Marketing Sciences mixes it with the financial research world

Three of us from Marketing Sciences attended the MRS Financial Conference on 20 November, with Ian Ralph and Richard Snoxell taking the stage and Nigel Hufton this time leading chipping in with questions from the floor!

As ever at financial conferences, trust was a recurrent theme but it was interesting to hear the various dimensions of trust; how consumers are generally more trusting of their own bank than bankers in general and how Santander have managed to drive up trust.

It was great to hear how the Money Advice Service is trying to engage consumers and to improve financial capability and to hear the very latest from the FCA on their objective assessment of the benefit and detriment caused by Payday Lenders, including the amazing statistic that there are 19 High Street payday lenders in Gillingham!

Ian took the stage with Julie Hanna from Simplyhealth to describe the exciting new customer engagement panel which Marketing Sciences has developed for Simplyhealth. It was interesting to hear Julie describing the context and business case for a panel, alongside the existing experience tracker we run for them. Ian explained that a panel was chosen over a community, due to the challenge in getting customers of financial services to generate conversations between themselves. Maintaining the trust of the panellists will depend on the brand following through the commitment to the panellists, but so far this is proving to be a highly flexible and responsive channel for engaging and understanding customers across a range of issues.

SimpyInsights Screenshot

Richard then brought the audience up to speed with his latest research on mobile wallet. He underlined the importance of trust in consumer adoption of this emergent technology and how no brand yet owns this space in terms of having both the perceived capability and trustworthiness. I was surprised to hear that paying for an item using Apple Pay on an iPhone 6 would actually be more secure than using my regular plastic debit or credit card, because the retailer wouldn’t see my card details. So Apple now have the opportunity, customer base and user experience to really cause a step-change in adoption of mobile wallet and quickly build up trust in this area. More details here, but watch this space!

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It is always interesting to see the latest from the FRS – this time about the impact of omnichannel banking behaviour, especially that heavy digital users are also more likely than average to visit a branch.

Other papers included insights from the CAB into the low financial capability amongst many in the population and how Behavioural Economics techniques can used to assess the effectiveness of comparison websites.

As ever, it was great to experience such a wide range of insights, industry trends, techniques and mingling! Having attended most of these conferences since they were started I find it a unique opportunity to share ideas with researchers from other agencies as well as clients. Here’s to next year’s conference!

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Nigel Hufton
01962 842211
Article date - 21/11/2014
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