Never before have so many people from so many countries relied on financial apps to manage their lives and plan their futures. The increasing number of consumers who rely on fintech and insurance applications for assistance and advice every step of the way creates opportunities for a new breed of finance companies focused on serving consumers. And the stakes are getting higher as exclusively digital has become the new norm in the world of financial services.

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To seize this opportunity, marketers must cultivate the tools and talent to create timely, real-time messages and experiences that are valuable and relevant. Communication at every stage should provide genuinely helpful (and humane) advice.

Even more important is the fact that marketers must map what they say and how they say it at various stages of the customer lifecycle. In the 2021 Rethink Fintech Playbook, a resource I wrote in collaboration with mobile services analyst Peggy Anne Salz, I identified four key stages and actions that marketers can take to drive positive results for their clients and their businesses:

· Educate: Develop a deep knowledge of data and perceptions to individualize the induction of users and promote interaction and frequent use of the app.

· Empower: Combine personalization and marketing automation to help clients achieve their personal financial goals.

· Incentivize: Leverage data to promote more proactive, predictive and personalized communications with customers, which promote interaction and drive retention.

· Expand: Build on proven successes to promote long-term retention and shape a more customer-centric ecosystem.

It is a new lens through which you can see the customer journey, and align communication strategy and tactics to their needs and expectations.

Customer education in the marketing mix

In this initial stage of the journey, the app is new to customers and, therefore, they need assistance and advice at the moment of friction. In this instance, effective marketers excel in their ability to anticipate and prevent problems. They are also noted for their data-driven ability to proactively suggest and recommend solutions and capabilities to customers who are unfamiliar with them and can still benefit significantly from them.

These are approaches to rethinking induction to provide proactive education, communication and care. A key example is MOVii, a successful and leading virtual wallet and mobile bank in Colombia, whose mission is to promote greater financial inclusion by providing products that allow customers to manage and move their money as if they were using cash.

The key is to provide financial services that are accessible to everyone and can be understood by everyone. For this, "a new approach to education is required, which can be achieved through messages that function as the voice of the trusted advisor of these clients," says Natalia Garcia Ocampo, CMO of MOVii. In her view, the emphasis on education has profound implications for marketing organizations.

Personalized education reduces churn

"Education has become the main vertical aspect within the marketing team," says Garcia. In practice, the team must divide its efforts between user acquisition, interaction and education based on their profile. "Right now, improving and individualizing education is one of our main goals."

"ASO World has helped MOVii understand each customer's journey and the segment that person fits into," says Garcia. Knowing how users get to the app and what they use it for in the first place allows MOVii to propose offers and information that add the greatest possible value at the critical moment. According to Garcia, it also paves the way for casual users to become high-value, long-term loyal users.

"Not everyone receives the same type of information or the same messages, because not everyone needs the same kind of training," she explains. An important part of education involves ensuring that users do not get stuck in the process and are assisted when they have a problem or question.

A clear example is the registration process, where, by law, customers are required to take a selfie, and provide proof of identity and proof of address. At this stage, MOVii leverages the data to see where users get stuck in the process and sends a custom push so they can continue. This individualized approach to education, which occurs thanks to ASO World, has allowed MOVii to reduce monthly churn by 82% (from 17% to 3%) and achieve record numbers of mobile transactions.

"First, the messages need to educate users to become familiar with the functionalities of the app that allow them to achieve financial well-being." Going forward, messages need to focus on promoting brand awareness and generating more transactions.

Learn with users to improve the relevance

For this, a different kind of learning is needed. It is a scenario in which MOVii is the student, who learns from the behavior of the users when it is time to change tactics. “We have to recognize the factors that tell us that customers don't need help using the app. And we need to know when users are ready to know all the possibilities that are relevant and their situation so that they can start living their financial life in the MOVii app ”.

Garcia's most important tips

· Know the entire life cycle of the client and the stages that users should be in, depending on where they come from and what they want to do.

· Begin creating a customer journey map from start to finish, showing all potential optimization opportunities and times when customers may need help.

· Adapt educational and empathic messages to the results of the analysis of customer behavior at each stage of their life cycle.

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