Have you ever wondered what life as a marketer within the Financial Services industry is really like? What does it take to get into financial services marketing and to stay on top of the game?
In this context, we caught up with Yoma Smith, a professional with 20 years’ marketing experience, 15 of which have been in financial services organisations. If you are considering a career within the sector or are planning on adding an expert financial services marketer to your team – you can find some first-hand insight right here.
Yoma: Before marketing in the financial services sector I started out in a Public Relations role at what is now the Royal Voluntary Service, in London. I moved to Bristol in 1999 to join an events and video production agency where I worked on accounts for the NHS, Blockbuster, Orange Telecoms and Lloyds TSB. My work on the Lloyds TSB account led me onto an in-house position with the Business Banking team. Bristol has a high concentration of financial services companies – with main regional and even national head offices – and I have gone on to work across the sector in corporate banking, life insurance, financial advice, investments and investment platforms.
Yoma: It’s a highly regulated sector, so a considerable amount of attention-to-detail and clarity is required. For instance, one of the main mantras is that information to consumers must be “fair, clear and not misleading”. This appeals to my abiding drive for simplicity and transparency; followed by the challenge of producing creative campaigns and collateral. To achieve these, I have formulated great working relationships with many compliance teams over the years!
Yoma: I recommend a keenness for a professional approach, in every sense of the word – from the consideration of an idea to the delivery of any message, material or channel. Plan considerably and execute cohesively. That doesn’t mean be boring and long-winded (Caveat: Terms and conditions may apply. Smiles) but if your intention is to market with a clear purpose, then being considered, organised and efficient should come before getting carried away with the latest trends.
Yoma: Apart from practical details like location, product/service, size, viability and the remuneration, I consider the following things – on an equally relevant or compatible basis.
Yoma: My recommendations are applicable to any sector, but I do think that a grounding in financial services provides highly transferable skills with which to excel in other less-regulated sectors. So, here goes:
Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom, Yoma!