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What You Need to Know About Adoption Marketing

It’s no longer enough to have well-situated branches with helpful, friendly staff.

Technology has made building your brand more complicated - and potentially more profitable.

But leveraging that new opportunity also comes with challenges since it has brought new competitors into the sector - fintechs, neo banks, etc. And you can’t build out a tech team to support your digital endeavors without eating at your margins for some vague ROI hope.

So you have a truly modern dilemma. Since you have to build some sort of digital presence, you can either: Spend a lot of time and energy making sure your website and digital banking presences are integrated and updated with the latest solutions on your own, or partner with a fintech for help.

And whether you’re a fintech or an FI, that new online platform isn’t going to help if you can’t get your current (or future) customers to migrate to the platform.

That’s where adoption marketing comes in. This is a customer-driven marketing approach that can be a very powerful tool.

“Everyone understands the benefits of great loan rates -- that’s why most FIs put them front and center on their new websites,” observes Trae Turner, Marketing Director for fintech provider Geezeo. “But showcasing the benefits of your new digital solution requires a different approach.”

Get This Tool In Your Marketing Tool Box

Adoption marketing is all about getting your customers to adopt a new behavior, in this case, it’s migrating them to your online solutions.

“One of the great things about adoption marketing,” observes Turner, “is you’re not selling them anything - you’re actually giving them something that should make their lives easier and deepen the relationship between them and you. What you’re asking them to adopt are all benefits for them.”

On the other side of that equation is the fact that it also makes your FI better at marketing and hopefully, that shows up in expanding revenue. Because the fact is, the better you know your customers, the better you can understand their needs and the better you can target offers to them.

For example, instead of just posting your auto loan rates on your landing page, with good back-end data on your customers, you can see what loans they have and with whom. You can then offer them your own competitive product that directly addresses their need.

You don’t have to build this adoption marketing program from scratch. Any fintech partner worth their salt should be able to help build out your adoption marketing program.

“It’s not just about them providing a financial institution a platform and services that will be valuable to your customers, but they should also be able to help you get those members excited about using their product,” explains Turner. “Look to them for resources like scenarios and case studies to help you create a successful adoption marketing strategy.”

Remember, your FI’s digital solutions are meant to reinforce your position of advocacy. When you empower members to be financially successful, your FI is a partner in their success.

3 Steps to an Adoption Program

Create a successful adoption marketing program by following 3 simple steps.

No. 1: Awareness

Develop messaging that shows how your digital solution directly addresses their needs by reducing friction in their financial life. This sets you apart from other FIs. Work with your fintech partner so you know you can deliver what you promise.

Create a plan for all your marketing channels. “Having strong messaging, both visual and verbal, is key,” suggests Geezeo’s Art Director Steve Kizer. “A healthy mix of social images and copy, website messages, emails, in-branch merchandising, lobby monitor videos, and even print pieces like postcards or statement stuffers are all a great place to start. From there, you can explore the next level, like videos, infographics, and webcasts.”

And remember: Cross-sell your digital services by showing how they’re related. For example, your savings account page is the perfect place to insert a link to learn more about your personal financial management (PFM) solution. Demonstrate the value of your digital solutions by illustrating the direct results of using them.

No. 2: Motivation

Develop a blend of benefits and education about your new platform. Plan how front-line staff will show an online demo for members, and how you can include demos as part of your community financial literacy events.

Train your staff to become champions of your digital platform. “You need to show that your most powerful tool - your people - are providing a new tech tool that adds value to their entire experience,” recommends Turner. “It’s not a replacement, but an enhancement.”

“Also present a blend of benefits along with easy steps for them to get started. Provide links from online banking, social, or emails to a web page with step-by-step instructions or an instructional video,” says Turner.

No. 3: Engagement

Engagement is the fuel that keeps your digital solutions running, and consistency is key.

“We plan year-round education and promotional campaigns that highlight the reasons online tools are so important,” says Kizer. For example, choose a specific feature or benefit of your digital platform each quarter, and focus your messages on that topic.

Most important, use each opportunity to promote the benefits of your digital banking experience by reminding your customers that all of these solutions help them become more financially empowered and successful.




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