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Practically all industries took a large hit in the global recession of 2008-2009, but fewer were hit harder in terms of confidence and net worth than the finance industry. As consumers scrambled to salvage their savings and faced unprecedented struggles in their day-to-day lives, financial industry analysts saw it a tough sell to convince consumers to reinvest their dwindling savings elsewhere. As such, the marketing industry took a hit in this area as well; things are on the mend, however, as the economy continues to grow. AJG Direct review how smart consumer decisions – combined with strong marketing approaches – are helping the financial industry rebound.

Consumers had to become savvier with their money and their investments in the wake of the recession, which is something AJG Direct Director Paul Gillett knows all too well. “The drop-off in financial marketing was the largest I’ve ever seen in any industry. Many of these guys were even afraid for their names to be out there in such a hostile climate”, he was quoted as saying. Inevitably, people managed to be resourceful, and the economy now looks much more promising for consumers, finance and marketing alike.

In order to stimulate the market again, many credit card companies began offering extensive rewards and travel cards that featured benefits not seen on most cards prior. Cashback solutions became commonplace, travel insurance became almost a de-facto feature, and the nature of reward points helped convince many consumers to begin spending again, albeit at lower levels initially. Stability has been restored – in particular to the credit market – as a result of consumers using their credit cards more conservatively and paying off levels of debt previously unseen. While some in the finance world lamented this due to lower overall demand in the industry and economy, AJG Direct and other marketing firms see it as a positive trend.

“The more stability that exists in the financial sector, the stronger our relations with the industry can be”, said Paul Gillett. “It’s hard to provide a service when the industry is in free-fall, so slow but steady growth is good for consumers, good for us and good for our clients”. As the economy continues to accelerate globally, the overall trend of the past three years is expected to intensify. Marketing leaders such as AJG Direct that handle extensive campaigns for financial clients understand that smart consumer behaviour inevitably means better days for all parties involved.