Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Banks Need to Build Foundation for Effective Multichannel Marketing

While the BAI Retail Delivery Conference in Las Vegas doesn't officially begin until today, hundreds of attendees participated in a series of pre-conference workshops, including a session entitled, "Improving Acquisition, Onboarding and Cross-Sell Effectiveness with Multichannel Communication" which I was lucky enough to present with Matt Wilcox from Zions Bank and Tal Harry from Richter7. The workshop was attended by representatives from banks of all sizes and in various stages of multichannel marketing development.

During the session, we had several formal and informal surveys to determine where this limited cross section of the banking industry was with regard to their marketing mix.

Interestingly, while the majority of the banks are regularly using web banners and email as part of their marketing initiatives, less than 25% use paid search or jump pages with their campaigns. Even more surprising:
  • Almost half of the banks in attendance still do not have a formal, multi-step onboarding program. This is surprising given the amount of attention given this strategy in the trade press and with market leaders over the past several years.
  • While only about half the participating banks routinely collect email addresses, more than two thirds collect mobile phone numbers. This is most likely a result of IT challenges in setting up capture methods for email vs. another phone number box. The current level of email address pollination within the databases for the banks in attendance was still less than 30% on average.
  • Only a very small handful of banks in attendance ask a new customer what their preferred channel of communication is. This is both a potential missed sales channel opportunity and a customer experience shortfall.
  • Almost half of those at our session have used web video as a communications tool, about the same number are using Facebook, while less than 25% have used Twitter or YouTube.
An overarching takeaway was that, while most of the banks in attendance are doing dual channel marketing, few are integrating multiple channels for improved marketing effectiveness. With budgets either staying the same or being reduced in 2011, it will be more important than ever to optimize marketing channel investments through the testing of new media and even social channels. At the same time, banks will need to focus on the basics (such as the capture of email addresses and determining customer's commnication channel preferences) while setting the foundation for improved measurement of channel effectiveness.

Thanks to all of the banks that attended our session yesterday and especially to Matt and Tal for their exceptional insights that they shared with in the workshop.

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