Why You Should Be Marketing with Your Digital Banking Platform

Why You Should Be Marketing with Your Digital Banking Platform

by Brad Cranford, Senior Product Manager, Alkami

Brad CranfordBanks and credit unions are taking digital banking more seriously than ever as users are banking and working remotely. Raising awareness of financial products that are available to help users through these times can benefit financial institutions (FIs) as well, whether it’s through increasing account opening, engaging users with financial wellness tools, or encouraging adoption of additional products.

So how do you raise product visibility, guide users to pick the right product for their needs, and do it all without creating more work for an already busy team? In this blog, we’ll explore why you should use digital marketing within your digital banking platform to help you check off every item on that list.

The how and why of digital marketing

The 2017 Gartner Customer Experience Survey found that around 10% of an FI’s current account holders open their next financial product with the same FI. Of the survey respondents, 58% purchased a new product after they recently learned about it, and 29% purchased because they experienced a life event. These numbers suggest different things — how users decide what they purchase and through what channel vary. But the numbers also suggest a user need. Users respond to what they’re made aware of, and FIs can influence users’ decisions by providing more relevant information.

FIs who have identified key user personas or financial wellness scores can map useful financial products to those personas and identify the gaps users have, then market those products to them. For example, identifying people not leveraging their savings can lead to an offer for a round-up feature that can improve their financial health.

Focusing efforts on digital marketing

Despite their reach, banner ads have limited effectiveness. We’ve found that, across all industries, the average click-through rate (CTR) for a search ad is under 2%. For display ads, it’s even lower at 1%. Typical cost per click (CPC) across industries is $2.32 for search ads and $0.58 for display ads. But marketing through your digital banking platform could bring your CPC down to $0. 

There’s a lot of potential for maximum digital marketing ROI, but financial institutions aren’t taking advantage of what’s in front of them just yet. Few bank or credit unions have committed more than 40% of their marketing budget to mobile marketing. And only 2% of organizations are committing more than 50% of their marketing budget to mobile (Digital Banking Report).

But, banks and credit unions are beginning to see the light. More than a third of respondents in a recent survey from Adobe and eConsultancy said targeting and marketing personalization were among their top three priorities for the next year. The Financial Brand found that one area financial marketers see the most exciting opportunities in is data-driven marketing that focuses on the individual.

Marketing through a digital banking platform

To achieve the kind of marketing that makes users feel like FIs are speaking directly to them, data must move freely between systems, unchained from solutions built to support a single channel. Ultimately, getting data-driven results translates to using a digital banking platform with integrated marketing technology.

This means combining information that you know about your users from different sources that help you paint a picture of the user and to know what targeted information and offers to present to them. For example, combining call center frequency (help desk software), login behavior (online banking software), and deposit history (banking core data), you may identify users that should be encouraged to download your mobile app and learn to use RDC and secure messaging features within your mobile application.

Meanwhile, identifying the right type of marketing to use is just as important as identifying what to market to your users. There are useful roles for passive and active marketing tools. Active ads like interstitials (interactive full-screen ads that appear between content) are very effective for delivering important messages and driving engagement. Meanwhile, passive banners are great for reinforcing messages and reminding users of features and offers that they may access at their own pace. Finally, both active and passive marketing tools may be used to introduce new features and to encourage feature usage and behavior that is beneficial to both the FI and the end users. We’ve found many of our clients have had great success using marketing spaces on the Alkami platform for training and feature introductions in addition to traditional marketing messages.  

The Alkami Platform uses passive banners and active interstitials. According to recent data from 88 of our clients who use interstitials, the average conversion rate to accept a promotion, to learn more or to apply now is 7.3%. Their conversion rate for bill pay interstitials was 19%. Across 5 campaigns, eStatements had a 13% conversion rate. Compare this to the 1 – 2% CTRs mentioned earlier and you’ll see why marketing via your digital banking platform is so crucial.

In our present moment, the case for presenting ads within your digital banking experience is growing increasingly convincing. And when you have something important to say, interstitial promotions can be a very effective tool.

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