Bank lobby digital signage that does double duty

Digital signage is a tool the entire bank can use for not only customer information but employee-specific messaging, too.

By Sharon Klocek-Ibbotson

Bank marketers can win the attention of the C-suite by pumping up the value of their lobbies, increasing the value of an asset. The way to do it is by doubling the duty of digital signage. If, like most banks, digital signage management and costs are owned solely by marketing, then that is who is paying for an asset underutilized by the bank while barely having time to update it. In our 20 years of partnering with financial institutions, we have seen that the vast majority of marketers still bear the brunt of this underfunded expense.

This frustration is compounded for banks with mixed-and-not-matching branches, suffering from slower-than-standard refresh rates for retail spaces, which benefit from solid, consistent customer experiences inside their lobbies.

“[For any bank without digital signage], it’s increasingly difficult to maintain consistency across physical locations, which is important to branding,” says Heather Miltenberger, SVP, director of marketing and business services at Pennian Bank. “With additional compliance concerns, digital signage has become essential for branding and marketing in our lobbies.”

Banks like Pennian win when they establish digital signage as their brand’s keystone—which anchors the customer experience as branch environments change. Then pump up value by using digital signs to benefit their entire organization. Consider this roadmap:

Increase the value of your lobby and the duty of digital signage by:

• Establishing digital signage as your brand keystone or beacon.
• Expanding your messaging to include human resources and operations.
• Automating your content to flow to the screens as much as possible.

“Digital signage is a tool our entire organization uses, for not only customer messaging, but employee specific messaging too,” says Sarah Auer, VP, senior marketing manager, Kennebunk Savings.

It starts with sharing, not owning, digital signage. Good things happen when banks open digital signage usage to HR and operations teams for use before opening hours or after closing.

“Like many other industries, we are struggling with employee acquisition and retention, especially in the branches,” says Audra Hunter, director of retail delivery at Pennian Bank. “We rely on our employees to help cross-sell our services and educate our customers about product offerings that would directly benefit their financial needs.”

Two value-driven examples of digital signage shared with HR

Improved employee communication and satisfaction–without email. Since 30 percent of employees admit they do not read read emails from their employers and nearly 50 percent of employees say receiving fewer emails at work would help to increase their job satisfaction, that’s a huge benefit to your bank’s communication and employee retention efforts.

Improved employee skills and shared knowledge—reinforced visually. Since 65 percent of your employees are visual learners, and visual messages are easier to process and retain, digital signage is the most effective way to reinforce employee skill-building and knowledge sharing. Customer-facing employees who are more tenured, experienced and higher skilled generate far more sales per hour.

Want to add even more value? Include your leadership in the mix. After all, what team does not improve with clear, consistent and inspiring messages from leadership?

Examples of HR, operations, and leadership messages to add to your digital signs before open / after close:

Sharing your digital signage with other departments means you can make a case for sharing the budget expense.

“We moved our digital signage budget to our operations budget when we expanded its use to include our operations center,” says Sarah Auer, VP, senior marketing manager at Kennebunk Savings. ”Digital signage is a tool our entire organization uses, for not only customer messaging, but employee-specific messaging too.”

“We feel it just makes more sense. Also, when we create customer messaging on our digital signs, we focus on non-product messages, such as safety and fraud tips, financial wellness, career opportunities, community impact and volunteer opportunities throughout our communities, to name a few.”

This brings us to the second way to increase your digital signs’ utilization (duty): automating your content flow. Keeping messages updated on your signs about products, financial wellness, career opportunities, community impact, volunteering, and rates is a load on your full schedule. Instead, automate messages as much as you can.

Three ways to automate your messages on digital signage

1. Add your social media or employee social chats to your digital signs. This is the easiest and least expensive way to get more out of your signs. If you are already investing in creating content via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Slack, Yammer or Teams, you can put it on screen as long as your vendor or system supports it. Set media to show just your posts, not comments. You can even moderate what goes to your screens. Most digital signage vendors provide this service for free. If they do not, ask if there is a way to add content via a website address and then use a third-party vendor to add it.

Tip: Make sure to chat with your social media and HR team first. If your teams post without worrying about what comes next, it can result in out-of-date posts on your lobby signs. Consult this guide to social media on signage for best practices. If you need social media to address different branches, work with your signage vendor and social media team to create a keyword system that allows posts to display per location.

2. Mine your website or third-party vendor data for your digital signs. Consider working with your web developer or vendor to create responsive (auto-sizing) web pages to display community hours, rates or other recurring updates brought to screen by adding the website’s URL address. For example, bring your community hours or contributions data into your lobby to inspire employees and satisfy customers.

Tip: If you cannot work with your web developer, ask if your digital signage vendor has programming services that you can hire and set up scripts for mining your website. Ensure that your vendor and web team communicate to avoid issues, as changes to your site can disrupt what displays on the screen.

3. Outsource content creation by using your marketing calendar and shared drive, so all you have to do is approve. Request a quote for a monthly service from a trusted ad agency or the content team of your digital signage vendor. Ask them to review and create media for your digital screens based on your marketing calendar and shared drive assets for a fixed fee. This way, you only need to review the media they send for approval instead of starting from scratch with each new request.

Tip: Make sure you provide any vendor with your brand guide or an example of the look and feel of your brand for onscreen messaging. If your shared source files are print media, coach your creators to simplify the language without altering the meaning. Digital signage messages work best when they are short and to the point. Finally, require a QR code with any call to action so that viewers can engage right from your lobby.

No matter the state of your budget, available time or brick-and-mortar locations, as long as your digital signs are reliably functioning and networked, you can pump up the value of your lobby today with digital signage. You might even boost your organization and your career.

Sharon Klocek-Ibbotson is director of content strategy for Kiosk and Display and a graduate of the ABA Bank Marketing School. She speaks nationally to marketing and business leadership about media, marketing and strategic innovation.