The promise of returning to a pre-COVID world is becoming less likely by the day.
Nearly every industry had to transform its business model to succeed in a digital world. Bank and credit unions were and are no exception.
In fact, the financial sector is at the forefront of innovation, leaving permanent fingerprints on how they promote and deliver banking experiences for years to come.
As a result, it's time to adapt bank and credit union marketing strategies to these new trends and techniques.
Where to begin? Our bank and credit union market research company has you covered.
Keep reading to learn four data-driven marketing tips our team has recommended to our financial clients so far in 2021.
The Impact of COVID-19 on the Financial Industry
Before the pandemic, interest in fully optimized and easy-to-use mobile and online banking was already on the rise.
COVID-19 only heightened the need for online interactions at a time when there was limited person-to-person contact. digital banking trends will only progress.
In fact, the use of online and mobile banking channels increased by 20 to 50% in the first few months of COVID-19 alone. The use of online banking is predicted to remain like this even after the pandemic comes to an end.
Additionally, studies show consumers are demanding a more flexible customer journey. 71% of customers now prefer multichannel interactions with 25% wanting a fully digital-enabled banking journey and access to remote human assistance if needed.
What does this mean for bank and credit union marketing?
It means understanding exactly what customers and members expect, offering better mobile and online banking services, and providing regular communication.
Rather than making assumptions about what your customers want, our market research company recommends relying on member and community data to drive institutional changes.
Lucky for your financial institution, there are plenty of options to achieve this objective. Read our blog post, Market Research Options for Banks and Credit Unions to learn what's available.
In the meantime, here are a few tips to drive marketing and advertising efforts in 2021.
Tip #1: Consider the anticipated 2020 trends in the banking industry
According to The Financial Brand, 2021 trends for the banking and finance industry will be focused on key areas, such as:
- Focus on digital banking experiences
- Use data and AI for predictive personalization
- Move to cloud computing
- Automation will become a financial imperative
- Invest in privacy and security
- Look to open banking as a financial opportunity
The article also states complacency and the unwillingness to change the way banking has been done for decades are the biggest threats to the banking industry.
Now is not the time to bury your head in the sand.
It is time for banks and credit unions to take a strategic look at what consumers want from their financial institutions in 2021.
The needs of consumers are likely to be very different from that of past years.
Recommendation for Bank and Credit Union Marketing: Conducting Member and Community Surveys
Similar to a customer satisfaction survey, a member survey identifies key drivers which impact loyalty to a financial institution. Whereas a community survey gathers feedback from non-members.
Our financial institution research firm recommends conducting both a member and community survey to measure things like:
- Areas of satisfaction and dissatisfaction of your institution + competitors
- Most requested services or products broken down by generations
- Top factors of choice when choosing a financial institution
Tip #2: Make relationships with members/customers stronger
Many studies show building strong and personalized member relationships will be a significant focus among credit unions in 2021.
Today's consumer is overwhelmed with marketing messaging every day. General advertising campaigns and communication touchpoints no longer cut it.
For instance, banner ads on websites often go unnoticed because internet users have become more equipped to scroll until they are delivered the content they expected when clicking into a web page.
This means credit unions will need to add new touchpoints with members such as:
- Downloadable resources
- Social media posts
- Text messages
The goals for these new touchpoints are to understand members, communicate relevant news/updates, and provide exceptional experiences.
In order to make the relationship with members stronger, it is important to understand what new trends are here to stay and rethink what drives a choice of bank.
Recommended Questions for Member and Customer Surveys
1. Will this digital transformation last or will customers go back to old habits? What are the concerns?
2. How can we market through unique and relatable targeted messaging rather than generalizing?
3. What would cause customers to switch to a different financial provider?
4. How can we be more proactive and anticipate the needs of our customers?
For more question examples, read 8 Member Survey Questions for Your Bank or Credit Unions.
Tip #3: The Amazon effect on banking
The Amazon effect on banking will continue to be a trend in 2021. This means what customers expect from Amazon.com is what they expect from companies in other industries, even their bank or credit union.
A primary marketing focus for Amazon is its targeting capabilities, which presents specific products to certain people at the right time.
It uses precision and timeliness to enhance its marketing efforts and bond with customers, which ultimately helps the company succeed.
It will no longer be effective for banks to send a generalized email promoting their products and services to a mass contact list.
Where your financial institution marketing will see success in 2021 is by segmenting your audience based on demographics, geographics, household income, and more.
Recommendation for Bank and Credit Union Marketing: Segment Your Audiences
Here are two examples of how to segment your members and customers.
1. Members who are in high school or college AND parents of that audience should receive marketing messaging regarding student loans.
2. Whereas millennial members and customers would more likely resonate with an email marketing campaign focused on home loans and current rates.
Perhaps your bank or credit union does not have access to this type of segmented customer list.
Learn how market research can help gather more effective customer insights to drive marketing strategies.
Tip #4: Move away from a “one-size fits all” mentality
2021 bank and credit union marketing trends are moving away from the one-size-fits-all mentality.
Instead, a top priority is to attract younger customers and members. To do this, financial institutions are focusing on improving their relevance and making products and services more accessible.
Younger audiences, in particular, want to see their bank/credit union help them achieve financial health and independence.
How does this compare to younger generations living in your target market? Conduct a non-member survey to find out.
Just like there are many advantages of conducting a member satisfaction survey for your bank and credit union, the same can be said of collecting feedback and insight from non-members.
Here are three main benefits of conducting a non-member community survey to help driving your 2021 marketing strategies:
Drive Research is a banking market research company that works with local, regional, and national banks and credit unions across the country.
Our services including both qualitative and quantitative market research.
Have a question? Need a proposal? Reach out to our experts. There are four ways to contact us below.
- Message us on our website
- Email us at [email protected]
- Call us at 888-725-DATA
- Text us at 315-303-2040
As a Senior Research Analyst, Emily is approaching a decade of experience in the market research industry and loves to challenge the status quo. She is a certified VoC professional with a passion for storytelling.
Learn more about Emily, here.