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Should banks place more focus on digital marketing?

10/01/2014

The emergence of digital platforms in the financial services market has been a major trend over the last decade, with the prevalence of online banking just one example of how our relationship with banks has changed in this period.

This has created new roles within the financial sector - however, many of the marketing functions in banking have remained relatively narrow, focused on areas such as search engine optimisation, electronic customer relationship management and so on.

While engaging with all these concepts is obviously crucial for banks that wish to work with their customers on digital platforms, for professionals this is producing jobs that look narrow and unappealing, particularly compared to other industries where this part of the business is more developed.

Banks need to diversify their positions to ensure marketing professionals have more opportunities for interesting career progression, as not doing so will see them lose out when it comes to bringing in the top talent.

This follows a report from Wired highlighting the need for UK banks to embrace digital innovation if they are to remain relevant to a new generation of consumers.

Mark Hale, head of payments at KPMG UK, told the tech news provider that the way many financial services firms now do business is almost 300 years old.

"Today, money is simply bits and bytes - and digital currencies recognise that. An accounting-book change in the cloud is a more realistic representation of money today. It's the first proper revolution in payments - everything else is simply cash on steroids," he declared.

While how far banks decide to innovate is up to them, they obviously need to attract the best possible digital talent if they are to move ahead of their rivals in the crowded digital marketplace.

Possibly looking at how small to medium-sized enterprises bring in digital marketing experts could be one solution, as these organisations tend to have far better-developed hiring processes in this area than their larger counterparts.