As we enter one of the most important budgeting seasons in years bank marketers need to look to multiple horizons
Markets are inhospitable, technology is rapidly reshaping the work of data analysts and creatives, consumer expectations continue to evolve and budgets are being slashed. While firming up their 2024 budgets banks must balance long term plans with shorter term targets.
A paradigm has emerged in which bank marketers are using customer data more effectively to move from campaigns created around the goal of boosting transactions and moved towards engagement and empathetic relations. Quick wins exist that can translate into longer term gains.
“Historically banking has been about enabling transactions for their customers, thinking about channels or branch networks or the digital channel as helping customers accomplish specific initiatives,” Brandon Larson, Executive Vice President of Omnichannel Sales and Experience told Rutger van Faassen following the 2023 CMO Summit. “Where we’re going is thinking about how we can move towards engaging with customers in the way they want to be engaged, thinking about what they’re trying to accomplish rather than the specific transaction that they’re intending to do.”
Recent headline collapses in the industry have created a bank trust vacuum. A recent survey found that over half (52%) of those who don’t believe their money is safe with their bank say their views on the matter changed over the past 12 months. Naturally different demographics score differently in how they view their bank, with just 61% of Gen Z stating that they feel their money is safe in their bank compared to 84% of baby boomers.
Moving into budget season, banks must build agility into 2024 budgets and campaign management for the unforeseeable. Should further turbulence in the sector occur marketers must be ready to pivot, bring calm to customers and search out prospects if business dictates.
Marketers must be highly tuned into the rate environment, too: Federal level rate changes should spur outreach strategy and planned agile marketing tactics with differentiated treatments to individual customers based on what their needs are. Planning for personalized treatments and relationship pricing at a customer level – allowing banks to avoid repricing their entire back book as changes are made – should be a core element of this planning season. Marketers should be at the table when the bank’s pricing decisions are made.
“The majority of customers aren’t looking for a rate when the back book is repriced as a whole,” said Larson. “For most institutions that have a mix of portfolios, there are some rate-based players and some non-rate. What that means is that you’re unnecessarily repricing a lot of people who were actually very comfortable and who may be using their accounts for different reasons.”
As competitive digital capabilities progress quickly marketers must underline the advantages their bank holds over alternatives, working with product to react to developments. Customers and prospects are increasingly being treated with personalized capabilities, with UX teams utilizing data and artificial intelligence to better serve users. As the market moves quickly however providers are still working against bugs and failures associated with digital channels, as well as fraud. Utilizing personalized marketing and building trust that the provider knows what the customer wants in digital engagement should be a critical part of the marketing strategy next year.
“People need to trust that digital capabilities are strong, and that they’re reliable. It’s really important to build up confidence in using my digital site. If you break that trust once it’s really hard to get it back,” said Larson.
What makes this such an important budget season is that the situation consumers find themselves in and their attitudes and needs are expected to change at different rates next year. Competitors are looking for more frequent analysis of each of the moving parts that motivate a consumer to consider changing banks, pursue a new onboarding process or add deposits to a particular account. Contrarily the pressure on banks to cut costs means budgets are becoming more difficult to extrapolate and so acquisition costs will be under pressure.