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Bank Marketing Trends That Need to Stop

“Would you stop already?” You’ve probably heard it from your mom when you were younger, or maybe you say it to your kids now.

“Would you stop already?” is also what we want to say to tired, old bank marketing trends that just don’t work anymore.

If your bank isn’t getting the customers it needs and wants, you’re probably using bank marketing trends that needs to stop. It’s time to change it up. It’s time to reverse the curse that’s tied to played out bank marketing trends that aren’t earning your clients’ trust or business. Is your bank ready to make bank?

Bank Marketing Trends & That Darn Aura of Mystique

Banks carry an aura of mystique. An aura of mystique is great for mythical creatures, but not for important financial institutions where people are putting their money. A bank is where your customers are submitting valuable information, paperwork and, well, money. People want to be able to rely on the place that’s in control of all their money. However, banks can often be confusing. When customers get charged for this fee and that fee or for using an ATM that doesn’t belong to their bank, they start to lose some faith.

Let’s face it, banks don’t necessarily have the best rep. We’re just being honest. But, banks also haven’t done much to change the stigma that surrounds them. Bank marketing trends focus too much on CD rates, percentages, and other numbers when they should be focusing on their brand and their clients.

Banks are goldmines, literally, and it’s time for yours to reach their true potential by switching up your marketing strategies. Listen up, because here’s how.

Stop Focusing So Much on Numbers

One common marketing approach is for a bank to offer an incentive, say, $300, for consumers to switch from one bank to theirs. Other common techniques include the following:

  • Access to more than X ATMs and Z branches in the tri-state area
  • Reimbursement of ATM surcharges, up to $6 a month
  • Monthly maintenance fee with $20,000 across all accounts waived
  • Minimum opening deposit $50
  • A 17-month CD, special 1.75% APY rate
  • Purchase APR 11.74%–25.74% for a credit card

Is your head spinning yet? All of these tactics involve numbers, which is obviously important when choosing a bank. But, bank marketing trends that are solely based on numbers are entirely devoid of personality. They don’t give the consumer an idea of what your bank’s brand or culture is all about. Sure, a bank may be offering $300 if a consumer switches over to them, but why should they be trusted? What values does that bank stand for?

While monetary incentives can certainly grab people’s attention to start, they’re only a one-time deal. Banks need to implement marketing trends that focus on longevity. The best way to do that is by promoting a brand and culture that makes people not want only to do business with you in the first place but stick around for the long haul.

Quit Becoming Just Another Face in the Crowd

Let’s be real, everyone wants to stand out, especially when you have a business that deserves recognition. If you’re solely focusing on flashy incentives, rather than the real personal stuff, odds are that your bank is just another face in the crowd and isn’t getting the recognition you want.

Picture this. If a potential customer went through a handful of bank websites with everyone’s logo and names stripped off, would they be able to tell which bank was yours?

If you can’t confidently say yes, then that right there is the problem. The first step is admitting you’re wrong, right? Or something like that?

Your bank needs to stand out from the crowd and not get lost in the shuffle of all that cash. That’s where branding comes in.

True Value Lies in Articulating Your Brand

This isn’t to say that there isn’t a place for numbers in bank marketing. You’re dealing with finances, so, of course, there are going to be numbers involved. However, in order to capture potential customers attention and turn them into life-long clients, the true value of bank marketing lies in articulating your brand.

Personality, people. Personality is key, and unfortunately, that’s what’s lacking from today’s bank marketing trends. It all ties back into that darn aura of mystique that makes banks seem so unapproachable and cold.

So, how do you shine a light on your banks’ brand and stop leaving customers in the dark? Try these on for size:

  • Bank with purpose—what is your organization’s “why”?
  • Stay consistent with your purpose. Don’t change it every few years to match where you think the market is. Evolve your strategies, but not necessarily your purpose. Having a clear purpose behind your marketing efforts makes them truly genuine.
  • Hire awesome employees who have the soft skills to help your bank reach its potential and promote its purpose in everything they do.
  • Get personal. Conduct research to find out about your customers’ needs and pain points.
  • Show the people behind the bank. Your bank isn’t just dark vaults, after all. Post pictures of bank employees working hard, laughing, goofing off and helping others. It’s all about personality.
  • Get involved with community efforts that reflect your bank’s purpose to show that you care about more than just money.
  • Identify new markets that align with your bank’s purpose.
  • Offer new or updated features that connect with your bank’s purpose.
  • Publish website and blog content that’s relevant to your customers.
  • Offer content on the social media platforms your customers use. Everyone loves a good tweet.

Seriously, don’t underestimate the importance of engaging with your customers to help build your brand and build connections.

In 2016, the Bank of Ireland wanted to connect with younger customers, so the bank got on Snapchat, where all younger kids seem to be spending most of their time taking selfies. They crafted Snapchat content that managed to be entertaining, rather than just promotional. In doing so, their efforts came across as sincere because they didn’t use the app to do in-your-face advertising. The bank genuinely wanted to connect with younger customers and help them, and that they did.

Now, let’s say you’re a local bank in a community with an older population. Snapchat may not be for you, but worries. There’s still so much that you can do. For example, in 2013, the British bank Barclays developed a “Digital Eagles” campaign to help the older subset become more internet-savvy. Genius, right? Or, if you want to engage with an even wider audience, you can take a page out of Suntrust’s book, who ran a  “Live for a Sunny Day” campaign to motivate customers to save for weddings, vacations and other happy events. “Live for a Sunny Day” sounds a lot better than “Save for a Rainy Day”, don’t you think?

Don’t Forget About Your Customers

If you’re going to engage with customers, you need to know who those customers are. It’s easier than ever to understand your target audience and gather data to learn more about their motivations, pain points, and needs. With that research, your bank can be the one to provide the answers to their problems by creating marketing campaigns that include SEO-minded website content.

Tired and stale bank marketing trends that focus only on numbers… all we have to say to you is “would you stop already?” Stop making your customers frustrated by dizzying figures and start making them matter. Take the initiative and finally put a stop to the bank marketing trends that aren’t helping your brand. That’s the only way you’re going to see a difference and start making bank, and we know you want to.  

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