Staying Top of Mind for the Right People

Changes are on the horizon.

But 2024 means more than a presidential election and the Summer Olympics in Paris.

Take the retail banking industry, for example. Did you know that 8 to 12% of U.S. adults in a given market will switch their financial institution over the course of a year? Each year, consumers get fed up with their bank or credit union for one reason or another, and the goal is to be the FI they look to when they do.

This is where your marketing comes in. While traditional marketing still matters, a successful marketing strategy now requires messaging across multiple channels, both print and digital. What’s more, FIs must be able to shift and scale marketing across various channels according to the latest data on what works.

It all starts with effective messaging, which must speak directly to consumers’ needs—something that’s more difficult for FIs to understand than one might think. We want to promise quality products, yes, but consumers also choose their next FI based on factors that are not as easily measured. Customer service, branch convenience, community presence, extra features, and FI personality all play a part.

The question your marketing must answer is: “Why should someone pick your institution over any number of other institutions?” Pinpoint those features and make them central to your message while underscoring the characteristics everyone wants in their FI (reliability, stability, security). Make the choice a no-brainer for anyone looking to switch.

Once you have your message in place, the task is to get it in front of the right people in the right ways. The data tells us that, for community-based FIs like yours, this will entail a combination of highly targeted print marketing and outbound digital marketing. This ensures multiple instances of exposure to your best prospects across their visited websites, search engines, phones, and mailboxes. Creating a “surround-sound” approach in your marketing is fundamental to optimizing the growth of your customer base.

Let’s look at this strategy in action: Imagine a young adult who is new in town and seeking a new bank or credit union for their financial services. First, they do some Googling and see your search ad right at the top, laying the foundation for brand awareness and a new relationship. Perhaps they even visit your site and discover you have a free checking account and branches near where they live and work. Even once they navigate away, they will continue to see your display ads on other sites.

But they want to be sure they are choosing the right FI. The next day, they ask around at work and on social. Coworkers, friends, and other locals are happy to tell them all about your simple products, great features, and friendly staff, putting you firmly at the top of their list. Finally, they return home to find a postcard in their mailbox explaining all about your account offerings, perks, and thank-you gift. At this point, they’ve made their decision.

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