Marketers often talk about discovering each customer’s preferred channel, but the assumption that individuals favor a single messaging method misinterprets the way modern consumers shop and engage with brands.
Broadly speaking, consumers now prefer digital engagement over in-person or physical mail when receiving marketing communications from their bank. However, it’s overly simplistic to say, for example, that baby boomers and Gen Xers have settled on email as their channel of choice while younger digital natives prefer in-app comms. Different demographics will respond more favorably to specific channels depending on a range of factors, including the context and contents of the message, and where they are in their journey.
Channel preference research points to favored points of contact based on communication type. One recent survey found that 65% of U.S. retail bank customers prefer email for account statements, 36% prefer text/SMS for payment reminders and 24% prefer overdraft alerts within their banking app. This only tells part of the story of channel preference – as marketers, we need mechanisms to weigh the attributes of each channel and know which combination of variables are most likely to succeed at each stage of a campaign.
If a message needs to be conveyed quickly, which channel will combine immediacy with high likelihood of engagement? What is the best format for each type of content – learning material, headline rate offers – for this customer? Where do we want to drive this specific customer next? There is context attached to each message and channel that must be considered at each stage of the campaign.
Today’s reality is that each customer has a portfolio of channel preferences and a varying level of engagement, based on the nature of the communication and how that individual is likely to receive it. For that reason, determining the optimal channel for any given message in a journey is a critical contextual element in modern bank marketing.