Big ideas from Financial Brand Forum 2018

Learn how digital transformation is reshaping the future of finance

by René Dufrene, General Manager of Finance Industry Solutions, AT&T

Financial Brand Forum 2018, the annual conference for financial marketers and senior-level executives in banking, attracted more than 1,750 attendees May 7-9 in Las Vegas.

The event was packed with three days of networking and learning: from the opening keynote by Guy Kawasaki; to a slate of TEDx-style business talks by industry giants and thought leaders; to emerging tech demos; to inspiring peer-to-peer sessions, including our own.

Each year’s Forum is notable for featuring the industry’s hottest topics, as well as the latest ideas and best practices. Trending conversations this year included:

  • customer experience / user experience
  • digital marketing strategies
  • artificial intelligence (AI)
  • machine learning
  • data analytics

The peer-to-peer session AT&T hosted on day one was about digital transformation. We considered milestones in the digital experience roadmap including legacy platform transformation and what new technologies financial companies are investing in. Our team facilitated discussions on the diversity of perspectives and approaches for digital-first vs. mobile-first, brand alliances, and ongoing plans for innovation.

AT&T also facilitated a more structured Lunch & Learn on Day 3 titled “Data-informed decisions: Lessons learned and ‘a-ha!’ moments reshaping the future of finance.” We went deeper into strategies, branch transformation, and digital marketing.

The trust factor of digital transformation

It’s generally acknowledged that it’s cheaper to retain an existing customer than to acquire a new one. Boosting loyalty and retention rates can be key to fending off competition.

We have also heard that customers with a high level of trust and satisfaction in their financial institution are more likely to purchase additional products. Some of the areas we covered to increase customer satisfaction included:

  • High-quality customer-facing technology experiences
  • Convenient services
  • Security and reliability

The question of branches

In the future, there might be fewer branches than today, but those that remain will be more efficient than ever before. The current challenge for banks is how to keep their branches relevant, knowing that they remain a vital channel for customer acquisition, yet mindful that they are just one of many channels the customer will use after the onboarding process.

Strategies for dealing with the increase in digital transactions include streamlining strategic brick-and-mortar footprints and repurposing the branch to provide more advisory services.

Digital marketing in-branch

Banks and credit unions are increasingly utilizing digital signage for in-branch marketing. These systems tend to be cloud-based, incorporate analytics, and provide a dynamic customer experience.

Digital signage enables targeted marketing based on observation and analytics. For example, if small business owners tend to visit branches at midday, products and information specific to this demographic can be positioned at that time on the displays. Touchscreen capabilities can also empower customers to learn about additional products/services and receive follow-up information in a digital format like email, text, or push notification.

Events like this are so important to our team. Not only do we get the opportunity to showcase business solutions that can help deliver more efficient, engaging experiences, we also get immediate feedback about how aligned our efforts are with emerging trends, drivers, and needs across banking, insurance, and wealth management. We were honored to be a part of it.

AT&T is a leading provider of integrated solutions for business, powered by the global network with more secure connections than any other provider in North America. To learn more about digital transformation in the finance industry, visit our Financial Services solutions page.