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  • 79% consider data analytics to have highest impact over coming 12 months, followed by marketing automation
  • 61% view content creation as the biggest budget growth area followed by investment in digital channels, yet skills gap remains
  • 85% see LinkedIn growing in importance, while major financial media also sees increased prioritization amid geopolitical backdrop

21 November 2017 – Fifty-seven per cent of financial services marketing and communications leaders believe marketing automation will impact activity next year according to the Cognito Communications and Marketing Survey 2017/18, published today. The report surveyed 165 respondents across multiple sectors including banking, asset management, wealth management, FinTech, insurance, technology and professional services across the US, EMEA and APAC regions in September 2017.
This year’s survey focuses on the theme of change and sheds light on the marketing and communications industry’s response to tomorrow’s landscape driven by technological and structural changes taking place today. Within the report, three sub-themes have been identified:
Smart measurement through data analytics and technology
Over the coming 12 months, respondents identified securing budget/investment (86%), adaption to disruption (83%) and adaption to technology (80%) as challenges for their communications and marketing teams. The survey shows that the growing need to justify spend and optimize ROI is driving investment in smart measurement and analysis. Specifically, 79% considered data analytics as the technological development with the highest impact over the next year, followed by marketing automation (57%). The potential impact on marketing and communications from technologies such as AI and machine learning are likely to be hard and fast, although less immediate.
Content and digital aspirations but skills gap remains
The 2016 survey found that only 18% of respondents were happy with the quality of their content, thus consequently, 61% of this year’s respondents see content creation as the top budget winner for 2018. Digital channels - digital marketing (56%), social media (54%) and digital advertising (48%) - to push targeted content were the other budget growth areas. However, the skills gap remains with the top areas of weakness dominated by digital, from social media or marketing technology to digital marketing and advertising.
LinkedIn establishes status while major financial media retains importance
Eighty-five per cent believe LinkedIn is becoming more important to their business due to the effectiveness of paid campaigns and targeting. However, in today’s volatile geopolitical and economic environment, major financial media also saw growth in importance as communicators turn to media with integrity and credibility to communicate their message and position. At the other end, broadcast channels and generalist newspapers, both suffered a decrease in importance. Facebook (25%) and Instagram (22%) only saw minority growth in importance suggesting that most B2B financial services businesses are yet to fully embrace them.
Tom Coombes, CEO and Founder of Cognito commented: “Much like other industries, marketing and communications is anticipating the potential impact of digital disruption, technology and automation. Adaption to this change relies on turning perceived challenges into opportunities for success. Our second annual survey therefore focuses on change, by informing the industry of the right tools, channels and technology to drive business growth and manage reputation.”
The Cognito Communications and Marketing Survey 2017/18 can be downloaded here.