Consumers like to use a variety of channels for their financial service transactions, and institutions know engagement depends upon great products and services served up in a way consumers like.
It seems an apt response for providers to make consumers’ “anywhere anytime” demands a priority in an increasingly-digital world.
But, “The problem is, most banks’ channel strategies are inherently flawed,” because providers have intent focus on growth of new channels to meet perceived demand, according to Gallup data.
“This strategy is not an optimal or cost-effective method for engaging customers.”
Most consumers “can’t live without” in-person experiences. The branch experience must be positive because once consumers are fully engaged and satisfied with traditional channels, they are more receptive to digital outreach.
This week, learn how to engage consumers digitally after you’ve met their in-person demands.
‘Marketing is a contest for people’s attention.’ --Seth Godin
“Nearly six in 10 banking customers (56%) prefer more of a digital than a personal relationship with their bank,” says another Gallup analysis. Still, 38% of consumers will only use an institution that has physical branches. Both options must be available.
Successful providers ease consumers into digital channels with defined process.
The first step is to identify those consumers most interested in digital. Once you have identified this cohort, three strategies exist to boost participation:
1. Use other technologies like ATMs and kiosks to introduce digital; this helps to grow comfort levels.
2. Enhance mobile banking by adopting an interaction similar to online. Use biometrics to grow users’ sense of security, foster an “omnichannel experience” with a click-to-call option, for instance, and be flexible in policies like currency conversion or check deposit amounts.
3. Coordinate digital experiences with in-person service. This allows consumers to ask questions.
An article at BKM Marketing reiterates the importance of channel use analysis in engagement strategy.
“Determine… whether your channel mix was effective and reached the intended audience… Evaluate communication methods that you have not used extensively and set a goal to improve how you incorporate each channel in a meaningful way,” the post notes.
‘People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.’ --Theodore Roosevelt
Digital has altered how organizations communicate brand to consumers and “made it almost impossible for a story to maintain its elements and therefore traditional coherence—disrupting the plot and shifting the control and power of the narrator to the customer,” notes MarketingProfs.
With digital, consumers interact as they choose, requiring a switch in messaging.
Three ways to improve your “storytelling” via digital:
1. Approach the consumer as “protagonist,” and appeal to their lifestyle and sentiments rather than your product as focus;
2. Outline an experience journey to identify a problem and provide answers;
3. “Turn your touchpoints into narrators” to nurture engagement and prompt loyalty.
“This single customer view enables you to manage all customer touch points simultaneously,” and helps you tell your brand story.
Once you’ve garnered attention on new channels, do you know “How to Stay Competitive in Today’s Digital World”?
“If financial advisors want to remain competitive, they must embrace the millennial demographic and capture these potential investors now,” notes wealthmanagement.com.
A survey shows 49% of Xers, 50% of boomers, and 54% of “ultra-high net worth individuals also expect to use anytime, any device technology over the next five years.”
Digital will become an even more important differentiator, says the post. “However, the real competitive advantage will come from the ability of advisors to create a hybrid service model.”
This includes not only high-tech outreach approaches like robo-advisors, but also “personalized, human service and support.”
“Ultimately, the winners will be “omni-providers,” that seamlessly serve customers across channels.”
Undoubtedly advantages exist for those who invest in new technology, but consumer wants are subject to rapid change.
Therefore, “Digital marketers need an analytical approach and a commitment to staying current with technology to ensure results,” notes The Huffington Post. It is important in such endeavors, though, to “not lose sight of the human side.”
Five tips for digital marketers looking ahead to 2017:
‘’Business has only two functions—marketing and innovation.’ –Milan Kundera, writer
Given that social media is an important component of digital engagement, learn “5 Ways to Grow Your Business Using Social Media,” according to Inc.
Follow these tips to make impact in social media:
Finally, check out “The Biggest Content Marketing Trends in 2017,” according to the Content Marketing Institute.
Among them: Forge a content marketing strategy; use video and visual media; go mobile; leverage Facebook; and create influencer marketing programs.
“Content creation and distribution in the enterprise, outside of the content about our products and services, have become both more important and more integrated over the past year,” the article notes.
Many opportunities are available in the digital realm to engage consumers and create loyalty. Remember to keep abreast of both rapidly changing technologies and user preferences.
But don’t forget the ongoing relevancy of more traditional touchpoints like branches. It may be that “changing channels” is more about changing your perception of their importance in overall marketing strategies.