4 trends that will drive growth in Canada’s financial sector in 2019

Marketing trends reflect changing client demand

4 trends that will drive growth in Canada’s financial sector in 2019
Steve Randall

Canada’s financial services industry will see four dominant marketing trends in 2019 that will lead momentum for the sector.

According to Mintel Comperemedia, platforms, emotions, interest rates, and innovation for B2B clients are the key factors that financial services marketers are focusing on for business growth.

The growing trend towards managing our lives through smartphones and laptops means that innovation is important for meeting consumer demands.

"Today, the financial services industry is fully entrenched in the digital age as consumer expectations for convenient and frictionless digital access continue to grow. However, technology is not the only factor disrupting the industry; the need for customer-centric experiences is driving every transaction and touchpoint,” said Lily Harder, Senior Director, Marketing Strategy, at Mintel Comperemedia.

As consumers seek streamlined solutions, Mintel says that the financial services industry must provide ‘one-stop shops’ to bring together products and services on single platforms.

Looking ahead, we expect to see more emphasis on customers' accessibility to their entire financial profile and accounts in one digital ecosystem rather than creating new, stand-alone apps," added Harder.

Mind, body, wallet
Another growing trend is the link between financial health and mental health.

Over the past year there have been multiple reports and surveys highlighting the stress and health issues that poor financial situations can create or exacerbate.

The Mintel report notes that financial services marketers are taking the opportunity created by consumers’ willingness to talk more openly about their feelings, by being part of the conversation.

The report says that we can expect to see more marketing strategies focused on tying emotions to managing personal finances.

"The holistic approach to wellness will continue to include new and different elements of self-care. In 2019, reducing financial stress will be a growing focus for brands across many industries, especially financial services. As Mintel research shows that debt and financial management is a primary source of stress for roughly half of consumers, acknowledging the connections between a consumer's mind, body, and wallet can effectively communicate the value financial services providers place in their customers and help drive satisfaction and brand loyalty," continued Harder.

Rising interest rates
As interest rates increase from their historical lows, consumers will be challenged by debt levels, driving a change in thinking.

Financial services marketing will reflect the changing environment with a growing focus on the impact of rising interest rates, transparency in lending, and innovative new value propositions.

There is also likely to be more talk of saving and preparing for the unexpected.

"As rates continue to rise, personal loan offers may fall in volume, but lending solutions such as installment loans and point-of-sale financing will shift the market toward time-sensitive sources of credit. Lenders will be cautious of the overall creditworthiness of customers, especially those negatively impacted by a market correction. And a shifting focus back to savings products will bring marketing conversations back to high-yield savings accounts and the ongoing rate war," added Harder.

Meeting business expectations
The final trend identified by the report is the need for financial services businesses to improve their offerings for micro and small business clients.

This opportunity for advisors and others in the sector will reflect the growing complexity of running a small business and provide innovative solutions.

"Consumer confidence in entrepreneurship is bringing a renewed interest in the needs of small businesses. While this area of financial services has always lagged behind consumer retail banking in terms of innovation, in 2019, we expect to see new growth with digital-first solutions that will help future-proof the small-business relationship and take it from standard to standout," concluded Harder.