Ready to get ahead of your competitors? It’s time to get creative and personal with your marketing. It’s time to give your customers an experience they enjoy and simply have to share with their friends.
1. The experience: Small businesses often have the upper hand when it comes to experience. They know their customers, know their preferences, and build relationships with them. But, any bank or financial institution can do this, and it starts by making a company-wide initiative to put the customer first, to train employees to look at each account, each face, as a relationship. This initiative becomes a marketing campaign – a customer experience strategy – when customers love interacting with your bank or financial institution, albeit physically and digitally, and tell their friends about it.
2. Be social: Find out which social media platform is popular in your area and join. This is the place to share pictures of your employees, show off PR opportunities in your area, tips to make the right financial decisions and get local support.
3. Teach: There are several ways you can help your customers. Send an email when your partners are offering special incentives or low rates. People want to hear about the news that matters to them, and you can be at the forefront of this by keeping their financial well-being at the top of your list of priorities.
4. Get involved: Work with nonprofits that need support. This could be through schools and universities, animal rescues and shelters, sports teams or support groups. Many non-profits run fundraisers where they give you the opportunity to pay for marketing exposure by supporting their cause. This is what is often called “cause marketing.”
5. Approach new markets: One way to stay ahead of the competition is to pursue markets they aren’t pursuing. Every bank or financial institution has particular groups of customers they serve extremely well. Know what groups these are for yourself and your competitors, once you’ve perfected your approach in one area, seek a new cohort to help. These groups don’t need to be huge to make a big impact on your business; you just have to offer the best solution.
6. Rebrand to be hipper, younger and modern: If your website or app looks like it is fresh out of the 90’s, it’s time to rebrand. Choose a new message that puts the needs of your customer at the forefront of your campaign and redesign. By showing your focus on a modern approach, you’ll give customers another reason to learn more about your company.
7. Compete with competitors online: If your competitors have a strong local presence, compete with them online. Use digital marketing practices like SEO, PPC, social media and email marketing to be the prominent option.
8. Offer features no one else has: Technology is always changing. Today you can buy new equipment that makes it easier for your customers to handle their financial transactions, you can build online tools that meet their needs and make their lives easier. Adopt the opportunities that technology presents and create a marketing campaign out of it.
9. Get business partners: There are companies you can work with who offer related services. Hospitals are closest to newborn babies; perhaps they wouldn’t mind a marketing advertisement about your family investment opportunities. Realtors regularly work with banks and home inspectors. Reach out to others in your industry and build a new stream of leads. Cooperative marketing is a powerful but often under-utilized marketing strategy.
10. Fill in their marketing holes: No one is perfect in every aspect of their marketing. Identify where your competitors’ holes are and fill them with your company. Over time you will grow and notice more opportunities to improve.
There are infinite ways to get your bank or financial institution to stand out. Today, many of the most successful campaigns are based on being different, creative and giving customers what they want.
It can be intimidating to approach a new avenue of marketing for your company, but if you take the time to research what your customers need, and how you can best reach them, you should be able to achieve impressive results.