Not long after the emergence of the digital advertising channel, most industries embraced the new medium, realizing the myriad of benefits. Digital advertising can be a cost-effective way to audience target based on very specific traits. It can also deliver customized messages and collect real-time performance metrics.

Banks and other financial institutions, however, have been slow to adopt digital marketing tactics.

According to an eBook published by Marketo entitled, Don’t Get Left Behind: The Rise of Digital Marketing in Financial Services, this is mostly due to “the existing perspectives of how things should be done and the long time-scales required for their operations. This makes them rather conservative and unwilling to experiment with new and possibly unsafe technologies.” Today, fewer than 15% of banks have mature digital marketing strategies – much lower than other industries.

When it comes to the cross sections of banking and marketing communications, some trends are inevitable. Having a digital and mobile presence has surpassed momentary communications fads – they have become critical tools of convenience and the primary ways many engage with banks. Today, 80% of millennials, and 77% of parents of children under 18, prefer to do their banking online.

Further, marketers are seriously shifting from mass media communications – when asked it was found that 53% of marketing decision makers were decreasing their traditional media budgets, while 91% of companies were increasing digital communications dollars.1

These statistics are part of the larger body of research that demonstrates digital is for everyone, and having a smart, strong online and mobile presence is the baseline to reach current and potential customers. With that in mind, the question today is no longer ‘Should we expand our digital and mobile presence?’ It’s ‘How do we communicate better on digital and mobile platforms?’

Here are some ways to incorporate these concepts into digital communications and a digital marketing strategy for banking:

  • Optimize your data to know your customers. Customers in the banking industry inevitably share personal information. We believe this is a great place to start when developing communications that are tailored and relevant to your current and prospective clients.
  • Find ways to automate support. Have thoughtful and efficient resources readily available, including FAQs documents and statements on how clients can best use your services. If these are easy to find and understand, customers are more likely to feel understood and in control of their experience, and are therefore more prone to trust your product and brand.
  • Be a trusted source for regulatory information and financial alerts. We are in an age where regulations seem ever-changing and increasingly complex. At the same time, fraud is always a risk. We recommend using your digital platforms to host information on regulatory updates, and sharing your policies for any suspicions of fraud.
  • Be consistent with your hardcopy materials. The digital update is a great time to assess overall brand image, communications and strategy, making sure messaging is consistent between digital and hardcopy materials to avoid confusion and to feel brand-aligned.
  • Optimize your site for mobile. We recommend making your online site mobile friendly. This is an easy process and doesn’t require new content beyond what you put on your site.

At Barcelona Creative, we are convinced there is an enormous opportunity for digital communications and marketing within the banking and financial industries, particularly for community banks. We specialize in helping our banking clients capitalize on competitive advantage, make the most of their budgets and win in the digital age. Barcelona Creative Group has extensive experience working with marketing for banks and financial institutions, and we know what it takes to compete with banking giants.

You don’t need a thousand branches or a million-dollar marketing budget. You just need the right people on your team. If you would like to talk more about your marketing needs, get in touch.

1.Accenture Strategy, Banking Customer 2020, Rising Expectations; Point to the Everyday Bank

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