With all of the changes that have occurred in the financial industry in recent years — digital transformation, greater focus on the customer experience, competition from fintech and neobanks, not to mention the economy — the importance of individualized financial services marketing has never been more in the forefront.
Financial marketers have been tasked with becoming the experts in multi-channel campaign targeting and engagement, while mastering all digital platforms. Adapting to industry trends and the increased pressure of the data and artificial intelligence (AI) environment has pushed financial services marketing teams toward evolving their martech stack to have the tools and automation necessary to remain relevant in the industry.
From new account holder acquisitions, to growing deposits, cross sell and competitive take-away tactics, advertising and communication strategies are one of the sole drivers of revenue for a financial institution.
A financial institution’s strategic goals and priorities will bring focus for bank and credit union marketers – adding in the utilization of behavioral insights from transaction data will power campaigns with targeted audiences so financial marketers can deliver the most relevant messages.
Don’t Lose Sight of Your Financial Institution’s Strategic Goals
It’s easy to lose sight of your financial institution’s strategic goals and business plan when, as the marketing team, requests from all areas of the institution come through daily for support amid the current state of the economy, the pivot to digital transformation plus the changing competitive landscape. But remember, the end goal is reaching account holders with the right message at the right time. As financial marketers navigate through day-to-day operations, it’s vital to stay focused on the financial institutions overall objectives, and align those to the marketing and advertising plan.
In Simple Terms, Financial Services Marketing Should Advance:
- Deposit growth
- Account holder acquisition and retention
- Share of wallet and competitive take-away
- Brand awareness
- Digital adoption
- Financial wellness
This list while not all encompassing can be the driver in building campaign journeys, engagements and the foundation for marketing activities.
Prioritize Your Projects
This seems like a given, but it can be one of the most difficult things to accomplish. Does that new task thrown at you at the last minute really need to take precedence over what’s already on your plate? The answer to that may lie in metrics like campaign results, return-on-investment (ROI), and full cycle attribution that can determine which tactic on that to-do list to tackle next. This might mean the need to revisit your marketing plan quarterly, if not monthly, to re-evaluate the priorities you’ve set through the lens of current events and campaign results.
Other Tips for Prioritizing:
- Implement the use of a project management tool. There are quite a few on the market, but the best will be able to show clearly the workload of each marketer. This can help support a business case for increasing headcount, or support the decision to delay projects to a more appropriate time.
- Be sure the task you are working on is actually part of your strategic goals. If the answer is no, it can wait.
- Perfect the art of saying no. It may not be a firm no, but maybe a “not yet.” This is the key to keeping focused. When a colleague comes to you with a last-minute rush project and you’re in the midst of a deadline or other urgent task, saying no (or not yet) can mean the difference between one or both those priorities not getting done, missing deadlines or only getting completed halfway.
- Cultivate the notion that your time is valuable. Marketing is mission-critical to a financial institution’s success. Create that space needed to accomplish your priorities.
- Don’t be afraid to pivot. Priorities can and should be fluid enough to pivot when you encounter an unforeseen bump in the road.
Utilize Technology & Data to Power Financial Services Marketing
Some of the largest financial institutions can outspend just about any other financial institution in acquiring the latest technology and hiring the top-of-market talent to administer it. They often have a head start in cleansing, categorizing and making sense of their data. To compete, smaller financial institutions need to get their first-party data in order and utilize a martech stack that delivers speed and efficiency. An argument can be made that smaller financial institutions can benefit more from using data and technology than their mega competitors. It can create productivity that small departments with limited internal resources need.
Marketing Technology Can Provide:
- Insights into your account holders’ lifestyle, interests and goals via their transaction data activity
- Intel into which account holders transact with competitors
- The ability to create personalized messaging and behavior-based campaigns that can be automated or “always-on”, saving valuable time
- Metrics with full cycle reporting
- Ability to quick pivot
With the renewed importance of marketing as a business-essential function for financial institutions, it’s vital for marketers to be focused and efficient, keeping aligned with the organization’s strategic goals. Using data and technology that identifies and targets account holders, and initiates the right campaigns and offers, streamlines activities – even prioritizing that which will drive the most revenue.
Alkami can help with that. Contact us today for more information.