Four Steps to Upgrade Your Marketing Strategy to Reach More Consumers08.21.2017
Gone are the easy days of financial marketing.
There was once a time when financial industry marketers could reach consumers through sporadic marketing campaigns, and still expect a 30-40% positive ROI. At the time, methods and measurement capacities were improving, and consumers had fewer media options available to them than today. In those days, it was almost expected for a consumer to receive marketing content a time or two, and then immediately open an account or buy the financial product being highlighted.
In this new era of technology, financial marketing is not what it once was. Today, consumers hold all of the power. Consumers choose how they want to engage with you, not the other way around. And because of this, your choices going forward will make a big impact on your businesses.
So what can be done to move away from outdated marketing campaigns toward marketing of the future?
To enhance your financial marketing strategy and reach more consumers, these guidelines will help position your credit union for growth and profitability, as well as provide superior service to members:
1. Find your consumers before someone else does.
If you don’t make the effort to connect with potential members someone else will. In fact, someone already is. This upsurge in competition is not due to the number of financial institutions, but rather changes in consumer behavior. It’s easy to blame budgets and claim that your least favorite megabank simply has more money to invest in marketing, but that isn’t the full story. Yes, they do invest more in marketing, but it’s their commitment to consumer engagement that matters.
2. Reach consumers in multiple ways.
Consumers frequently engage with a variety of media channels (smart phones, tablets, television, radio, etc.) all at the same time, and consumer engagement has increased exponentially with more communication channels than ever before. According to Hubspot, 30% of millennials use four or more devices each day; consumers are constantly bouncing from channel to channel with extreme fluidity, but engagement with each channel is at a much shallower level. Think of today’s consumer engagement like skipping across the top of a lake, but never actually diving deep into the water. In order to grab a consumer’s attention in this environment, you have to be in as many of those different media channels as possible. Just paying for a TV commercial is no longer acceptable. What if you get DVR’d and they fast-forward right past it? What if they watch everything on Hulu? It is imperative you engage consumers through the media they’re consuming – usually multiple ways. If you’re appearing in direct mail, email, digital media, social media and TV, then you have a real opportunity to create a dialogue.
3. Target specific audiences.
Marketing across multiple channels isn’t as costly as you may think. It can get extremely expensive if you want to reach everyone. But if you have a specific audience in mind, those who are likely to buy your product, you can leverage data – whether your own data or data that’s been purchased – to target that demographic. This data will help you understand the behaviors of those consumers to then better serve them after they open an account. Once you have a good group of consumers to chase, the next step is having the right tools to go after them.
4. Use the right tools.
Marketing technology and data is required for success going forward to help you further understand your consumers. Investing in data is crucial, because without the proper understanding of your communities at an individual level, your marketing will be less effective. Invest in products for consumers, but also in technology that allows you to engage consumers on their terms. For instance, what if you knew that certain consumers were 3.5 times more likely to buy certain products of yours? You would want to know who those consumers are and start interacting with them more frequently. After identifying the individuals you want to reach, you then need to find them and talk to them in the media channel they prefer. If you’ve done your research on these consumers, the next step is to create compelling marketing that makes people sit up and take notice.
These guidelines may feel overwhelming, and if you can’t do all of them on your own, ask your team for help. Get their advice, reach out for assistance, or learn from your vendors. Take whatever steps necessary to understand and engage individuals in your community that will encourage them to seek you out.
Keith Brannan is chief marketing officer of Kasasa, a financial technology and marketing technology company committed to driving results for community financial institutions by attracting, engaging, and retaining consumers.