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The Digital Banking Wars Will Not Be Won With Technology Alone

Jill Homan, CEO, Deep Target

It is no secret that today banks and credit unions rely heavily on technology solutions in all areas of their organization, especially as digital channels continue to gain importance. That being said, experience shows that there is nosingle technology that, on its own,will give a bank or credit union a decisive edge and a sustainable advantage in the market. 

Thereal advantage comes fromhow effectively institutions touch customers and members within the digital channel with relevant, personalized content. Most digital channel vendors have some marketing capability, usually the ability to show a banner or other ad at specific locations. That is simply the vehicle. What is actually “said” in those banners is the real differentiator.

Consumers want their interactions with their bank or credit union to be personalized.According to Adlucent research, consumers crave a personalized advertising experience and 71 percent of respondents prefer ads that are tailored to them.In fact, key data from Marketing Dive shows that personalized ads considerably boost engagement, with people proving to be almost twice as likely to click an ad if it was tailored to their preferences. Another study showed that you can expect a 200 to 400 percent improvement in conversions using targeted versus non- targeted digital communications.

Consumers interviewed by A List Daily said they are willing to share more information in order to receive more personalized, relevant communications and banks and credit unions are in the enviable position of havingdirectaccess to more consumer information than many others.  This potentialto create highly relevant, actionable communication is an advantage that needs to be utilized to give consumers the experience they want through content that is useful and contextually relevant, meaning the right information served at the right time.

Communication from banks and credit unions that help consumers better achieve financial goals, such as paying for college, buying a house, savings for retirement, are welcomed. On the flip side, when a financial institution markets irrelevant products, such as offering a college savings account to a recent graduate, it tells consumers that their institution is out of tune with their needs. Relevant messages with customized offerings are proven strategies towin customer loyalty and strengthen relationships.

This year, our industry has seen consumers lean on their banks and credit unions as trusted sources for a wide range of critical community information and desperately needed services. Financial institutions have recently been seen as a source of key information including COVID-19 assistance programs, SBA-approved lending sources, pandemic testing centers, and even coupons for re-opening local businesses. In fact, a recent community outreach program offering COVID-19 information saw a 10 percent clickthrough rate on the public service ads. For comparison, a“good” clickthrough rate on a Google ad is typically around 0.5 percent.  This clearly demonstratesthat consumers value the presentation of community-oriented information such as local charities and local business that the bank supports.

Presenting a relevant offer requires marketing data analysis to make sure the right consumer sees the right offer and this is where technology does play a key role. Connecting financial institutions with the right marketing software helps organizations deliver targeted communications across all digital channels including mobile banking, online banking, email marketing, financial management apps, lending, kiosk apps, eStatements/ePortals and websites, as well as provide employees with the information needed to intelligently cross-sell the most appropriate products and services. By leveraging business intelligence and data mining, banks and credit unions cancost effectively engage consumers with the highly-personalized, consistent and targeted messaging that deliver tangible bottomline results.

There is a saying in the industry related to digital banking: “Know me or No Me.” This statement has never been truer than it is today. Onewould never feel welcome if you walked into a branch and were called the wrong name and offered irrelevant products. The same is true within the digital channel. It is time for banks and credit unions torealize that theirdigital presence is a resource that can make or break themand use the data all financial institutions already have to ensure a unique consumer experience for all of their customers and members.  

Jill Homan is president of DeepTarget. She has extensive experience in executive leadership with leading technology and financial services organizations.

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