When rolling out programs to account holders, financial institutions often forget that marketing is a journey and not a destination. Let’s say, for instance, that you offer a program rewarding your account holders for debit and credit purchases. You make a big marketing splash rolling it out. But if you ignore it later and don’t keep it in front of your account holders, you’ll end up with a flop.
Who’s Into Rewards Programs?
Rewards programs appeal to many consumers — as long as they are being promoted. The old saying “out of sight, out of mind” applies here. After all, your account holder can’t act on what they don’t know (or don’t remember).
Depending on how your offer compares to your competition, your rewards program can attract new account holders, especially Millennials. A whopping 80 percent of Millennials participate in loyalty and rewards programs, and nearly 9 out of 10 that do consider them valuable.
But in order to keep your big splash from becoming a big flop, your marketing efforts need to keep pace. Focus on using your rewards program as a way to build relationships with account holders and not just to land new ones.
How Do Account Holders View Their Relationships With Their Financial Institutions?
The vast majority (about 80 percent) of account holders consider their relationship with their financial institution as transactional in nature. They go into their bank or credit union to move, deposit or withdraw money — and that’s it.
On the other hand, over 20 percent of account holders describe their relationship as advice or relationship driven. They go into the branch or online to their financial institution’s website to get consultation on how to improve their financial well-being.
A growing number of consumers, especially Millennials, want their financial institutions to provide advice and information. They want help getting from Point A to Point B financially.
So what can you do to improve and deepen the relationship with your account holders? Not surprisingly, what you offer and how you offer it can encourage prospects to become account holders. Bundling a rewards program into an advice-driven introduction can help you acquire new households.
The same applies to existing account holders. Maximizing cross-sell opportunities by bundling products attached to financial advice deepens both your relationship and your wallet share.
Bundling, onboarding and cross-selling are all key relationship strategies. Work with your marketing team to get the message out — consistently — to existing account holders and to prospects about your special offers and rewards.