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Unlocking Growth with Financial Services Marketing through Strategic IT Partnerships

Jennifer Cortez, VP, Demand Generation


In the world of data and marketing, establishing a strong partnership between marketing and information technology (IT) departments is essential. It’s common to run into roadblocks here due to a lack of clarity on which team really owns this area at a financial institution so bridging these gaps and collaborating effectively is essential for fully leveraging data analytics to enhance strategies in financial services marketing


A client panel discussion at Alkami Co:lab 2024 provided insights into how strategic partnerships between marketing teams and information technology can propel financial services marketing into a new era of efficiency and growth.


Headshots for Jennifer Cortez, VP of Demand Generation at Alkami, Kathy Bushway, Chief Marketing Officer at Premier Bank, Todd Petelle, Digital Experience Manager at 3Rivers Federal Credit Union, and Kate Purdy, Marketing & PR VP at Signal Financial Federal Credit Union.


Championing Data-Driven Strategies in Financial Institutions

Todd Petelle, digital experience manager at 3Rivers Federal Credit Union, emphasized the significant role that data and IT integration plays in enhancing marketing for financial institutions. By aligning their teams and using data analytics, they have not only improved campaign effectiveness, but also increased operational efficiency, setting a benchmark in marketing for financial institutions.

Advocating for a data-forward strategy in a financial institution can fundamentally transform its operational effectiveness and account holder engagement. This shift often involves significant reductions in manual effort and time required to update systems, thus mitigating the replication of account holder experiences. Moreover, it enables the tracking of digital engagement in ways that traditional physical methods cannot, providing clearer insights into consumer behavior.

Leadership plays a crucial role in driving data-driven initiatives and fostering joint efforts between departments. A key aspect of successfully implementing such strategies involves gaining executive support. Positively, many c-suite leaders are recognizing data and marketing not just as operational necessities, but as critical assets that drive growth. 

The primary goal is to enhance account holder engagement by delivering omni-channel, tailored messages that resonate with individual preferences and behaviors, significantly improving conversion rates and customer satisfaction. 

Achieving this requires comprehensive data that clarifies various aspects of account holder interaction—what messages resonate, who the target audience is, when they are most receptive, and where they should be reached. For those looking to persuade their leadership to invest in innovative solutions and foster joint efforts across teams, the focus should be on demonstrating how these financial services marketing investments directly contribute to enhanced strategic decisions and improved financial outcomes.

“Our objective is the right message, to the right member, at the right time, through the right channel. To do this, we need data to tell us the what, who, when and where.” 
– Todd Petelle, 3Rivers Federal Credit Union

When it comes to marketing for financial institutions, making a compelling business case for data-driven strategies is key. Kathy Bushway, chief marketing officer at Premier Bank, highlighted how demonstrating the concrete benefits of these initiatives can secure necessary executive support, which is often a challenge in financial services marketing. 

“There’s a lot of competing priorities, so we need to make sure we continue to tell a really strong story and show the results that we’re getting.”
– Kathy Bushway, Premier Bank


Strategic Collaboration: Uniting IT and Marketing for Institutional Growth

Collaboration between marketing and IT departments is essential for successful data-driven initiatives. Kathy also discussed the evolving dynamics between IT and marketing departments—a crucial aspect of financial services marketing. The landscape of corporate dynamics, especially between marketing and IT departments, has undergone significant transformation. Gone are the days when marketing was merely associated with crafting attractive visuals. Today, it is recognized as a pivotal element of business strategy, essential for driving revenue growth across the enterprise. This evolving dynamic is exemplified by the partnership between marketers and IT professionals. This partnership ensures that the marketing team is well-equipped with the right tools and ongoing support from IT, highlighting a shift from isolated operations to a more integrated approach. This transition not only enhances efficiency but also boosts the overall effectiveness of both departments, reinforcing their role as true business partners.

A holistic approach to organizational needs and goals brings better cooperation and communication across different departments. Kate Purdy, marketing & PR vice president from Signal Financial Federal Credit Union, emphasizes the importance of the relationship between their marketing team and IT, particularly given their smaller team size. Regular interactions, including weekly leadership meetings and one-on-one discussions, are central to aligning their respective goals with the broader objectives of the institution. This allows both departments to understand and complement each other’s efforts, demonstrating how essential relationships and communication are to achieving cohesive and effective marketing outcomes.


From left to right, Jennifer Cortez, VP of Demand Generation at Alkami, Kate Purdy, Marketing & PR VP at Signal Financial Federal Credit Union, Kathy Bushway, Chief Marketing Officer at Premier Bank, and Todd Petelle, Digital Experience Manager at 3Rivers Federal Credit Union in conversation at Alkami Co:lab 2024.


Collaboration Fuels Financial Services Marketing Success 

The integration of IT and marketing, underpinned by data-driven strategies, is not just a trend but a necessity in marketing for financial institutions. The insights from our conversation at Alkami Co:lab 2024 underscore the importance of this partnership, offering valuable lessons and strategies for others in the field of marketing for financial institutions to follow. According to our research, institutions that prioritize data utilization experienced an annual revenue growth of 20%, which is directionally higher compared to others. Not surprisingly, achieving digital maturity goes beyond technology investment and implementation. Companies must foster a culture that prioritizes iterative and continuous innovation.

Ready to gauge your financial institution’s digital maturity? Take this 5-question assessment to compare your responses to benchmark data collected from 215 U.S.-based regional and community financial institutions. Discover where your financial institution falls on the digital maturity spectrum and get detailed support for your path forward. 

How Digitally Mature is Your FI?
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Alkami Technology Digital Banking Solutions
Alkami Technology, Inc. is a leading cloud-based digital banking solutions provider for financial institutions in the United States that enables clients to grow confidently, adapt quickly and build thriving digital communities.
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