With the increasing use of digital channels banks need to evolve their sales and marketing efforts from broad based brand and branch focused campaigns to include more effective digital marketing. Gone are the days that customers will stand in a long line in a banking hall , the multi-channel integration of sales and marketing is the ultimate objective. This change of focus is complicated by the rise of social media, and the fact that the nature of interaction with customers in digital channels is not the same as it has been in traditional channels.
Banks are moving away from traditional methods and are focusing now on adopting technology to play an integral part in the attraction and retention of their customers. Since the banking industry bases prices on the financial environment and adopts a competitive pricing strategy all banks will generally offer the same types of products and the same rates of interest. The deciding factor for customers will therefore be based on their service element and a major part of that now involves on-line, mobile and social media methods of banking and advertising.
Digital channels are also producing significantly more data which can be used to profile customers, understand their needs, and target them in smaller and smaller segments with the appropriate offers. All of this is achievable but can be difficult to implement when there are other systems and investment priorities. Banks need to take these developments seriously because new competitors like PayPal have been set up from the outset as online businesses and use analytics as an essential core capability.
Banks can cross sell their products with target markets selected via their CRM (customer relationship management ) systems. This makes it even easier for Banks to efficiently target and segment their markets and as a result they are better able to serve their existing customers who expect that level of service and attract new customers who will view their service as a USP. Mobile marketing is a cost-effective, easy-to-implement way to reach lots of younger consumers in an immediate, interactive way that builds brand loyalty and leads to higher conversion rates.
Financial institutions are now offering customers 24 hour access to their accounts giving them the power to transfer funds on-line, pay bills, review their credit card bill transactions, view their balances,apply for loans,deposit via mobile apps and the list of services now available to customers are increasing every day.
THE GRAPH BELOW INDICATES THE COMMON USES OF MOBILE APPS
Digital Marketing efforts are also allowing Banks to gain wider exposure and attract new markets such as the new generation now entering the working world since the “Generation Xers” are more comfortable and prefer digital mediums because of the convenience and flexibility that it offers. By using social media, e-mail and text message alerts Banks can transmit real time information to its customers which will ensure that customers are always aware of what is happening. For example Banks can digitally advise if there are ATM and Branch closures.