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Private banks struggle to win the hearts and minds of the wealthy

The wealthy are less in love with their banks than they are with the other brands and services they spend their money on, according to recent research.

The wealthy are less in love with their banks than they are with the other brands and services they spend their money on due to banks' failure to capitalise on digital marketing opportunities, according to recent research.

Banks could argue it is much harder to get clients excited about finance than, say, a new luxury car, but Scorpio Partnership and asset management firm SEI, publishers of the Futurewealth Report 2012-2013 – a survey of 3,477 people globally, with an average net worth of $1.9 million (€1.4 million) – argue that banks are failing to take full advantage of digital platforms to cultivate consumer loyalty.

SEI reckoned digital marketing multiplies the opportunities to connect with customers, and despite marketing themselves as "luxury", private banks were largely failing to use it to its full effect.

This is evidenced, said SEI, by the fact that private bank brands that had invested significant effort into improving their digital marketing platforms in the past years had managed to improve their standing in the eyes of the wealthy by 7.2%, compared with 2011's survey.

Across a range of luxury sectors, including cars, travel and retail, it was banks that had managed to improve their reputation by the largest margin, even though they were still a long way behind the leaders.

Car brands  managed to capture the hearts of consumers most effectively, and scored highest on brand loyalty. Cars have obvious advantages over a bank, but SEI said: "Their use of all channels possible to connect with and influence this high-value customer group is having an impact on the buying choices of those customers."

SEI argue that the wealthy are "digitally minded", and are depended on technology to manage their wealthy and seek future opportunities – it found that the wealthiest respondents used the internet the most. 

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