Go Where Your Customers Are
No one can refute that the pandemic has changed the trajectory of our lives. We’ve all spent more time at home and have changed the way we shop, dine, and spend time socially. In response, retailers, restaurants, and even financial institutions (FI’s) have pivoted their operations and marketing strategies to make it safer and easier for customers to do business with them.
The pandemic has forced many consumers to change how they bank.1 Consumer banks have closed a significant number of branches, temporarily or even permanently, because of the pandemic. Without a physical location to visit, many consumers have shifted to online banking1 and seventy-five percent of people using digital banking channels for the first time indicate that they will continue to use them when things return to “normal.”2
As a result of the shift to digital banking channels, the US financial services industry’s spend on digital advertising continues to rise. US financial services industry digital ad spend is expected to increase 9.7% in 2020, to reach $19.62 billion.2 Retailers and financial institutions alike realize they need to advertise where their customers spend most of their time – online.
1st Goal: Stay Top of Mind
With bank and credit union consumers continually increasing their time spent on the Internet, there are more opportunities for financial institutions, and their competition, to engage with them. As of January 2021, the average time spent using internet devices worldwide amounted to 6 hours and 54 minutes per day. Sixty-three percent of that time is spent “finding information” and 35% of their time is spent “managing their finances”.3
Modern consumers have access to a wealth of information about their financial choices and when their financial needs are not met by their primary financial institution, they have demonstrated they are very willing to attrit or shift to an alternate financial institution option. This explains the growth that can be seen with neo-banks, digital banks, and products such as the Apple Card and a Google checking account from non-traditional financial services providers. In January 2020, just 4% of Gen Zers and Millennials considered a checking account from a challenger bank their primary account. By December 2020, that percentage had grown to 15%.4
In order to stay relevant, it’s important to stay top of mind. In financial marketing, it is vital to apply the marketing principle that it takes as many as thirteen touchpoints for a consumer to internalize and/or act upon a call-to-action. Financial institution marketers should strongly consider elevating the Internet to a primary media channel, layered on top of the overall marketing mix. Given that consumers spend just shy of seven hours a day on the Internet5 and research is their top motivator, the odds of reaching and connecting with account holders is significantly high.
The financial services industry spent $9.4B on programmatic display advertising in 2020. The competition is advertising on the Internet – shouldn’t you?
– US Financial Services Digital Ad Spend 2020 (emarketer.com)
2nd Goal: Increase Share of Wallet
Account holders engaging and adopting products with your competition produces perpetual heartburn felt by financial marketers. The competition is getting in front of your financial institution’s customers by advertising their products and services on the Internet. Part of your FI’s marketing strategy must include bank consumer profiling, targeting account holders online with personalized marketing messages, and product awareness followed by take-away campaigns all in an effort to steal share of wallet from your competition. Influencing even one product away from your competition can increase the stickiness of your financial institution’s account holders. If your financial institution is not engaging with your account holders, then there’s a good chance that competitors are engaging to steal YOUR FI’s share of wallet.