MONDAY 11 DEC 2017 3:02 PM


Global marketing and advertising agency, Living Group, has kept a keen eye on the digital progress of numerous professional industries since its inception in 2004, from its widely acknowledged legal sector rankings, to its benchmarking of the world’s top asset managers. The agency’s final publication of the year takes a closer look at the digital intelligence of the world’s leading investment banks. Its findings however, suggest a dip in digital communications, with several established names falling short of the industry’s expectations.

Yet achieving consistency along digital lines is critical for engagement, and for Kate Shaw, co-founder and CEO of Living Group, clear content strategies go a long way. “Brand identity and consistency matter. Yet sadly the investment banks don’t always live up to their promise when it comes to consistency of visitor experience. Search for specific content, for instance, and you typically start on the glossy .com homepage, but end up in a clunky backwater from a different brand era,” says Shaw.

Living Group’s analysis however, considers a broad scope of digital margins, from search quality and Google’s descriptor feature, to guided navigation and dedicated log-in areas. The rankings’ categorisation criteria, broken down into focused, determined, energetic and lacklustre, continues to position firms across brackets of digital performance, with overall scores and percentages complimenting classifications.  

Yet the ratings indicate that ticking the boxes of digital integration poses several challenges for investment banks. The 20 ranked firms range from a digital intelligence score of 76%, to as little as 16%. Bank of America Merrill Lynch, as an example, came in at top of the list, leading the sector in its digital effectiveness. Its search functionality, along with a client-centric content strategy, contribute to is swift deliverance of brand messages across digital lines, as well as a succinct social media outlet and a generous use of icons and infographics across its site.

Between successes and struggles however, investment banks remain largely fragmented with regards to sector-wide digital intelligence. Despite this, 85% of banks are active on LinkedIn, as well as 70% actively tweeting. Dedicated log-in areas and targeted C-suite content also ranked well, with 60% of banks providing the features across both categories. Positive steps in demonstrating core purpose upfront was also achieved by half of the investment banks under consideration.

However, as little as 5% of investment banks provide high quality search features, with the same amount making use of blogs. Content personalisation, noted throughout Living Ratings as a key feature of digital, was recorded across only 10% of investment banks and only 20% of banks provide targeted content on social media, strongly indicating that across the sector, there is more work to be done by investment banks to achieve exemplary digital standards.

For a more detailed look at the Living Ratings, click here.