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DIGITAL BANKING TIPS - DIGITAL MARKETING - 'republished full version'

On 23rd of December 2015, Finextra has selected the five most read blogs in 2015, two of which are Digital Banking Tips (Digital Marketing and Mobile Security). This is such a great honour on my side, considering the number of bloggers and blog posts at Finextra Community.  I would like to thank all of you for reading the tips, encouraging me writing more and sharing your opinions to create something better! :) 

Here's the full version of the "DIGITAL BANKING TIPS - DIGITAL MARKETING" once again, as a token of my gratitude!


Digitalization transformed customer behaviors and their expectations from banking; this forces us to change the way we do marketing.  As a result of this transformation, customer’s decision journeys have been altered radically and financial services are under heavy pressure to adapt to this.  At present, “Cross channel,” “targeted” and “just in time” offers are required to attract the attention of digital customers both at online and offline platforms. As the role is defined for Digital Channels upgraded from Transaction Migration to Revenue Generation, these channels can help the bank while moving into the “all marketing must be digital marketing” era for success in the new economy.

Marketing our bank’s products or services using digital technologies could be the simplest definition of Digital Marketing.  Although the definition is quite simple, the impact it would create on banking is quite large. It necessitates digitalizing processes and the management of every single step of Customer Decision Journeys.  Smart Decision making actions supported by a strong CRM integration would be the key that unlocks the potential of the new opportunities.

Defining digital customer experience is a very important first step. There is a need for leveraging customer interactions coming from different banking channels for the purpose of increasing customer engagement. So the banks are in a position of knowing the customer’s next action is a basic survival need.  Advanced Digital Analytics (which was mentioned in previous tips) is an asset that banks should have to set up some new engagement strategies related to customers’ behaviors. The main factor of how we differentiate ourselves from the others will be how we engage our customers in our Digital Marketing activities.

In order to have a consistent digital marketing framework with both Online and Offline Channels, banks must offer “always-on” marketing programs.  This is the new normal.  Without Seamless and Engaging experiences provided by the bank to its clients, diminishing returns and poor audience engagement would be inevitable.  The question we should ask ourselves is: “How can we provide the most value to our clients?”  Answering this question will tell us what is needed to create a success story in Digital Marketing.

A solid Strategic Marketing & Sales Strategy for Digital should be our starting point.  A “non-stop” marketing engine can be used for the “Next Best Action Predictions” of our clients.  So we should be in a position to estimate and recommend what would be the customer’s right next best action.  This could only be possible if the customer’s decision journey is understood well and all interactions are carefully customized.  That should be our ultimate goal …

What are the prerequisites of Digital Marketing and which tools should we have in our inventory?

We already know that the newest generation of clients are more likely to use their mobile devices as their primary mode of interaction.  So there is a need for Responsive Designs regardless of the channels used to provide a seamless experience to the client, and Digital Analytics will be our key to set up the stage for establishing such a service.

Perhaps we may even need to go further and APP’ify the products/services in our perimeter in order to adapt the digitalization.  Also the shift from Multi-channel (all channels sing the same song in different ways) to Omni-channel (all channels sing the same song in the same way and if one stops – another can continue where the first left off) is part of providing a seamless experience too.

The twenty important components of Digital Marketing are:

  1. Email and Video Marketing tools
  2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for both paid and organic search
  3. Having Earned Channels vs Paid Advertisement Channels
  4. Mobile Marketing
  5. Content Marketing
  6. Marketing Automation
  7. Digital Analytics (web, mobile, social and location based)
  8. Optimized Landing Pages with Responsive Design
  9. Getting regular customer feedback (Customer Listening)
  10. Launching new products together with customers (co-product development)
  11. Real Time CRM Integration with All Channels
  12. Strong Reporting Features
  13. User Experience Design
  14. Digital Influence Management
  15. Clear Call to Actions
  16. Well Designed Marketing Funnel (pre-sales, sales, after-sales)
  17. Clear set of roles and responsibilities for each channel
  18. Product Blue Prints and Mapping (which product should be sold, where and how)
  19. Driving Traffic with Fresh Content
  20. Optimized Conversion Processes

If the components listed above can come together with the actions listed below – you can create a magical Digital Marketing success formula: 

  1. Using Contextual Selling Rules: (that means we can sell our online products at the time of need. For example, selling travel insurance to clients who are in a different location or selling loans to clients whose account balance is lower than standing orders waiting.)
  2. Displaying recommendations: (almost every client loves reasonable advice. Look at Amazon’s “those who bought this also bought this” approach. But you better be careful in this business to advise the products good for the bank and client – together.  Not only one or the other. You know what I mean! Losing trust means losing business.)
  3. Utilizing more mobile banking: (everyone goes mobile and mobile tells a lot about what is going on in the client’s life.  If you need to bet on only one channel, it should be mobile.  Even among the PC lovers, it is not a very common practice to take a PC everywhere with you – right?)
  4. Having A Social media strategy: (which we mentioned in other tips – please have a look at this.)
  5. Customizing Content for every channel: (if you tell a story in 100 words in the branch, it should be done in 50 at the ATM, 25 at Contact Center, 10 online and 5 on mobile devices.)
  6. Performing Search Analysis: (you need to analyze both internal and external search engine findings, which tells a lot about everything. For example, Google “genius” and count how many Albert Einstein pictures you get.
  7. Creating Best performance tactics score cards: (learn from experience. Find the best methods and repeat it.)
  8. Setting up Event triggers: (what should happen if X happens or what will follow Y.)
  9. Shifting the budget from traditional channels to digital channels: (if the clients surf more on the net, how come TV ads get a bigger budget than online marketing?)

Before finalizing this tip, I would like to note that Digital Marketing cannot be a task executed by the marketing team only. IT, Corporate Communications/Branding, Channel Management and Branch Network Management teams need to be invited to the party too.  Moreover, it is valuable to note that according to some researches, bank website conversion rate standards are around 10%, this is much higher than the other industries.  If we can manage this potential well, Digital Banking can become the most profitable channel of the bank for sure.



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