Ebenezer Asumang’s FUTURE OF BANKING: Leveraging digital marketing strategies to thrive in COVID-19 pandemic – (2)

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“If you compare banks to companies like Google, it`s evident that banks are still at the nascent stage of the digital and data revolution.”

—-Vik Atal, Independent Board Director at Goldman Sachs

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has almost ravaged every fabric of society worldwide and the banking industry has had its first share of the turbulence. Banks worldwide are feeling the enormous pressure this pandemic is mounting because of the impact on business operations specifically in relation to its clientele. It is therefore crucial that banks take full advantage of the new revolution of the digital world by adopting marketing strategies that will help them weather the storm corona from corona virus.

There are many digital marketing strategies banks can take advantage of during this period and that can help them absorb the accompanying shocks of the pandemic. There’s a digital marketing divide between what financial marketers know they should be doing and what they are actually doing and that puts the banking industry behind the curve.

  1. Maximize Mobile Marketing

Mobile Apps – This is no longer a luxury but increasingly becoming a necessity for banks to increase clientele base and satisfy client needs across board. Without an appealing mobile app, visitors may be frustrated and will judge your brand. Everyone is using mobile apps, with millennials and women among the groups with the highest utilization. So talk to your vendor about your options if your mobile app is lacking or a source of negative feedback.

Email Design – Your emails should be designed and coded so that they display flawlessly on mobile phones. Most emails will be opened by consumers on a mobile device, so financial marketers should plan accordingly. Emails will render slightly differently across email clients, so be sure to thoroughly test your email templates to maximize the mobile user experience.

Responsive Design – If you still haven’t redesigned your website using responsive design, there’s simply no excuse in this day and age. Visitors expect their site to be mobile responsive, and if isn’t, it positions your institution as behind the times. What’s more, Google will heavily penalize your rankings if your site isn’t mobile friendly.

Mobile-Optimized Add Campaigns – All of your campaigns need to be mobile-optimized. From mobile-specific ads to responsive landing pages, your mobile experience should be seamless. Additionally, if you are using a third-party vendor, their mobile experience is critical, so don’t settle for “good enough” but be sure that their mobile experience is top-notch.

  1. Leverage your Website to improve Customer Service

Your website is essentially a digital branch. It’s critical that you maximize this channel to deliver customer service 24 hours a day for the entire year. Whether you love your current website or not, there are always opportunities to improve it. Focus on the things customers need the most e.g., help with online banking, finding your routing number, accessing current rates, finding a nearby branch or ATM, or asking a general question. These can be done through:

Provide a simple contact form – It’s amazing how many financial institutions don’t do this. It provides easy way for visitors to contact you, ensuring your service team receives inquiries in a timely and structured manner. Saving submitted forms in a database will afford you the opportunity to periodically analyze queries and look for common themes, giving you an objective, data-driven method to improve your website (such as your FAQ section) or other channels.

Present integrated service Options – Like many institutions, you have likely added self-service options over time. However, from a visitor perspective, it is important to present all service options together to give the visitor choices — a true “Omni channel buffet”. A help button, contact link and/or section of your page should present the call center number, a contact form, FAQs, chat, a knowledgebase, social media and any other customer service options. Keeping this organised will go a long way to giving visitors the feeling that your website is clear and helpful, while supporting a positive brand impression.

  1. Concentrate on Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)

This simply means focusing on increasing the percentage of visitors that take the desired action on any given webpage. You’re putting a lot of time, effort and money into marketing tactics and you need to understand what’s working well and what’s not. This can be done in any of these ways:

A/B Testing – If you have A/B testing technology within your Content Management System (CMS) or email platform, you should use it this year. A/B testing will allow you to change something seemingly minor on your page to see if it impacts conversion. Something as small as the colour of a button might significantly impact conversion, but you won’t know unless you test it out.

Landing Pages – A landing page is a dedicated page that specifically supports a specific desired action. This strips out all unnecessary elements, so that the visitor is entirely focused on your desired conversion. Every bank should have at least one landing page template as part of its website.

Usability Testing – Website redesigns are the perfect time to implement usability testing, but you can also implement usability testing on your current site, or a key campaign landing page. Usability testing allows you to confirm assumptions and fix items before it could cost you conversions.

  1. Amplify your Analytics Data

You likely have Google Analytics. You might also be a bit bewildered when you look at the data, struggling to entirely understand what it all means. How you should be using the data? What’s the most relevant ways it should be leveraged? You are not alone because with the right data, you can help answer questions from your CEO and CFO about the ROI of your marketing efforts. Google Analytics will only tell you so much “out of the box,” but if you know how to utilize the raw data, it can be a tremendous resource. Here are a couple of ways you can maximize your analytics intelligence:

Google Tag Manager – Adding custom analytics code to your site can be a cumbersome effort involving web developers, and adding too much tracking code can slow down your site’s performance. Instead, creating a Google Tag Manager account and linking it to your existing site analytics account is a must. Once it’s up and running, all of your tracking code can be placed within that account, and you can then setup goals and dashboards to see the data’s performance.

Third-Party Tracking – Knowing that visitors are clicking on Apply Now is a nice start. Knowing that they actually submitted a loan application is a big victory. Adding tracking code to your third-party vendors’ sites will allow you to connect the dots between your marketing efforts, and provide you the knowledge you need to answer that persistent ROI question. You will want to contact each of your vendors to find out if they allow for tracking code on their sites. Then you will want to work with a vendor who understands custom analytics, so that you can be positive that everything is running properly, and that you have the dashboards you need in Google Analytics to understand the data.

Conclusion

Digital marketing strategies deliver information to audiences and invest an institution’s money in things that will keep audiences engaged, happy and loyal. Investing resources in customer service, advanced analytics, mobile marketing, conversion rates and integrated marketing is crucial to increase ROI. Focusing on the fundamentals of digital marketing, rather than checking the box on the latest online craze, will help drive results for the bank all year round.

 

About the Writer:

Ebenezer ASUMANG (CGIA) worked extensively in mainstream banking and NBFIs. He is a Google Certified Digital Marketer, an Author and a Chartered member of the CGIA Institute, USA.

www.ebenezerasumang.com /[email protected]/0242339145

LinkedIn – Ebenezer Asumang

Facebook – Ebenezer Asare Asumang

Twitter –   @kwabenasumang

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