When you’re a large domestic or international bank, digital marketing is a cost effective approach and easy to produce to scale. However, for credit unions and regional banks that serve a hyperlocal customer base, determining the right marketing mix can become tricky. After all, they need to keep their digital services competitive against larger national banks, but also be seen as a local business in the eyes of the community.
Since each individual branch draws its business from customers in close proximity, print is seen as a necessary medium to create visibility within their surrounding community. Whether it be a Mortgage Originator or a Business Banker, banking professionals know that they need the proper exposure to develop new business. The internal bank wants traditional marketing. The marketing team wants digital. So how do you find the correct mix?
If you don’t understand your bank’s objectives, you can’t move forward with an effective marketing strategy. Document your goals and KPI’s. Focus on long term objectives. Look past next year and make a strategic plan that outlines where you want each business channel to be 5 years from now. Consider the threats and opportunities that market conditions are creating when making these types of decisions. For instance, how will peer-to-peer lending sites, like SoFi, affect your loan services? How about strictly online services such as Rocket Mortgage?
This is a perfect time to establish buyer personas so you can make an informed decision. Find out what’s important to both your bank as well as your customers. Do your customers see banking as a personal experience or do they just want simple digital banking solutions? Your audience needs to dictate the road-map that you set forth, so listen to them. If you’re not sure who your audience is or what it is they’re seeking, stop what you’re doing and allocate some budget to customer research.
Once you understand your bank and your customers you can begin to channel your marketing budget to the appropriate areas. If your consumers are primarily from Generation X, billboards, direct mail, referral programs and radio are effective mediums. Since older generations are more likely to see banking as an personal experience, emphasizing great service, helpful tellers and community involvement will build trust. Specific advertisements can then be tailored to accommodate the areas of business that are a higher percentage of revenue, or the ones you’ve identified as being ripe for future growth.
There is no silver bullet when deciding the proper marketing mix. While this framework can help you make an informed decision, budgets might have to be adjusted if any three of the contributing formula factors change. In fact, if there’s one thing that is for certain, it’s that market conditions are guaranteed to change. While a five-year plan is essential, make sure you’re constantly revisiting the numbers, deciding if and how your marketing strategy might need to change.