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What the Smartest Marketers Know about Digital Transformation and the Value of Automation in Financial Services

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Marketing technology leaders in the complex, heavily-regulated financial services industry are facing increasing challenges. More than ever, banking and wealth management institutions are struggling to put out more offers, faster, with less errors. Those poised to gain ground in this competitive space are rising in the ranks by finding and deploying ways to solve their biggest challenges. To this end, digital transformation and automation are helping to drive growth. Just as we have in developing our Resource Center, our team is committed to sharing trends and tech tools with those who spend their days, and likely nights, navigating the complexities of marketing, regulations and disclosures. To that end, this overview provides actionable insights from consulting partners with whom we collaborate, and global experts in customer experience.

Addressing Pain Points with Automated Solutions

When it comes to disclosure management, we find most martech teams typically deal with a handful of common problems: low efficiency, high cycle times, no scalability, compliance risk, disclosure errors and inconsistent channels. Increasingly, the solution appears to be found in automation. Disclosure automation solves these pain points. Now more than ever, the need for speed and accuracy, in communicating with customers and in meeting regulatory compliance requirements, tops all priority lists. With innovative industry solutions emerging in recent years to address these needs, banks, wealth management firms and fintech startups are improving their disclosure management processes.
Clearly, customers’ growing, post-pandemic demands to have a seamless digital experience is driving the industry digital. Platform technology, purposely-built for financial services, allowing teams to automate and accelerate growth, is critical to digital transformation.
That said, not all players in the finserv arena are equipped to be competitive in this space. With a clear directive to meet the customer where they are, how they want to be reached, and with easy access, the race for resources that meet these needs is on.

Deep Dive into Digital Transformation

There’s no doubt that there is growing interest in digital transformation by financial service leaders. It’s easy to see why, considering the long list of marketing musts they handle: managing an increased number of offers, with speed to market top of mind, establishing more efficient operations, getting compliance and disclosures done right, while prioritizing personalization to drive relationships and revenue. It’s a daunting but doable set of goals. As many of the leading institutions have experienced, leveraging technology to improve the disclosure management process is key to achieving better results in highly-regulated, complex industries. Finding solutions that disclosure automation delivers can drive results across the enterprise. Cloud-based platforms are increasingly answering the call of financial service leaders, and providing a competitive edge. A webinar that our CEO, Rab Govil, facilitated with representatives from Adobe and Capgemini, served as a deep dive discussion into top priorities for finserv to optimize outcomes. Not all systems are created equal. Even top banks are challenged with the complexities of disclosures and offer management. It’s why so many at all levels are tuned into where to seek and find answers. For those with legacy systems, the struggle is very real. Institutions contend with a myriad of pitfalls and risks associated with error-prone, manual processes. The enterprise-wide impact on marketing, operations, legal, risk and compliance teams is significant. Yet, so, too, are the benefits realized with solutions that free their time, lead to greater accuracy and reduce risk.
There continues to be a collective, clarion call for financial service providers to enhance their digital offerings. Engaging with technology partners is proving critical for finserv marketers looking to gain a competitive edge. For offers, disclosures, risk management, workflow and personalization, automation is the key to acceleration and growth.
One particular, highly-praised summary of strategies was published in a recent McKinsey & Co. report (issued February 16, 2022), “US wealth management: A growth agenda for the coming decade,” which offered these valuable insights: “While the pandemic challenged the performance of the US wealth management industry for much of 2020, the last 12 months have given rise to optimism that the conditions for a significant wave of innovation and experimentation across the wealth management ecosystem are in place. The conditions include rapid technological advancements, fast-evolving consumer needs and behaviors (accelerated by the pandemic), and an environment of economic stimulus. To thrive in this dynamic environment, firms must prioritize growth, adopt an innovation mindset, and be prepared to reallocate resources rapidly in response to the changing context. New customer needs provide an opening to differentiate. Investors are increasingly looking for institutions that can provide them with omnichannel access, integration of banking and wealth management services, and personalized offerings. Notably, 50% of clients think their primary wealth manager should improve their digital capabilities. Omnichannel access is no longer just ‘nice to have.’ One of the clearest disruptions triggered by the pandemic has been the sharp acceleration of digital adoption across consumer segments—including wealthier and older clients who were previously less digitally inclined with respect to financial advice. As a result, according to McKinsey’s latest Affluent and High-Net-Worth Consumer Insights Survey, digital is now the most preferred channel for clients, closely followed by remote.”

Partnerships: Finding Solutions to Leverage Technology

Modern, centralized platforms are built purposely with financial services companies in mind. Their primary purposes are clear: managing, accelerating, and fulfilling customer experiences. In the competitive industry, with regulations and customer demands as top priorities, the leaders are leveraging platform solutions to help them achieve meaningful outcomes:
  • Accelerate time to market
  • Increase response and conversion rates
  • Reduce costs
  • Eliminate compliance errors
Getting it right is a matter of finding the right platform and partner. From there, leveraging the platform technology leads to digital transformation that drives process improvements. The outcomes are measurable, delivering greater efficiencies, improved accuracy, while reducing errors, approvals and cycle times. As emphasized by the authors of the McKinsey & Co. Report, “Given the pace of change, stasis is not a viable option.” This is precisely what our teams have been communicating with clients across the financial services spectrum, resulting in our successful collaboration with 6 of the Top 10 banks in the country. How? With automated solutions that boost productivity and understand the complexities of a highly-regulated industry laser focused on exceptional customer experiences. In challenging industry leaders to be future-forward in their strategic thinking, the McKinsey Report urged wealth management firms to have a partnership strategy rooted in their business strategy. It noted: “When it comes to digital, data, and technology, it is impossible for any organization to stay ahead of the pack on every dimension, so a clear partnership strategy is crucial. Looking ahead, it is important for executives and their teams to be clear-eyed about which capabilities will be a source of sustainable competitive advantage and then to decide how to acquire those capabilities: build in-house, build in-house in partnerships with fintechs, or outsource.” It concluded, “Tomorrow’s successful managers will need to adapt their models to preempt the disruptions that lie ahead and adopt a new sense of purpose and innovation as they head into a period of growth.”

How Automation Solves for Growth

Our teams at Naehas continue to reinforce the value of automation in meeting the needs of financial services institutions in this competitive, consumer-obsessed climate. Automating the processes, by leveraging platform innovations purposely-built for highly-regulated industries, financial service companies are better equipped to meet the needs of stakeholders, customers and regulators. This was articulated in a recent article by our CEO, titled, “How AI Streamlines Marketing Compliance and Prioritizes Hyper-Personalization.” Importantly, these industry innovations help finserv martech leaders achieve key goals of landing and expanding customer relationships. Staying ahead of the competition requires staying current on proven solutions, and being adaptable to meet the needs of customers and regulators. Utilizing automation in disclosure management is a valuable solution to the most common challenges in financial services today. Martech teams looking to improve efficiency and accuracy are wise to follow the leaders in financial services. The more they listen and learn, the more they and their enterprise will benefit from automated disclosure automation that helps streamline the disclosure and compliance processes, while delivering personalization that drives relationships and revenue. The need is here and the time is now for an industry-wide shift to digital transformation that delivers significant operational and financial gains for institutions and their customers.
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