Marketing-ChallengesThere are some businesses and industries where marketing is reasonably straightforward. If you’re a retailer, for example, then it is easy to find your most luxurious product, the item with the largest price reduction, or something that everyone will take to social media to talk about, and put it out there for everyone to see.

For others, however, marketing is nothing less than a minefield, with controversy lurking around every corner. The finance industry would be the perfect example of this. What are the marketing challenges faced by marketing companies?

Industry Regulation

As regulation surrounding all parts of the finance industry gets stricter, it is becoming more difficult for various firms to market their services. There is no question that regulation of the industry is a good thing, as it prevents finance companies from targeting vulnerable individuals or promoting services in a misleading manner.

The challenge here isn’t beating the regulation, but coming up with creative ways to market products and services so that advertising isn’t just a boring gluttony of this is what we do, this is your interest rate, this is how you apply. Of course, that all will be in there, but communication is more about the way you say something more than anything.

Lack of Trust

We’ve all experienced the effects of the financial downturn of the last five years in some way, even if it has had no direct influence on ourselves as individuals. Collective trust in financial organisations remains low, however, and marketing initiatives are often seen as trying to gloss over any shortcomings a financial brand might have had in the past.

Simply continuing to pump out traditional marketing campaigns isn’t the answer here. Instead, honesty about the problems of the past, and what a business is doing to address them – perhaps via an open letter on their website or in a newspaper – will help to gain that trust back.

Poor Knowledge on the Street

Everyone has an opinion of financial matters, but it is still the minority that holds real knowledge about what is available and how the industry works. This creates challenges in a world where most people find themselves concerned with when they’re getting paid and how much disposable income they have left after paying their bills.

If Structured ran an ad campaign, for example, how many people would instantly get what it was about? Unfortunately, marketing budgets can only go so far when it comes to educating customers.

Difficulty in Finding an Audience

Marketing means nothing if it isn’t directed at the right people. Thankfully, the internet means a finance company can invest in SEO and be found by people looking for them, rather than paying a fortune for television or radio advertising, when they’re probably not going to be seeing the return on investment they’ll no doubt be looking for.

Rising to the Challenge

The finance industry is arguably one of the most challenging of all in which to achieve a successful marketing campaign. However, by understanding the challenges and how to meet them, finance companies can enjoy a dramatic improvement in their return on investment.

Michael is a marketing student currently producing a dissertation around the various challenges different industries and businesses can face. Upon completion of his studies, Michael hopes to move into the reputation management side of marketing and help companies to deal with a lack of trust in their specific industries.