Prospecting—Intelligent Farming Strategies
Finding new customers/members is essential to growth for any financial institution. Consider this; there are about 36 million consumers who might be convinced to switch financial institutions. The opportunity is out there. According to an online Harris Poll, 38% of consumers considered opening an account at their neighborhood bank or credit union, but only 5% said they might actually do it. Convincing them to switch to your institution is the challenge.
Prospects are out there and they are interested in switching to local banks and credit unions. To reach and motivate them, your offers must be timely and relevant in addition to websites being easy to find and navigate.
To SEO or SEM …
The first step for most consumers is usually an online search. There are 3.5 billion Google searches a day! And that grows about 10% every year. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) have been around a while now. When implemented properly, there should be an increase in the quality and quantity of web traffic. SEO attracts organic traffic to your site and takes more time to build. But it is unique to your brand and message. And it’s free. SEM isn’t. For an established fee, SEM helps gain visibility and funnel traffic to your site. In its ideal form, your institution appears at or near the top of the search results page.
This is not an either/or proposition. They both increase traffic and brand credibility; they both need to be part of your marketing budget. SEO may take more time to ramp up, however, it’s more sustainable and not easy for competitors to imitate. On the other hand, SEM delivers faster results, scales easily and targets specific segments. Used together, they optimize your search strategy to drive more viable leads.
When developing your search engine strategy:
- Determine keywords based on strengths
- Create compelling, keyword-rich content
- Tell your unique story
- Think like a customer/member
Mobile has disrupted everything by transforming customer experience and expectations. The one term tied to mobile is “on the go.” People are no longer attached to one place. Location-based marketing takes advantage of that mobility by delivering offers based on physical proximity.
Geo-fencing creates a virtual perimeter around a business solely to target advertising. When a compatible device enters the perimeter, it receives an alert and/or email. For example, if a potential lead is playing on their phone within a defined perimeter, the lead might receive targeted advertisements for other businesses within the geo-fencing zones.
- Establishes virtual fences to give marketers incredible control over placement.
- Utilizes a virtual barrier around a phone’s IP address.
- Displays ads on a device within the pre-established area
- Targets those entering and leaving the perimeter, regardless of whether the location is your own or that of another
Geo-targeting is more focused than geo-fencing. It delivers messages based on location, past purchases and data points like demographics and P$ycle. The more data you have, the more you know about your customer/member and the better you can deliver relevant messaging. Data sources and segmentation are essential for a successful geo-targeting campaign. Using an industry benchmark of 0.40%, financial institutions’ click-through rate (CTR) performances for geo-targeted mobile displays improved to 0.64%.
- Find the right venues where your prospects are most likely to be
- Exclude locations where your prospects are not likely to be
- Use location-based keywords
- Analyze data sources
- Use segmentation
Bluetooth beacons are discreet, wireless transmitters retailers place around their stores. When beacons detect a shopper’s Bluetooth enabled app, it sends a signal and the app is activated and the shopper receives relevant communications. For instance, in the retail world, someone browsing boys clothing could be alerted to a great sale on hoodies or sneakers. Financial institutions can set up branch beacons to enhance customer/member experience and deliver relevant offerings. Standard push notifications garner a 7.8% open rate; beacon notifications average a 22.5% open rate. This low-cost solution is an effective way to deliver relevant messaging to a targeted audience.
- Improves in-branch conversion rates
- Alerts customers/members to relevant targeted offers
- Tracks and guides in-store movement
Responding to prospects.
You’ve optimized SEO and SEM strategy. You’ve expanded and enhanced location-based marketing. The leads are coming in. Wouldn’t it be great to engage in real-time while they are still actively engaged? We’ve all experienced it. Search for ACME Shoelaces, and shoelace ads and banners start appearing. Marquis enables similar prospect communication through WebTrax, a part of our DocuMatix on Demand digital product suite. But, instead of showing banners and ads, it sends emails and letters. It enables an automated, secure, non-invasive method to monitor traffic and make offers. Once a lead visits your site, WebTrax notes which pages are viewed, then automatically sends communications based on the pages visited. One Marquis client attributes over 50 accounts and $1 million in balances directly to WebTrax, with a 5.6% response rate over a 90-day tracking period.
When leads visit your site and opt in, they receive relevant, personalized offers they can relate to. It shows your bank or credit union is interested in them as unique individuals and understands their needs. This is key in attracting 58% of consumers who prefer community financial institutions, hopefully motivating them to make the switch and open an account.