Connecting with Consumers Through Great Content

by Sarah Pennells

Posted on 04-27-2018

We con­tin­ue our series of con­ver­sa­tions between respect­ed blog­gers from a range of fields and experts from Adobe. These unique encoun­ters will offer insight into how end con­sumers feel about dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing, includ­ing how and when tar­get­ing is effec­tive, what makes for an appeal­ing cam­paign, and how mar­ket­ing affects whether these all-impor­tant influ­encers spread the word about spe­cif­ic prod­ucts and platforms.

Our fea­tured blog­ger for this quar­ter is Sarah Pen­nells (SP). Sarah set up in 2009, after becom­ing frus­trat­ed that none of the finan­cial infor­ma­tion online seemed to be writ­ten with women like her in mind. Savvy­Woman aims to help women become a lit­tle rich­er by help­ing them invest, save for their retire­ment and deal with bumps in the road, such as divorce and debt. As well as online con­tent, Savvy­Woman runs sem­i­nars and events aimed at demys­ti­fy­ing mon­ey and invest­ing. The site has been short­list­ed as num­ber five in The Times’ “Top 50 web­sites to save you money.”

Sarah is also an award-win­ning broad­cast­er and jour­nal­ist who reg­u­lar­ly appears on the BBC as a finan­cial expert. She’s writ­ten for a num­ber of mag­a­zines and news­pa­pers, includ­ing Styl­ist, Yours and Good Housekeeping.

Sarah talked to Toc­cara Bak­er (TB). As Prod­uct Mar­ket­ing lead for Adver­tis­ing Cloud in EMEA, Toc­cara is respon­si­ble for grow­ing aware­ness and adop­tion of Adobe Adver­tis­ing Cloud’s prod­ucts, solu­tions and ser­vices among exist­ing EMEA cus­tomers and prospects. She works in a cross-func­tion­al role to man­age exe­cu­tion of EMEA mar­ket­ing strate­gies across Adver­tis­ing Cloud’s prod­ucts and part­ner solu­tions work­ing close­ly with sales, prod­uct man­age­ment, busi­ness devel­op­ment and client services

SP I’m Sarah Pen­nells. I’m a jour­nal­ist and also the Founder of, which is a lead­ing mon­ey web­site for women. I’m here at Adobe’s Lon­don offices as part of a series of inter­views where I talk to sev­er­al lead­ing voic­es in the world of dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing. I’m here with Toc­cara Bak­er and we’re going to be talk­ing about social media advertising.

I was try­ing to think about cam­paigns that I think are work­ing and where I think com­pa­nies are actu­al­ly talk­ing about what they do. There was one, it was a while ago, it was a pen­sions com­pa­ny, and it was talk­ing about a series of video inter­views that they shared on social media about what mat­ters to you now, while you’re work­ing, that you might want to car­ry on doing once you’ve retired. That sort of stuck with me, though it was a few years ago, because it wasn’t talk­ing about pen­sions and sav­ings, tax relief and all the things that make peo­ple switch off. It was actu­al­ly think­ing about, you know, if you like a cer­tain hob­by or some­thing, then you want to be able to afford to do that when you can’t work.

But some­times when banks espe­cial­ly have these quite soft films they just don’t seem to ring true. It’s a fine bal­ance some­times between find­ing some­thing that real­ly res­onates and find­ing some­thing that peo­ple just think “nice film but it doesn’t make me want to switch to you, or doesn’t make me want to buy your prod­ucts, or your rates are lousy.”

TB In gen­er­al, build­ing real­ly great con­tent is tough. And then, if you’re in a sec­tor where the infor­ma­tion can be a bit dry, fig­ur­ing out and find­ing how to build great con­tent is even hard­er. You’re not as excit­ing as a con­sumer brand or an enter­tain­ment brand.

So, a lot of times there is a lot of invest­ment put into how to pro­vide val­ue to a cus­tomer with con­tent with­out just talk­ing about our prod­ucts and ser­vices and ensur­ing that that infor­ma­tion isn’t dry. Now, some­times it is what it is, it can be a lit­tle bit bland, but there’s still the idea, espe­cial­ly when it comes to con­tent devel­op­ment, specif­i­cal­ly, I’d say, for a lot of these finan­cial insti­tu­tions, about how you make it inter­est­ing and how you make it rel­e­vant. So, it might not be rel­e­vant maybe to you or I, but maybe my dad has found that piece of con­tent real­ly rel­e­vant, it res­onat­ed with him. So that was the niche audi­ence that they were look­ing to tar­get with that piece of content.

When it comes to bank­ing I think it’s a very inter­est­ing indus­try, specif­i­cal­ly when you think about adver­tis­ing. A lot of peo­ple choose the bank that they’re going to use for the rest of their lives at a very young age. I know that I chose my bank when I was a kid—actually my mum chose it for me.

How valu­able do you think social media adver­tis­ing is when it comes to the bank­ing sec­tor, specif­i­cal­ly when peo­ple have already made those choic­es about their bank at a young age and don’t real­ly move around?

SP I think the way we bank and who we bank with is just so inter­est­ing, because if you ask most peo­ple what they think of their bank they prob­a­bly don’t love it, but they’ll stick with it. And, you know, I used to be with the same bank for years as well, I mean, decades prob­a­bly. But I think what makes peo­ple change—I’m not sure it’s nec­es­sar­i­ly about social media adver­tis­ing, maybe that might rein­force some­thing, but in my expe­ri­ence it’s per­haps some­thing much more tangible.

So, maybe it’s a good rate while you’re in cred­it or it’s an app that works real­ly well, or it’s some­thing that you are going to direct­ly get from being with that bank, and if the mes­sage can rein­force that then that might help. But, you know, if you look at the fig­ures of peo­ple switch­ing over the last few years, they’re still real­ly low, I mean, the per­cent­age of peo­ple who switch is still real­ly low.

And I think it’s not so much that peo­ple are lazy or don’t want to switch or, you know, aren’t sure about the process, peo­ple I talk to, they’re not quite sure who they should switch to because they often think they’re all as bad as each oth­er. I mean, it’s not a very pos­i­tive expe­ri­ence I have to say; they’re kind of think­ing “well actu­al­ly if I switch to this one what hap­pens if it goes wrong? Is their ser­vice going to be any better?”

I kind of think that things might change with open bank­ing if we get much bet­ter infor­ma­tion because you’ll be able to see what the new bank could do for you per­son­al­ly, based on how you use your account. Hav­ing said that, I mean, I’ve done a cou­ple of polls on my web­site about open bank­ing and there’s a real big con­cern about fraud and the shar­ing of infor­ma­tion, so that’s a big hur­dle in itself.

Thanks very much Toccara.

TB Thank you.

SP To see more of our inter­views go to

Topics: Digital Transformation, banking, social media, UK, UK Exclusive, Digital EMEA