Just like all bank products aren’t the same, all marketing channels are not the same. Some are more effective than others for creating value. Some channels need to be used in specific ways in order to be most effective. While we have looked at how we measure marketing value (HERE) and the importance of having clear marketing objectives (HERE), here we combine the two frameworks together to analyze which marketing channels deliver our bank the most effective return. By applying the data in this article, banks can either achieve greater revenue or be able to reduce their budget by optimizing their marketing channel portfolio.
Movement Along the Pipeline
When we discussed measuring marketing value, we highlighted our methodology for assigning a value to the movement of a prospect between pipeline stages. In this analysis, we also look at how different channels are more or less effective at certain stages. While a bank’s website works well in every marketing scenario, things like in-person cold calls are better used once the prospect has information about the bank and is close to making a decision. Similarly, social media is good for working with customers in the early stages of the sales process either by introducing the bank or introducing a product, but we see very few times when social media is effective at conversions. The same goes for search. Leveraging content paid search or organic search engine optimization (SEO) is good in the early stages but not that effective in moving a customer that is already introduced to the bank to a point of conversion.
Below is our effectiveness ranking broke out by channel and stage. As a reminder, we have five sales stages (HERE) with marketing responsible for the first two stages (“Early Stage”) and sales responsible for the last three states (“Late Stage”).
Putting This into Action
Like a loan portfolio, bank marketers have a variety of channel options to deliver their value proposition and message. Bankers need to first be clear on their objective and then figure out what channel can best deliver the message in the most efficient way possible. Part of this decision depends on what the message is. Testimonials and social validation content, for example, work best on a website or email instead of being delivered by hand. The same goes for product information during the early stage. However, more complicated information is usually best delivered in-person, on a phone call or by video/eBook via email.
If your bank just has a sales program, it may take almost three years to land a quality commercial customer. However, with an optimized marketing program, this time can be shortened to less than a year. Bank marketing can help find prospects that are closer to deciding on a banking product than just randomly calling on any given prospect. Alternatively, effective bank marketing can keep your brand in front of the prospect and move the customer along the pipeline without having to make an in-person sales call or having the prospect come into the branch.
Submitted by Chris Nichols on March 20, 2018