Mary Meeker’s 2019 Internet Trend Reports: Four Key Takeaways For Financial Services

by Netcel

Founder of Bond Capital and internet analyst, Mary Meeker, has released her 2019 Internet Trends Report with a round up of this year’s digital observations. From an increasing shift in mobile usage to the expectance of personalised digital experience, several themes detailed by Mary Meeker are recognised by Netcel through our conversations with financial services organisations. Here is a summary of the top trends from Meeker’s report for financial services, that will impact your short, medium and long-term success.

Trend One: Using Data As A Currency In Exchange For Personalised Digital Experience

According to Accenture’s 2018 Pulse Check Survey, 91 per cent of retail customers favour brands that provide personalised offers and recommendations, and a further 74 per cent of customers stated that they are actively willing to share their data in exchange for personalised experiences.

This is further backed up by the Accenture Financial Services Distribution Study a year earlier, where results from over 33,000 financial services customers highlighted significant shifts in financial customer expectations. One finding was that 67 per cent of financial customers would be willing to share more data with banks in return for new benefits and 63 per cent had the expectation that sharing data should deliver personalised product and services advice.

What This Means For The Financial Services:

Many CMOs are already taking notice of the value of personalised digital experience, having recently cited marketing and customer analytics to be the most vital marketing capability to help them realise their objectives in the 2018 Gartner CMO Spend Survey.

Meeker highlights how businesses must now use ‘Data Plumbing Tools’ to better understand customer needs and improve operational efficiencies to aid with consumer decision making. With real-time customer data at the fingertips of many financial organisations, leveraging your customer data to provide personalised user experiences through machine learning and AI will transform your digital customer experience.

At Netcel, we use digital technology to help businesses utilise their data more effectively to deliver truly individualised digital customer experiences at scale. We help businesses select the right technology and systems architecture to maximise the value exchange with customers and ensure their expectations are met. And through enabling businesses to lean on their digital technology to provide relevant and timely insights to customers and investors, we help them drive customer acquisition and satisfaction.

Trend Two: Time Spent On Mobile Is Increasing

The average adult now spends over three hours a day on their mobile phone. Digital video, social media usage and podcast usage all continue to rise. Moreover, mobile usage continues to increase as time spent on desktop and laptop computers declines.


What This Means For The Financial Services:

With the increase in mobile activity, financial services need to take a mobile-first approach to their websites. However, as mobile usage has soared in recent years, so has the so-called ‘app fatigue’. With companies overloading their mobile app users with constant push-notifications, many users are beginning to disable notifications or even uninstall apps that they feel disrupt their daily lives and no longer deliver content that is relevant to them. Therefore, it’s important for the financial services to ensure any app they create meets a daily purpose for their customers and are mindful of the frequency and relevancy of notifications they deliver to their end users through this channel.

For companies seeking a worthy alternative, Netcel are having conversations with many businesses around building a progressive web app (PWA) instead of a traditional iOS or Android app. A PWA can achieve similar results to a traditional app with the added benefits of being able to create digital content once and publish across many devices and the ability to create content that is indexable by search engines.

Trend Three: The Cost Of Customer Acquisition Is Rising

The global cost per user activation for mobile finance apps has grown by around 50 per cent over the last two years. Meeker notes that the cost of customer acquisition is unlikely to exceed customer lifetime value for much longer.


What This Means For The Financial Services:

If it’s becoming increasingly costly to attract new customers, financial companies must increase their efforts in retaining existing customers. For the team at Netcel, this justifies the importance of using analytics tools to discover which elements of your digital estate may not be performing to the level required and optimise these areas to increase your chances of acquiring and retaining customers.

Trend Four: Customers Are Still Concerned Over Security And Privacy

Over 50 per cent of people are concerned over internet privacy, a figure that’s fallen by over 18 per cent, but is still a prevalent issue. It’s easy to understand why when banks from TSB to JP Morgan Chase have been subject to data breaches in recent years. Social media companies are often in the firing line when it comes to how their website and apps use customer data – could mobile banking apps be next?

What This Means For The Financial Services:

Providing secure, personalised digital platforms for your customers to engage with could become a key differentiator for financial services organisations. So long as customers are assured their data is protected, they will still be willing to share sensitive information such as their fingerprint for seamless login to their mobile banking app in order to improve their customer experience.

On a positive note, despite 50 per cent of people still being concerned over privacy, this number has actually fallen from 64 per cent in 2014, perhaps in light of the introduction of GDPR in the EU and the rise of encryption (almost 90 per cent of all web traffic now is encrypted).

In summary, there’s a real shift in financial customer expectations towards providing seamless, personalised digital experiences. With ever increasing opportunities to collect customer data and a rising number of transactional channels, Netcel helps financial services organisations and suppliers to make sense of the vast digital technology landscape available to them and enable them to get the most from their customer data.