Doubling down digital marketing strategies for regional banks
In fact, most consumers – especially Millennials, Gen Z and younger – tend to see banks as a concept than a big building down on the corner. Post-pandemic, most consumers have become accustomed to connecting with banks remotely, just as they do with other e-commerce providers.
Regional banks are at the heart of the local economy and community, and often command the greatest loyalty. But as access to digital banking increases and competition increases with it “billionaire” As competition between banks, multinationals and even fintech firms intensifies, smaller regional banks must adopt new customer retention strategies.
The good news, however, is that customers who are now accustomed to long-distance communication can be reached more easily through digital marketing, and that digital marketing can be addressable, sequenceable, responsive and measurable – in an efficient way that caters to regional banks’ more limited marketing budgets becomes.
Connect the right offers to the right people
Digital marketing is no longer just about efficiency. When used strategically, it can more effectively communicate to account holders and potential customers how the neighborhood bank better understands the needs of their community.
At a time when a consumer can switch banks in moments while sitting at home, banks need to incentivize customer relationships with tangible benefits that go beyond any branding campaign. Not many customers are enthusiastic about a bank brand these days.
Delivering specific offers—such as tariffs, fees, or financial products tailored to the needs of seniors, small farmers, start-up tech companies, or other key groups in the community—requires a measured stream of targeted messages that provide clear avenues for customer action.
It’s about the data
In order to get specific and bring the right digital products to the right group of consumers – both existing account holders and prospects – you need to have the right customer and consumer data and ensure it is current, accurate and properly linked to run effective campaigns to be able to activate .
For example, if the real estate market is hot in a particular regional bank’s area, good mortgage deals can be highlighted. When the housing market cools down, a digital campaign can be refocused relatively quickly compared to traditional marketing. Or if a neighborhood has many high-income consumers, a regional bank can use its customer data or first-party data to resell those customers to wealth management services.
As third-party cookies disappear and marketers have less and less access to consumers’ online data assets, first-party data has become central to a brand’s customer knowledge, and more successful brands will be those who make the best use of their first-party data to be able to use.
First-party data enables cross-selling to one’s own existing customers, and the more relevant the banking services, the higher the customer loyalty. Regional banks can drive digital marketing using first-party data to offer their current customers the most relevant services, whether it be wealth marketing, mortgages or credit cards.
And first-party data can also be used to find potential new customers by targeting consumers whose profiles are similar to current customers. Beyond first-party data, targeted search terms – such as better interest rates or mortgage rates – can provide another layer of digital outreach marketing to build a customer base when used in search engine ads.
An important part of an effective digital marketing strategy is the balance between standing out in a crowded media landscape and being an annoyance. To walk this tightrope, experienced digital marketers leverage carefully calibrated message sequences across multiple platforms and at different points in the marketing funnel, from prospect to current customer.
Such sequencing is one of the great strengths of digital marketing and is now being reinforced by the rise of ad-supported streaming TV services as viewer logins allow for a degree of addressability. As of last July, according to the Nielsen ratings service, streaming TV now accounts for the largest share of television consumption.
Ads on streaming services can target the top of the marketing funnel or brand awareness, making a wide range of potential customers aware of the bank’s messages. Ads on banking and other websites can target the middle of the funnel—interested but not-yet-signed-up consumers.
And targeted emails can amplify that message further down the funnel and reach existing customers.
Efficiency plus measurability
As regional banks’ budgets are more limited, relevant messages and message sequences must be both measurable and efficient. Even without third-party cookies, digital marketing offers opportunities for such responsibility.
If a digital ad leads to a quick online purchase, such as opening a new checking account, that path can be followed. But even complex banking products like mortgages or less trackable events like increased foot traffic in a branch can be measured by comparing incremental increases to similar increases in digital campaigns.
And environments based on first-party data – such as connected TV or email – are well suited to measuring success without violating customer privacy.
Growth related to digitization
in 2021, McKinsey figured that out “Growth leader in developed markets increased overall sales by 10 percent, driving 40 percent growth in the digital channel while maintaining in-store sales decline in single digits.” The research company added that “A multichannel approach is 3.2x more effective at driving sales than relying on a single channel.”
Digital marketing is now an integral part of how regional banks reach and retain customers. Enabling a finely tuned sequence of messages to find, develop and maintain relationships and relevant services is critical to the longevity of these bankers.
The better regional banks align their services and products to the needs of their communities—and the better they convey that alignment through their marketing—the better they will fare in this new landscape.
From Bernice LopezSmith, Digital Marketing Strategist, Stirista