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Personalized Marketing in Branch Banking

June 26, 2014


By Meredith J. Deen, COO at FMSI
We all know the Golden Rule:  Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  Fundamentally, the rule is encouraging us to treat people properly, just like we would want to be treated.  But, a newer philosophy in marketing, personalized marketing, is really encouraging us to treat account holders how THEY want to be treated.  Just providing great service to account holders is no longer enough.  With so much information available through social media, consumers today are becoming more and more annoyed by cookie-cutter service experiences.  They are expecting to receive a higher level of personalization.

Are you treating your account holders how they want to be treated?  Or, are you trying to have every product and service in hopes that the variety of needs are served?  How do you get to a place where you can understand the needs, the preferred communication style, and deliver on those needs?

Understanding Your Strategy

Before you get started with personalized marketing, it’s important for you to understand your own strategy.  Once you start to identify different demographics amongst your current account holder base, you will need to have a guide as to whether you want to maintain those demographics, or reach others.  Your strategy can help define everything from the types of products you want to offer to how your branch design should support account holders.

Undergoing the exercise of defining your strategy and the account holder base you want to serve can also enable you to understand the profitability of those account holders and if your strategy is on the right course.

Understanding Your Account Holders

There are two key components to understanding your account holders:  what they need and how they want to obtain it.  It’s important to align the delivery of your message to how the account holder wants to receive it.

For example, if Kim, a recent college graduate, visits the branch and shares that she’ll be looking for a new car in a couple of months, there are many items that you should capture in lobby management tools, like FMSI’s Lobby Tracking System™ (LTS), in order to promote personalized marketing.  Obviously, you want to note that the account holder is looking for a car and may be interested in a car loan and the timing.  It’s also important to note other information, like if she prefers to be contacted via text or phone.  Another idea is to note what she’s seeking in a car, that way, when you get the alert about it being time for her loan, you could send a text message saying:

Hey Kim!  Did you find that convertible Mustang you wanted?  We have great rates, and you’re pre-approved! : )

Now Kim wants to do business with you because you are speaking directly to her, in the way she likes.

Tracking Information/Defining Success

Once you have a handle on your strategy and your account holder’s needs, tracking the success of your marketing plans is crucial.  As mentioned in the earlier example, a lobby management system can help you track your account holders’ preferences in order to enhance your personalized marketing.

In a recent case study on Patriot Federal Credit Union, Darby Fritsche, Director of Member Service, stated it best:

“LTS helps us know exactly what services our members desire, and knowing what services members desire and providing those services is the credit union’s formula for success.”

lobby management solution can also help ensure that you are achieving your defined strategy.  The real-time reporting in LTS shows if your cross-selling efforts are yielding more sales.  You can also assess individual and branch performance in order to ensure that team members are all practicing personalized marketing.

In a time where your smart-phone proactively tells you how long it will take for you to get home from work, consumers demand to be treated special.  People want their financial institution to truly know who they are.  When you speak with your account holders in the way they want, you build emotional engagement.  Brand X won’t be able to compete with that.

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