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How Digital Marketing Helps Regional Banks Stay Competitive

by Trenton Reed   |   May 02, 2019

Mama, we made it! We’ve officially surpassed the ten-year mark of the 2008 financial crisis. Now that the Great Recession is all but in the rearview mirror, it’s high time to examine the fallout. And what a difference ten years makes.

Things look a little different today. Although the industry is the most resilient it’s been in the past decade—total assets in the U.S. reached $17.5 trillion in 2018, according to the FDIC—consumers still have lingering uncertainties about big banks. Not only is there a lack of consumer confidence, new regulations and technologies have created a landscape shaped by nontraditional players.

In fact, just a few years ago, it was reported that more people handled weekly banking duties on their mobile phones than in person. Consumers aren’t just using their phones to monitor account balances, either; they’re seeking financial advice and applying for loans and credit cards online.

It’s no surprise that tech companies have flourished in recent years. However, because of the remaining distrust of big banks, regional and community banks can also capitalize on this opportunity. But this means improving the customer experience—and providing them with the information they want, when they want it.

How banks can improve the customer experience.

The way that customers interact with banks is changing. In response, the sales funnel has become increasingly complex.

Gone are the days where consumers would open accounts at physical branches and remain loyal to a bank for years. As the market becomes specialized (and digitized), customer loyalty is challenged. Consumers now search for information on various platforms. And they expect to transition seamlessly between channels. For example, consumers may research a product on mobile and then move to a tablet to make a purchase.

Simply put, digitally-connected consumers demand the ability to open new accounts at their convenience. They want to be able to move between devices without having to restart the process. And many never want to visit a branch in the first place.

These omnichannel expectations have opened up the doors for banks to provide personalized campaigns based on devices and service lines. Companies now have more insight into the spending patterns of their customers, which enables them to construct a more holistic picture.

Of course, the largest financial institutions ($150B – 2,500B) are positioned to lead the charge. Because they possess the appropriate financial and human resources, they’re able to push the needle forward with new technologies.

While smaller banks (<$20B) may lack the capital of their larger counterparts, according to some research, they do benefit from customer experience byproducts like friendliness and existing loyalties. And thanks to less complex product lines and fewer product silos, smaller banks can compete with big banks on digital openings of personal accounts, and are often more equipped to handle digital openings of small business accounts.

The benefits of hiring a marketing agency.

Sure, big banks may have the resources to produce national ad campaigns. And they benefit from an extensive footprint. But digital marketing has leveled the playing field for regional and community banks. Because a majority of consumers are already spending time online, digital marketing helps meet your customers halfway.

Digital marketing campaigns can help banks understand how customers interact with their products. Paid search advertising efforts such as pay-per-click (PPC) can provide regional and community banks with an overview of their customers—and can help them reach new ones.

PPC helps regional banks get the most from their marketing spend.

Because community banks rely on local audiences, digital marketing can help them deliver customized campaigns. PPC campaigns leverage demographic data to reach specific audiences. By using social and display channels to deliver targeted ads, paid search advertising is able to reach consumers in certain geographic areas.

Digital marketing ensures you're making the most of your marketing budget. How so? By deliver data-driven campaigns that drive more revenue. Ultimately, partnering with a digital marketing agency can help small banks make the most of their data—so they can free up precious resources to focus on other initiatives.

Interested in learning more? Learn how to make the most of your data with our free guide.

Bank Marketing Guide
portrait of Trenton Reed

Trenton Reed

Trenton joined the Workshop Digital team in January 2019. After earning his B.A. in English from Virginia Commonwealth University, he moved to Denver, where he explored the Rocky Mountains and built a writing career that spanned the digital marketing, advertising, and journalism realms. Since relocating back to Richmond in late 2017, Trenton has freelanced with local agencies and national nonprofits. As our in-house writer, he’s in charge of maintaining our brand voice across all channels.