financial services marketing trends

5 Financial Services Marketing Trends For 2018

Financial services are rapidly digitizing, moving formerly confidential and exclusive programs from in-person to online in an effort to create convenience and more touchpoints with consumers throughout the year. At the same time, this shift in product distribution represents a massive change in marketing and sales tactics, which must also move towards creating personalized offerings and services – in tune with the greater customer centricity of online sales.

Banking organizations rely heavily on consumer trust, and many of the 2018 financial services marketing trends reflect that. Financial services are focused on improving the customer experience, building stronger relationships, and using data to deliver the tailored experiences consumers crave. These trends can help even small financial services providers to move their marketing tactics in line with what consumers expect and demand, to optimize their approach and strategy, and work to grow their brand at a local and global level.

 

Omnichannel Marketing

Customer touchpoints are changing from a few large-scale touchpoints (bank visits) throughout the year to a series of much smaller touchpoints, where consumers interact with your brand fairly regularly. Banks are quickly capitalizing on this, understanding how omnichannel enables brands to better engage with consumers to build trust and loyalty. Financial services are moving into channels including social media, apps, and even SMS, increasing touchpoints and visibility to further build consumer trust.

 

Data-Driven Marketing

While 40% of financial services professionals believe they don’t have the tools to implement data-driven marketing, the use of data in creating and targeting marketing campaigns is growing. Most financial organizations own massive amounts of historical data which can be utilized for predictive marketing programs, marketing AI, and consumer targeting to offer better and more tailored ads, content funnels, and even support based on specific customer data and how individuals engage with your brand. With many financial services operating on local and national or international levels, data-driven marketing also gives finance marketers the tools to tailor programs to local needs and considerations creating more resonance and trust with local consumers.

 

Building Micro Moments

Micro-moments occur when consumers think of something and immediately look it up on their smartphone or computer. Modern technology enables consumers to research and find what they’re looking for faster than ever before, and banks can greatly benefit from it. Using automation and AI to generate immediate answers, providing content for search, and using predictive analytics to determine when and why consumers spend helps financial organizations to better predict and prepare for consumer needs. For example, chatbots fill gaps in helping consumers to get immediate answers. Pre-approval for loans helps consumers who spontaneously decide to buy a car. And successfully predicting when consumers are likely to buy a home enables banks to better predict how and how much mortgages should be, so they get answers from you right away without ever getting the chance to consider a competitor.

 

Predictive Analytics for Marketing

While predictive analytics tie into most other financial services marketing trends, they’re important to consider as perhaps the most important trend. Machine learning has the ability to redefine financial marketing using lead scoring, historical data, and buyer activity to score importance, preferred communication methods, and build more tailored products and services. If you know what stage of the buying journey your customer is in, what they are likely to do based on predictive data, and what they need, you can offer them a better solution so that they are happier with their service.

Financial services marketing trends are rapidly moving towards digitization and automation. Digital experience platforms, apps, API, chatbots, and automation are all playing a part, as modern marketing moves away from simply selling and towards creating a single consumer experience offering personalized and even individual marketing for the customer

 

Personalization

Personalization has remained a large focus for financial marketers for some time, but in 2018, the trend continues to grow. In fact, 55% of financial services marketing professionals intend to increase their investment in personalized marketing with the intent of improving customer service and driving brand trust. For example, some marketers are leveraging tools like data collection in apps to offer pre-approval for loans and mortgages, so customers always know how much they qualify for. Others are creating target groups with custom content and information or workshops. And, with AI increasingly available to deliver individualized experiences to each customer, larger scale initiatives are enabling financial services to market unique services to individual customers based on their data and previous interactions with the bank.

 

Learn more about how you can stay ahead of the curve in 2018 with your digital marketing strategy. Download The Ultimate Guide to Financial Digital Marketing!

 

credit union marketing trends

5 Credit Union Marketing Trends

What members look for in a credit union and how they find them is drastically changing. In order to keep up with credit union marketing trends, you need to evaluate where your institution stacks up and where technology is headed.

Here are 5 key trends for 2018 to make your credit union a marketing force to be reckoned with.

  1. Content Creation

Writers are at the forefront of marketing in 2018. Potential members are looking to see who the expert is in your field. The experts are who they trust and give their business to.

You need to show your members how knowledgeable you are on the subjects they care about. In order to do so, you must have well-constructed content to prove this knowledge. Blogs, articles, eBooks, infographics, case studies, and videos are all important in grabbing the people’s attention.

  1. Predictive Analytics

There has been a steep increase in the use of technology to help generate the best leads. Software now exists that can utilize data and statistics to locate and target your companies exact customer profile.

It works extremely well for B2B and direct-response marketing. Whether you are targeting people about to graduate college, just had children, or businesses looking to secure a small business loan, predictive analytics software can find these specific people for your business.

  1. Personalization

2018 is all about personalizing the banking experience for online consumers. People expect that their bank and credit union will be able to make suggestions and help them based on their personal needs. For example, a new parent may need information on a 529 plan for their child, or a credit union member may want to find the closest ATM’s to them based on their home or work address. Software that can anticipate a customers’ needs is essential to have within your credit union marketing bundle.

Members want a bank that understands their needs based on their time and place of life. They also want communication that suits them best. Whether through phone, email, text, or apps, members are looking for an experience that makes them feel understood and unique. Personalized care gives them that.

  1. Digital Culture

Although 93% of financial service executives believe that their digital strategy is key to consumer experience and engagement, only 46% actually feel prepared. Why? Among many reasons, only 28% of institutions offer resources and skill development needed for the digital environment.

Having employees that understand the digital revolution is vital. Implementing digital marketing tools will not automatically give your credit union a great digital experience. Instead, create a culture that encourages employees to learn and implement digital strategies into their work. This is how they can best communicate, help and reach out to members.

  1. Privacy Protection

The past few years have been filled with data breaches from what was once considered one of the most secure industries. Many felt violated in 2017 as they found that their most sensitive information was hacked. To say that the consumer’s confidence is shaken is an incredible understatement.

There is a widespread loss of confidence in institutions to keep information safe. As a credit union, your goal is to focus on keeping members safe and communicating that to them. Members want to feel that they are cared for and their institution takes their finances seriously. Successful marketing in 2018 means gaining back some of the trust lost through the recent data breaches.

The credit union marketing trends for 2018 are all centered around what you can do for the consumer. They no longer care that you are the biggest or have the best technology. What they care about is what you can do for them. Creating a member-centric credit union that employs these strategies will win business.

 

Need help getting your digital financial marketing started? We created a guide with all the latest information you need for advertising your credit union online. Download our free guide to get the tips and tricks for creating your best digital marketing strategy!

digital marketing strategy for banks

3 Ways Banks Can Use Digital Marketing To Generate New Customers

The landscape of marketing is changing, and banks are no exception. Potential customers are no longer looking to television, radio or billboards to find a bank that is right for them. Instead, they turn to the internet to see who is worth giving their money to. A digital marketing strategy for banks, then, is absolutely essential for attracting new customers.

With the right digital marketing strategy, banks can find themselves reaching more people than ever before and specifically target the right potential customers for them. Instead of blind mass marketing, a digital strategy allows you to spend your time and money attracting the right people to grow your financial institution.

Here are three basic ways your bank can use digital marketing to grow revenue:

Pay-Per-Click Advertising

The use of SEO to attract new customers cannot be overstated. Targeting keywords organically means that you are attempting to be the first website a user lands on when looking into a bank for them. However, many businesses are aware of the importance of SEO and a lot of keywords have become overly competitive, making it difficult to land on the coveted first page, especially if your bank is new to digital marketing.

This is where pay-per-click advertising can be useful to your institution. In addition to the organic SEO methods to land your bank on the first page, you can pay for an advertisement that can be seen at the top of the first page. You pay Google based on how many people click on your ad, hence, pay-per-click (or PPC).

Paying for ads can be used beyond Google to various popular media channels, such as YouTube and Facebook. However, Google Adwords can be an effective way to reach customers that are already searching for a bank and going to the trouble of actively looking.

Content Marketing

Once customers land on your website, you need more to draw them in. Content marketing is an essential digital marketing strategy for banks because it keeps potential customers on your website, sets up your institution as an authority and gives you the chance to generate leads.

Content marketing entails producing useful information for the customer that does not include overt advertising. Customers look for eBooks, articles, and videos that teach about finance. They are anxious to learn, so you have a great opportunity to advertise to the eager.

A great marketing strategy is to have users enter their email address in order to obtain your informational material. Once they enter it, you can send them the eBook, series of articles, video, etc. directly to their inbox.

Email Drip Campaign

Once potential customers give you their email address, a drip email campaign is a very effective digital marketing strategy. After sending the initial content that they signed up for, sending them occasional emails that are pre-written and set to reach them at specific times both keep your bank in their thoughts and continue to prompt them to take further action.

Typically, a drip campaign works by sending an email three days or so after the initial email, asking if they have any questions. Then, another email is sent 5-10 days later prompting them to speak to a bank representative, etc. These emails also have the advantage of being tailored exactly to your customers’ needs. You can set emails towards mortgages, small business loans, auto loans, or anything that is relevant to them.

Drip email campaigns allow you to generate warm leads easily and automatically. They take advantage of what your potential customers show interest in without a mass marketing approach.

An effective and efficient digital marketing strategy for banks means using the internet to help you do your marketing. PPC, content marketing, and drip email campaigns are all effective ways of keeping your bank in the forefront of potential customers’ minds while they are looking for the right financial institution for them.

 

Need help getting your digital financial marketing started? We created a guide with all the latest information you need for advertising your bank online. Download our free guide to get the best tips and tricks for creating your best marketing strategy!

credit union blog ideas

Credit Union Blog Ideas That Drive Traffic & Value

Today, more than 18% of all banking institutions have dipped fingers and toes into the world of blogging, but few derive any value from it. Despite that, blogging is largely recognized as one of the key tools for omnichannel marketing, enabling organizations to develop content that works across platforms to offer value to readers and to drive search traffic. Credit unions can make use of a blog, provided they take steps to build a customer-centric blog that offers real value to its readers. Developing credit union blog ideas means understanding your members and what they want to read and approaching content with a smart strategy rather than simply trying to sell products.

Develop a Blogging Strategy

The first step to building credit union blog ideas isn’t creating a list of topics, it’s understanding your members, how often they want to connect, what value the blog will drive, and why. You also have to identify how and when to promote your blog across channels, which means connecting your blogging strategy to social media and other content strategies.

One smart approach is to integrate the sales cycle into your blogging strategy, developing a content calendar reflecting what people are most likely to buy, search for, and need at that time of the year. Chances are that your credit union has enough historical data to create strong and valuable predictions surrounding when product interest peaks, allowing you to develop blog ideas around those points. For example, taxes in April and savings plans in January.

More importantly, approaching your blog based on what your members need gives you the opportunity to offer real value when it’s needed, rather than guessing at what they want. And, if your blog aligns with your other marketing efforts, you’ll have more information to share and strengthen your ads and social media posts. Achieving this requires collaboration between sales and marketing but will greatly benefit both efforts.

Create Interesting Content

It doesn’t matter how interesting your blog ideas are if your content is boring. Too often, marketing teams start out with great ideas and eventually end up with a product promotion barely disguised as helpful. If you can’t add personality, creativity, and interest to your posts, you’re likely better off not writing them. Many other industries succeed here by integrating humor, building content in multiple formats (video, infographic, written text), and trying to approach content from the consumer’s point of view. In short, if you want a product ad, make a product ad. If you want to offer something of value to your reader, write a blog.

Develop Valuable Credit Union Blog Ideas

If you’re trying to source ideas, the truth is there’s no one size fits all solution. Anyone can, and everyone does, write about credit scores and retirement savings, but what does that say about your credit union. While your core topics need to be financial and should be valuable to readers, you should try to keep them as local as possible, creative, and you should give them personality.

That often means identifying and tackling members pain points, offering free tools and solutions, creating directories and pointers, breaking down your own services when you know members struggle with them, introducing local initiatives, championing causes, and actively working to share member stories. Put yourself in your member’s shoes, what would you want to read. Better yet, consider your own bank or another service you use, what do you read on their blog? Why? Chances are the same rules will apply when you consider it from your credit unions point of view.

Most credit unions struggle with blogging because it requires a shift from logical and direct marketing to value-added marketing, where your primary goal is engagement, not sales. Making that shift means identifying your members and their specific needs and stories and using that as a source of credit union blog ideas, rather than pulling from a generic source of savings and loan investment advice. How can you get started? Who’s your oldest member? Who’s a member who has been through extraordinary circumstances? Will they share their stories? Chances are your credit union is engaged in rebuilding, community, family, and actually helping people to achieve their dreams and those stories tie into your credit union and products as much or more than any amount of product promotion.

 

Learn how to take the first steps in creating a digital strategy for your Credit Union with The Ultimate Guide to Financial Digital Marketing.

Retail Bank Marketing Trends

5 Major Retail Bank Marketing Trends For 2018

The financial industry’s spending on marketing technology has been rising in recent years. Currently, marketing technology comprises about 22% of the average bank’s budget, according to the ABA. Marketing technology enables retail banks to track the customer journey and gain insights into their ROI. Retail banks are also starting to put more marketing technology dollars behind one particularly essential consumer population: Generation Z. Ages 6 to 23 in 2018, tech-savvy Gen Z’ers are starting to graduate, manage finances, earn disposable incomes and, by 2020, will account for 1/3 of the US. Given this, it makes sense that the major retail bank marketing trends we’re seeing right now involve progressive technology tools that align with Gen Z sensibilities.

Large banks have been at the forefront of marketing technology trends, but community banks are catching up and the gap is narrowing. The Financial Brand predicts that the “intersection of data and digital marketing will continue to surge” and banks and credit unions that focus on these areas will find it easier to grow.

Here are 5 important marketing trends among today’s retail banks:

 

1) Data

Leading financial institutions are putting more and more resources into data. Collecting the right information and knowing how to use it can be a game changer for businesses. Advanced data analytics can help optimize sales cycles for instance, by providing concrete insights e.g. which type of messaging at each stage of the process results in the most conversions. Banks are also gathering more qualitative data than ever before, discovering the benefits of tracking behavioral patterns, motivations, financial goals, emotional responses, etc. By getting a stronger idea of the personas they serve, banks can understand their customer base on a deeper level, predict behaviors, communicate more effectively, and better meet their needs.

 

2) Search Engine Optimization

55% of customers looking for new banking products begin by searching on Google. A strong online presence is crucial to staying competitive and banks are becoming more aware of that. SEO enables businesses to attain higher search engine rankings without paying for it. This is achieved with a formula of interesting and timely content with meta tags and keywords posted frequently on multiple platforms. Banks’ go-to-market strategies are involving a greater variety of mediums (videos, blogs, eBooks, infographics) and channels (social media, website, email).

 

3) Content Creation

Content creation trumps content curation. Producing compelling original content (rather than depending on outside sources) is critical in boosting your institution’s relevancy, credibility and consumer engagement. It’s also the key to getting through to that prized Gen Z demo. True children of the digital and social media age, Gen Z have high standards and short attention spans when it comes to content. Retail banks are playing more to this audience by ramping up social media presence, creating brief and dynamic content, and leveraging artificial intelligence.

 

4) Artificial Intelligence

Every industry is moving toward AI, banking included. AI is versatile, scalable and efficient. Chatbots are one AI tool that is upending customer service as we know it. At any time of day or night, via a variety of platforms (website, app, social media), customers can be assisted with their needs—even specific requests like checking account balances or paying bills. Such sophisticated technology saves banks time and resources and satisfies Gen Z’s expectation of fast, high-quality information. It’s predicted that by 2020, 85% of consumers’ interactions with businesses will not involve a human.

 

5) Hiring & Partnering

Big data, SEO, content creation and AI are not simple areas of focus. Thus, bank hiring has been evolving. Banks are seeking new talent (copywriters, content strategists, digital storytellers, engineers, data experts) with the skillsets to pull off these complex marketing technology strategies effectively. In addition to staffing up, it’s also becoming more common for banks to partner with a specialized third party that has already developed sophisticated marketing tools that bank partners can use without having to recreate in-house.

Learn how to take the first steps in creating a financial digital strategy for 2018 with The Ultimate Guide to Financial Digital Marketing.

bank cross selling strategies

5 Easy Ways To Increase Bank Cross-Selling

Cross-selling is an ideal way to create new revenues while decreasing costs. It is far more cost-effective than acquiring new customers. Furthermore, a Gallup study of the retail and banking industry study showed that only 25% of customers thought their bank had their financial well-being in mind.

According to Gallup, “But on average, those 25% of customers have more products — such as checking and savings accounts, debit or credit cards, mortgages, or brokerage and investment accounts — with their bank than customers who do not think their bank looks out for their financial well-being.”

It would appear that an effective cross-selling strategy is closely tied to building trust in the customer. How do banks go about creating a cross-selling program that keeps trust in mind while creating goals that increase revenue?

1. Connect with Customers

Take a look at your on-boarding process. How much are you following up with customers? When bringing a new customer on, it’s important to be a part of the process. Reach out digitally and personally to grow a trusted relationship. For banks or credit unions to create a fruitful cross-selling plan, it’s important to keep the line of communication open. Then, you will be the first financial organization your customer thinks of the next time they need a loan or to open an account.

2. Gather Data on Your Customers and Community

Data collection is extremely important, and in a world where customers are becoming accustomed to customized programs, it’s crucial to an effective cross-selling strategy. Every customer has their own set of needs. Everything from age to marital status can give financial institutions clues as to what products are the best candidates for upselling.

3. Educate Your Customer-Facing Employees

When possible, offer customer-facing representatives reports that emphasize cross-selling opportunities. Using the data you collect, you can empower your staff with the knowledge they need to ask the right customers the right questions in order to leverage the sale. Many of these reminders and tools for salespeople can be automated. They may come in the form of a computer pop-up reminder, text message or follow-up email.

4. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Referrals

This is a great and easy way to acquire new customers. If your customers trust the financial institution, they’ll have no problem referring a friend or family member. Referral programs can be incentivized and have seen great success in both small credit unions and retail banks.

5. Evaluate Your Opportunities

The needs of customers change over time. A well-planned cross-selling program isn’t product-centered. It’s customer-centered. This can be done monthly or, using data analytics, it can be generated in real time. Timing means more than you think. By considering the purchasing habits of your customers, you’ll be more likely to get it right. Another way to find opportunities is to tap into initiatives driven by the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). It’s a good way to address your customers’ needs and build upon existing programs.

 

Grow Your Bottom Line While Meeting Regulatory Standards

Financial institutions are among the most regulated retail industries. Instead of seeing these regulations as impediments, how about revisiting them to reveal opportunities? Not only will it help businesses grow and thrive, it’ll improve your ratings.

Most of all, this approach will enhance goodwill and trust among customers. What more can you ask for? To learn more about how you can improve your CRA outcomes in 2018 AND develop cross-selling strategies that jive with industry best practices, read our white paper: 10 Big Ideas to Improve Your CRA Outcomes.

 

financial services marketing strategy

Creating an Effective Financial Services Marketing Strategy for Millennials

On the surface, a financial services marketing strategy is not completely different than a marketing strategy for any other industry. The crucial difference, though, is the higher and more demanding standard that financial services have from their customers. A financial services marketing strategy must be more rigorous and well-thought-out in order to be successful.

There are large pay-offs for financial institutions who take their marketing seriously. Currently, only 1 out of 3 Millennials invest in the stock market and just 67% own credit cards. This means that there is a massive untapped market for financial institutions with incredible potential. By creating an effective marketing strategy, it is possible to create brand loyalty amongst the youngest working generation. The key is creating credibility that will reach this new market of customers.

Here are three strategies to consider for marketing to Millennials:

  1. Blogging

There is a reason most businesses have blogs: it works. From creating SEO articles that will make your services stand out on Google to establishing yourself as an authority on financial topics, blogging is essential for marketing in the modern era.

Customers are looking for someone that they can trust with their most valuable resource, their money. By creating a blog that focuses on and discusses issues that concern the average customer, you will establish yourself as a knowledgeable and capable institution. This all translates to credibility and sales.

Having a blog that stands out from the competition means writing for substance, not entertainment. This is not a mommy blog and your purpose is to educate, not entertain. Focusing on establishing credibility and authority is essential for attracting customers.

  1. Videos

One obstacle that keeps many young people from engaging in financial services is a lack of motivation. Having TED-style or YouTube videos give your institution the chance to inspire and engage a new generation of customers. The pressing immediate needs and wants of Millennials cause them to overlook ways that they could be growing their money for the future.

Millennials clearly care about their future: in fact, they are saving more for retirement than any previous generation. Creating videos that can get them excited about what financial services can do for them is an extremely effective marketing strategy.

  1. Infographics

A relative newcomer to marketing strategy, creating infographics is nevertheless extremely effective. In fact, infographics reach 54% more readers than blogs and, just as important, have a 73% completion rate. Infographics have the ability to engage and inform that make it such an effective strategy for marketing financial services.

There are a few reasons that infographics are incredibly effective: it takes less time to read and is easy to share across social media platforms. The use of facts in an easy to read format will again set up your institution as an authority on financial services and cause future customers to feel confident in your credibility. Because it can be shared so easily, you will reach even more people without having to pay for additional advertising.

Having an effective financial services marketing strategy has incredible opportunities in reaching young workers and creating brand loyalty for the rest of their lives. By setting yourself up as a credible authority has the potential to reach more people than ever.

Need help with digital marketing? Not sure what strategy is best for your financial institution? Download our FREE guide to get the best tips and tricks to create an effective marketing strategy today!

Marketing Banking Products

Marketing Banking Products with Data and Automation

The banking industry is in the middle of a massive change, shifting away from traditional face-to-face services and towards real-time and mobile offerings. These generational and technological changes are forcing a shift in every aspect of customer-facing merchandising, including the marketing of banking products. Social media, mobile apps, real-time, big-data, and changing consumer expectations each impact how customers expect to receive marketing.

Today’s customers aren’t just looking for quality products and services. They want added value and benefits. This forces banks to identify consumer needs and switch the focus of marketing banking products from sales to redesigning and tailoring what’s available to meet customer needs. Here are 5 ways banks can use data and automation to adapt to these needs when marketing banking products.

Develop Real-Time Touchpoints with Automation

Today, 73% of millennials use mobile banking, giving you valuable insight into banking and money usage habits. More importantly, with mobile and other digital banking solutions, the marketing of banking products can be automated, with tools like AI algorithms. For example, banks are increasingly leaning on AI programs with chatbots and self-service, allowing consumers to solve their problems in real-time, with no waiting period when possible. AI bots like Cleo, IBM Watson, Erica, and Penny increase user engagement – allowing Ai to direct consumers to complete solutions – and to quickly solve problems and receive better customer service without ever contacting a human agent.

Using the Sales Cycle

A quick look at any sales cycle will tell you that most customers need the same things at the same time of the year. People tend to start retirement and savings plans in January, open credit lines to save on taxes in April, build and buy new things in June through August, travel or take a vacation in July and August, and take out student loans in August. While these services are valid year-round, they peak at these points, simply because they map to real-world occurrences pushing a demand for the services. Taking an approach of using need-based marketing, pushing products when they are highest in their sales cycle and focusing on solving problems rather than marketing to a specific generation, moves you beyond simply creating a sales ad for a target group and towards actually helping customers with valid and relevant products.

Offering Information First

Most people have the same problems with money. No matter the generation, people spend in the same way, need the same resources for buying a car or a home, and often invest in similar ways. Taking an approach of informing consumers first and making a sale second puts you in the position of a valued and trusted resource before the consumer ever becomes a customer. Many banks achieve this with blogs, webinars, podcasts, and social media tools, or AI algorithms offering savings and loan advice, information on getting out of debt, and specific information related to products and offerings. By tailoring your offerings around how people are using your products and giving people the information they need to succeed, you directly market not just your specific product but also your brand.

Building Customer Loyalty

Just over 62% of the global population has a bank account. With a limited number of people purchasing and using banking services, marketing banking products are hotly competitive. Building customer loyalty is a key step in combatting this problem, and a key to marketing products. In fact, repeat customers, or loyal customers, are also more likely and more willing to make a purchase, reducing your total marketing budget customer acquisition.

Today’s customer-service experience is omnichannel, giving you valuable insight into how customers use your services and platforms and why. One consumer will connect with your bank via social media, website, mobile application, and face-to-face, often before ever becoming a consumer. This gives you the opportunity to connect and reinforce your brand image to drive customer loyalty across multiple channels.

  •       Offer good customer service. 40% of customers currently leave banks because of customer service problems.
  •       Use apps and social media to collect consumer information and offer tailored services and offerings.
  •       Focus on building continuous touchpoints throughout the year, so that consumers can get answers and help they need without visiting a branch
  •       Maintain connection with customers through channels like social media – but don’t just advertise. Connect, teach, and inform.d
  •       Offer customer service on social media
  •       Educate and train customers in maximizing their usage of your services

Developing Personalized Service

Banking is a service-oriented industry and as consumer perception shifts to expect personal service, even through an app, it is becoming increasingly necessary as an element of product marketing. But, this necessity is equally an opportunity, allowing banks to use smart-algorithms and real-time data to create hyper-relevant product offerings, modular services that precisely meet individual customer needs, and flexible pricing to draw in even the most price-savvy consumer. Consumers also demand value-added services. If you can offer more convenience, value, quality, service, etc., many will pay a premium for it.

Most banks own massive amounts of historical structured data – which can be used to develop targeted campaigns based on historical behavior, user patterns, and responses to advertising and solutions. For example, AI can craft targeted campaigns and product offerings based on user behavior compared to a matrix of personality and behavior profiles. Apps collect relevant information to redirect customers to the right channel or customer service, offer real-time answers, and give instant approval for loans and accounts – before the customer knows they need them.

Any potential customer is reviewing more than one bank for your service. Your customers are shopping around. The only way to win the sale is to either have developed a long-running relationship with the consumer or to offer more (better features, better service, a better reputation). You can achieve this by connecting with consumers in their channels such as through social media and apps, offering personalization through automation and data, and targeting products based on user needs with the goal of solving a problem.

With increased competition and new startups revolutionizing the banking industry, customers expect more from their banks. Delivering on those expectations by offering value, connecting with customers, and create personalized offerings will help you to market your banking products.

Learn how to take the first steps in creating a financial digital strategy for 2018 with The Ultimate Guide to Financial Digital Marketing.

financial education program

5 Ways to Revitalize your Financial Education Program and Boost Business

While financial education can be an invaluable component of your bank or credit union’s content marketing strategy, it is often underutilized. There are many ways you can enhance your financial education program to better meet your business goals and increase your bottom line.

Take some time to review your current program. Is there an opportunity to increase its impact, improve the experience, or make the content more dynamic and relevant? If so, consider these 5 effective strategies to revitalize your financial education program:

  1. Digitize Your Programming & Measure Impact

While workshops and seminars are not to be discounted, a digital education component can take your efforts to the next level. An online program has an unlimited scale and can instantly curate key metrics for your institution, such as participation numbers, knowledge deficits and gains in specific subject areas, and financial behaviors and intentions. Advanced data reporting can inform your ROI, justify your budget, reveal insights into consumer needs so you can better serve them, and provide concrete evidence of your community reinvestment efforts to regulators. Communicating information in fresh and innovative ways will also distinguish your business from competitors.

  1. Offer Financial Education to Prospective Customers, Too

If you are limiting your educational tools to current customers only, there is a missed opportunity for outreach to prospective account-holders. Offer a slice of your financial education program to prospects. Engaging them in your online tools increases exposure to your brand and opens the door to potential customer acquisition. Encourage participation with an incentive (such as an enticing giveaway) for completing a lesson. A helpful resource, combined with a worthwhile incentive, will create a positive association with your business among prospective customers.

  1.     Don’t Forget Your Own Employees

Not all bank and credit union employees are financially capable themselves. Offering your financial education to staff, too, is a no-brainer. It is an employee benefit that also helps your business. A financially literate employee is more productive, confident, and equipped to serve your account-holders. You can easily mandate staff participation or encourage it through a small incentive. Consider presenting employees who complete the program successfully with a physical certificate that will strengthen their credibility as subject-matter experts.

  1. Build Up your Relationship with Local Schools

Kids in your community will soon become consumers and bank and credit union customers. Bringing financial education to local elementary, middle and/or high schools will promote a more financially capable rising generation. In addition to being a worthy philanthropic gesture, it will also reinforce your brand to students over time and open up valuable marketing and PR opportunities, if done right. Some of the most powerful school programs entail online education tools combined with offline benefits, such as scholarship offerings and capstone ceremonies.

  1. Use Multiple Marketing Channels

Take advantage of the many, varied marketing channels to expand your reach. If your online presence is relevant and regular, then you’re already ahead of most of the financial industry! Keep up consistent activity by promoting links and interesting content through email, online videos, and social media. (Note that an inactive social media presence is worse than none at all.) Links could lead to promotional offerings, product announcements, blog/vlog posts, or timely financial news (e.g. the new tax reform bill and how it affects them). You can also use online marketing channels to notify your audience about offline opportunities, such as events and workshops.

While these ventures require a time and/or monetary investment, they have proven effective time and again in helping businesses achieve desired results. Banks and credit unions looking to reinvigorate their financial education programs often choose to partner with an experienced FinTech firm. A partner with the right resources and expertise can provide you with both a state-of-the-art digital tool and a dedicated team that can successfully execute your program.

Learn how you can use financial education as a content marketing strategy for 2018 – learn more today!

financial marketing strategy

4 Tips to Building a Breakout Financial Marketing Strategy

Every financial marketing strategy is the same, right? Wrong! Some financial institutions stick to tried, true, and sometimes tired marketing strategies. Others break new ground, embrace edgy ideas, and find improved ways of connecting with account-holders and prospects in the digital age. Is your financial institution ready for change? Here are five ways to build a breakout financial marketing strategy.

  1. Partner up.

Cooperative marketing can help you reach new audiences with tailored offerings. Partner with a pediatrician’s office to market family investments or college savings plans, for example, or have realtors help you spread the word about your mortgage rates. You can even offer special rates or opportunities to employees at these partner organizations. With these added referrals, you’ll soon be building a powerful base of brand ambassadors—which is a force to be reckoned with in the age of social media. Even better, your partners will be able to supply you with product-specific leads with a real interest in your services and your institution.

  1. Share your knowledge.

Most of us are in need of financial education. It’s rare for schools and colleges—even a lot of business schools—to cover even financial basics like credit scores, borrowing, and investing. Sharing your financial expertise not only offers a real value to the knowledge-starved populace, but it also helps you understand which topics and services matter the most to your learners. If no one’s interested in your mortgage webinar, maybe there’s not much market there at the moment—but if everyone’s swarming to your workshop on savings, it might be time to target your community with savings account offers. And the best part of teaching is that, while it can be done in person, there are apps and platforms that make it easier and less expensive to reach a massive audience.

  1. Embrace analytics.

Banks are sitting on—pardon the pun—a wealth of data. Some of it plays a part in security, but financial institutions rarely do very much with their data. Financial institutions that want to compete in the coming years need to bring onboard data-savvy digital marketers and give them the tools they need to make the most of their data and their marketing. Imagine—all of the transactional, endpoint, and behavioral data at your fingertips combined with the info from email campaigns, landing pages, social media, and more. From a marketing standpoint, banks should—and could—be unstoppable.

  1. Invest in your app.

Financial institutions are no longer just competing with each other—they’re up against shiny new fintech startups with easy-to-use apps for making payments, saving, borrowing, and more. If your institution has a mobile app that looks a little last decade, has limited functionality, or provides a poor experience, you’re due for an upgrade. And if your bank has no mobile app, it’s beyond time to get cracking. Mobility is no longer a nice-to-have, it’s a must-have. And, if you’re thinking that this falls in the realm of development rather than marketing, you’re not wrong—but image is everything and, if yours is falling short, it’s time to bring both teams together to ensure you’re meeting your account-holders’ expectations in the digital age.

There’s no surefire way to guarantee success, but if traditional marketing isn’t creating the engagement you need, these and other breakout strategies might help your institution out of its rut. If you’d like to learn more about financial marketing strategies, download The Ultimate Guide to Financial Digital Marketing here!