Spending over $10 billion on digital advertising last year, according to eMarketer, the financial services industry is clearly focused on customer acquisition, and, in fact, it now ranks as the third largest ad sector behind retail and automotive. But, as financial services companies are increasing their budgets, they also need to ensure their marketing budgets are being used effectively and efficiently.

Today’s customers are looking for more personalized experiences, however delivering on the expectation requires the collection, analysis and activation of customer data.

While this would seem like a standard practice, the financial services industry has the additional obstacle of abiding by Fair Lending Laws and privacy regulations, which prohibit the use of certain data for advertising purposes.

Marketers in the financial services industry are challenged with being compliant while meeting the expectations of customers. These two concepts—effectiveness and compliance—don’t have to be contradictory. Both can be achieved in financial services marketing by following these three tips:

1. Make all data collection mutually beneficial
While abiding by the Fair Lending Laws and following data collection and privacy regulations is an everyday practice in the financial services industry, effective marketers should also follow the spirit of the law—ensuring all data collected is used to provide benefits to the targeted customers.

Marketers can then use the customer data on interests and locations (including where their customers live, work, and bank) to create educational content tailored to specific audiences. Using Consumer Graph™, marketers can get a better understanding of their customer so they can deliver personalized messages and content to the right person. This allows for a win-win scenario; marketers can achieve their campaign goals and their customers receive helpful and valuable messages.

2. Deliver on the insights your customers give you
Once all the regulation-approved data has been collected and analyzed, a financial services company needs to make it actionable. Financial services companies need to determine what products, services, information, and messaging is going to be most relevant to each specific customer and across what channel.

To do this, simply rely on customer data to determine which channels will be most effective for each customer. While the ultimate goal of advertising a new product could be the same across multiple audience segments, each segment should be approached in a unique and personalized matter.

For example, a marketer may be more effective in sending information about a new auto loan to a parent of a household via email, whereas a mobile ad advertising a low-fee checking account to a teenager going to college may resonate more with him/her.

3. Learn and improve with every customer interaction
Campaign success is not just about measuring impact—a marketer needs to track the metrics so they can start their next campaign with a more informed perspective. Don’t waste the customer interaction by not collecting insights that work best for a specific target market.

When it comes to the financial services industry, marketers need to consider that traditional online metrics might not be the way to demonstrate success for every campaign. Instead they need to develop specific KPIs that matter to them, this might be more account sign-ups, new investor prospects or incremental insurance policies, etc.

Lastly, in order to verify success, transparency between media agencies and financial services companies needs to occur. Financial Services companies need to partner with companies who track customer intelligence from multiple dimensions such as individual, household, banks and neighborhood so they can achieve better precision and scale.

Creating the personalized marketing strategies needed to be successful in today’s financial services landscape has its obstacles, but by focusing on leveraging the appropriate data in an omnichannel approach with measureable results, companies can set themselves up for success.