Mic drop opening this year for the Financial Brand Forum 2019, with heavyweight speaker Gary Vaynerchuk, Global Marketing Expert, Social Media Rockstar and Serial Entrepreneur. Gary gave financial marketers a “right now” look at marketing spending. Yes, that has changed too. He told the crowd, “Essentially a ton of money is being flushed down the toilet” because many are clinging to old ideas that “used to work.” His insights included being ready for voice search, his love of podcasts for product placement, and his evaluation that Facebook and the new LinkedIn are good buys with the best results for financial marketing – today. He added that financial marketers need to focus on editorial-like content and leave the sales voice behind, and to target audiences in very narrow segments to dramatically increase effectiveness within unique social groups in our markets. It was a straight up, listen-or-lose style speech. As Jon VanderMeer noted, “I have never seen someone so positive, practical and fairly full of himself, but confidence sells.” But don’t take our word for it. Check out Gary V’s self- coverage of the show on YouTube.
Tales About Change
The Financial Brand Forum continued with more lessons and tales about change – or in some cases the failure to change. Jeffrey Hayzlett, former CMO of Kodak, shared the cautionary tale of the failure of one world’s biggest brands. Kodak was a digital innovator. They did in fact invent the first digital camera, but corporate disbelief that film could ever be replaced by a digital camera was the failure of a culture drunk on a tradition of success. Some members of K&D’s Content Team live and work in Kodak’s back yard and watched it all happen, including Sharon Klocek-Ibbotson who worked with some of Kodak’s early digital cameras. “We were all rooting for them to remain the leader in imaging, but they had too much emotional investment in film,” said Sharon. “Kodak’s story has made it painfully clear, if you are running a successful company today, you had better build a culture that expects change. It’s beyond critical because nothing is slowing down.”
Innovation at its Best
So what was the conference’s shining example of financial marketing innovation this year? Umpqua Bank’s Rilla Delorier proved her bank could re-emerge as a darling of innovation in both in strategy and innovation, by presenting the “democratization of private banking” with a let’s-go-to-them approach. Umpqua replaced digital strategy by “digitizing the bank’s strategy,” and building a personal banker relationship for everyone, delivered on a platform and app by Kony. ” Sharon Klocek-Ibbotson noted, “It has all the right feels, and they have a good partnership with Kony. I may just have to become a customer so I can see how it plays out.”
The Financial Brand Forum summed up in three words is: change brings opportunity. Everything at the Forum was about the need to harness change to win. This conference continues to deliver tools to help leaders jump into financial marketing innovation. We can’t wait to see what is new for Forum 2020, April 27-29, 2020 at the Aria Hotel in Las Vegas. See you there.