Home  › Social › Social Media
crystalball

The Future of Investing Is Social

  |  November 17, 2011   |  Comments   |  

Financial services is a large and important market in Hong Kong, yet one of the most traditional when it comes to marketing. Here's why they need to step up to the game.

Virtually every other consumer industry such as retail, media, and travel has been completely transformed by the Internet. But why has financial services remained largely stagnant when it comes to innovation and empowering the consumer? The reason is that financial institutions have historically profited by the one-way flow of information. To date, the majority of us have been reliant on institutions and advisors to provide us with research and investing ideas. Social networks are about to shatter this convention.

According to ADMA, social networks have a 76 percent reach in Hong Kong. Three point eight million people in Hong Kong have a Facebook account, which is an astonishing 78 percent of the city's total online population (Source: Social Bakers). Now let's overlay that with the fact that 67 percent of investors have an online brokerage account. Just like a decade ago, when the Internet opened a window to market information, social networks will do the same for unlocking investing ideas and knowledge from individuals. And how we shape, filter, and listen to those ideas is in our individual control.

Investors are social animals and like to exchange ideas. Let's admit it: virtually all of our conversations in Hong Kong revolve around family and friends, real estate, and the stock market. Social networks are now making this transparent exchange of ideas possible through trusted connections and away from the noise of the bulletin boards or the advice of a 25-year-old broker with no real experience. I can now have access to the opinions of people who are really making the trades, have great ideas, and are willing to share them.

I have been involved in this sector in Hong Kong for a decade both as a marketer and business manager. All I can see is opportunity and the opportunity is social.

Financial services is a large and very important market in Hong Kong that touches all of us and yet it is one of the most traditional. A recent study of brokerages showed that only 8 percent of their annual marketing spend last year was allocated online with over 90 percent pushed to traditional media such as TV, print, and outdoor.

I have personally canvassed most of the banks and brokers and they simply don't have a social presence. Those that do maintain a one-way conversation and fail to truly engage their customers. Their marketing and communication strategies can be summed up in one action and that is push!

I believe the consumer financial services companies that want a future must evolve quickly to stay in step with the consumer. Institutions must make their websites interactive rather than static and closed. They must give clients the ability to personalise their own experience rather than the one-size-fits-all approach today.

Let customers build communities both internally but also publish to their own external networks. Pay attention to the power of social interaction and give customers a voice. It is less about building brand awareness on the side of a bus and more about building a real connection. What these companies must understand is that their services are a commodity, but their customers' voices and ideas are real. They can either harness them for the benefit of all or lose them forever.

Subscribe to ClickZ Asia to receive your weekly dose of the region's latest trends, tips, and insights straight to your inbox.

ClickZ Live San Francisco This Year's Premier Digital Marketing Event is #CZLSF
ClickZ Live San Francisco (Aug 11-14) brings together the industry's leading practitioners and marketing strategists to deliver 4 days of educational sessions and training workshops. From Data-Driven Marketing to Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email, this year's comprehensive agenda will help you maximize your marketing efforts and ROI. Register today!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mikaal  Abdulla

Mikaal Abdulla is the CEO and cofounder of 8 Securities. Mikaal has extensive global experience having launched and managed successful consumer Internet businesses and products across Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, India, and the United States. Prior to founding 8 Securities, Mikaal was a senior vice president at E*TRADE where he was responsible for marketing and strategy across 15 geographies. Mikaal holds a M.B.A from both Columbia University and the London Business School.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

Get ClickZ Social newsletters delivered right to your inbox. Subscribe today!

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

BigDoor: The Marketers Guide to Customer Loyalty

The Marketer's Guide to Customer Loyalty
Customer loyalty is imperative to success, but fostering and maintaining loyalty takes a lot of work. This guide is here to help marketers build, execute, and maintain a successful loyalty initiative.

Marin Software: The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising

The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising
Latest research reveals 68% higher revenue per conversion for marketers who integrate their search & social advertising. In addition to the research results, this whitepaper also outlines 5 strategies and 15 tactics you can use to better integrate your search and social campaigns.

WEBINARS

    Information currently unavailable

Jobs

    • Internet Marketing Campaign Manager
      Internet Marketing Campaign Manager (Straight North, LLC) - Fort MillWe are looking for a talented Internet Marketing Campaign Manager to join the...
    • Online Marketing Coordinator
      Online Marketing Coordinator (NewMarket Health) - BaltimoreWant to learn marketing from the best minds in the business? NewMarket Health, a subsidiary...
    • Call Center Manager
      Call Center Manager (Common Sense Publishing) - Delray BeachWanted: Dynamic Call Center Manager with a Proven Track Record of Improving Response...