Five Engagement Strategies for Bank Marketers in 2012

by MarthaBush on March 19, 2012

Martha Bush

Many of the leaders in the direct and database marketing field started their professional lives as bank marketers – your name was on a bank database and mixed into a predictive model before nearly any other industry started thinking of such things. Sadly, bank marketing today has lost much of that early competitive edge, as other industries have caught up and surpassed them with the use of marketing technology and analytics.  We’ve been thinking lately about how more banks should be pushing the envelope and using more of the tools available to them to customize and improve their customer experience.  Below are five ideas for the bank marketers –

1.  Real-Time Customer Growth Initiatives Take Cross-Sell and Up-Sell to New Heights:

Is your Marketing Department bound to a campaign cycle that has nothing to do with your banking customers’ readiness to open new accounts? Develop a  triggered cross-sell/up-sell program using high-speed predictive modeling to identify customers ready to add, change, upgrade or even start using your online banking services. Powerful models can be run against your customer files to identify customer behavior triggers that tell you it’s time to sell specific products, or suggest the use of new services.  These insights can be turned into action through a message matrix that can be deployed in monthly statements, online banking messaging, call centers, direct mail or even text messaging services. Let your customers’ behavior tell you when it’s time to tell them about new banking opportunities.

2.  Consistently Find High Net Worth Individuals Ready for a New Banking Relationship:

Are your Wealth Management salespeople using the hunt-and-peck method of prospecting?  High performing banking organizations use more than the traditional approach of “who do you know?”  Using sophisticated targeting techniques coupled with the more advanced use of wealth and credit-focused data available today, your wealth managers can add significant support to their tried-and-true methods of prospecting. Combine a more sophisticated use of wealth data into ongoing nurturing programs to keep in touch with high-value prospects in an efficient way during the typical long sales cycle for bank relationship switching – even while your wealth management team may change over time.

3.  Slow Customer Attrition While Building Stronger Relationships:

Every day you have customers who become dissatisfied or find a new banking partner because one of your competitors was there at just the right time.  If only you could have spotted the turning point in your relationship, you could have saved it.  Early warning systems can be created using powerful predictive models and automated messaging strategies to  help you identify those early warning signs that enable you to address those customers at risk as early as possible, giving you the best chances for implementing retention measures that will save them.

4.  Improve Customer Engagement and Satisfaction Through More Relevant, Timely Communications:

Your customers want a 24/7/365 relationship with their bank today. Are you ready? Real-time, relevant communications require in-depth customer insights at each point of interaction. Turn customer insights into automated operational excellence with a segmentation process that lands segment codes on every customer record in your database. Enhance each customer’s record with key insights about their banking behavior, lifestyle and lifecycle segment so that each interaction can be smarter, more relevant and valuable to your customers.  Segments can be turned into smart messaging strategies for each type of interaction – online banking, call centers and on the banking floor.

5.  Find Business Prospects 3 to 4X More Likely to Move to Your Institution:

The banking relationships of all small businesses are not created equal – some small firms are highly profitable, while others have high requirements for customer service. Further, the prospecting lists you may be providing your business banking sales team may not deliver the volume of good prospects they need to hit their goals. Bring the best practice lead generation process to your reps that leading business-to-business organizations use by first understanding which of your small business customers are generating the most productive relationships. These insights can help efficiently identify the optimal prospect universe for each business banker and turn it into a sales pipeline that returns predictable, sustainable account growth. Work with B2B list providers to deliver actionable prospect insights to the desktop of each banker, or into their sales management system.

The broad availability of more robust data and marketing technology tools suggests that more bank marketers, even at the community banking level, could be creating better customer experiences for their base today. SIGMA has been working with leading banks since our start in 1985 to help them better engage with their customers and drive ROI.

About the Author:

Martha Bush is SVP of Strategy & Solutions at SIGMA Marketing Group.  Follow Martha on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.

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