Research Shows Many Banks Planning Significant Investment in Social Media Marketing

A new report from Aite Group examines financial services firms’ current and planned use of social media to support their marketing efforts. Based on an August 2010 survey of 166 financial services executives in the US and Europe, conducted by Aite Group and the European Financial Management & Marketing Association (EFMA), the report examines how financial institutions are investing in, organising for, and measuring the impact of social media. It also provides recommendations for successful social media marketing execution.

Half of the financial institutions surveyed consider themselves novices or beginners in their use of social media. Although 30% of firms have no dedicated budget for their current social media initiatives, 90% of firms expect to have dedicated budgets by 2012, with many spending between 6% and 10% of their total marketing budget on social media initiatives. Engaging customers, building brand awareness, and building brand affinity top the list of business objectives driving the use of social media at financial firms.

“By 2012, two-thirds of financial institutions will look to social media to increase customer retention, and nearly half will expect to generate revenue from their social media efforts,” says Ron Shevlin, senior analyst with Aite Group and author of the report. “Because the industry is still so early in the evolution of this medium, Aite Group believes that no one can be quite sure which marketing objectives best fit social media efforts. What is certain is that banks can no longer ignore social media as a marketing tool.”


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