Fintech companies continue to put pressure on traditional financial institutions by winning over customers with products like loans, credit cards and investments — products that typically garner high profits for banks. Their strategy? Offer speed, convenience, anytime access and competitive prices — things consumers crave not just in banking, but in all aspects of daily life.
The good news is this: Research shows most consumers and small businesses still prefer to do business with a traditional bank or credit union. But you can’t take that advantage for granted. The moment those customers can’t access the products and services they want from you, they’ll turn elsewhere. And options are plentiful as fintech competition continues to use innovation, technology and new delivery channels to rapidly expand their presence — and gain customers. Here’s how you can compete.
Financial Marketing Strategies for Taking on the Competition
To survive and thrive in the battle for happy customers — and higher profits — it’s essential for traditional banks to focus on innovative technologies and exceptional customer experiences. Arm your team with the financial marketing strategies and best practices below to stay on the winning side of the fintech competition battle.
Pay Attention to Digital & Fintech Trends
Consumers have come to expect (and often demand) digital technology and experiences in the majority of their interactions. Fintech companies stay competitive by using cutting–edge technology and agile processes that many traditional banks don’t have. To compete in the digital landscape, look to adopt similar strategies and consider investing in new technologies where necessary to meet customer expectations.
- Stay on top of current digital trends (specifically fintech trends), evaluate emerging technologies, and look for ways to integrate digital activities into traditional operations.
Create a Culture of Innovation
Think like a start-up by embracing an agile culture. Challenge outdated processes, look for ways to integrate new technologies into legacy systems — and collaborate as a team to make the entire customer experience more efficient and user-friendly. From selling products and services to onboarding to customer service, focus on simplification and digitalization.
- Take the time to understand the new digital consumer and their pain points, such as filling out paper forms, long loan approval periods and the need for multi-channel access.
Leverage Brand Recognition
Traditional banks have another advantage: brand visibility, a built-in customer base and access to proprietary customer information — things newer fintech companies don’t have. Banks are also at an advantage in terms of size and ability to roll out new products and services at scale. Use these strengths by leveraging the brand recognition and trust you’ve built with customers.
- Many customers are still wary of fintech companies. Communicate consistently to customers that your products and services make their lives more convenient.
Leverage Existing Customer Relationships
In today’s customer-centric society, it’s more important than ever to make customer service a priority — consistently — across products, channels and platforms. And it doesn’t always have to include a live person. Research from Burnmark shows that 82 percent of bank customers don’t care if they’re talking to a human or a machine, as long as the customer service is accurate, effective and engaging.
- Make it a company-wide initiative to provide the best customer service and look for ways to resolve issues faster and more efficiently.
Consider a Partnership or Acquisition
From partnering with or acquiring online vendors, to developing your own systems, the decision to compete or collaborate depends on the level of integration that best aligns with your business goals.
- To improve operational efficiency as well as respond to customer demand for more innovative digital services, focus on areas where integrating new digital capabilities will give your organization a competitive edge.
Financial Marketing Tactics and Best Practices to Stay Competitive
You already know that maximizing the use of data analytics and digital technologies can provide a better user experience, leading to increased acquisition, retention and sales. But are you using these tools to nurture and grow your customer relationships? These financial marketing tactics and industry best practices can help you leverage those technologies.
Start with Your Website
Examine your bank’s website with fresh eyes. If a revamp is in order, consider incorporating digital marketing best practices like SEO, more calls to action and a series of informational and lead gen landing pages for your most popular topics.
- Keep your website clean and user-friendly for all viewing devices. And make sure your redesign is consistent with the look and feel of your other channels, including your bank’s mobile app.
Use Data to Nurture Your Most Profitable Customers
Leverage your financial institution’s vast amount of data to foster your most profitable customer relationships by targeting certain behaviors or life stages with actionable opportunities. For example, use data on customer interactions to make recommendations in real-time for additional products and services.
- Know your customers and their needs, understand their preferences and provide access and support everywhere they are.
Use Data to Create More Relevant Content
One of the benefits of customer data (that many fintech startups don’t have yet) is the ability to segment customers based on criteria that’s most important to their needs and interests. Use this to create more relevant content that’s both educational and actionable for different audiences within your customer base.
- Continue to be a trusted resource for financial information by using your data to provide the right content to the right audience at the right time.
Promote Digital Products and Services
Today’s consumers expect a digital experience in nearly every industry with which they interact. Enhance or redesign products and services for the digital age. Then, when you roll out a new technology, make sure to share information with customers about how it works and how it meets their needs. For example, do you offer online services to small businesses that can save time, such as applying for loans? Be sure to let your small business customers know all about it.
- Promote your digital products and services across multiple channels and platforms, highlighting the ways they can make customers’ lives simpler and more secure.
Focus on Customer Engagement
It’s no secret that customers who are engaged with a brand bring in more revenue than those who aren’t. One way to encourage engagement is to meet your customers where they are. Maximize the use of mobile and social interactions by enhancing existing channels — or adding new ones — to provide an omni-channel experience. And don’t underestimate the importance of the personal touch, such as incorporating a series of personalized welcome emails, and including a preference center that allows customers to choose which communications they want and through what channels.
- Boost customer engagement and provide a more personalized experience by paying attention to communication and channel preferences — even segmenting campaigns based on criteria that’s most important to customers.
Fintech Competition Gives Banks New Opportunities for Success
New technology offers enormous potential for the financial services industry. To win the fintech battle, traditional financial institutions will need to concentrate on these new technologies and provide a better customer experience. While fintech’s ability to quickly leverage new technologies and delivery channels is a challenge, for banks, the competition is an opportunity to become more efficient and innovative.
Need help battling the competition and staying ahead of the game? CCG can help. Our financial services marketing approach is centered around the customer experience and includes analytics, customer surveys, digital content and design, coding and deployment and more. Email us or call 800.525.0313 today, and let’s talk about how we can help you achieve your goals.