Digital marketing could be the answer to thriving in an Open Banking landscape

Harvey Holloway
22 Apr 2022

During the 2007-08 banking crisis, Northern Rock collapsed in the wake of the UK’s first bank run in 150 years. Though it’s been more than a decade since the crisis, this period has had a lasting effect on the way consumers look at banking and is still cited with a tone of mistrust for financial institutions in general.

With the economic consequences of the global financial crisis still being felt today, combined with the uptick in concern over data privacy, banks and financial institutions of all stripes are now facing a challenging new marketing landscape.

Historically, people have tended not to change banks after opening their very first account, even after they’ve become dissatisfied with their service. This has led to an inert culture within marketing departments in the financial sector, a kind of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude, meaning many banks aren’t taking the steps necessary to build and maintain close customer relationships.

However, this is all starting to change.

Open Banking marketing trends to watch in 2022

With innovative, digital-first brands making waves in the Open Banking niche, apps and fintech companies are under increased demand to provide faster and higher-quality experiences to their customers.

Though new standards and new customer journeys may seem daunting, they also bring new opportunities which forward-thinking businesses in the Open Banking world can exploit.

Offering a clear and distinctive value proposition

A financial brand can have the best visual branding in their niche, but without a clear and distinctive value proposition, they may face difficulties when trying to connect with their audience.

Apps that utilise Open Banking can often seem somewhat oversaturated with similar branding and advertising practices. With this in mind, you need to have a clear value proposition that’s unique to you. Outline the benefits you offer your target market and frame your products as tools that your customers can use to solve a problem.

Once you have a clear idea of this value proposition, strategies to ensure that it takes centre-stage across all marketing touchpoints, including your website, social profiles, your app, and any other content you own.

Spoil your customers with valuable content and thought leadership

For many consumers, finance and banking can be a confusing topic. From buying their first house, to saving for retirement and building trust funds, to the stock market, the world of finance is a major headache for large swathes of the population.

This presents a great opportunity for businesses to clear some of the fog, and support customers with useful, valuable content on a range of real-world topics, while presenting their service as a solution.

Leading content marketing and PR agencies will tell you that quality content tailored to your audience is a staple of any digital marketing campaign, and as you set out to grow your Open Banking business, producing high-quality content should always take a major role.

If you’re looking to improve the position of your business in search, your best bet is to present yourself as an authority and thought leader on Open Banking and personal finance.

According to authority management specialists Hive19: “Powerful link building strategies and successfully raising the topical authority of well-optimised pages is a marketing strategy that will drive improved rankings, and result in greater volumes of traffic over time”.

Prove to your target market that you’re a leader in your niche and establish yourself as an Open Banking service that cares, and that customers feel they can trust with their money.

Craft excellent mobile experiences

For many fintech companies, UX designers are faced with the challenge of including a lot of complex information on a much smaller screen than they have to play with in traditional web design.

However, by keeping some key principles of mobile UX design front-of-mind, the seemingly gruelling task of building a great mobile user experience can become considerably easier.

Years of A/B testing for UX design has shown that while people will stay focused on a long-scroll page when reading articles and ebooks, in other cases this can cause people to become frustrated and disengaged with the content.

Providing your customers with valuable content on complex subjects – for example, getting started investing in stocks – can’t be done within one little section of a phone’s screen. However, make the experience more palatable by breaking this content up into smaller, more manageable bites, permeated with “tap/swipe to expand” features for more detail.

Google has provided a comprehensive UX playbook for financial businesses which might be a good starting point.

Final thoughts

The Open Banking niche is characterised by new and exciting ways of approaching finance, as well as fierce competition.

Ensuring you have good fundamentals on how Open Banking differs from legacy financial institutions, and seizing on these differences, you’ll be able to develop a marketing strategy that helps you thrive in the Open Banking landscape.

This article was written and contributed by digital marketing specialist, Harvey Holloway