Last night as I got home from a Korean-town dinner in NYC with the Moven management team, I got a message via Facebook from Rob Findlay (Next Bank) about a recently launched Youtube video supposedly promoting the upcoming revamped TSB website - sort of a
trailer for the future launch and the
accompanying news story on Finextra hailing their 'responsive design' approach.
Now I really, really, really hope this is one of those early marketing attempts at A/B 'testing' possible concepts on the public in order to determine creative direction, but I suspect it is probably nothing of the sort. If you haven't watched the offending
video you can view it here on youtube...
Here are my issues
Firstly if you want to promote your website, promote the website. Don't give me a trailer of a website you're going to launch sometime in the future, just launch the thing and promote it! TSB - the time you spent promoting the future website via a video
in this instance would definitely have been better spent on just getting the website launched. But...
That's if the website actually engaged customers.
In the blurb on YouTube this is what TSB says about their efforts to revamp their website:
"Since the TSB website was launched last year we've had a lot of feedback. We have listened to your comments and have been working on producing a brand new site which will be launched later this summer.
The site will have a new design, will be simpler to navigate and will work on smart phones and tablets as well as traditional web browsers. There will also be a new branch locator tool to help you to easily find your local branch of TSB."
TSB YouTube Channel
I can only assume that the feedback on the current site is not good, otherwise they wouldn't be needing a revamp. Let's face it - with a launch in September of 2013, having to relaunch your website less than a year later only means one thing.
So having recognized that the first thing you'd probably do is look at benchmarks via best practice new digital pure plays, brand new mobile and app-based service providers, and generally any new service business who is using the web effectively to generate
revenue effectively. What you would find is not just "responsive design" websites, which is TSB's first positioning statement in their new promo video, but you would find a site designed to engage.
Let me just cite a few decent examples.
- Simple - acquired by BBVA for $117m earlier this year, starts with the simplest of approaches, up front with a video on how your banking experience should be and then invites you to apply for an invite
- Moven - our own site starts with a video and encourages you to download the app, because you sign-up for an account in the app.
- Soon.fr - AXA's retail play starts with a fantastic interactive image illustrating how to use their app for everyday banking
- Square - An immediate call to action for starting with a Square merchant account, start selling today!
- PayPal - Huge video and the core message that it's not about buyers and sellers, it's about people
- PaywithISIS (soon to be rebranded) - big image of an Amex card in your phone and the simple call to action "Pay with your Phone"
- AMEX Bluebird - a simple message. Loaded with features, no fees - call to action: Register
I could go on and on with Hello Bank, MBank poland, Che Banca in Italy, Frank by OCBC, ASB in New Zealand, etc, but the message is the same. The web first and foremost is about a positive call to action to generate online direct revenue or to engage the
Each of these sites is generally visually stunning - the hero image is clear and huge (if not video based) and the text is minimal, funneling you to the primary revenue engagement opportunity first and foremost. If you want other stuff, you scroll down or
navigate away. These sites know EXACTLY how to deliver revenue and engage customers in their brand experience.
Thus, I would really like someone from TSB to explain why is it that fully the first 36 seconds of the 1 minute TSB website promo video is about their revamped super-branch locator tool, with the innovative ability to see what times the branches are open,
and even what products and services they offer at a branch?? Seriously folks? Have we timewarped back to 2001?
Then the next 30 seconds are about comparing products/services and logging in to internet banking (which we're told hasn't changed). If this is really their new website design, then TSB has got some serious issues.
There are two primary opportunities that TSB had with the revamp of their site that global benchmarks in site design dictate
- Engage me and tell me why I should bank with you,
- Let me onboard/register/download/apply with minimal friction
Neither of these objectives are even close to being met with the new site design. I'm sorry TSB, but the web has not been about drive to branch for fully 5 years now. Every other retail business in the world realizes your website is really about two key
metrics today today getting me to download your app, and
getting me to apply or buy stuff. They are the two single most important metrics.
On these measures the redesign is not even close, and appears from the promo video as it stands to achieve neither.
I know this sounds like a rant, and if I am to be honest it is. However, it doesn't take a lot of research today to understand that the biggest challenge to the high street banks today is the ability to generate cross-sell and up-sell revenue through web and
mobile. Perputating "drive-to-branch" strategies online and avoiding real revenue through digital only means that if and when the revenue crunch comes, you've lost all your leverage entirely and by that stage you likely won't get a second chance.
So Finextra - tell me why I'm wrong here...