Consumers form the strongest relationships with their financial services providers and the weakest with retailers and fmcg brands, says a new research report from marketing agency Mediator. The strength of relationship appears to be governed by how essential the consumer feels the product is, rather than any personal pleasure they derive from it.
The study, conducted in collaboration with MarketingUK, asked marketers from the UK's top 1000 companies about the kind of relationships they have with different types of suppliers. Financial services came out top, with banks and IFAs scoring higher than mortgage providers and insurers.
Joe Craggs, managing director, Mediator, says the result is not surprising, with the banking sector in top position, as financial servies have invested heavily in CRM initiatives and systems. But he adds that insurers and mortgage finance providers will be concerned that IFAs pipped them both by coming in second place: "Evidence perhaps that direct operations and portal initiatives have not been sufficiently effective to dent the high regard in which truly independent financial advice is held," says Cragg.
But the research also shows that financial brands are regarded as unexciting. The agency says this makes it difficult to grab consumer's attention in retention campaigns and financial services could benefit from marketing partnerships with more 'interesting' brands.