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Why Bank Marketers Should Focus on Digital in 2021

Digital marketing can drive better ROI for banks.

If you’ve been in the banking industry for even a year or two, you’d agree with this sentiment: Marketing a bank isn’t always straightforward. Your goals and objectives are ever-changing. However, you want to ensure you’re making the most of your efforts and investments. While parts of your marketing budget may always be dedicated to traditional channels—like sponsorships, donations, and out-of-home advertising—digital marketing can drive a better return on investment (ROI). And if you want to stay competitive, it may be worth dedicating more of your marketing budget to digital. Just look at these numbers...

For the first time, more than half of all ad spend in the United States was on digital platforms like Google and Facebook in 2020, according to the world’s largest ad buyer. And it’s expected that marketers will spend $110.1 billion on digital ads this year, which is more than half of the $214.6 total forecast. What’s more, Forrester predicts that 2021 is the year that every company—not just the 15% of firms that were already digitally savvy—doubles down on technology-fueled experiences, operations, products, and ecosystems.

To stay competitive, banks must turn to digital marketing.

This data couldn’t make it more clear: Competition has never been higher for bank marketers. The COVID-19 global pandemic of 2020 changed the way that many consumers interact with service providers, including their banks. While the lasting effects of the pandemic may be too early to call, it’s undeniable that the short-term effects did not go unnoticed. We may not know what the new normal will look like—but we predict it’ll undoubtedly have a digital focus.

According to some measurements, 42% of the U.S. labor force was working from home full-time, as of June 2020. Between this growing number of full-time remote workers and government-sanctioned shelter-in-place orders, it can be assumed that fewer people interacted with in-person bank branches this last year and instead, turned to online banking tools. Because of this, financial teams have come under pressure to provide personalized, customized services.

Consumers have become more trusting of digital financial services, even before the pandemic. A 2019 survey found that while fear of identity theft is high across the board, more than half of American consumers say they trust banks to protect their data. Another survey from that year found that online banking is becoming more widespread, as only 20% of consumers said they would rather visit a bank location instead of doing business via digital channels.

Digital can help bank marketers make the most of 2021.

As more and more consumers turn to online banking and other digital tools, it’s important to meet them on the devices and channels they’re using and prefer. Digital marketing does just this. Whether they’re searching for a new savings account on their laptops, or an auto loan on their smartphones, digital marketing helps you reach the right consumers at the right time.

This guide reviews how digital is increasingly becoming a central component of marketing strategies. It reviews how bank marketers should invest in digital this next year to:

  • Take advantage of current trends in 2021
  • Make use of customer data to send more effective, targeted campaigns
  • Incorporate user-centric brand experiences to delight and retain customers

Download our guide to learn how digital marketing can help your bank stay on top in 2021.