While the foundations of marketing in financial services are similar to other industries, this sector is both diverse and full of unique opportunities and interesting challenges. Marketing in this sector can be Business-to-Business or Business-to-Consumer, or in many cases both.
Marketing is a very critical area that drives differentiation and distinctiveness in financial services. Understanding and leveraging customer preferences, perceptions and behavior is key. Segmentation is critical – the availability of information provides for sophistication yet execution often requires simplicity. Strategic marketing plays an important role from value proposition development to identifying sources of competitive advantage. Product development, targeting, position and management as well as pricing also involve a regulatory dimension. Translating all this into tactics includes crisp messaging across a wide array of channels including communications, PR, print and media advertising, digital marketing, promotions, direct marketing, collateral. The importance of reputation, particularly since the financial crises and through this economic cycle, makes managing the customer experience and interactions across all sales and service touch points an important element. The role of a brand – its relevance, ability to drive differentiation and loyalty are different from more traditional consumer businesses. And thinking global and understanding local differences often matters, as does managing through mergers and acquisitions given industry consolidation.
This class will focus on a combination of interactive case studies, dialog on specific articles and conversations with guest speakers who work in this area. Students will improve their ability and knowledge of marketing in this sector, and learn about careers in financial services marketing.
Students will be assessed based on (1) class participation and preparedness - with a focus on conduct and quality; and (2) a written report and class presentation on the last day of class on a project that critically assesses all the facets of marketing for a specific financial institution.
Prerequisite: B6601 "Marketing: Innovation through Customer Centricity, Part I".
Raj Seshadri was a Columbia Business School faculty member from 2012 to 2018.