Financial Brand Forum: Top 20 Takeaways

Posted by Rick Hall

Don’t distress. It’s apparently worse than it seems...but it’s the same as it has been.

las-vegas-coming-and-going-1-1517683.jpgLast week, BKM ventured out to Las Vegas to attend the Financial Brand Forum. It was impossible to miss the underlying passion that the Forum brings to their event; we're already talking about plans to head back next year.    

There is no question that financial marketers today face more headwinds than ever before. Not only are the industry challenges as onerous as ever but now bank marketers must respond to a mobile world that dictates what all customers expect. Aren’t we just talking about only how we compare to the other banks in our market? Nope! And it won’t be that case ever again.

Rather than provide a lengthy recap of the two-day event, we thought we would share the Top 20 Takeaways from our pages of notes. The order of the list isn’t as relevant as the diversity of topics we discovered - and the impact they will have on the industry certainly has us thinking. We hope something from the list piques your interest as well. Here we go:

Top 20 Takeaways 

  1. Read The Hidden Brain by Shankar Vedantam and subscribe to his podcast at

  2. Segmentation rules have changed, and segments are now much more nuanced – millenials are not all digital and not all digitals are millenials

  3. Build for mobile first – ensure your bank is optimized for mobile

  4. Features and benefits have been replaced by the need for entertainment

  5. Google your bankers and Yelp your branches

  6. Create a personal experience for every customer; personalize content from bankers to customers

  7. Get to know Alexa, Viv and Cortana - and how they will impact you. Facebook Messenger too (you can fast forward to around the 14th minute if you'd like)

  8. Optichannel has replaced Omnichannel

  9. Data holds the key for everything we want to accomplish

  10. Find strategic partners who share your vision and work with them to help you do more with less

  11. Build and connect your customer profiles across all of your channels: physical, digital, mobile...

  12. Always test your channel mix for messages

  13. Find ways to enable your customers to market themselves through your institution

  14. Create experiences rather than launching products

  15. Watch the TD Bank YouTube videos: ‘Sometimes you just want to say thank you' and 'An average day at the bank turns into the ultimate throwback'

  16. Google Martin Shubik and The Dollar Auction Game and Psychological Entrapment
  17. Develop a transformative purpose

  18. Every reach out from a customer demands an immediate response

  19. Proactive actions through anticipating events is the foundation of trust

  20. Simplicity and transparency matter – strive to ensure your customer communication delivers empathy, distillation and clarity

While some of these may not immediately hit you as relevant to Banking and Financial Services, they are more relevant than ever in today’s marketplace. Buckle up! While the ride will definitely be bumpy, focus on what makes your bank unique and work on delivering that promise everyday. You are not alone - but if you don’t pay attention to what is happening, you likely will be.  

Finally, if you haven’t done so, quickly look over the Core Values of Zappos – this is the third time I have seen their presentation and each time I take away something different. It is worth the few minutes of your time to check them out, especially when you realize they were developed from an open invitation to all employees to submit their ideas and these are what made the cut following hundreds of suggestions.

What were some of your key takeaways from the event? 



Topics: Bank Marketing