By Ben Pankonin
The digital revolution has upended many things, and bank marketing managers are among those feeling the pinch. Gone are the days of isolated teams and traditional competition. Like it or not, massive change has come for financial marketers, and they must be able to quickly adapt and find solutions to stay relevant.
Nearly all bank marketing issues can be broken down into five core areas: time, analytics, collaboration, competition and speed. By looking at these challenges individually, you can help address the bottlenecks that many bank marketers face.
- Time – There is no doubt that one of the most pressing problems is time. Most days, it may feel that there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to tackle skyrocketing to-do lists while attending meetings and inevitably tackling any other issues that arise on a given day. Bank marketing managers are now facing more responsibilities than ever before, so it’s important to prioritize to make progress.
Solution – Budget for and hire the right vendor(s), because their products will create efficiencies for you and your team. If you’re looking for a new vendor, ask for specifics on how their solutions will save you time. Can their products handle other tasks you may encounter? They just might be willing to take on that next piece for you—or recommend someone who can.
- Analytics – Today’s marketers need to understand technologies like Google Analytics and Facebook Advertising, along with other fintech-related tools. And, of course, the responsibility falls on marketing to know how to use these tools, digest their analytics and make modifications for future campaigns.
Solution – Start small. Determine which metrics are important to your team so you’re able to focus and improve on the data that matters. Every six months, audit what you’re pulling to make sure you aren’t missing any new key metrics.
- Collaboration – Because content marketing continues to evolve, you need to collaborate with experts from different areas of your organization to continually showcase your expertise. For example, bank presidents and loan officers are now generating blogs. But bank marketing managers are responsible for ensuring that content is assigned, written and on brand.
Solution – The easiest solution is to hire a marketing coordinator or content specialist to help with your volume of work. If your budget doesn’t allow for any additional staff, content marketing planning is key. Aim to start a content piece two to three months before you plan to publish it. This will give you plenty of time to collaborate with different areas of your business.
- Competition – In this brave new world, banks face fierce competition not only from other banks, but also from emerging fintech firms. Because of this, it’s important to understand what their advantage is so you can modify messaging to stay competitive and relevant. For example, you may know that one of your competitor’s advantages is a laser focus on particular services that makes them good at acquiring customers. But have you identified the gaps in your competitors’ ability to address all of a customer’s financial needs?
Solution – Set aside a couple of hours each week to research your competition and attend startup events to learn how growing companies think about their marketing. Take detailed notes so you can start implementing new ways to improve your messaging.
- Speed – The speed at which a bank marketer must make decisions is fundamentally different than it was a few years ago. It’s impossible to create an annual plan for an entire year’s worth of content, campaigns and strategy ahead of time. Ferris Bueller was ahead of his time in 1986 when he said “life comes at you fast.” Today’s pace of social media and content marketing means you must move more quickly.
Solution – Focus on long-term strategy but allow for flexibility each day to stay relevant. When your processes are more efficient, you’re able to sign sponsorships and get local content out quicker than your competition.
While time, analytics, collaboration, competition and speed are challenging bank marketers, it’s important to have solutions that help you work through these clogs. Technical, collaborative and efficiency skills need to be honed and mastered to meet the needs of your customers and leads. When you’re able to start solving the challenges that impact your organization, you’ll be able to find solutions to help you market with confidence.
Ben Pankonin is the co-founder and CEO of Social Assurance. Social Assurance provides software tools and solutions for financial marketing and compliance process management. By offering a platform for marketing and compliance process, content and strategy, financial organizations are provided the foundation to market with confidence.