5 Top Themes From the 2017 Financial Brand Forum

Craig  McLaughlin

July 31, 2017

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This year’s Financial Brand Forum has been on my mind since May. Having attended for years, this year lived up to its billing of “Big Ideas and Actionable Insights.” Jeffry Pilcher, the conference owner and organizer, delivers. As this conference grows, it continues to impress and draw the best of the best financial marketing organizations. 

The Five Top Forum Themes (As I See Them) 

1. Technology: From Owning it to Achieving With it 

Today two worlds exist: One where FIs buy and manage technology. Two where technology is used to achieve results and impact. You want to be in the second world. More and more FIs agree. More and more non-technology people within FIs are now able to utilize and deploy powerful technology. There’s a rumble of revolution that Extractable has already rallied around. 

2. The Year of the Customer 

Every year is the year of the customer. This year customers have deservedly fully earned a spot in internal FI processes, journey maps and service-driven design. The notion that digital can reinvent banking services – instead of replicating offline ones– is widespread. Care what your customers think and do. But don’t let it hold you back. At Extractable we love the “What if?”

“It’s got to be a revolution sometimes. Not just an evolution.” - Heard (& discussed) @ The Financial Brand Forum

3.  Data Rich. Insight Poor.

Everyone is talking about metrics. They matter. Real-time monitoring allows us to better understand behavior and feature sets. Real-time content and process creation is on the rise. There is an expectation around dynamic experiences that we’re all looking to meet – and exceed. 

4. Loving and Fearing Millennials 

As they flee to fintech start-ups and between screens, Millennials are keeping traditional FIs up at night. We love them as they push the definitions of customer service (& acquisition & retention). We fear them and the impact they can have on the future of our business. They are challenging us all. By the way, my team thrives on a good challenge. Bring it on. 

5. Innovation (Decision) Explosion

Chat bots. AI. Challenger banks. Fintech start-ups. New payment systems. Amazon (yes Amazon). Voice interaction. Predictive analytics. The rise of digital banking. The demise of banks. There is a lot of (exciting) noise. Attendees are struggling with which are the future, which are tomorrow and which are vapor. There is reassurance that this is not unique to the financial industry.

Bottom line:

At Extractable, we live and breathe this stuff. We have for the last 20 years. The intersection of business as usual and business on the cutting edge is our sweet spot. We geek out on refining and defining how digital can positively impact how people manage their money – and how FIs drive their business goals. If you’re reading this, we bet you do too. 

Kudos to @FinancialBrand for a great experience. We’ll be back next year. Will you? 

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Craig McLaughlin is the Co-Founder, President and CEO of Extractable – an agency excelling at digital solutions for wealth and health. Over the last two decades he and Extractable are proud to have driven successes for large-scale FIs, community banks, credit unions and fintech start-ups. Extractable is on a mission to positively impact the field of finance.