Last week, I attended a talk which debated a vital question: what is the role of communications and marketing in the financial sector when it comes to educating the public on financial literacy?
At the Mumbrella Finance Marketing Summit in Sydney, talks were dominated by the recent Royal Commission, and the responsibility and incentivisation of banks to financially educate their customers—or not.
Traditionally, the argument went, it was in financial institutions' best interest not to educate their customers too much. Otherwise, customers would grow more knowledgeable and begin questioning the necessity of certain financial products or up-sells, or look into self-managing their finances.
However, the thinking today is less self-centered, and many financial institutions are embracing a framework where they believe it's their duty to help their customers have access to a breadth of knowledge to make better informed financial choices.
As content creators, in a world where 'snackable' content reigns supreme, we perhaps don't think frequently enough about the need for content to have long-term intent. The panel then went on to say that content which is full of jargon or dull leads to audiences that are not empowered to learn, and discourages them from seeking further information.
Taking a step back and understanding emphatically who content is intended for and what they will get out of it will ultimately keep content creators accountable for imbuing quality and meaning in the work we do.
Although the stakes are arguably higher for a topic like personal finance, I think this can and should be applied to all content marketing, no matter the genre of the work in question.
According to the University of Melbourne and the Australian Government Financial Literacy Board, half of Australians struggle with finance literacy, with only 40% of the country understanding financial diversification. But why are Australian’s not financially literate and what role does branding, communications and marketing play in improving Australia’s finance literacy? Are brands doing enough to help consumers understate how money is made, spent and saved?