In a conservative and commoditized industry that provides the marketplace with little choice due to product parity and regulatory restrictions, how do you make your bank stand out? Professor John Oxford helped the Freshman class of the Graduate School of Banking at LSU tackle this exact problem in his class, “Strategic Bank Marketing.” From marketing strategy and targeting to brand management, technology and budgeting, participants developed an understanding of modern bank marketing and took home fresh ideas and tactics on how to make their banks stand out in a sea of sameness. Among the chief takeaways were the four C’s of marketing: content, connection, conversion, and campaigns.
Content for Bank Marketing
In our modern world of digital marketing, content has long been crowned king. Consumers have quickly become accustomed to finding the answers to their questions and the solutions to their needs at their very fingertips. Now, it is up to us to provide those answers and solutions in ways that are both informative and engaging. Whether it’s a blog, video, podcast, or any other form of content, there are a few rules that should always apply. Content should be professional yet amicable, written in a style that informs the consumer but keeps in mind that the person on the other end is not a professional banker. Likewise, content should only be as long as it needs to be. Avoid relying on all the fluff, and provide true value.
Connection with Bank Consumers
Just as consumers can now find information more easily, bankers now have more options to make connecting with those consumers simpler. Today, there are multiple platforms designed specifically to allow you to reach your audience without all the waste. You no longer have to throw out mass messages on TV, billboards, or in direct mail. Rather, you can reach a targeted group of people who are either existing customers or who match the criteria typically seen in those customers with ease. Some products making that possible include MCIF (Marketing Customer Information File), Social Media Studio with Salesforce, and Pardot email marketing (also associated with Salesforce).
Conversion of Bank Prospects
Once you’ve reached your audience, the matter becomes how to successfully convert them. Just like online searches, online lead generation has grown exponentially over the past few years. Increasingly, consumers are foregoing telephone and in-person visits in favor of messaging and online interactions. By providing online solutions such as retail platform support, account opening/management, and an overall improved website experience, you can bank on increased conversions!
Campaigns for Marketing Banks
Combining all of these elements into successful campaigns with measurable success is the final step. When building a campaign around a specific product or service, you should be able to identify factors like the campaign creative, the product bio, your value proposition, your target audience, and exactly where you plan to reach them. Using digital methods, you can more accurately reach your ideal demographics in your ideal locations. Equally as important, you can use a wealth of tools to measure your campaign’s return on investment and ensure that valuable marketing dollars and efforts are not going to waste.