Alkami Technology Plano Texas
Close this search box.

The Many Hats of a Bank Marketer: 5 Tips to Stay Focused

Home » Blog » Perspectives » The Many Hats of a Bank Marketer: 5 Tips to Stay Focused
Alkami Appoints Deep Varma as Chief Technology Officer

Financial Marketing Strategies Every Bank and Credit Union Must do for Success

Marketers play a pivotal role in the intricate operational framework of their financial institutions (FIs), far surpassing the outdated image of mere event organizers or creators of traditional advertising material.

Their responsibilities encompass a broad spectrum of activities including customer service, strategic planning, budget management, advertising, content creation, social media engagement, event coordination, return on investment analysis, brand protection, trend analysis, digital adaptation, and innovation, among others.

This multi-faceted role demands adaptability and resilience, often pushing marketers to juggle a myriad of tasks without pause for prioritization.

When the unexpected, such as a pandemic, occurs, it offers a moment of reflection for marketers.

Steve Jobs, Apple’s late co-founder, famously emphasized that true focus means the ability to decline, not just accept tasks. This principle underscores the importance of understanding and aligning with one’s mission, enabling marketers to drive towards meaningful outcomes.

Blog Key Takeaways

  1. Strategic Alignment is Crucial: Ensuring all marketing efforts align with the financial institution’s strategic goals is essential for driving growth and achieving long-term objectives. Regularly revisiting these goals allows marketing strategies to remain relevant and impactful.
  2. Efficiency Through Prioritization: Applying the 80/20 rule helps identify and focus on the most impactful marketing activities. Prioritizing tasks based on their alignment with strategic goals and potential ROI ensures resources are utilized efficiently, maximizing marketing effectiveness.
  3. The Importance of Agility: The financial market’s dynamic nature requires marketing strategies to be flexible and adaptable. Regularly reviewing and adjusting the marketing plan in response to market trends, customer feedback, and performance metrics keeps marketing efforts proactive and relevant.
  4. Leveraging Technology and Data: Technology and data analytics are indispensable tools for understanding customer behaviors and preferences, enabling personalized marketing strategies. Embracing these tools enhances marketing efficiency, improves the customer experience, and drives data-informed decision-making.

Whether operating solo or within a team, faced with an overflowing task list, the following strategies can help maintain focus and efficiency:

Maintaining Alignment with Your FI’s Strategic Objectives

In the ever-evolving landscape of financial institutions (FIs), marketers find themselves at the helm of an intricate vessel, navigating through a sea of demands, digital transformations, and a shifting competitive environment. The pressure to remain relevant, to communicate effectively with the target audience, and to drive the institution towards its strategic goals has never been more pronounced.

This calls for a deep understanding of the FI’s overarching objectives and a strategic alignment that ensures every marketing effort is a step in the right direction.

Understanding the Strategic Goals

The first step in maintaining alignment with your FI’s strategic objectives is to have a clear understanding of what these goals are. Strategic goals could range from expanding into new markets, increasing the customer base, enhancing digital banking services, to improving customer satisfaction.

These goals serve as the North Star for marketers, guiding every decision, campaign, and message. It’s essential for marketers to be involved in strategic discussions or have access to strategic plans to ensure their work is contributing to the institution’s vision and mission.

Prioritizing Tasks with Strategic Alignment

Once the strategic goals are clear, the next step is to evaluate and prioritize marketing tasks based on their alignment with these objectives.

This involves assessing each task or project for its potential impact on the strategic goals, its urgency, and its importance to the customer base. Marketers should ask themselves questions like, “Does this project help us move towards our goal of expanding into a new market?” or “How does this campaign contribute to enhancing our digital banking services?”

This prioritization ensures that resources are allocated efficiently and that efforts are focused on areas with the highest potential impact.

Communicating Value and Relevance

In the context of strategic alignment, communication plays a pivotal role. Marketers must ensure that the value and relevance of their projects are communicated effectively to internal stakeholders.

This involves showcasing how marketing efforts are not just about creating noise or visibility but about driving the FI towards its strategic goals.

Whether it’s through regular updates, presentations, or reports, demonstrating the strategic alignment of marketing activities can help secure buy-in from leadership and other departments, fostering a culture of collaboration and shared vision.

Adapting to Change

The financial industry is subject to rapid changes, influenced by technological advancements, regulatory shifts, and evolving consumer expectations.

Marketers must remain agile, ready to adapt their strategies in response to these changes while still keeping the FI’s strategic goals in focus.

This may involve pivoting campaigns, exploring new channels, or revising messaging to ensure it resonates with the current market dynamics. Keeping a finger on the pulse of the industry and consumer trends allows marketers to make informed decisions that align with both the FI’s immediate needs and long-term objectives.

Applying the 80/20 Rule in Financial Institution Marketing

The Pareto Principle, commonly known as the 80/20 rule, posits that roughly 80% of effects come from 20% of causes.

For marketers within financial institutions (FIs), this principle can be a powerful tool in maximizing the efficiency and impact of their efforts.

Applying the 80/20 rule involves identifying the most profitable products or services and the most effective marketing strategies, then concentrating resources on these areas to drive the majority of the institution’s sales and customer engagement.

Identifying Your Best Assets

The first step in applying the 80/20 rule is to conduct a thorough analysis of the FI’s products, services, and marketing channels to identify which ones are generating the most significant results.

This analysis should go beyond just looking at sales figures; it should consider customer lifetime value, profitability, and potential for growth.

Tools such as customer segmentation, sales data analysis, and market research are invaluable in this process, helping to highlight the products and services that are most appealing to the institution’s target audience.

Focusing Efforts for Maximum Impact

Once the top-performing assets have been identified, the next step is to allocate marketing resources more effectively towards these areas.

This means prioritizing marketing campaigns, content, and initiatives that promote these key products or services.

It also involves choosing marketing channels that have proven most effective in reaching and engaging the target audience.

For example, if data shows that a significant portion of the institution’s most profitable customers frequently use social media, then prioritizing social media marketing efforts would be in line with the 80/20 rule.

Streamlining Operations and Reducing Waste

The 80/20 rule also has implications for operational efficiency within the marketing department.

By focusing on the areas that yield the most significant results, FIs can streamline their operations, reducing waste and reallocating resources from underperforming areas to those with higher returns.

This might mean cutting down on less effective marketing channels, discontinuing underperforming products or services, or reallocating budget from broad-based advertising to more targeted, personalized marketing tactics.

Continuous Evaluation and Adaptation

The dynamic nature of the financial services market requires continuous evaluation of what the 20% of efforts are producing 80% of the results.

Market trends, customer behavior, and the competitive landscape are always in flux, necessitating regular analysis and adaptation of marketing strategies. This ongoing process ensures that FIs remain agile, responsive to market changes, and aligned with the most profitable and effective strategies.

Strategically Prioritizing Projects: The Art of Saying “Nope, Not Today”

In the fast-paced world of financial institution (FI) marketing, the ability to strategically prioritize projects is not just a skill but a necessity. Amidst the whirlwind of demands and deadlines, it’s easy for marketers to find themselves spread too thin, trying to juggle an array of projects that may not all align with the institution’s core objectives.

Learning to say “Nope, not today” to certain tasks can be a transformative strategy, helping to focus efforts on what truly matters and ensuring resources are allocated to projects with the highest impact.

The Challenge of Everything Being a Priority

One of the most significant challenges in marketing, particularly within FIs, is the perception that everything is urgent and essential.

This can lead to a dilution of efforts, where significant time and resources are spent on tasks that do not significantly advance the institution’s strategic goals.

The consequence is not just reduced productivity but also the risk of burnout among the marketing team.

Establishing Criteria for Prioritization

To navigate this challenge, FIs need to establish clear criteria for prioritizing marketing projects.

These criteria should be directly tied to the institution’s strategic objectives, such as revenue growth, customer acquisition, retention, or brand positioning.

Each potential project should be evaluated based on its expected contribution to these objectives, the resources required, and the potential return on investment (ROI). Projects that align closely with strategic goals and offer a high ROI should be prioritized, while others may be deferred or dropped altogether.

The Power of “Not Now”

Saying “No” or “Not now” to a project doesn’t mean it’s not valuable; it simply recognizes the finite nature of resources and the need to focus on priorities.

This approach requires clear communication with stakeholders to manage expectations and explain the reasoning behind prioritization decisions.

It’s also crucial for marketing leaders to foster a culture that values strategic focus over the quantity of tasks completed, emphasizing the quality and impact of work.

Tools and Techniques for Effective Prioritization

Several tools and techniques can aid marketers in the prioritization process.

The Eisenhower Matrix, for example, helps distinguish between tasks that are urgent and important, allowing teams to focus on what truly matters.

Agile marketing methodologies can also be beneficial, emphasizing flexibility, continuous improvement, and the delivery of high-value projects in short cycles.

Furthermore, leveraging project management software can provide a clear overview of all ongoing and potential projects, facilitating easier decision-making based on strategic priorities.

Revisiting Your Marketing Plan Quarterly & Re-evaluating

In the ever-changing landscape of the financial industry, a static marketing plan can quickly become a relic of the past, unable to address the dynamic shifts in market trends, consumer behaviors, and competitive pressures.

For financial institutions (FIs), this underscores the necessity of revisiting and re-evaluating their marketing plan on a quarterly basis.

This iterative process ensures that the marketing strategy remains aligned with the FI’s strategic goals while being flexible enough to adapt to new opportunities and challenges.

The Importance of a Fluid Marketing Strategy

A marketing strategy that is set in stone is a recipe for stagnation. The financial market is characterized by rapid technological advancements, regulatory changes, and evolving customer expectations.

A quarterly review of the marketing plan allows FIs to assess the effectiveness of current strategies, identify areas of improvement, and pivot as necessary to stay ahead of the curve. This agility is crucial for maintaining relevance and competitiveness in a crowded market.

Key Areas for Quarterly Review

During the quarterly review, several key areas should be the focus of evaluation:

  • Market and Competitive Analysis: Understanding the current market landscape, including any shifts in consumer behavior, new entrants, or changes in the competitive dynamic, is crucial. This analysis can reveal new opportunities for growth or areas where the FI needs to defend its market position.
  • Performance Metrics: Reviewing key performance indicators (KPIs) for past campaigns and overall marketing efforts helps in understanding what’s working and what isn’t. This includes metrics such as customer acquisition costs, conversion rates, engagement rates, and overall ROI from marketing activities.
  • Technological and Regulatory Changes: The impact of new technologies and regulatory requirements on marketing strategies cannot be overstated. FIs need to assess whether new digital tools, platforms, or changes in regulation necessitate adjustments in their marketing approach.
  • Customer Feedback and Trends: Customer feedback is invaluable for understanding the effectiveness of marketing messages and channels. Trends in customer behavior and preferences can also signal the need for changes in marketing tactics or strategic focus.

Strategies for Effective Re-evaluation

To effectively re-evaluate and adjust the marketing plan, FIs should adopt several strategies:

  • Cross-functional Collaboration: Engaging with teams across the organization, from sales to customer service to product development, can provide diverse insights into market conditions and customer needs, informing more holistic marketing strategies.
  • Leveraging Data and Analytics: Advanced analytics and data science can uncover patterns and insights that human analysis might miss, guiding strategic adjustments in real-time.
  • Incorporating Feedback Loops: Establishing mechanisms for continuous feedback, both from customers and internal teams, ensures that the marketing plan remains responsive to both external market conditions and internal performance metrics.

Utilizing Technology & Data: Knowing Your Customers

In today’s digital era, the role of technology and data analytics in shaping marketing strategies for financial institutions (FIs) cannot be overstated.

The ability to leverage these tools effectively allows FIs to understand their customers deeply, anticipate needs, personalize communications, and ultimately, make data-driven decisions that enhance marketing efficiency and effectiveness.

Embracing technology and data analytics is not an option but a necessity for FIs aiming to remain competitive and relevant in a rapidly evolving market.

The Power of Data Analytics

Data analytics provides the foundation for understanding customer behaviors, preferences, and trends.

By analyzing transactional data, social media interactions, website visits, and other digital footprints, FIs can gain insights into what products or services customers are interested in, how they prefer to interact with the bank, and what factors influence their decision-making processes.

This deep level of insight enables marketers to craft personalized messages and offers that resonate with individual customers, improving engagement and conversion rates.

Leveraging Technology for Efficiency

Technology tools, including Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, marketing automation platforms, and AI-driven analytics, can significantly increase marketing efficiency.

Automation of routine tasks frees up marketing professionals to focus on strategic planning and creative tasks.

AI and machine learning algorithms can predict customer behavior, optimize campaign timing and content, and identify the most effective channels for communication.

This not only reduces the cost and time associated with marketing activities but also increases their overall impact.

Enhancing Customer Experience

At the heart of utilizing technology and data is the goal of enhancing the customer experience.

Personalized marketing, powered by data analytics, allows FIs to deliver content and offers that are relevant to each customer’s unique needs and circumstances.

This level of personalization fosters a stronger connection between the FI and its customers, enhancing loyalty and satisfaction.

Moreover, technology can streamline customer interactions, making them more convenient and efficient, further improving the customer experience.

Navigating the Challenges

While the benefits of leveraging technology and data are clear, FIs face several challenges in this endeavor.

These include data privacy concerns, the need for skilled professionals who can analyze and interpret data, and the ongoing requirement to keep up with rapidly advancing technologies.

Addressing these challenges requires a strategic approach that includes investing in training, ensuring compliance with data protection regulations, and adopting a culture of continuous learning and innovation.

Marketing is always evolving

Marked by the swift pace of digital transformation and changing consumer expectations.

As we’ve explored, the key to thriving in this environment is not just in executing a multitude of tasks but in strategically aligning marketing efforts with the institution’s overarching goals, prioritizing projects with precision, remaining agile in the face of industry shifts, and harnessing the power of technology and data analytics for deeper customer insights.

The journey of a financial marketer is one of balance—between creativity and strategy, innovation and tradition, personalization and privacy.

By focusing on strategic alignment, applying the 80/20 rule for efficiency, embracing agility through regular plan revisions, and leveraging technology for enhanced customer understanding, financial institutions can not only navigate the complexities of today’s market but also set the stage for future success.

As we move forward, the institutions that will stand out are those that view their marketing strategies not as a set of tasks to be completed but as an integral part of their mission to serve their customers better and achieve their strategic objectives.

The path to achieving this is through continuous learning, adaptation, and a commitment to putting the customer at the heart of every decision. In doing so, financial marketers can turn challenges into opportunities, driving their institutions towards a future marked by growth, innovation, and sustained success.


The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice or recommendations; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only for which Alkami disclaims all liability.

This website contains links to other third-party websites. Such links are only for the convenience of the reader and shall not be construed as a recommendation or endorsement by Alkami with respect to the content.