New Essentials – Traits for marketing leaders in 2024
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July 10, 2024

Obsession. Agility. Business acumen. Quick, when you think of the characteristics that define today’s financial marketers, how would you answer?

Brock Pernice believes that if you are going to succeed in today’s fast-paced financial landscape where everyone is aggressively competing to offer innovative products and services tailored to a diverse consumer base, you better be armed and ready. The co-founder and Managing Partner at TrueVoice Growth Marketing is one of those no-shortcut professionals who encourages his clients to acknowledge every small win on the way to the ultimate goal.

“When it comes to financial marketers, you have to be absolutely dedicated to understanding what makes your customers tick—their needs, motivations, challenges and design experiences that resonate on a human level,” Pernice says. “Without that customer-centric mindset, your initiatives will miss the mark.”

Pernice is a major proponent of agility, a characteristic he says financial marketers must have to keep up with market trends that can shift at a moment’s notice. “The landscape is constantly shifting, so you need to be able to rapidly experiment, measure results, pivot and adapt across all your channels. If you’re not continuously learning and improving, you’ll get left behind.”

Another important, and sometimes often missed trait, is the ability to speak the language of business. Even in today’s drive to garner clicks or impressions, marketers must be able to translate their efforts into hard financial outcomes that matter to the C-suite. “Marketers who can quantify their impact on profits will become indispensable growth drivers,” Pernice says.

Bill Wreaks, the CEO and Chief Analyst of the Gramercy Institute (GI), spends a lot of time helping to provide insight and information to senior marketers from the world’s leading financial brand while honoring and sharing the industry’s best practices. GI, a network of senior marketers from around the world, hosts more than 25 annual conferences, summits, forums and award shows in leading financial hubs worldwide, including Amsterdam, Boston, Chicago, Hong Kong, London, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Toronto.

That gives Wreaks an up close and personal look at what today’s financial marketers are doing and saying. “Marketing today in finance has become extremely accountable to marketing results. With this has come a greater level of respect from senior management for the institution of marketing, per se, within the financial firm. But marketing cannot exist without sales and sales cannot exist without marketing. For this reason, the most successful financial marketers understand the importance of maintaining a smooth, solid-line connection between sales and marketing in financial services.”

While that sounds straightforward, Wreaks says the whole proposition might not be as simple as it seems. He believes it takes diplomacy, accountability and compromise on the part of marketing leadership that has to get this job done. “In today’s digitally-driven world, financial services has upped its game in terms of customer experience. The realization that their competitor is merely one keystroke away has shown the best financial firms that the user experience needs to be entirely on-message.”

For many financial customers, banking included, the digital customer experience is the one and only interaction an institution has with the end customer. That said, the most successful financial firms are paying great attention to the experience that consumers receive digitally, via mail, through email and over the phone.

“Customer experience is absolutely crucial in financial services,” Pernice says. “Trust and differentiation are paramount, and the quality of your CX is what ultimately breeds loyalty. Empathy should be your guiding light—really putting yourself in your customers’ shoes, understanding their circumstances and engaging on their terms.”

On the road ahead, as the financial marketplace continues to evolve in everything from technology to customer experiences, finding the right way—and the right teams driving the efforts—will remain critical.


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