Bank Marketing Must Embrace CX and Customer Engagement
[Editor’s note: Lily Harder, who is quoted in this article, is speaking on June 28 during the All About Direct Marketing Virtual Conference and Expo, a day-long and free virtual show hosted by Target Marketing. Her session, “Engaged Marketing in a Digital Age,” takes place at noon EST.]
Bank marketing has a greater opportunity to stand out now that consumers don’t want to see staid, conservative, product-oriented promotions. Consumers want to know what their banks can do for them, which means customer experience marketing needs to enter the picture in order to enhance customer engagement.
Lily Harder, VP of research at Mintel Comperemedia, explained how that can happen in her article published yesterday by The Financial Brand.
Instead of seeing mass market commercials about stiff bankers in suits, which once conveyed trust, now bankers need to market with a bit of transpromo and a tiny amount bitcoin gusto. They’ve got competitors, but bank marketers can look at media fragmentation as an opportunity: They now have more possible consumer and customer touchpoints.
“Financial institutions have been pouring money into mobile budgeting tools, AI-driven app features and slick, new branch designs, all to create a better customer experience that will result in increased engagement. In today’s digital world, every bank’s marketing efforts should be an extension of that same engagement strategy.”
Customer Experience in Bank Marketing
CX means marketing has to be about the customer, not simply promoting the bank. Customer experience is inextricably tied to customer engagement.
Harder highlights the CX from two emails sent by two different banks:
- Less Engagement Resulted From Providing Less Value: First, here’s the subject line from PNC — “PNC Mobile Banking can help make your life easier.” Now, here’s the result: “Despite an estimated volume of over 2 million, this email achieved an average read rate around 21.6%.”
- More Customer Engagement Resulted From Providing More Value: Harder says this subject line immediately conveys the benefit Woodforest National Bank customers will receive from opening the email: “Manage Your Debit Card With Our Mobile App.” The result: The bank sent the email to more than 1 million customers and saw a 39% read rate.
Customer Engagement in Bank Marketing
Despite the prevalence of digital everything, including culture, bank marketers are noticing how much branches — especially local ones — really matter to customers. To that end, they’re working to revitalize them to be more coffee bar/financial advice center than cublicle and teller window, Harder writes.
Engaging customers mainly matters when bank marketers don’t have a branch nearby, she says. Younger banking customers are less likely to stick with a brand if its branch closes — unless digital customer engagement is top-notch, she says. For instance, a mobile app would basically need to replace the branch for them, by accommodating their day-to-day banking needs. (Harder says older banking customers are more brand loyal when that branch closes.)
“Young consumers are especially engaged, and not just through their smartphones. Research from Mintel has found that Millennials are more likely than older consumers to interact with their bank or credit union three or more times per month in a variety of settings, including visiting a branch close to their home, using their mobile banking app, and chatting with a customer service representative online.”
Bank marketers can engage with customers more often, because consumers now expect to be able to “interact with their money on their own terms and in their own time.” That means bank marketers now have the opportunity for customer engagement 24/7.
What do you think, marketers?
Please respond in the comments section below.
Related story: 7 Retail Bank Marketing Trends