Shifting Your Bank’s Marketing to Take Advantage of Rapid Digital Adoption

By John Oxford

With the obvious acceleration of digital banking technology adoption—which, if this is news to you, you may have been quarantining too hard—how can bank marketers shift their media placement to take advantage of this uptick?

If you need a primer on digital acceleration and fintech adoption, check out this recent ABA Banking Journal article, Digital Transformation, Accelerated, and a recent article in Forbes on the surge in online account openings.

Now that we’re all educated and updated on digital banking, there are some solid marketing moves marketers should be making, especially as we move into budgeting season for 2021. This column assumes your bank has an online account opening process. If not, go visit with IT, your innovation area or core and read no further. Do not pass go and collect $200. If you do have an online account opening apparatus, read on.

Start with shifting the delivery of your marketing message to a medium that can convert. TV, billboards, print, radio and many traditional advertising mediums are great for branding but it’s often hard to track their direct attribution. I still believe branding is the most important part of marketing. However, once you’ve budgeted for branding and your topline name ID goals, it is time to consider how your marketing spend can directly convert prospects and grow current client wallet share.

Here are some thoughts on tactics to consider:

1. Build landing pages for your specific product or campaign. Too often, a beautiful and well-curated campaign can fail because its click-thru leads to the bank’s homepage that doesn’t directly link to the product being marketed. In addition, if your marketing is being viewed over mobile, make sure the landing page is built for mobile optimization. Yes, it’s 2020 and yet I see sites all the time that are horrible pinch-and-grab versus built for mobile consumption.

2. Target both clients and prospects. Too often we forget growing our current clients’ wallet share for the shiny new prospects. But you already have most, if not all, of the data you need to market to your current clients. From email to social to digital display, targeting your current clients for product add-ons and changing banking habits … Mobile check deposit versus drive-throughs anyone?

3. Social Media is for real, so use it. Banks have too often played social media as a defensive communication tool to announce holiday closings, respond to complaints and randomly post the good deeds they do in their communities with no real branding or eventual content-to-conversion strategy. Go on the offensive with content ideas, make sure you have a click to the landing pages mentioned above and keep the pedal down on repetitive posting, boosting and promoting.

4. Leverage partnerships. While influencers in the Instagram-sense may be a little too risky for most banks, you likely still have many clients that do a better job on social media than you. Look to promote each other, which can lead to all kinds of new opportunities.

5. Shift your call(s) to action. Make sure your messaging over digital moves from drop by/stop by our branch or call us for more information, to: Click here to sign up. Why ask a client to use a different channel when the one they are on can originate your product right there with maximum efficiency?

While there are more sophisticated ways to convert clients over digital channels to meet your market where they are, no matter the size of your bank, now is the time to fully embrace and engage the online account opening process and the digital marketing to support it.

To hear more of this topic, listen to this week’s Marketing Money Podcast with Josh Mabus of the Mabus Agency and me at

John Oxford, director of marketing at Renasant Bank, and Josh Mabus, president of the Mabus Agency, are co-hosts of the Marketing Money Podcast.