“The tough part is that you can’t be everything to everyone. You need to truly be disciplined about how you identify your target audience and how you go after that target audience.”
“The tough part is that you can’t be everything to everyone,” Hill said. “You need to truly be disciplined about how you identify your target audience and how you go after that target audience.” Customer segmentation can help you identify your best target audience, so you can see how best to customize your products.
In fact, leading businesses are developing customer segmentation that goes beyond demographics and product interest. These businesses often look at common beliefs, goals, behaviors and purchase drivers for each segment. Such factors can evolve over time, so active segmentation is essential as banks develop unique targeting strategies and services that will resonate.
Apply modern marketing tactics beyond customer acquisition
Marketing is traditionally focused on acquiring new customers or cross-selling to existing customers. But future-ready banks are using marketing tactics with a broader scope and generating impressive outcomes. At its core, marketing helps businesses understand customers, generate awareness, and drive business. Digital marketing offers an “always on” approach to these functions, constantly measuring individual customer engagement, interests, preferences and feature use.
With such a detailed view of each customer, you can present the most attractive solutions using the best channels. You can target customers with personalized offers and nurture interest through value-add activity even when customers aren’t in a direct buying situation. By demonstrating value and relationship-driven activity on a frequent basis, you can be at the front of the line when they are ready to buy.
Modern marketing drives real product differentiation and customer acquisition, but it can be even more effective at getting maximum value from a bank’s existing customer portfolio.
Build trust through digital excellence
How can a bank build trust? In some respects, that answer doesn’t change with the move to digital banking – a bank must consistently deliver excellent service. That means your digital options need to be more than functional – they need to deliver a level of excellence that defines your reputation. To a growing number of customers, your digital experience defines your bank.
“Many banks will say banking is all about personal relationships, and some banks do truly focus on that,” Hill said. “But I believe that banking is often a utility, whether it’s consumer or commercial. People do trust face-to-face contact, but we’re seeing that you can still build that same level of trust, both on the consumer and business side, through seamless and efficient interactions with a great customer experience.”
Use branches to educate
While bank branches will likely serve a smaller role in the future, they are still an important part of the overall customer experience. Once a bank has developed an excellent digital experience, branches can provide a point of personal connection that helps to transition customers into that digital experience or provide a deeper, local-friendly experience as a complementary channel.
Rather than standing behind a desk, tellers can come out with a tablet and help address customer needs while showing the customers how to use digital options on their own. That’s one way to help customers feel comfortable going into a branch, but also help them see that there are quick and intuitive ways to meet their needs online.
“There’s value in using a branch more as an education facility, as opposed to a true transaction facility, because you have a segment of customers that either don’t know how to use digital channels or haven’t taken the time to learn,” Hill said. Some banks might feel that their customers will never ask for digital options. But online retail draws new users of all ages every year – and raises their expectations – while recent months have seen people who never thought they’d make a video call quickly adopt that technology and other online interactions.
A future-ready approach
Every bank needs to find its own strategy to balance its branches with its digital capabilities. The key is to understand the changing market factors and intentionally identify how your bank can still acquire, engage and retain customers who have evolving expectations.
To find the right balance, and the right strategy for your bank, you need a future-ready approach that helps you intentionally define where you are now, which customers you want to target and what you need to change.