Developing a marketing strategy for your bank means considering your marketing channels, audience, primary customer touchpoints, consumer demographics, services, and budget. As a result, marketing strategies vary quite a bit between banks, and they should. Despite that, there are many aspects that should remain the same from bank to bank, because they offer a great deal in terms of return and value, which remains true no matter how or to whom you offer services.
These 5 marketing programs every bank needs should be essentials in your digital and traditional marketing programs because they do offer that value, and in ways that are difficult to replace through other efforts.
- Community Engagement
- Customer Loyalty Programs
- Omnichannel Digital Marketing
- Onboarding and Offboarding
Connecting with consumers in the real world is increasingly important, especially as bank branch visits are dropping. With the typical consumer visiting their bank branch just 4 times per year, and with that number expected to decline a further 34% by 2022, it’s becoming increasingly important to create outreach moments to establish face-to-face contact.
Here, community investment, eLearning for financial literacy, and involvement in schools and community are positive ways to outreach. You can likely review your community and its needs, assess budget, and plan to invest accordingly. Outreach does not directly sell products, but it does build awareness, improve branding, and helps you to contribute to your community in a positive way.
Cross-Selling / Up-Selling
Cross-selling and up-selling are important marketing programs for banks because they allow you to work on customer retention while leveraging your existing customer base. Here, you can and should take the time to craft different upselling strategies based on your customer segmentation, but upselling is a must. In some cases, you may also want to auto-upsell using AI and big data to offer suggestions and upgrades, pre-approved mortgages and loans, or otherwise, suggest improved services to customers without human intervention.
What is an upsell or cross-sell? If your customer has an account and you can determine that a different product or service would benefit them more, you can offer it to them. The trick here is that the product has to actually benefit them, otherwise you’re just trying to make a sale. What does that look like in practice? If Customer A reaches a 2-year mark as a customer and qualifies for better rates, you could let them know. Or if Customer B has a savings account valued at $15,000 and could increase their earned interest to 2.25% from 1.45% by switching most of it to a savings CD, you could let them know. Most importantly, you could offer personalized pricing to consumers based on specific information such as their credit history, length of time with the bank, and total credit history, which is a form of upselling in that customers receive better rates if they own more products or accounts with your bank.
Customer Loyalty and Referral Programs
Customer loyalty and referral programs are almost a standard in many industries, but many don’t offer much in terms of value. For example, no one really cares about winning a toaster. On the other hand, you can take the time to actively reward customers for their loyalty and for referring new customers with something that really matters. Here, you can utilize a loyalty program offering discounts on interest or loan interest for customer loyalty or increased interest on savings accounts and CDs.
Customers with more accounts or a longer lifespan with the organization receive better rates, which works for you because the longer a customer stays with your organization, the less they cost. In fact, customer retention costs just ¼ of customer acquisition in most industries. You can determine what you can spend by calculating your current customer churn, cost of customer acquisition, and then evaluating how much you’d save by retaining a certain percentage of customers for one year or two onward. You can offer discounts to that amount without losing anything.
Referral programs can also offer a great deal in terms of value but should be managed more carefully. Many people are hesitant to recommend their friends and family to a service in exchange for a cash reward. However, you can create a signup bonus for the referrer and their friend, which will balance out. Here, you can either implement a standard “refer a friend” program into your website or app or create a quarterly or bi-annual referral program.
Omnichannel Digital Marketing Strategies
While most banks have implemented some form of digital marketing, most fail to implement truly omnichannel strategies. The result is that consumers receive a different or disjointed experience when moving from platform to platform, which interferes with your branding efforts and may interfere with the customer experience. Working to establish a seamless omnichannel experience allows customers to move from website to social media to mobile to an app without changing branding and while feeling as though they are on the same platform.
Your marketing strategy will naturally differ depending on your financial services, primary customer demographic, and branding, you can take steps to ensure that it covers the basics, collects data you need, and offers value to you and the consumer no matter how you are marketing. These 5 marketing programs every bank needs cover the foundations of that so that you can build your marketing strategy around them.
Onboarding & Offboarding
Onboarding/offboarding programs help you to understand why consumers join and leave your bank. This information is valuable no matter what your market or demographic and will remain valuable no matter how or where you sell products. Onboarding programs should also work to improve the quality of your relationship with the customer over the first year by offering customer support and initiatives, upsells, personalized guidance, and assistance. The more you invest in this early stage, the more loyal the customer will be for the rest of their lifespan with the organization.
Offboarding is also important because it helps you understand why customers are leaving and what you can avoid. This means tracking service levels, customer satisfaction, specific points of dissatisfaction such as interest rates or digital apps, and otherwise managing why customers leave. You will have to ask the right questions at the right time to gather this information, and not all consumers will be receptive to answering questions, so you will need a good strategy to collect this information.