Consumer credit is an extremely competitive space. Banks, lenders, and credit card providers compete against each other to win over new and existing customers with personalized rewards, flexible spending limits, low APRs, and more. To be successful, financial institutions are turning to data-driven marketing tactics to get in front of consumers and influence their behavior in engaging and innovative ways.
Like any other industry, marketing in finance comes with its own set of unique considerations and requirements. By understanding these intricacies, marketers are able to successfully earn portfolio shares from their competition and build loyal lifelong relationships with consumers.
Stay compliant, but efficient
Along with universal regulations that apply to all digital marketing, from recent GDPR and CCPA laws to the possible deprecation of third-party cookies, financial marketers face their own unique set of regulations and standards that they must adhere to.
For example, the Truth in Savings Act (TISA) requires banks to be transparent with consumers regarding certain information when promoting checking and savings accounts. Essentially, TISA protects consumers from deceptive marketing content and holds the bank accountable for how it talks about the account services it offers.
Other regulations like UDAAP (Unfair, Deceptive and Abusive Acts or Practices) protect consumers from harmful or misleading information. For credit card providers, they must adhere to Regulation Z (part of the Loan Truth Act) requiring them to disclose certain terms and conditions in their marketing materials.
Advertisements for banks must also have an FDIC member disclosure in each advertisement. Credit unions, which are insured by the National Credit Union Administration, also require that the copy of the ad read “Federally Insured By NCUA.” These are just a few of the many different information and guidelines that financial marketers are responsible for.
Ultimately, these regulations aim to protect consumers and provide them with the most honest and transparent advertising experience possible. In addition to the legal ramifications of non-compliance, advertisers who fail to comply run the risk of losing the trust of their customers, a very difficult challenge to overcome.
Reach out to customers (new and old) at all touchpoints
Financial institutions have different marketing objectives than other industries such as retail or consumer staples. Success in the financial industry depends on the ability to establish and develop long-term relationships with consumers, as opposed to one-off transactions. Converting a new “sale“, in this case, is just the beginning of the overall relationship between a bank or credit union and the consumer. Understanding how to leverage marketing channels to reach consumers at every touchpoint and every phase of this long-term relationship is crucial for success.
By investing in marketing strategies that fuel the top and bottom sales funnel, financial marketers can build and maintain positive relationships with customers – not just enticing them to apply for a credit card or open a business account. savings, but also help maintain customer satisfaction and bring new opportunities to expand this relationship.
To do this, marketers need to invest in an omnichannel strategy. Consumers are active on many different channels and platforms, and it’s important to be in front of them every step of the way – from social media and billboards, to TV and OTT. This ensures that a brand is a priority when a consumer decides to change banks or get a new credit card.
Leverage different strategies to achieve different goals
When planning an omnichannel strategy, each channel should have a designated goal with its own set of KPIs to measure success. When investing in strategies like display and prospecting research and larger influencer campaigns, for example, marketers can increase overall brand awareness. On the other hand, investing in low funnel strategies like affiliate links on comparison and review sites, money management apps, branded search terms, etc. can help directly generate new applications.
The use of these different channels will also change over time as business priorities continue to evolve. For example, if a bank is launching a new credit card, a marketer may look to invest more in TV and OTT commercials in order to educate as many existing and potential new customers as possible about the new card offering.
Over the next quarter, if the same bank launches a new mobile app to help customers manage their accounts, the business priorities have changed and therefore the marketing goals are expected to change. Instead of investing heavily in TV and OTT, the budget should be reduced and allocated to more performance-oriented marketing strategies, such as prospecting and using financial influencers to reach new audiences. They should also look to retargeting and branded search terms to help convert engaged customers and drive app downloads. As the needs of the business change, so does the role of marketing.
Keep up to date with the latest
As technologies, capabilities, regulations and priorities change, financial marketers need to stay on top of the latest and greatest. Especially in an industry that is as heavily regulated and privacy-focused as finance. Those who are not at the forefront will lose consumer confidence. By remaining vigilant about changes in the digital landscape, financial marketers will prepare for long-term success.