Few industries are experiencing the kind of negative push-back that consumers reserve for banks. If they're not looking over their shoulder in fear of a general economic collapse, consumers are concerned that their own personal financial situation is threatened. Executives at banks of all sizes understand they need to improve their image and communicate a message of stability and optimism this year.
Surveyed bankers acknowledge that they have detected growing consumer angst by listening to feedback via call center interactions, account closure data and formal customer surveys. A report from the Chief Marketing Officer Council outlines how banks intend to shift their focus. One key element of change will be a bigger commitment of marketing budgets to the digital format.
Financial services executives believe digital media will help them to lower production costs, improve measurement and tracking, and deliver more engaging and compelling content. Here are the preferred ways today’s bankers plan to deliver their branded marketing content:
- Website 76%
- Social media pages/posting 47%
- Online/mobile video 41%
- Print magazines 39%
- Online communities/affinity groups 31%
Not surprisingly, the top ways to measure the performance of these efforts are customer acquisition (66%), reaction and response levels (62%) and loyalty and retention rates (55%).
But bankers concede that the digital outreach will not increase loyalty among all their customers. Many consumers still want the personal touch when they have questions or problems. Clients are contacting account relationship managers (54%) and call centers (52%) or they visit branch offices (48%) to get their questions answered. For now, only 2% use mobile messaging. This kind of feedback suggests that some customers aren't yet ready to go digital and banks might want to reserve some of their marketing dollars for traditional media in order to reach this group.[Source: Delivering Positive Impressions During Market Depressions. CMOCouncil.org. December 2011. Web. 31 Jan. 2012]