Banks in a Squeeze – Need for Marketing Innovation and Efficiency

bank-squeezeDodd Frank legislation will undoubtedly translate into less fee revenue. So how are banks going to make it up?  With rates so low and flush with deposits, many banks are focusing on lending, especially to small business.  But right now there doesn’t seem to be enough demand from qualified borrowers to make up the revenue shortfall. Once again the industry is talking more and more about the need increase revenue per customer, cross selling, building share of wallet. It all means the same thing. The real challenge is that this need is coming right at a time when cost controls are forcing budgets down, including marketing budgets.  That means that bank marketers must find more efficient ways to market.

Banks have plenty of products to sell and plenty of people to sell them.  The big question is how to get their customers to come to them for more of their financial needs. One statistic paints a pretty bleak picture of the industry’s success to date.  Of the average of ten financial products owned by an individual, only two were purchased through a bank. Spending precious marketing dollars by offering a longer and longer list of products is not doing the trick.

There is a very efficient way to solve this problem.  Start talking to customers about what’s on their mind, not just about what products you have to sell. People are looking for help with so many questions about their financial life, especially around life events when they are 43% more likely to buy a financial product. Provide them with the answers and you are the first in line to provide the product solution as well.  Use financial educational content to start these dialogues.  Customers will see it as a value added service.  Not only will this uncover sales opportunities, it will build loyalty.  This means more revenue that stays on the books longer. But offering content that addresses customers’ financial questions is only part of the answer.  The real efficiency comes by leveraging the multiple channels that your customers are using today to deliver the messages in a way that initiates dialogues and leads customers to the exact person that can help them. Several banks are moving in this direction, according to Ken Wells from PremierWest Bank