By John Oxford
Over the past eight to 10 weeks, we’ve noticed a juxtaposing of consumer and business banking. Due to the byproduct of pandemic operational adjustments in the banking industry and the government’s safety net of the Paycheck Protection Program bankers have experienced an interesting service split: Consumer banking has thrust itself headlong into digital adoption, while business banking has seemingly turned back the clock and become all about relationships again.
Let’s examine each and how we marketers can take advantage of these shifts as well as support the needs of our clients and bankers.
First, double down on your digital. If your bank had been waiting to add mobile check deposit or a P2P Zelle-style payment application to your mobile banking offerings, well, the wait is over.
Nearly all bank marketing peers I’ve spoken with lately have reported experiencing high double-digit increases in most mobile and online activity since the COVID-19 crisis began. It’s as if someone found the fast forward button and moved online banking behavior ahead a few years. And adoption and usage rates should stay higher now that consumer banking actions have been adjusted. What does this mean for bank marketing?
It means your marketing may need to shift to more digital content and digital account opening applications. Not applications as in mobile download apps but as in the ones that open checking accounts or allow future clients to apply for loans. In these podcasts and columns, I like to offer advice in threes, so here are three thoughts for consumer bank marketing as our communities reopen:
1. Enhance your website, its design and its content
If you have ever thought about updating your website, now is the time. It is now more than ever your most important branch. In this same vein, it is now time to figure out your SEO strategy and your digital content branding strategy. And execute it!
2. Keep the pedal to the metal on teaching clients
A big rise in the adoption of digital banking behavior came from the senior demographic. They were originally either uncomfortable with moving their banking to digital or never took the time because it wasn’t broken just yet. But now these customers are our market segment most vulnerable to COVID, so digital banking has become not only just an efficient way to bank—it’s become the safest.
3. Adjust your ad spending to marketing that can be delivered over digital.
And if you haven’t, you’re already behind. Geo-fencing, email, web, social media, SEM and any way of reaching your client by digital means moves to the front of your marketing mix.
Turning from consumer banking to the commercial side, we’re finding that—thanks to PPP—being a relationship-driven business banker is currently somewhere next to sainthood. As business owners were worried about their ability to…