A large segment of consumers has resorted to managing their busy lives using digital means. They are constantly looking for ways to make their lives easier. It is no wonder that financial institutions have been revolutionized considerably over the years, and these sectors have integrated digital tools into its core business structure.

Today, banking customers can make a transaction from their smartphones or from the comfort of their homes without having to visit a branch location. They are simply required to enter their information, enter the OTP authorization code, and it would allow them to manage their financial and banking concerns remotely.

Research & Analysis for Digital Marketing
Keeping the shift in mind, financial and digital marketers are looking for ways to incorporate traditional and digital marketing strategies for banks and credit unions via online and digital channels. A comprehensive research-based survey by Mintel has concluded that a majority of financial firms are investing in digital advertising on a large-scale level for supporting personalized messaging and digital banking. However, on the contrary, a widespread number of financial institutions are still adamant on using traditional means for carrying out the daily activities.

However, the advertising focus of banks and credit unions could steer in various directions, and it could be understandable why they are still using only traditional strategies for meeting a specific objective. On the contrary, financial institutions are adapting digital strategies on an exponential level, and it has earned them favorable outcomes so far.

It has been concluded that a large percentage of financial institutions has not reduced its offline marketing budgets over the time span of 12 months. Also, nearly 34% of the banks have used 50% of their media budget for traditional advertising strategies as of 2017. There is a need to include digital channels, so a financial institution could earn a better leverage over its customers as well as its competitors. In 2017, 15% of the financial organizations contributed 50% of their budgets to online and digital marketing, which has earned them a profitable margin over the course of time.

Similar to the given statistics, credit unions contributed more than 40% of its budget towards mobile and digital marketing, and it resulted in 2% of organizations to allocate 50% of its advertising budget towards digital means.

On the other end of the scale, a majority of the progressive banks and credit unions have started using digital tools for aligning with the lifestyle and demand of the consumers. They have started using modern marketing techniques and advanced analytics for targeting their audience in acquiring better and improved outcomes.

Some banks and credit unions are likely to use a hybrid of traditional marketing strategies and digital marketing strategies for meeting a large pool of demand. There are banking consumers that are still reliant on using traditional banking; however, a vast number of consumers have asked for digital banking for improving their experience on an exponential scale.

Digital Marketing Opportunities for Financial Institutions
Digital marketing has opened doors for banks and credit unions which allows them to build a local, regional, and national brand. It has also allowed them to acquire new clients & retain them in the long run. Digital marketing in financial institutions has garnered the following three major opportunities:

Focus on Experience and Engagement. Similar to any business, banks should focus on improving its experience and engagement with its customers. Banking is a complicated and intricate process, and customers would like to make a transaction without any hassle. For instance, if a customer is experiencing troubles with making a transaction or any updates made to the app then, the customer should be able to contact the customer representative of its bank for resolving the matter and not have to wait on hold for thirty minutes.

In addition to traditional marketing campaigns like print advertisement, billboards, flyers, TV, newspapers, radio, and direct mail, banks should invest in digital strategies for enhancing engagement and experience with its customers. It should create a well-executed digital marketing campaign that could help with increasing interactions with the customers. Banks can integrate chatbots or personalization for improving the experience of the customers when using a bank’s website or app.

Leveraging Social Channels and Platforms. Leveraging social media channels and platforms allows financial institutions to incorporate community engagement programs for acquiring and retaining new clients. Utilizing social media channels allows banks to promote financial education or introduce new financial products to the public. They can make their channels informative and promotional, and they can use it to their advantage for engaging and interacting with their customers.

They can demonstrate digital banking benefits on their social media channels for attracting to a wider audience base. Alternatively, they can use corporate culture messaging for addressing and connecting with their B2B customers. The possibilities are endless; therefore, banks can leverage social media channels for utilizing modern digital marketing strategies.

Penetrating New Markets. It is no wonder that banks are always said to follow a traditional and sometime outdated approach. No matter how much a financial market has been digitalized or revolutionized—it aligns with traditional strategies and tactics. However, the pioneers of financial marketing are becoming more digitally-conscious, and they have resorted to using digital means for penetrating into the marketplace. It has been proven that digital marketing channels are responsible for creating brand awareness and increasing brand exposure, which has resulted in the promotion of financial education and financial products to new consumers.

Banks and credit unions can utilize digital marketing resources for penetrating new markets, connecting and engaging with new consumers, and promoting their products to a broader and newer range of customers. As a non-digital (traditional) approach, financial institutions can use branded promotional merchandise for catering to a broad base of clientele. Branded products are proven to be an effective medium for the promotion and growth of a financial institution, so if your bank is offering a new financial product or new service, using logo branded merchandise would help with increasing brand awareness, and it would also strengthen the positioning of the bank in the minds of consumers.

Why Financial Institutions Need a Smart Digital Marketing Strategy?
Financial institutions need to utilize digital marketing strategies for a number of reasons, and these strategies should be used in conjunction with traditional marketing strategies for garnering optimal outcomes. A recent study has concluded that when dealing with consumers, nearly 48% of the consumers demand for specialized and personalized treatment, and nearly 33% of the consumers have changed their preferences when it comes to banking due to the lack of personalization.

There is a widespread misconception that financial banks are inept at integrating digital marketing into its business; therefore, it cannot provide a personalized experience to its customers. However, it is not true at all—banks are likely to provide a personalized experience to their customers via personalized email marketing or by distributing branded promotional merchandise to their customers each time they visit the bank.

When a consumer signs up with a bank, they can give them logo branded merchandise to explore an area of traditional marketing; however, when a consumer signs into its internet banking portal, it could be greeted by a chatbot or virtual guide to provide a personalized experienced to it. Truth be told, most financial institutions still have to recognize the importance and value of digital marketing so they could make the best out of it.

If you look at the other way, consumers are likely to work with smaller financial institutions in comparison to large-sized banks to avoid any hassle in the process. It has increased the demand to maintain market share in a marketplace for meeting a number of requirements, and it should help them with branching out their digital and traditional marketing efforts for fulfilling the needs of the consumers.

The good news is that newer and small-scale financial institutions are open to adapting digital marketing strategies and providing a personalized experience to its clientele. They are continuously utilizing modern digital marketing tactics for entertaining their customers, and it has also introduced banks and credit unions to ventures to help them increase their reach in a marketplace. In other words, a well-defined digital marketing strategy doesn’t only help with retaining your current clientele, but it also allows you to expand your audience base exponentially.

How Banks & Credit Union Can Utilize Traditional & Digital Marketing Strategies
There are several ways that banks and credit unions can utilize traditional and digital marketing strategies. A bank can collaborate or team up with a non-financial company for spreading their marketing and advertising efforts to their customers. They can always mix up their marketing strategy, and experiment with random digital marketing strategies and traditional marketing strategies for acquiring better outcomes. They can partner up with sports companies or restaurants for expanding their marketing efforts as a financial institution. Alternatively, they can distribute their logo branded merchandise to their clientele for creating an impression. Or, banks can experiment with the following approaches for maximizing their marketing efforts as a bank:

1. Build a Local, Regional, and National Brand

Building a local, regional, and national brand would allow banks to work their way up to the top. Banks can start with evaluating their current brand. From there, they can start developing branches in local and regional areas, and expand their efforts to building a national brand as a financial institution. When they are promoting their marketing efforts in a limited space, they have the chances of using both digital and traditional marketing tools to penetrate into the marketplace.

2. Acquiring New Clients and Retaining Them

It is immensely important for a financial institution to acquire new clients and retain them to build a long-term and dense customer audience. Banks can develop customer loyalty and referral programs for keeping their customers. Banks can pamper them with logo branded merchandise each time they visit the bank or each time they send a package to to the customer or prospect. It would help the banks and credit unions with establishing a long-term and loyal consultative relationship with their clients.

3. Increase Deposits

Increasing and building deposits at a bank or credit union means expanding their marketing efforts, building partnerships, relationships, trust, and making the proper mergers and acquisitions. It would also make marketing efforts more recognizable and acknowledgeable on a national scale.

4. Cross Sell and Upsell Products

Working with financial marketing experts and digital marketers allow banks and credit unions to cross sell and upsell their financial products to their customers. Banks can come up with new ways to sell their products in multiple ways.

Marketing Strategizers, based in Houston, TX, develops 360° customizable marketing solutions for financial institutions utilizing a consultative approach.

Author's Bio: 

Jason R. Morton is the Founder, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Marketing Strategizers Promotional Products [www.MarketingStrategizers.com], one of the nations leading suppliers of Imprinted Promotional Products & Apparel Solutions for businesses, corporations, non-profits, education, and governmental organizations.

Marketing Strategizers is the leader in developing Customizable Branded Solutions for every client.