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‘a beacon of trusted advice is needed’

A trusted advice brand is needed by the financial services industry, giving consumers “a lighthouse” to guide them through the market, said Sesame at a Money Marketing round-table discussion hosted in conjunction with Teamspirit.

There are many financial services brands but there is not one specialist advice brand, which presents an opportunity for someone to become the “trusted voice” in an industry generally lacking in faith, says Sesame marketing director Stewart Gitsham.

He says that since regulation, marketing departments’ have had to cope with adhering to increasingly complex legislation while trying to deliver a clear, engaging message. Gitsham says communication materials must be credible, reassuring consumers and must also achieve “cut-through”, delivering the message in a creative manner.

Teamspirit head of planning David McCann says: “Someone needs to take responsibility for communicating with the end-users. The Government has tried mass-market communication strategies of scare tactics, emotional blackmail and the more touchy-feely approach but no one is asking consumers what they actually engage with. People are media-cynical and more inclined to listen to advice from their best mate. Providers and the intermediaries need to speak to consumers in a language they understand.”

Sesame marketing director Stuart Gitsham says: “There are no really strong advice brands out there. There are plenty of strong financial services brands, plenty of product brands, but ultimately people want advice. People have no single brand they can turn to for advice, regardless of whether they are an A, B or C client.

“There is a real opportunity. There is no one standing up, no ‘lighthouse’ brand, guiding customers through the confusion.”

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