You should take the time to get to know what your competitors do and what specific services they provide, and take a structured approach toward identifying their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, also known as a SWOT analysis. It’s also a good idea to answer subtler questions like:

  • What is their market share?
  • How do they brand themselves?
  • How does their pricing compare to yours?
  • What is their reputation among consumers?
  • What marketing channels do they use?
  • What kinds of ad creative do they produce?
  • What keywords do they rank for through their content?

5. Diverse Channels

When it comes time to implement your strategy, there is no such thing as a single channel powerful enough to support your big picture marketing success. The most effective marketing plans — for financial services brands and companies in other industries alike — are those that make the most of multiple channels integrated into a single strategy. In the past, traditional marketing channels like paid advertising, social media, content marketing, email marketing, and guerilla tactics have been effective for financial services brands. Here are a few real world examples:

  • Klarna: This Swedish fintech pulls out all the stops to create ad campaigns that have even made it to the Super Bowl and feature celebrities like Snoop Dogg and Maya Rudolph.
  • Wealthsimple: This Canadian investment management company won the SEO game by creating their own branded digital magazine full of relevant educational content.
  • WePay: This online payment provider made a splash by sneaking a 600-pound block of ice into a PayPal developer conference. Frozen inside were stacks of cash and a message calling out their main competitor. The stunt led to a 3x increase in conversions, a 300% increase in weekly traffic, and a 225% increase in signups.

Beyond the tried and true, new and emerging channels are also proving to be successful marketing tools for financial services companies. In order to qualify as “emerging,” marketing channels don’t need to be net new technologies. More often than not, they represent evolutions of existing channels for the modern era. Social media is considered a traditional performance channel, for example, but features like AR and platforms like TikTok are new applications within that category.

Similarly, linear TV advertising has been around for decades but CTV is an emerging channel perfectly suited for today’s performance marketers. With unparalleled targeting, attribution, and metrics, CTV is a viable channel for financial services brands large and small. It represents a blue-sky opportunity for marketers of all stripes looking to tap into new, cost-effective paid marketing opportunities.

To learn more about how incorporating CTV can help your financial services company achieve massive growth, download our free report, “How CTV Advertising Powers the Performance TV Revolution.”

New call-to-action

Once you’ve created a financial services marketing plan complete with these five key elements, it’s time to execute your strategy. That’s where we can help; as the world’s first CTV advertising and attribution platform, tvScientific offers comprehensive testing so that financial services advertisers can make sure their marketing efforts return worthwhile results and drive sustainable growth where it really counts. Interested in learning more about how to make CTV advertising part of your financial services marketing plan? Get in touch today.