Banking marketing: current trends

According to Mediascope, the financial sector has a leading position in terms of advertising investment among other industries. According to an analysis conducted by the Association of Managers and Adventum agency, banks in the third quarter of 2023 allocated 16.27 billion rubles for advertising activities, which is only 0.25% less than in the previous quarter. In the era of digitalization and constant changes in the market, banks must adapt to new conditions.

Strategies for attracting and retaining customers are transformed both to the needs of consumers and to external factors. As soon as the key rate of the Central Bank changes, as a result, deposit, and credit rates change, and the industry immediately changes advertising creatives and strategies. However, despite the situational changes, the trend is now the same, and everything happens within its framework. We are talking about the desire of each of the banks to expand their sales funnel: competition in the sector is very high. Therefore, all currently available tools and sites are used.

Non-financial offers

Conveniently, in 24/7 mode from anywhere in the world – Russian banks felt back into a certain trap, creating, according to reviews, the most convenient applications in the world. The simplicity and clarity of applications of almost any domestic bank created the opportunity for users to switch easily from a “red” bank to a “green” or “yellow” one.

The user goes there where the conditions are more profitable. This is not about the complete closure of accounts, they remain, but about the transfer of funds and the active use of cards and applications of one or another bank. It is easy to do this – now users over 15 have two or more cards, and more than half of them are not active. The task is to make them active. One way is just non-financial offers. It can be anything from the original design of plastic itself, as Tinkoff did at the end of last year, releasing a series of maps with album covers of the King and the Jester group, to educational content.

And banks also complicate loyalty programs – they arrange a maximum of “hooks” from a variety of areas, from cashbacks for tickets to discounts in the store at home. The lists of “current” partners are constantly expanding, which correspond to the interests of the desired segment of the audience. And, of course, financiers advertise every likely chance to save the user in all known ways.

Ecosystem competition

Telecommunications companies and marketplaces are increasing their market share, becoming competitors for traditional banks. Large companies such as OZON, Yandex and Wildberries already have bank licenses. This opened up new opportunities for them in the financial services market. Banks respond – they begin to expand their services, including not only financial products in their offers. Therefore, for example, Sberbank bought the Goods marketplace, which was implemented successfully in the form of MegaMarket.

The trend towards the development of ecosystems says that today’s consumer is in demand for universal platforms that can offer not only financial transactions, but also a wide range of services and goods. Therefore, banks will continue to work on their applications and conduct campaigns supporting them.

New media

Within the same paradigm of expanding their influence, banks are trying to “talk to the consumer” as early as possible, before the need for financial services arises. Media outlets and blogs with useful, interesting content on a financial topic and not only appear and develop. Topics: life, real estate, business, travel, children, hobbies, life hacks, tips and news selected for the desired target audience. Advertising campaigns that lead the user to the media associated with the bank are more profitable. We have a case of working with one of these media: a unique target reader for only 54 rubles!

Expanding the age framework

Previously, advertising to an audience of 65+ was shown mainly on TV. Separate creatives are created for these campaigns, those ambassadors that are attractive for people in this age group are involved: Vladimir Mashkov at VTB, Sergey Garmash at Post Bank. This trend has not disappeared. Nevertheless, new sites have appeared – according to Mediascope, 65 + users now spend more than three hours on the mobile Internet every day. And mobile first advertising is effective for them.

For young consumers, almost every bank has a “children’s card.” Work with them is carried out as part of online and offline campaigns, and a thorough analysis of the results is carried out. Banks are ready to make changes actively even to existing processes and products in order not to lose contact with this promising audience. For example, in working with one of the banks, we saw an abnormal surge in refusals to open cards. Children who wanted to open an «adult» card on their own faced the mistake. The bank added a new type of tips, offering to send a notification to parents. As a result, the number of card openings increased by 5%.


AI opens up new opportunities for interaction with the consumer and for his retention. The banking sector was one of the first in the world to adopt the trend of digital assistants and bots that answer user questions. Now the trend has expanded to virtual characters. The official ambassador of Sber SberKot talks about technologies and stars in videos, even conducts simulation games, for example, how to open startups. And VTB not just at the end of last year announced an assistant named Tamara (you hear “tomorrow”?), but also turned on a video avatar in test mode to advise deaf people in sign language. The introduction of neuroinfluencers, of course, requires investments in the marketing and promotion of character accounts. The phenomenon not only minimizes risks (neuroinfluencers do not risk to lose instantly “love of the people” and do not make mistakes in communications as “living” people), but also opens a window of opportunity to attract a certain audience, mainly zoomers, for which it is extremely interesting to interact with the neuroinfluencer.


Banks must take into account the individual needs and preferences of each client – this has become an axiom. To do this, each client step is digitized: financial situation, payment history, preferences for products and services, and personal characteristics. Sber and Tinkoff have an ID option. Everything is available to choose marketing strategies that are effective for the desired segment of the audience. We are ready to change the product itself or business processes around it – to catch bugs based on data, including adapting the interface and functionality of online banking for a specific user.

Hyperpersonalization is impossible without a flexible and clear system of end-to-end analytics, so for several years in almost all banks its creation is a serious item in the budget. And so far there is no tendency to reduce such costs. Mostly in-house teams are working on analytics, but this is such an important and voluminous task that some parts of it are still outsourced to agencies.

Banks as the largest advertisers have the most experience in all types of advertising compared to other sectors of the market. Competition in the advertising field is no longer limited to the question of which targeted or contextual advertising tools work better. Now all types of offline and digital advertising are used, but in fact, the financial sector has reached a new level of marketing, which is based on Big Data and is extremely customer-centered. In the near future, we will see how AI’s capabilities will improve personalization: from preparing offers for the audience segment, banks will move on to preparing individual offers.

By Evgenia Grunis, CEO of Adventum Agency

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