Creating customer impulse decisions at a bank

target_marketing_2We all know what target campaigns are. This is where you pull out all your weapons (CRM, MCIF, etc.) to develop the perfect segmentation of your customer base. Knowing who to target when, where and how. And with the technology that’s out there today, the possibilities to create such a perfect list are more realistic then five or ten years ago.

But what about the customers being targeted. How do we (marketers) know that it’s 100% the right time to deliver a specific message? The answer, we don’t. And unless someone finds a loop hole for the legal right to place hidden thermal cameras in their customer’s homes to listen in on family dinner time or during private gatherings, there will never be a magic solution to this old marketing dilemma.

The only true way to ensure your marketing messages are touching your customers at the right time is by positioning your institution as place to get answers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  In today’s information rich culture where over 72% of our population (United States) has access to the Internet, people are taking it upon themselves to find answers to their questions.  If you’re not taking the steps to position your bank or credit union as a place to go to find answers, then you’re behind in the new age of marketing.  Gone are the days of product marketing.  In are the days of education marketing.

When you focus on developing good, easy to read education that helps your customers with their financial questions, you set yourself up for impulse decision making.  Unlike impulse buying at the mall, the impulse decision in the financial world may be a customer willing to download a helpful guide on how to send their kids to college.  It may be a customer willing to submit their name to one of your professionals who’s offering up free advice.  The impulse customer is not always ready to buy, but we’re also not talking about the latest Britney Spears album. We’re talking about complex products and services such as investments, insurance, trust and lending services.  These are tough decisions that need careful consideration.  However, by positioning the education first instead of the product, you’re ahead of the game in winning a new relationship.

This doesn’t mean that you should throw target marketing out the window.  In fact, you should leverage your target and segmented list to create the impulse mindset.  Next time you create a targeted campaign, think about the message you’re using.  Are you talking up your latest products?  Or are you setting the stage for your institution as a place to go to get answers?