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3 Ways to Optimize Digital Marketing for Banks and Credit Unions

Melanie Reneris
Mar 25, 2022

“Should you treat all of your customers or members the same way?”

I was listening in on a training session for tellers and customer service representatives when the trainer tossed that very question out to the attendees, sparking a lively discussion. “Yes,” came the instant reply. “All of our accountholders deserve top-notch service.”

The trainer smiled a little mischievously and said, “So you should treat them all the exact same way?” The group thought for a moment, and a few attendees doubled down. “Absolutely,” they asserted. “It shouldn’t matter if someone has ten dollars or ten thousand dollars.”

“Well … not exactly,” ventured one attendee. “I treat everyone well, but that means something different for each person, so I don’t really treat everyone the exact same way. I mean, I don’t send dog treats through the drive-up tube if the person doesn’t have a dog.”

The group laughed, and she continued. “I take more time to chat with the elderly customers who are lonely and use their trips to the bank to socialize, and I speed things up when I know someone is in a hurry.”

“Yes!” exclaimed the trainer. “All of your accountholders should be treated well. But that does not mean that they should all be treated the same way. In fact, if you strive to treat everyone the same way, you’ll miss out on opportunities. Opportunities to develop relationships, to uncover needs, to sell....”

As the discussion continued, one thing became obvious to those frontline attendees: people have individual, unique needs and preferences. To provide the best customer experience, individual interactions should be customized as much as possible.

And yet most digital marketing for banks and credit unions features campaigns that are still providing their website and digital banking visitors with an undifferentiated marketing experience. The same ads and marketing promotions are being delivered to everyone, whether the account or service being sold is appropriate for the visitor or not. It’s the digital version of offering dog treats to absolutely everyone through the drive-up, dog status notwithstanding.

Strategies to Optimize Digital Marketing for Banking to Deliver the Best Customer Experience

So how can banks and credit unions level up their digital marketing for customer experience? Consider these three opportunities to create the best customer experience for each of your individual account holders.

Use Browsing Data to Inform Ad Presentation

Modern websites can easily track a visitor’s on-site browsing history and then use that information to present contextually relevant offers. Did the visitor head to your consumer section and then look at your checking accounts? Use smart marketing features to automatically display a banner ad for your new checking promotion – not your new auto loan rates or promo of the month – the next time they visit your home page.

Remember Signed-In Marketing

What can be more helpful to a marketer than knowing ahead of time that an ad is relevant to a particular viewer? That’s exactly what marketers get when an accountholder has signed into digital banking. You know exactly who is seeing your message, and – if you’re leveraging core data to market products or services you know the accountholder isn’t using at your institution – can capitalize on that knowledge to present timely and relevant offers inside digital banking. Improve your digital marketing even more by tracking who clicked on or viewed a particular ad and tie that information to your CRM for personalized follow-up. For the trifecta, include a call-to-action (CTA) link in each ad that automatically populates the accountholder’s information on the offer fulfillment screen.

Create Accessible Digital Banking Customer Experiences

Conforming to WCAG 2.1 and Section 508 guidelines should be more than a compliance or audit requirement – it’s about access and ensuring all of your site visitors can effectively access the information on your digital channels. Is your content presented in a way that makes sense to screen-reading software, if a site visitor uses it? Are you providing video captions for visitors without speakers, those who have trouble hearing, or anyone in an environment where they can’t have their sound on? If your digital platforms aren't accessible to all, you’re not just providing bad service or opening yourself up to compliance issues, you’re leaving easy digital marketing opportunities on the table.

It’s not just in-branch experiences that give today’s banks and credit unions the opportunity to provide relevant, contextual experiences for their accountholders. Modern website and digital banking providers offer integrated features that make it easy to provide accountholders and site visitors with marketing experiences that are differentiated and significant.

Take the time to examine your digital marketing efforts with a critical eye and ensure you’re not offering dog treats to everyone. Your cat-loving (and pony-, gerbil-, and fish-loving) accountholders will appreciate it.

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