The beauty of financial services audiences is their diversity. What might seem like a monolithic group of current and potential customers includes several segments with varying interests and diverse responses to the marketing approaches and tactics you may use. Essentially, not everyone engages with you the same way, in the same place, or at the same time.
For this reason, you should not lean too heavily on a set of tried-and-tested marketing channels. Instead, an evolving omnichannel program combining proven strategies with new, emerging channels gives financial institutions the flexibility to reach people with timely and relevant messaging in ways that resonate.
As you progress into the journey of digitizing the customer experience, remember omnichannel includes the critical non-digital side of the equation too. To maximize customer and member satisfaction, banks and credit unions must effectively combine digital and traditional channels to create seamless omnichannel offerings.
Fortunately, there are several innovative tactics and tools to help you flesh out the approach that works best for your institution. Here are three important tactics to consider and how they may help you appeal to every segment of your audience:
The worthwhile shiny new object: Connected TV (or CTV)
The “cord-cutting” conversation has been going on for some time now, but it’s an either/or proposition. You can either evaluate the right mix of linear TV and connected TV or risk narrowing their reach.
Pour too much money into traditional TV watchers, and you may miss out on the cord-cutters who primarily use streaming media. Tip the scales too far toward CTV investment, and you risk alienating traditional TV viewers.
CTV offers an additional advantage. It allows brands to show their ads to a specific set of consumers. Advertising on CTV will result in better targeting and thus will lead to improved results. Research from Vericast shows 49 percent of consumers say streaming TV ads are more relevant to their interests than traditional TV spots, with 69 percent of 25- to 34-year-olds agreeing with this sentiment.
The trick here for banks and credit unions is to find the right mix. Unlike online shopping, the target audience for financial services will be present everywhere and will be among all age groups. Be it Gen Z or baby boomers, while both these groups might not have the same online presence, they will need banking services and hence the need to be present on traditional TV as well as CTV.
The reliable performer: direct mail
With the recent emergence of contactless consumer engagement, direct mail has been an effective outreach component of omnichannel marketing campaigns, especially when paired with digital complements. Direct mail seems to be having a moment with consumers, especially younger ones, with 68 percent of respondents to Vericast’s consumer survey using coupons they received in the mail. Another Vericast study reported that 65 percent of parents and 70 percent of millennials routinely peruse direct mail.
More than the potential value and savings direct mail provides, it’s a tool that does something that few other marketing strategies can manage: It puts something in your audience’s hand. A direct mail campaign is a tangible call to action that goes directly to the home in a way that can stand out to consumers.
The comeback kids: augmented and virtual reality
IDTechEx expects the virtual reality industry to be worth $8 billion by 2030, with AR and VR projected to grow to $30 billion over that same period. AR and VR aren’t new technologies by any means, but the opportunity to apply them practically — as you would in consumer engagement — is finally starting to gain steam, according to trends reported by Marketing Insider Group.
AR and VR enable banks and credit unions to bring their products and experiences to consumers on their terms and at their convenience, which is quite handy considering how vital contactless commerce has become. Just look at QR codes. Displaying QR codes at branches enables touchless viewing of institutes of product offering, support, services, connections to social media, gathering reviews and much more.
The desired result of omnichannel marketing: one outcome
Financial institutions should connect all communication forms to deliver a streamlined message to its consumer. You can integrate TV ads, CTV advertising, direct mail campaigns, in-person communication, online chat and support, QR-based information dissemination and product recall, etc.
Banks and credit unions need to react to where people have been, where they are, and where they’re going — to identify, engage, and convert. That happens best when the full range of marketing tactics are on the table. May you dine on success!