Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Improving Bank Onboarding, Cross-Selling and Retention With Personalized Video

At a time when self-service banking models are replacing one-to-one interaction, personalized videos can provide a highly engaging and relevant communication option that can improve engagement, increase sales and reduce churn. 

Combining real-time data with highly customized content, marketers can turn big data insights into differentiated 'wow' experiences.

Online video is coming into its own, no longer being just an add-on component to institution's Web site. Partially due to the explosive growth of tablets, web videos have evolved beyond being used just for education or brand building to become a viable direct marketing messaging and selling tool, deserving of dedicated resources.

Online Content Booming

According to recently released data from comScore, 180 million U.S. Internet users watched almost 36.2 billion online videos in January of 2013. While the majority of these videos were for entertainment purposes, nearly 25 percent were promotional content, helping companies communicate with new and existing customers. In fact, video ads were the fastest growing category of online advertising in 2012, with U.S. spending increasing 46 percent to $2.9 billion.

More and more sophisticated viewers don't want to watch a repurposed 30-second TV spot on their computer, tablet or phone. They want online content that is personalized, compelling and interactive. "People are sitting viewing content online wanting to push a button -- give them a reason to push a button," said Jay Miletsky, CEO of online video network MyPod Studios in an interview with If done right, online video can be both a strong branding opportunity and an effective engagement tool.

A survey by Digitas found that 51 percent of online video viewers in the sought after 18 to 44 year old demographic would look up a new brand or product they saw on an online video, and 58 percent of 18 to 34 year olds who follow brands on social media would watch a video that a brand posted online. In addition, the just released Global Video Index : 2012 Year in Review conducted by video analytics provider Ooyala, found that while viewership differs between devices (desktop, tablet, mobile), the overall amount of viewing doubled in 2012.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Competition for Wealth Management Customers Increasing

At a time when retail banks are finding it difficult to achieve pre-recession levels of growth and profitability, the competition for wealth management business has never been more intense. But while increased marketing and significant monetary incentives are being used to lure customers, recent research indicates that organizational barriers remain that could hamper growth. 

A just published Retirement Plans Trend Report conducted by the direct and digital monitoring firm Competiscan found that retirement rollover direct mail, electronic media and digital communication volumes increased during the second half of 2012 as did the value of offers used to entice customers. While many of these offers came from investment firms, more marketing was done by traditional banking organizations than in the past. 

In 2012, Bank of America was one of the most aggressive wealth management marketers, cross-selling the services of their brokerage unit, Merrill Lynch to current higher value bank customers and prospects.

Bank of America/Merrill Lynch Cross-Sell Mailing (December 2012)

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Moven: From Mobile Banking to Mobile Money

February is definitely a pivotal month for the start-up previously known as Movenbank, having changed it's name to Moven, winning the best of show honors at Finovate Europe and gearing up for a February 25 closed beta launch of its mobile-optimized financial services application. 

Founded by Bank 3.0 author Brett King, with $2.4 million in seed funding, Moven is the latest but not the last in a plethora of unique banking alternatives including Simple™, GoBank™ and Bluebird™.

So what sets Moven apart from not only traditional banking organizations, but also the less traditional financial intermediaries that are entering the banking battlefield? 

First of all, Moven is not a bank. Similar to Simple, while not having a banking charter, Moven provides a unique customer experience interface with a traditional banking organization working in the background (with banking licenses, FDIC insurance, etc.). The focus of Moven from the beginning of development has been to 'help customers spend, save and live smarter' using mobile technology.

According to Brett King, "With Moven, we're not talking about downsizing an Internet banking portal onto a mobile screen or downloading a debit card onto a mobile wallet. Instead, we are creating an entirely new way of thinking about a bank account, giving the customer mobile insight and control every time they make a decision that could impact their financial health."

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Will The Power of Mobile Make Bank Branches Disappear?

The high rate of mobile banking penetration at Chase Bank, Bank of America and recently introduced direct banks such as Simple, GoBank, Bluebird and Moven could provide a significant business advantage as digital channels tend to build loyalty and provide the opportunity to reduce costs through transaction migration. 

A recent report from Bain & Company entitled, 'Customer Loyalty in Retail Banking' found that mobile banking is more likely to increase a customer's likelihood of recommending the bank than any other channel interaction and that features such as remote deposit and even the ability to check a balance impact loyalty. The research also found that once customers moved to mobile, roughly half stated they made fewer visits to the branch which can lower costs.

Digital Delight

As mobile banking use increases, banks have the opportunity to 'delight' customers with new applications and functionality. For instance, while remote deposit capture still represents just a small percentage of branch and ATM transactions (as shown by the size of the circles below), it is by far the most likely to 'wow' the customer (64%) and provide the opportunity to recommend the bank. 

Interestingly, even routine mobile transactions such as checking a balance or transferring between accounts has a likelihood to delight (44%) and is a strong influence on loyalty according to the Bain study.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Banks Not Meeting Mobile Banking Customer Expectations

As customers are becoming more comfortable with their mobile devices and the power of downloaded mobile banking applications, there is a greater expectation that mobile interactions with their bank should be predictive and in real time.

Unfortunately, many banks have been slow to provide the myriad of integrated push alerts and notifications that customers need to actively manage their finances.

A just released report available from Varolii Corporation entitled, 'Can You Bank on Your Banking App?' illustrates that banks have a ways to go before they are creating the customer experience desired by the active mobile user. In fact, while 52 percent of smartphone and tablet users have downloaded their bank's mobile application, roughly 40 percent say they have thought about deleting the app. And the dissatisfaction is even higher among the important 18-34 year old segment as shown below. Obviously, expectations are not being met.

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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

9 Ways Marketing Can Help Acquire New Mobile Banking Customers

At a time when battle lines are being drawn in both the mobile banking and payments space, it is more important than ever to encourage customers to use the mobile channel.

According to research conducted by Fiserv Inc., organizations that actively market mobile banking have experienced an average adoption rate that is twice as high as institutions that did not promote the service.

So, how can financial marketers use the multiple communication channels at their disposal to promote channel migration? How do we encourage both the sign-up and utilization of the mobile channel that can help reduce costs and potentially generate revenue (see 'Monetizing Mobile Banking', Oct. 15, 2012). Below are nine ways institutions I am familiar with are promoting mobile banking.

  • ATMs: One of the best ways I have seen mobile banking promoted was by Fifth Third Bank. Not only did they encourage sign-up for mobile banking on the ATM screen as many banks do, but they also included a QR code at the bottom of their transaction receipt. The use of a QR code appeals to the more advanced smartphone user while being a perfect way to electronically link to the appropriate app. The customer may decide to scan the code immediately or do so later when they reference the receipt to balance their account.