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SIX WAYS BANKS CAN FORGE AN EMOTIONAL BOND WITH CUSTOMERS

13/05/2019

Taj Nota, VP Professional Services UK at NGDATA

We all know what it’s like to be bombarded with irrelevant advertising. Rather than making us want to engage with the brand, too many and the wrong sort of messages will make us grind our teeth in frustration – and perhaps vow never to buy the advertised product in the future.

In the early days of digital advertising, brands had little choice but to follow the “spray and pray” approach of traditional broadcast marketing. The data revolution, however, means that there is no longer any excuse for failing to get the most powerful message to the right customer at the right time, and with the right frequency.

Taj Nota

This applies as much to banks and other financial services firms as it does to consumer brands. By delving deep into customer data, these institutions can gain a true 360o view of each customer, discovering what financial products they use, why they choose them, and how they use them. What’s more, the data can shed invaluable insight into the customer journey and each person’s specific needs at every stage along it.

When it comes to digital, people expect a much more personal and relevant relationship with their bank. That’s why we’ve compiled six top tips for banks that want to make the most of their marketing.

  1. Create “Micro-Moments”

Sometimes it’s important to look at the big picture, but when we want to find something an astonishing 96% of people  turn to their mobile devices. In spite of the small screen and the short engagement time, these “micro-moments” on mobile can be incredibly powerful if they’re done right.

Banking can be ripe for micro-moment marketing, but it requires content and resources to be tightly tailored to each individual. With the help of a savvy SEO and content marketing team, your bank can anticipate everything from the root of your customers’ economic worries to the path of their financial dreams, and use this insight to create articles, videos, and other engaging, rich, and helpful content to answer questions and fuel financial and life goals.

  1. Emphasize the Emotional

One of the key pillars of marketing is to create desire and emotional engagement with the brand. As consumers, we tend not to feel emotional about our financial providers – but few things affect our health and wellbeing as much as our relationship with our money.

Banks should therefore shift their marketing strategy towards the financial-emotional journey: what experiences, life stages, and other touchpoints in the customer lifecycle ultimately lead people to your bank and your financial products? Focus on the moments that matter: graduation, marriage, expanding families, savings, retirement – all the emotional, exciting moments and life experiences that usher customers through your bank’s doors. From there, you can build out your marketing campaigns around these touchpoints, to create purpose-driven marketing campaigns, storytelling initiatives, and other engagement.

  1. Harness the power of AI and chatbots

Few things are more frustrating than hanging on the telephone for ten or fifteen minutes, waiting to get through to our bank’s call centre to perform a routine transaction. With recent advances in artificial intelligence, there’s now no reason why a huge range of customer enquiries can’t be handled by advanced chatbots like Drift and Intercom. These AI-powered tools are good enough to ‘fool’ customers into thinking they’re talking to a human, and provide instant and accurate answers to client questions, via your website chat, social media chat, and other sources.

  1. Make the most of video

Everybody loves video, not least because it can express potentially complex ideas with simplicity and brevity. Every bank should be examining how it can make the most of video, which is the most effective type of content: it encourages existing and potential customers to spend an average 88% more time on your site than they would otherwise. While there’s a place for text, video is perfect for creating the emotional triggers that make digital marketing so effective.

  1. Customize and Personalize

Digital marketing is wasted if it’s not personalised. Customer expect bespoke communications and products – and advanced data analytics can provide them in real-time. Analytics, responsive technologies, customer insights and other data-driven marketing tools enable you to follow customers through their journey, ensuring you can deliver the most highly-personalised communications and services.

  1. From Millennials to Gen Z

It’s no longer all about the Millennials: Generation Z is on the cusp of becoming valuable consumers. They’re getting ready to graduate college, enter the workforce, buy their first new cars, and – soon – get married, purchase their first homes, welcome their first babies, and celebrate other major life milestones.

Ignore Generation Z at your peril. They are already researching where to open their first “adult” bank accounts. Grab them early and form an emotional attachment, and you’ll have a better chance of keeping them throughout their later, more lucrative life stages, like when they need loans or mortgages.

The lesson is clear: the journey to effective, engaging digital marketing starts with customer insight. Get a handle on your data today, and start building an emotional connection with your customers – present and future.

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Finance Derivative is a global financial and business analysis magazine, published by FM.Publishing. It is a yearly print and online magazine providing broad coverage and analysis of the financial industry, international business and the global economy.