Across all industries, data and research have become so pivotal to every marketer's strategy. But when it comes to working in the banking industry, data collection can sometimes be a tough road to travel. The key is to allow your customers or members to do the opting in and be in the virtual driver's seat as it pertains to offering usage, behavioral and informational data.
Here are a few tips for improving your marketing by learning more about your banking customers and what they care about.
One of the key elements of gathering data on your leads and customers is to offer something of true value. No, we're not talking about a brochure or sales pitch—something with less strings attached. If you find your customers, members or prospects tend to ask a lot of questions about retirement accounts or the merits of financing a vehicle purchase through your bank or credit union versus at the auto lot, these are ample opportunities to provide on-demand content that answers these common questions. Gated content can be one of the most effective ways to earn more information from consumers, whether it's a simple email address or something deeper, such as their saving priorities or biggest stumbling blocks with their current bank or CU.
Do you ever visit your doctor and notice the pre-exam questionnaire changes or updates periodically? Often this is in an effort by the healthcare provider to offer you better, more informed care and medical suggestions that better pertain to your actual lifestyle. The same can be said for your customers' financial health. When you have opportunities for face-to-face contact with your consumer base, use that opportunity to (briefly and efficiently) garner some fresh data. Perhaps your drive-up window team is tasked in a given month with asking customers about the age of their vehicle and logging it in your FI's CRM. This might make segmentation much easier when promoting an auto loan down the road. Plus, it's a simple, easy-to-answer question that doesn't waste your audience's time or feel too invasive.
One of the most base ways to get to know what your customers or members truly care about is to simply ask them—and, sure, surveys are easy to ignore, send to the junk folder or simply delete outright, but there are ways to make them more attractive. Keep survey content lighthearted and engaging—consider interactive web content or app experiences with a sense of humor and special attention paid to user experience—and incentivize when possible. The biggest factor, though, is to keep it short and simple. Limit yourself to a few quick, easy-to-answer questions at a time—for example:
What's the biggest hurdle for you setting up a direct deposit to your ABC Bank checking account?
(a) Too much paperwork—digitize, please!
(b) My other bank gives me a better incentive.
(c) I'd have to stop binging Stranger Things to do it.
In a retail industry, the likeliest, most effective avenue for positive interaction with your customer is probably in person. And with incidental foot traffic to banks and credit unions stagnating, you need to create more opportunities to get your customers and members in front of your most engaging team members. Appreciation events, notable community speakers, live music, food truck fests, et al., are all captivating ways to bring more locals into and around your branches. From there, it's a matter of carrying on authentic conversations and offering conversion opportunities. Consider registration for the event that asks for email address and zip code, for example. Or perhaps you can engage visitors with a taste test of some local coffee brewers to then later select the in-house brew your own branches will sell and promote (thus bringing return visits into the mix). Face-to-face is invaluable.