Last week, we convened some of the brightest minds in financial services marketing and communications for a marcomms leaders breakfast to launch and discuss our new MoneyMinds insight. Together with Trajectory, we have conducted in-depth trends analysis, identifying the key themes set to impact the financial services sector in 2024.
In the words of John Lennon – and as Paul Flatters, Trajectory Co-Founder, opened the discussion – “There are decades when nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” We’re in a period of huge volatility, with inflation stubbornly high (and showing no signs of abating); the implications of Brexit still being felt; the fallout from the pandemic still impacting economies and supply chains; and so much more. And with more change afoot in 2024, this volatility is here to stay.
They key findings from the analysis show that:
- Lag-flation is setting in, as inflation and the cost of living continue to bite. As communicators and marketers, we must therefore consider what the lasting emotional and psychological impact might be on spending behaviours.
- The economic-power divide is widening, as higher interest rates benefit higher income households. Brands must therefore consider how they personalise their communications for different audience segmentations in 2024 and beyond.
- Pressure is building on banks, as consumers hold them responsible for driving the ESG agenda. Authentic storytelling is fundamental to this, as 43% consumers feel ESG is even more important than it was 12 months ago.
During last week’s event, we discussed these trends, what they mean for how we communicate with our audiences in 2024, and how we are feeding those considerations into our forward planning.
Ultimately, they all build and feed into the theme of ongoing and sustained volatility. And with 40% of consumers feeling like life for ‘people like them’ will be worse in five years’ time, it’s no surprise that many of the voices around the table said they are experiencing ‘consumer mood swings’. Customers are in a state of ‘survival’, battling uncertainty ranging from mortgage payment hikes and rent increases, to elevated utility bills.
For brands which are willing to step into the role of an empathetic and reassuring partner, there are huge opportunities to build meaningful relationships and brand loyalty in 2024. During difficult times, consumers remember the brands which supported them and were there for them. From bringing in new resources to meet their needs, investing in customer service, signposting to support services or resources, or focusing on financial education, attendees at the event brainstormed the various actions their brands are – or could – be taking.
In any industry, during periods of volatility, the brands which are able to establish trust and show their customers empathy will come out on top.
Read more about our MoneyMinds insight here.