Showing posts with label financial services marketing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label financial services marketing. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Bank Innovation Through Collaboration


Established by two former bankers, the Bank Innovators Council was developed to help financial institutions that may lack internal resources come together to brainstorm and test new ideas that could eventually be shared. Partnerships with Finovate, NextBank, BankersHub and Innovation Agency will hopefully provide additional momentum. 

By JP Nicols®, founder and CEO of the research and innovation firm Clientific, a partner at Bank Solutions Group and co-founder of the Bank Innovators Council.

Bankers and credit union executives have long sought a competitive advantage in a vast sea of largely undifferentiated competitors. For most players, and for most of the industry’s long history, the chief weapons in this war have been scale and localization. Either growing large enough to create economies of scale and/or scope, or trying to corner one or more local markets by being more, well, “local”. A few have even tried to accomplish both strategies simultaneously.

But how will those strategies play out in this new era of financial services? Regulators will not let the very biggest banks get a whole lot bigger any time soon. The top 100 banks in the U.S.— less than 1.5% of the 7,000 or so still around— already control 81% of the loans and 75% of the deposits. Well-capitalized and well-run small and midsize banks and credit unions will certainly swallow up weaker competitors as this quickening consolidation phase that we have all been predicting inevitably becomes a reality sooner or later. But will this truly create any new competitive advantages beyond survival of the (relatively) fittest?

How about the localization strategy of being 'the bank or credit union of '? Let’s set aside the fact that most organizations that proclaimed to be the bank of XYZ were probably not really the bank or credit union of anything outside of their own imagination. In this hyper-connected, hyper-globalized world, being merely local is meaningful to only a steadily dwindled segment of consumers. 

Sure, there are kernels of truth to each of these strategies. Having the scale to spread out increasing infrastructure costs is important, up to a point. And I chose the words 'merely local' for a reason. I think the real word the localists are looking for is 'relevant'. Being headquartered in my hometown is fine, I guess. More jobs for the local economy. But as a customer, what I really want is for you to be relevant to me — and many of the behaviors of the banking behemoths did little to make me feel that way.

Why It’s Different Now

Those basic strategies worked well enough for the last few hundred years, but until recently, the industry was basically undefeated because it won all of its games by default. Sure, we had large banks and small banks, and credit unions, and for a time, S&Ls and Savings Banks; but these were all just slightly different flavors of the same basic model.

Banking as a product and as a service had no real threat of substitution. But during just the last 5 to 10 years, the proliferation of smartphones, tablets, broadband connectivity and connected networks of all kinds have changed the nature of the game. Forever. Just as radio and movie theaters were disrupted by television, which was disrupted by videotapes, which were disrupted by DVDs, which were disrupted by streaming video, the disruption in banking has only just begun.

You can now live your entire financial life off the grid of traditional financial institutions — at least in your direct interactions. They still play a role behind the scenes, but the nameless, faceless utility that merely holds your insured deposits and ensures an efficient transfer of your funds from Point A to Point B is the very definition of a commodity trap.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Top 8 Financial Marketing Resolutions For a Successful 2014

For the past three years, I have published an article on resolutions bank and credit union marketers should make for the upcoming year. While these posts have always been extremely popular and well read, many marketers still have difficulty achieving some of the most important resolutions.

Despite this lack of success by some, I am again providing suggested resolutions for financial marketers since research shows that people who make resolutions are ten times more likely to attain their goals.

When I published my first financial marketing resolution post in 2011(Ten Bank Marketer Resolutions for 2011), the primary emphasis was on replacing lost fee income caused by the Card Act, Reg. E and the Durbin Amendment. Most of the other resolutions addressed ways to either generate new revenues or reduce costs. I did discuss the need to test social media marketing, deliver on the mobile banking promise and reconfigure the branch model, but these were not the highest priorities in 2011.

My resolution post for 2012 (10 Resolutions Bank Marketers Can't Ignore in 2012) enlisted the support of more than 20 global banking industry leaders to help develop suggested strategies for the upcoming year. While the focus of many of the resolutions were similar to the prior year (communication channel mix, customer centricity, social media testing and building share of wallet), discussion expanded to include the importance of leveraging big data and embracing innovation.

As with any list of resolutions, last year's banking industry leader crowdsourcing post (22 Industry Leaders Provide New Years Resolutions for Bank Marketers) included several resolutions from prior years that still presented a challenge, such as enhancing the customer experience, improving measurement of results, integrating the mobile channel and continuing to innovate. The major difference last year was the increasing importance of focus and grabbing the lower hanging fruit due to all of the distractions caused by new regulations and compliance initiatives.

This year, I again collected ideas from some of the most prominent names in the banking industry in the development of my top resolutions for financial marketers. I also researched trends in other industries that are served by my firm, New Control. While some of the suggested resolutions are similar to those in the past, the impact of digital shopping, big data, the mobile channel and a contextual customer experience is evident.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Top 10 Retail Banking Strategy Posts of 2013

It has been an another amazing year for Bank Marketing Strategy in 2013. The blog was named a top financial industry blog for the second straight year by The Financial Brand and bank and credit union industry followers viewed articles more than 600,000 times during the year.

But which of my 72 posts in 2013 were the most popular? Based on readership, it looks like posts dealing with banking strategies, mobile banking, new competition, and distribution topped the list over the past twelve months. Readers also read my crowdsourcing posts in record number, where dozens of global industry leaders contributed their insights.

Below are this year's top 10 articles with links to each post.

Banking Leaders Predict Major 2013 Trends

Not surprisingly, the most read post during the past year was also one of the first posts of the year, where more than 50 financial industry leaders provided their insights and predictions for what they believed would occur during 2013.

Predictions included thoughts on payments, big data, delivery channels, marketing technology, product and segmentation opportunities, competition and compliance. Many of the contributions were spot on, while some were ahead of their time.

Interestingly, the 2014 Top 10 Retail Banking Trends and Prediction post published last week also is also a top 10 article for 2013.

Moven: From Mobile Banking to Mobile Money

Curiosity about new financial industry players like Moven, Simple, GoBank and new product introductions like Bluebird from American Express continued to generate a large number of readers in 2013.

While these mobile-first banks may have been ahead of their times a couple years ago, much of their vision of simplicity, an improved user experience and integrated personal financial management tools are quickly becoming table stakes in the battle for the mobile banking customer. This post illustrated how Moven continues to be one of the leaders in being able to leverage the power of the smartphone as a payment device with the ability to provide immediate feedback with every spending decision.

Banking Leaders Discuss 2014 Strategic Planning Priorities

To assist with bank and credit union strategic planning processes, I enlisted the help of more than 30 banking leaders from across the globe in July to provide thoughts on the priorities that should be considered in the upcoming year.

Despite responses coming from disparate locals, the recommendations were surprisingly consistent, with a focus on enhancing the customer experience, better defining mobile positioning, integrating delivery channels, reducing enterprise costs, leveraging data, improving sales and marketing effectiveness, defining a differentiation strategy and continuing to focus on revenue, security and compliance.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Bank Customer Service Still Stinks

Banks and credit unions realize that there is a strong correlation between customer satisfaction, portfolio growth and financial results, yet recent studies of customer satisfaction indicate there is still a major gap in performance between the financial services industry and other verticals. 

Where are financial institutions falling short in their quest to become customer-centric and how can banks and credit unions begin to exceed customer service expectations? 

According to findings from a new Carlisle & Gallagher Consulting Group study, 65 percent of consumers say their primary financial institution is not as good as (47%), or much worse than (18%) leading customer service companies. This is despite increased investment in customer experience initiatives by the financial services industry. (A SlideShare presentation entitled, Are Two Calls Too Many in the Eyes of the Customer? is available for download)

The key findings of the report include:
      • Customer culture drives great customer service
      • Customer experience is defined by first problem resolution
      • Most complaints involve core banking products (checking, debit card, credit card, mortgage)
      • Banks are not listening to their customers
      • There is a correlation between complaint handling, satisfaction, loyalty and new business potential
These findings correlate with the just released ForeSee Experience Index that found that the financial services industry had the lowest aggregate score of any industry, including the lowest scores in retention, upsell and referral potential. In addition, financial services as a category had the largest gap between the highest and lowest scoring brands (American Express is 82 and Santander is 65), suggesting that there is much work to be done in offering the experience that customers expect from companies in this category.

Quick Problem Resolution Provides Challenge and Opportunity

One of the impediments to customer satisfaction is that more than a third of consumers surveyed by Carlisle & Gallagher did not believe their problem* was completely resolved. Of the complaints resolved, a whopping 72 percent of the problems required two or more interactions, with close to 30 percent requiring 3 or more interactions. This is certainly not a path to success.
Source: Carlisle & Gallagher (2013)

From an opportunity perspective, more than half of the customers surveyed said they felt like a valued customer when their issue was resolved with a single interaction and that their confidence in the financial institution increased by 38 percent. Conversely, confidence dropped to 17 percent and trust dropped to 10 percent when a problem required two or more interactions to be resolved.

While some complaints may be complex and require further research, this insight shows the power of resolving a problem quickly and completely. In fact, several studies done in the past have illustrated that a customer who has had a problem resolved satisfactorily can be more loyal than one that has never had a problem.

Source: Carlisle & Gallagher (2013)
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Monday, November 4, 2013

Is Your Bank Ready For Customer 3.0

The banking industry is in the midst of a significant shift in customer behavior fueled by new channels, new competitors and new shopping behaviors. Today's customer is hyper-connected, highly informed and demanding a highly personalized approach with regards to communication, product development and customer service.

These customers cannot be defined by a specific age or income category or geographic parameter, but by their ability (and desire) to adopt and apply new technologies to meet their banking needs.

Say "Hello" to Customer 3.0.

Customer 3.0 begins their bank and credit union product shopping experience at their desk, in their car or on their couch, relying on friends and family reviews and published reviews across social media channels. Instead of walking into a local branch office and sitting down to open an account during banking hours, these customers purchase their banking services much like they purchase music, books or other products . . . online, 24/7.

As Brett King highlighted in his book, Bank 3.0, the new customer doesn't 'go to' their bank or credit union or rely on a physical distribution network. Banks and credit unions need to find and effectively engage customers who are mobile-first and have vast choices and a 'want it now' attitude. This paradigm shift in the balance of power between banks and the customer positions Customer 3.0 as a power player who is firmly in charge of their personal buying process.

To find and engage with Customer 3.0, financial institutions need to transform their back office and delivery networks and begin to think like the new customer. They need to understand that the competition is not just other traditional banks or even the digital-first 'neobanks'. Instead, we are competing across all of the touchpoints used by Customer 3.0, where experiences are shaped by the latest in retail, gaming, search and mobile technologies.

In a just released research report, Say Hello to Customer 3.0, Accenture discusses the transformation of the banking customer over time and the need to move from being a financial facilitator to becoming a part of the ecosystem where Customer 3.0 interacts. The report also discusses the need to move from mass marketing techniques to a highly personalized approach that takes advantage of both structured and unstructured data to improve the overarching customer experience.

Defining Customer 3.0

Unlike the customer of the past, Customer 3.0 is not defined by traditional demographics like age, income, geographics or gender. Instead, they are defined by the way they leverage new technologies to meet their individual needs. Digitally astute, mobile-first and socially connected, Accenture found Customer 3.0 to have some generally common attributes. I provide my take on what these attibutes mean to bank product managers and marketers:
        • Highly Informed: Customer 3.0 leverages the information available on the internet more than any previous generation. They use comparison sites and associated apps to gather insight about the banks and products they want to purchase before a bank even knows they are shopping.

          The change in bank shopping behavior was discussed in my previous post, Digital Shopping Has Transformed the Bank Purchase Funnel, and more generally in the Accenture report, Energizing Global Growth: Understanding the Changing Consumer. Customer 3.0 starts (and sometimes finishes) their bank shopping experience in the digital world.

          My Take: Traditional media is no longer enough for acquiring or cross-selling the new customer. The importance of digital marketing tools, such as retargeting, must become part of ever bank and credit union marketers tool kit.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Monday at Money2020 in Tweets

Billed as the largest event focused on emerging payments and financial services, Money2020 has easily eclipsed its inaugural event in 2012, bringing together more than 4,000 fintech followers, including 300+ CEOs and more than 1,250 companies from 50 countries.

While not being able to attend this year, I was able to live vicariously through the tweets of others who captured the highlights (and some humor) from the first full day of the event. Below is a recap of today's sessions.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Bank Marketing Strategy Named A Top Financial Marketing Blog

For the second consecutive year, Bank Marketing Strategy was named a top 5 financial marketing blog by The Financial Brand

With the intent of providing a list of valuable resources for bank and credit union marketers to reference, this year's honor was bestowed on blogs that met a defined set of weighted criteria including relevancy, quality, originality, frequency, longevity and design.

The top five blogs recognized this year were:
          1. Snarketing 2.0 - Ron Shevlin, Senior Analyst from Aite Group
          2. Acton Financial Marketing Insights - Steve Topper, Joe Swatek
          3. Bank Marketing Strategy - Jim Marous, SVP of New Control Direct and Digital
          4. Visible Banking - Christoph Langlois, Social Media Planner and Speaker
          5. The Gallop Blog - Various authors
A description of each of the top 20 blogs, as well as a list of blogs receiving honorable mention are provided in The Financial Brand Top 20 announcement post.

In ranking Bank Marketing Strategy number three in 2013, Jeffry Pilcher, the publisher of the Financial Brand wrote:

"Of all the banking blogs out there, Jim’s is most similar to The Financial Brand. Jim regularly discusses the design of retail banking products/services, pricing, marketing and the customer experience. Jim’s posts will also frequently gravitate towards new/emerging technologies and channel integration, with a slant towards mobile. Some financial marketers will struggle putting the insights in some of these posts to use, but they will always find the material interesting and engaging."

This is the second year in a row Bank Marketing Strategy has been recognized as a top blog for bank and credit union marketers. Last year, Bank Marketing Strategy won both the Reader's Choice (#4) and Editor's Choice distinction from The Financial Brand (last year's winners).

It is an honor to be named in a list that includes so many blogs that I enjoy reading, learn so much from and provide such great insights. I consider the authors and publishers of these great resources both my professional and personal friends.

Thanks also to Jeffry Pilcher for setting such a high standard for each of us with his Financial Brand publication. His insatiable appetite for financial marketing news and ability to publish such a massive amount of invaluable insight daily makes his digital publication the 'go to' resource first thing each morning.

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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Banks Need To Reassess Cross-Selling Efforts

For decades, cross-selling has been a strategic priority of banks and credit unions since earning more business from current customers is the most efficient way to achieve growth. Despite this focus, a new study indicates that many financial institutions may be far from realizing the full potential of cross-selling.

In fact, according to the study, only 19 percent of retail bank customers owned three or more products in addition to a checking account with their primary bank compared to 49 percent who have three or more products with other financial institutions.

A just released Deloitte report entitled, 'Kicking It Up a Notch: Taking Retail Bank Cross-Selling to the Next Level' supports the view that success in cross-selling targeting may need to move beyond traditional product ownership, satisfaction and tenure parameters to include a behavior segmentation approach that takes into account perceptions based on total account holdings. 

While the Deloitte survey shows that banks have generally achieved long tenure and a high degree of satisfaction with customers, this success has not translated into multiple product relationships. In fact, the study found that there is a positive correlation between the number of products a customer uses and their desire to use multiple institutions.

Source: Deloitte Center for Financial Services
According to the study, customers only turned to their primary financial institution for a savings account on a consistent basis. In fact, while 75 percent of respondents owned credit cards, only 33 percent had one that was issued by their primary bank. Obviously, this could be the result of an inferior offer, poor marketing and/or the absence of a primary bank offered credit card, but it still illustrates a major opportunity gap.

Some of the other 'opportunity gaps' may be caused by poor cross-selling at the time of account initiation, poor customer education on the benefits of relationship consolidation or even beliefs that a primary bank is not the best place to build a specific relationship (wealth management or insurance products).

Source: Deloitte Center for Financial Services

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

9 Steps to Improving Bank Cross-Sell Performance

With an increasing need for banks to increase revenues and decrease costs, optimizing every marketing contact has never been more important. In addition to leveraging multiple channels to generate a steady stream of new customers, one of the easiest and most steady sources of new businesses and related revenue is to reach out to current customers for additional business.

With the cost of acquiring new retail, small business or commercial customers being five to ten times the cost of retaining an existing one, and with the average spend of a repeat customer being 50-100% more than a new one, bank marketers need to remember that the most efficient investment of marketing funds is to market to customers that already bank with you.

Here are 9 time-tested, common sense techniques that many bank marketers sometimes forget: 
  1. Ask questions: Consultative selling has been discussed the focus of the banking industry for decades. In a nutshell, the process begins by clearly analyzing a customer’s situation before presenting services or products. From the outset, a failure to cross-sell a brand new customer is a failure to develop a consultative relationship and a failure to ask the right questions.

    Without these questions (which are close to impossible to ask later), the opportunity to open the right services initially or later in the relationship is made more difficult. In addition, as opposed to going through a long set of questions that make the banker (and customer) feel uncomfortable, the dialogue should be free flowing and natural. Another option is to engage the customer with tools that can be used to complete the profile easily such as a tablet device.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Online Banking Key To Satisfaction and Growth at Credit Unions

According to recently released research, credit unions continue to score higher than banks in six key areas that have been found to drive customer satisfaction.

Interestingly, however, while lower rates and fees are still a significant component of a positive member experience, the impact of improvements in the online/mobile channel delivery will have the greatest impact on increased customer satisfaction in the future.

CFI Group, a customer satisfaction technology and analytics firm, in an inaugural study entitled "2013 Credit Union Satisfaction Index," measured six primary drivers of customer satisfaction on a 0-100 point scale and found that credit unions consistently scored high in all categories, with each driver scoring in excess of 80 points. This score was higher than many other industries including retail banking. 

CUSI Satisfaction Driver Scores

Of the six drivers of satisfaction measured, however, the 2013 CUSI found that only four play a significant role in driving member satisfaction and, therefore, should be the focus of the industry. At the top of the list for primary drivers that could impact future satisfaction were "online banking," "branch staff," "branch convenience," and "information/communications." 

The chart below illustrates the contribution of each primary driver towards increasing member satisfaction. The two missing drivers of satisfaction ("rates and fees," and 'products and services") have already 'maxed out' as a driver of additional satisfaction according to the study, thereby limiting any the impact that an improvement in these two drivers would have on future member growth.

Driver Contribution to Increasing Satisfaction

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Maximize Bank Marketing Results With CRM Retargeting

From the beginning of a relationship, banks and credit unions capture and store customer data within a CRM database. This data is often enhanced with transaction history, purchase behavior and contact history and used as the foundation for building models to better target communication through direct mail and email marketing.

But what if you could leverage your offline CRM database for digital marketing campaigns as well, transforming your data into anonymized online segments through a process called data onboarding? These segments would then receive messages as a follow-up to your direct mail and email campaigns, improving all direct marketing results.

In the whitepaper, "Data Onboarding: The Key to a Successful Marketing Kingdom," Epsilon and LiveRamp discuss the benefits of integrating offline CRM data with online digital marketing. "Using CRM data to market effectively across channels is essential for marketers who want to reach their target audience multiple times with engaging, relevant and consistent messaging," says Auren Hoffman, CEO of LiveRamp.

What is CRM Retargeting?

Unlike regular retargeting (covered in Bank Marketing Strategy last October), CRM retargeting uses your internal offline customer and/or prospect database to reach individuals and households online, not just after they visit your website. By 'onboarding' your offline data, you can reach your customer and/or prospect segments with highly targeted display ads appropriate to their purchase history and interests.

CRM retargeting provider ReTargeter founder and CEO Arjun Dev Arora says, “With CRM Retargeting, marketers can seamlessly integrate display ads with their existing email and direct mail initiatives to create effective cross-channel campaigns with ease.”

Simply put, it's the marriage of the precision of using direct mail or email combined with the rich content and context of display - bridging the worlds of offline and online marketing for more successful customer communication. Since not every customer visits your website regularly (if at all), CRM retargeting is a great way to re-engage these customers and welcome them to key areas of your site.

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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Digital Marketing Capabilities Lacking At Many Banks

With continued rapid growth of both online and mobile banking, banks and credit unions need to come up with better ways of marketing through digital channels. 

The technology is readily available, and best practices can be found at companies like Google, Amazon and others, but many banks are still at the infancy stage in terms of digital marketing capabilities.

To succeed in the future, financial institutions need to have a single view of the customer across channels, be equipped with advanced analytics for predicting behavior, be able to deliver offers to customers in real time and effectively integrate social media into the marketing mix.

A just released study by Efma and Wipro Technologies entitled, 'Global Retail Banking Digital Marketing Report', found that only a few banks are prepared for the digital marketing revolution, with the potential for improvement significant at most organizations. This first ever study also revealed that social media is not yet a part of mainstream marketing and is not a key customer interaction channel for most banks.

According to Rajan Kohli, vice president and head of banking and financial services at Wipro, "Digital technologies, social media and the explosion of data are redefining customer engagement models. The CMOs that we spoke with made it clear that the role of the CMO is changing as banks adapt to the development of new channels and capabilities."

For most banks surveyed, digital delivery channels were seen as complimentary to branches, being more important for processing transactions than for customer service and advice. With this transition across channels, it is believed interactions will be more frequent, insight collection will be more prolific and communication opportunities will be more direct.

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Monday, May 27, 2013

Musings of a Finovate Virgin

They say you always remember your first time. 

After years of being built up by a great amount of hyperbole, including being dubbed The Disneyland of Fintech™ by my friend Brad Leimer, I finally decided to experience Finovate for myself a couple weeks ago in San Francisco. Similar to many 'first times' in my life, my experience expended a lot of energy, ended too quickly, but definitely did not disappoint.

To those not familiar with Finovate, the event is a fast-paced showcase of financial technology vendors, who have only seven minutes to provide a live demo of their solution (Powerpoint not allowed). It’s produced by Online Financial Innovations, the people behind the excellent NetBanker blog.

Taking place several times a year across the globe, FinovateSpring included 72 demos in front of a record crowd of over 1300 bankers, investors, media and bloggers like me. (Video archives of this year's presentations are available here)

As opposed to focusing on only a few themes, Finovate has something for everyone. This Spring's event covered some familiar themes that would be expected (Mobile, Payments, etc.) as well as some newer themes that sparked conversation, debate and maybe even a bit of fear among traditional bankers (P2P Payments, P2P Lending, Virtual Currency, etc.). 

My Takeaways

Overall Impression: Bordering on sensory overload, Finovate should be on every financial marketers bucket list. While many of us spend countless hours dealing with some rather mundane challenges at times (compliance and other internal battles), it is refreshing to know that innovation is alive and well in financial services. It was difficult to keep up with the presentations at times since there is no apparent logic to the order of presenters, but I quickly realized the value of the live blogs and recaps from Finovate, Bank Innovation, PaymentsViews, the William Mills Agency, and others.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Essential Online Channel Metrics For Financial Marketers

With evolving technologies and platforms, financial marketers need a clear and comprehensive set of metrics to determine the effectiveness of their online channel. 

Instead of drowning in data and not being able to connect the dots in a meaningful way, here are four metrics that rise to the top and provide the clearest picture as to the selling power of a bank or credit union website.

By Melanie Friedrichs, Analyst for Andera, Inc.

In the Wild Wild West atmosphere of the early internet era, companies raced to slap websites online without thinking too hard about what purpose their website should ultimately serve.  Consumer retail companies found their ROI in online shopping, and their websites gradually evolved to draw visitors in and drive them to checkout.  In contrast, financial institutions focused on expanding eServices, until their websites became little more than portals to online banking. 

In the last few years, we’ve seen institutions start to wise up to a second, essential function of the online channel.  As Joe Swatek from ACTON Marketing said, “Your website has an important SALES function.”  Technology has made it possible for financial institutions to acquire new customers and members and grow relationships completely digitally, and like consumer retail websites aim to sell consumer products, financial institution websites should aim to open new deposit accounts and originate loans.  When thinking about the account opening and lending through the online channel, there are four essential metrics that financial institutions should consider:

1)      Conversion Rate

The single most important metric for a financial institution website is its conversion rate, or the percentage of qualified  unique visitors that begin applications for deposit or loan products.

Before the introduction of online account opening and lending, financial institutions focused primarily on making online banking login as easy as possible, and on providing key corporate information.  The rest of the website really didn’t matter that much, so webmasters cluttered pages with news items and product advertisements from different departments.  Over time, most financial institution websites began to resemble ill-managed community bulletin boards.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

How Good Is Your Bank's Website Performance?

When determining how well your bank or credit union's website is performing, a number of factors need to be considered beyond visits alone. 

How long does a visiter spend on your site? Do they visit more than one page during a visit? How many pages do they visit? Is your website optimized for both smartphones and tablets?

In a just released report entitled, "Best of the Best Benchmark", Adobe examines six primary site performance metrics across five different industries to show the norms and areas of excellence. Even though supporting data provided by Adobe is rather sparse, financial marketers can still use these metrics as a guide to evaluate their website's performance and to provide impetus to make websites more powerful.

Time Spent on Website

Time spent on a website is probably the most important metric for determining site engagement. As could be expected, the amount of time spent on a top-performing financial institution website (6.77 minutes) is more than 5 minutes less than the time spent on an entertainment site (11.84 minutes) where content is robust. Interestingly, the variance between the best and the rest within the media and entertainment category is the largest, indicating that not all entertainment sites are . . . entertaining.

Adobe noted in their research that video is the most powerful content to use in social media because of the engagement value. While banks are just beginning to add video as part of their website experience, custom product and service videos could definitely increase engagement for financial firms (I covered the power of video in my February 27 post entitled, "Improving Bank Onboarding, Cross-Selling and Retention With Personalized Video").
Source: Adobe, "Best of the Best Benchmark", March 2013

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Banks Not Meeting Mobile Banking Customer Expectations

As customers are becoming more comfortable with their mobile devices and the power of downloaded mobile banking applications, there is a greater expectation that mobile interactions with their bank should be predictive and in real time.

Unfortunately, many banks have been slow to provide the myriad of integrated push alerts and notifications that customers need to actively manage their finances.

A just released report available from Varolii Corporation entitled, 'Can You Bank on Your Banking App?' illustrates that banks have a ways to go before they are creating the customer experience desired by the active mobile user. In fact, while 52 percent of smartphone and tablet users have downloaded their bank's mobile application, roughly 40 percent say they have thought about deleting the app. And the dissatisfaction is even higher among the important 18-34 year old segment as shown below. Obviously, expectations are not being met.

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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

9 Ways Marketing Can Help Acquire New Mobile Banking Customers

At a time when battle lines are being drawn in both the mobile banking and payments space, it is more important than ever to encourage customers to use the mobile channel.

According to research conducted by Fiserv Inc., organizations that actively market mobile banking have experienced an average adoption rate that is twice as high as institutions that did not promote the service.

So, how can financial marketers use the multiple communication channels at their disposal to promote channel migration? How do we encourage both the sign-up and utilization of the mobile channel that can help reduce costs and potentially generate revenue (see 'Monetizing Mobile Banking', Oct. 15, 2012). Below are nine ways institutions I am familiar with are promoting mobile banking.

  • ATMs: One of the best ways I have seen mobile banking promoted was by Fifth Third Bank. Not only did they encourage sign-up for mobile banking on the ATM screen as many banks do, but they also included a QR code at the bottom of their transaction receipt. The use of a QR code appeals to the more advanced smartphone user while being a perfect way to electronically link to the appropriate app. The customer may decide to scan the code immediately or do so later when they reference the receipt to balance their account.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Big Data Is A Retail Bank Marketing Mirage

Over the past week, I have reached out to many of my banking industry colleagues in the U.S. and abroad asking for examples of where 'big data' is being used effectively in retail banking. 

The response was underwhelming to say the least, as the majority of banking leaders provided examples of 'works in progress' or 'initial wins', with some of the most mentioned case studies being in the areas of risk and fraud prevention as opposed to marketing. 

In addition to a post on big data by Aite Group's Ron Shevlin on The Financial Brand, and widely covered discussions about 'big data hype' on blogs from Gartner and CapGemini this past week, most industry leaders believe banks need to focus on data close to home before expanding their pursuit of the next shiny object. To this end, a friend from the U.K. offered to provide a guest post on the topic from his perspective as a supplier to the financial services industry.

By Darren Oddie, CEO and co-founder of AGILEci

Consumer banking behavior is changing rapidly before our eyes. Will this changing consumer behavior mean that incumbent retail banking 'zombies' may become corpses walking the halls of banking, as energizing and engaging competitors take enlightened customers away from them?

I firmly believe that many retail bankers are operating on autopilot in an increasingly dynamic and complex environment. They are trying to understand, develop, deliver and manage new solutions with buzzwords such as cloud, big data, mobile, social, NFC and mobile wallets to name a few.

I'm going to highlight one of these trending terms within the context of retail bank marketing, and the mots de jour are 'big data'. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

5 Bank Marketing Strategy 'Quick Wins'

With the start of a new year, financial institution marketers are under increased scrutiny to generate measurable returns on marketing investments. While it is important to focus on the 'big picture', moving  your organization forward to create long-term value, many institutions ignore 'quick wins' along the way that can build momentum. 

Winning organizations are advised to leverage a hybrid approach to marketing strategy prioritization, using short-term wins as milestones that are aligned with longer term objectives. When implemented correctly, quick wins have the added advantage of serving as clarion calls that signal deviations from the overarching roadmap to success.

Over the past few years, I have written several blog posts on specific bank marketing strategies for financial institutions looking to acquire new customers, improve product engagement, increase share of wallet, reduce attrition and enhance the customer experience. Some of the strategies are complex and are more difficult to implement, while others represent money that is left on the table if not initiated by a bank or credit union. 

The key is to effectively prioritize your strategies and implement those that meet your organization's goals while not burning unneeded resources.

Strategy Prioritization Matrix

A Strategy Prioritization Matrix (SPM) is an easy to use tool to quickly and easily identify those initiatives from a wish list that offer the highest return for the least amount of effort. This tool is especially useful for organizations that have more marketing initiatives than can be funded, or where human resources are limited (every financial organization I know).

The Strategy Prioritization Matrix quadrants include:
  • Quick Wins (High Impact, Low Effort): These are the most attractive projects, giving you a good return for relatively low effort. Focus on these to build momentum and a strong ROI;
  • Must Haves (High Impact, High Effort): While these provide strong returns, they take longer and use more resources, potentially crowding out viable 'quick wins'. While these are important, they only bring a return when complete. Set deadlines for completion but don't ignore their importance;
  • Low Hanging Fruit (Low Impact, Low Effort): While tempting, don't focus too much on these unless they are creating a distraction to the accomplishment of either of the above. Do these in spare time, but put them to the side if a 'quick win' or 'must have' initiative comes along;
  • Money Pits (Low Impact, High Effort): These strategies should always be avoided. Not only do they provide low returns, but they crowd out time that is better used on any of the other three quadrants.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Finding Serendipity in Big Data

Unexpected pleasantries always have a deeper impact. Like moments that surprise you as if a higher power had designed them just for you. The luck of making exciting discoveries by accident, love at first sight, coming across a childhood treasure at a yard sale, unintentionally coming across a precious memory or connecting with an insight that answers your dreams. These are moments that create internal warmth that can only come from unexpected joy.

Take, for example, a concert by your favorite childhood band, The Rolling Stones. Such an event has expectation, build up, and the experience of the moment. The joy is foreseeable. Now, imagine that you head to a local bar for a drink, and on that night a special guest is making an appearance. Without any prior notice, The Rolling Stones come on stage. Previously, such magical moments were only possible by two means. Organized by someone that knows you, or by fate. 

Guest Post By Scott Bales, Chief Mobile Officer, Movenbank

In today's digital world, it is possible for someone to know you well enough to create such experiences. This is because there has been an accelerated growth of data over the past five years, where every minute massive amounts of insight are being generated from every phone, website and application across the Internet.

In his post, ‘How Much Data Is Created Every MinuteJosh James of Domo, dissects the world’s data creation in a unique infographic. Many innovative organizations have recognized the potential of this data, such as ESPN, which drives through Facebook open graph data to optimize the content a user experiences. Some financial organizations have also begun to tap into the potential of ‘big data’. In a world full of data to drive insight, however, there are still very few organizations that use all of the data at their disposal to enhance their offerings.