Banks and credit unions often have a harder time than other types of businesses when it comes to marketing their products. The solution? Deliver the right information at the appropriate time through the best channel.
The Current State of Financial Marketing
Research shows that consumers respond far better to a soft-sell marketing approach—in which your tactics appeal to their emotions—than they do to a harder sell approach in which you sing the praises of a product you’re trying to promote. Studies show consumers want to feel good about not only their purchases but also themselves—and sending a generic postcard for an unrelated product isn’t the way to go about it.
In 2014, Ernst & Young Global Limited published a customer experience survey pointing to major implications in the banking world: Nearly a quarter of consumers who are currently unhappy with their financial institution say they aren't leaving, in part, because they believe financial institutions to be the same, lacking greatly in the area of customer experience. In an ever-changing financial environment marked by unpredictable regulatory changes, it’s vital that financial institutions take the initiative to set themselves apart from the competition.
The Bottom Line
Financial institutions tend to employ a hard-sell approach, leaving them with far more information than their audience wants or needs. The Financial Brand recently published a white paper detailing six essential marketing trends to employ in 2016 to boost your institution’s brand and sales. The major takeaway from these six trends is simple: It’s imperative to manage internal and external data—knowing what drives your customers and consumers in your area—and make this data work for you.
Give Your Customers What They Want
Accomplishing this objective consists of analyzing data and focusing on your account holders. The best way to do this is by approaching customers from their specific point-of-view. So what are some creative ways to accomplish this objective? Here are several simple strategies to deploy that can help you boost your institution’s brand and sales:
Build an Engaging and Interactive WebsiteThis enables customers to not only have full access to modern banking channels and the ability to read about your products, but also includes an interactive and helpful element, such as a retirement or interest rate calculator they can download.
Create a Custom, Regularly Published Print or Digital Newsletter or Magazine
Communications that include a lifestyle content—such as financial advice or quick tips relevant to your customer base—mixed with more 'traditional' highlights of new products, services, team members, and events will be an engaging and reliable resource for your customers.
Leverage the Power of Visual Content
When people hear information, they're likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of the information three days later (Lifelearn). Videos and infographics are an engaging way to to tell your brand story that your audience will want to share.
Host quarterly special events to draw customers and potential customers to your branch.Be sure to promote these events via newsletter, social media, and at the branch far in advance. The value this event can provide for your audience should be clear so there is an incentive to attend and tell their own networks.
Send Useful EmailRegular email communication with specific, detailed subject lines, highlighting simplified sets of your institution’s products or offering an incentive for taking a survey, reading an article, or anything of an interactive nature.
Many institutions may be fearful of the risk associated with trying new approaches, but you can’t lose by effectively using real-time data and focusing on your customer base and its many and varied needs and desires.
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