Monaco launched its Extended Monaco initiative in 2019, which aims to ensure that the entire Monegasque community can benefit from digital. As part of this, the Extended Monaco for Businesses programme was introduced to help companies understand the power of digital and undergo subsidised digital transformations, ultimately stimulating Monaco’s digital economy.
Funding support, called the 'Blue Fund', is now available to co-finance between 30% to 70% of any digital marketing project that is submitted to the programme and accepted. But of the many businesses in Monaco, which industries need digital the most, and how can they benefit from adapting?
Which industries need digital the most?
1. Private banking
Monaco is home to a selection of excellent private banking services and specialists in wealth management. However, not all of these businesses have fully embraced digital yet, despite an average of 53% of banking customers desiring a blend of physical and digital services according to a 2017 study by Accenture.
Professional services firm KPMG predicted in a report that banking in 2030 will look very different to today, with successful banks set to follow a more digital and client-led approach. “The market-leading banks of tomorrow will understand that technology will not limit what is possible. Instead they will harness digital capability to put the customer firmly in control of their destination and preferred model for dealing with their bank,” the report said.
By embracing digitalisation, private banks can build a 360° view of clients and increase the variety of services that they offer, offering niche options for every type of investor. For example, through harnessing data, machine learning and AI, banks could enhance the optimisation of their clients’ investment recommendations according to previous investment data and sourcing. Adaption to the digital industry will then be vital to Monaco’s private banks, ensuring that they can retain clients and keep them happy as an increasing number of innovative banking solutions appear on the market.
2. Real estate
Real estate is highly regulated, traditional and localised, as the MIPIM World Blog asserts, and this is perhaps why it hasn’t adapted to being a digital industry as quickly as some other sectors. However, as Medium states, real estate software solutions and technology integration into practices are becoming more commonplace. The true marker of digitalisation will be when we see digital solutions becoming more uniformly used by development firms and estate agents across Monaco and the rest of the world.
A 2018 report from Deloitte highlights how a growing number of real estate deals rely on data analysis - and this trend is showing no sign of stopping. “From faster, more accurate appraisals to sophisticated forecasts, the use of analytics can lead to smarter decisions about property investments,” the report said. So, to continue to enjoy a solid share of the property market, Monaco real estate agents must ensure that they are able to capture and utilise data responsively and effectively.
This is just one example of how digitalisation can benefit the real estate industry, and some estate agents will need to start from scratch when it comes to digital. The first step is to create a responsive website that will stand out in a crowded market. A property agency website must be able to be easily found by potential clients, built using a specialist SEO strategy, as well as industry experience and know-how. Once prospects discover this website, the brand must amaze them by using moving images, virtual tours, and audio marketing. These assets can also be used to reach out to the press, and re-purposed on social media. Too many real estate agencies are not investing in their content, which means they are not able to market properties to their full potential.
Embracing different technologies could also see the sector using robots to tackle labour-intensive services such as inspecting hard-to-reach areas of properties, using AR and VR not just for property tours but as a replacement for hardcopy plans and documents, and using sensors to provide location-specific information such as floor plans, to name a few examples.
The third sector we can highlight in answer to the question ‘which industry needs digital the most’ is yachting. While some of Monaco’s yacht brokers have been quick to digitalise, others have been left behind. Owners of yachts have become increasingly tech savvy, and if their yacht is not at the top of Google and the business does not have a strong Instagram presence, they may well move their vessel to a more digital brokerage.
Fraser is a global leader in luxury yachting, having sold the most yachts in the 25+ metre category for the last 10 years running. The team at Fraser understood the importance of digital over a decade ago, and invested heavily in the latest website technology, CRM systems and digital yacht marketing to promote their clients’ yachts.
In a presentation I delivered in 2019 to the Superyacht Marketing Forum, looking at the rise of digital marketing in the yacht industry, I outlined how the yacht industry could benefit from digitalisation over the coming decade. In the shorter term - and we have already seen these strategies adopted by some yachting businesses - shoppable posts, conversational marketing, voice-powered search and AR/VR can all help yacht brokers better engage their clientele. In the longer term for example, AI can be introduced to help provide smart customer service, while advertising automation can take pressure off of the marketing team while increasing brand awareness.
As with real estate, some yacht brands will need to cover the more fundamental aspects of digital first, including but not limited to website optimisation, re-design, SEO, social media strategy, PR, and digital advertising, helping them to raise awareness of their brand, position themselves as leaders within the industry, and win more clients.