With continued emphasis on cost reduction while fierce competition within the global financial services market is steadily growing, banks are faced with more challenging marketing goals than ever before. Growing revenue through cross-selling along with focusing
on the acquisition of new customers is a fundamental necessity, meaning that the need for additional marketing campaigns is real. These campaigns however, cannot merely be delivered at any cost, Banks need to assess how they can best meet their marketing goals
in a cost effective and timely manner.
More than ever before, the digital nature of today’s banking market is helping retail Banks to reach out to customers in more efficient and appropriate ways. The recipe for this communication success seems simple: get more data on the customer, push the
right products to the right person, beat the competition on pricing and timing whilst doing this again and again until it works, or until it starts annoying your customers!
What is becoming increasingly obvious in this formula however is that the barrier between cross-selling and intrusive marketing can be thin.
Personal finances topics have a more sensitive connotation and Banks need to remain aware of the very privileged relationship they hold with their customers, based on confidentiality, something which differs from any other industry. Banking is a necessity
which makes these relationships so special due to their nature. Banking relationships are based on confidentially shared personal data and account management that go back many years for some customers and it certainly implies that these should be protected
against potential damage from digital marketing tactics used at a high frequency. This is precisely why a marketing campaign run by a Bank cannot be intrusive. Banks need to work hard to find the right balance between selling and protecting customer privacy.
In order to successfully navigate this, Banks should consider a number of factors to ensure they approach customers in just the right way.
- Grant permission: Letting your customers opt-in for banking offers or third party promotions, or giving them the power to suggest their very own special areas of interest will help your bank to better meet their requirements and ensure the success of your
campaigns. It also means you will get to know your customers better including their preferred brands or interests.
- Precision and personalisation: Businesses that personalise web experiences see an average 19% increase in sales. Your bank already
has a data mine on your customers, so why not use it to refine your campaigns? Getting to know your customers by using business intelligence tools will help you to understand their individual journey and their appetite for new products and services. This will
also help you create a more targeted approach when it comes to dealing with your customers close to a one on one relationship.
- Do not underestimate your self-service channels: As we all know, in-branch leaflets are both costly and wholly ineffective. Most campaigns can be run on low-cost digital channels through email marketing, internet banking or mobile banking, with the ATM
itself still reaching 70% of your clients. By knowing your customers’ preferred ways of banking your bank could significantly improve the targeting of marketing campaigns based on their own individual preferences.
- Lead generation: Your anonymous users are not that anonymous especially at the ATM. Your bank has the capability to recognise the customer bank identification number when a competitor’s ATM card is placed in your machine. Taking advantage of this, your
bank could easily present customers with a specific competitive offer that will increase self-service on-boarding. It is easy to open up opportunities for card holders to leave their phone number at an ATM, request for a call back, or be part of your community
through the digital channels. Using social media is also powerful as 70%
of B2C companies said they acquired a customer from a Facebook lead, why not your bank?
- Bring tangible benefits for the customer: Content is key to your campaign success! Each of your campaigns needs to have appealing content with offers or services that would make a real difference to the customer’s lifestyle or financial plan. Offering attractive
coupons, discounts, promotions or third party offers can also be effective in creating value for the customer.
- Innovate: Will a 0.05% interest rate increase in a savings plan make a difference in your customer’s life? Or an app that helps cheque scanning reserved to corporate clients only? Banks need to innovate in their product portfolio in addition to the way
they serve customers in order to make an impact in both their customers’ lifestyle and their financial plans. In addition to offering attractive financial products which can make a difference, banks can easily use their digital channels to help their customers,
for example, by allowing them to plan and analyse their financial health.
- The human effect through digital and social engagement: Human contact is still required in most banking relationships particularly when it comes to discussing complex products. By enabling technology such as live video teller at every single point of contact
be it mobile, internet, kiosk or ATM, banks can better serve customers on-demand. By including social media as part of your communications strategy to respond to customer needs or by live chatting with them on the self-service channels, or create online communities,
banks can open up and cultivate mutually beneficial lines of two-way communication with their customers.
- Make it actionable! Banking customers are busy people who consider their time to be important. As such, there is a strong need to speed up bank processes in order to meet their requirements in an efficient and timely manner. Waiting for a mortgage for 4
months (lived it myself, believe it or not!) is just not acceptable. Letting customers apply when, where and how they want, as well as decline an offer or choose not to receive any is essential. However, making a product or service available right away will
truly make a difference in a customer’s perception towards your bank. After all, time is money!
- Be consistent, Be omnichannel: Adopting an omnichannel approach is essential. An offer accepted or rejected on the internet should not be shown on the mobile channel and a credit card balance should be the same whether viewed on internet or mobile banking
channels. Keeping consistency is important or your bank may accomplish the opposite of its aim and simply start annoying customers and breaking their valuable trust.
- Testing and optimising: There are very few insights available on marketing practices for Banks due to the fact that not only do Banks not like to share data on this topic, but also that today’s digital and channel banking marketing is still quite a recent
practice. Your Bank needs to keep learning, adjusting and evolving your campaigns as customer needs keep changing. Banks need to keep moving and upgrading their products, services and the entire banking experience through best-in-class channel banking innovation.
Finally, measuring your results as well as quantifying the cost per lead can only strengthen your banks position and help you improve your strategy exponentially.
These recommendations can help banks strike a balance in continuing to find ways to attract customers without turning them off. Insight-driven marketing is essential, as is leveraging the channels to deliver campaigns to your customers right where they are!
Banks have a mine of data to exploit and many customers to better serve therefore it is important to remember that being too invasive with customers can harm your brand. Insight-driven marketing and precise targeting can help your bank to not only meet and
exceed its marketing objectives but also strengthen your customer relationship whilst sending them the right offers, at the right place and at the right time.