If you’re part of a community bank or credit union, you know your competitors are increasing by the day. From large, national financial institutions to tech giants like Google and Amazon to digital-only banks, everyone is fighting for your customers.
One thing all of these opponents have in common is tremendous access to robust technology, something that is lacking in smaller scale banking. According to the 2019 Digital Banking Report, 30% of banks stated that access to technology/tools was the top obstacle preventing them from advancing their digital transformation journey.
Now is the time for community banks and credit unions to step up their tech capabilities so they can not only remain viable options for customers, but come out on top in the digital banking battle. No matter the size of your institution, you’ve got to make the most of your technology investment.
Don’t Limit Your CRM
Building your bank’s technology framework starts with your CRM. The 2019 Digital Banking Report also found that 49% of banks use a CRM, and 27% have plans to implement one in the next 12-18 months.
This is essential for storing and accessing all customer information, but your competitive edge will come when you move beyond a baseline CRM system and focus on technology that allows you to act on all this data.
Here are a few examples.
Marketing Automation: A Not-So-Secret Weapon
Marketing automation is no longer a “nice to have,” but rather it’s a foundational element of marketing strategies across all industries. In fact, the Forrester Marketing Automation Technology Forecast, 2017-2023, projects global spending on marketing automation tools will surpass $25 billion by 2023.
But, many smaller banks and credit unions are behind this trend. The 2019 Digital Banking Report found that 32% of surveyed banks currently use a marketing automation platform and 25% have plans to implement one in the next 12-18 months.
With marketing automation tools, you can segment your customers and prospects into lists according to various categories, such as account balance, loan type, or transaction history. From there, you can create specific campaigns for these groups with automated communication touch points, including emails and prompts for phone calls.
If you want to compete with the big banks and tech companies, you’ve got to use automation. It’s the only way to reach the right people with the right offers at the right time, and maximize your marketing department’s overall efficiency. Other benefits of marketing automation include: decreased costs, fewer cold calls, and stronger sales-marketing relationships.
Profitability Rankings: The Key to Understanding Customer Growth Potential
In a Wall Street Journal article on customer lifetime value (CLV), Harvard Business School professor Sunil Gupta said “There’s no free lunch. The more profitable you are, the better service you will get.” This is true when it comes to how everyone from clothing retailers to phone providers to airlines interact with customers. As a bank, you also need to know who your most profitable customers are, so you can capitalize on their business.
Profitability tools can rank bank customers based on the profitability of all their accounts, so you understand their true value overall. This goes hand-in-hand with marketing automation, as profitability data can inform how you segment customers for campaigns.
For example, if customers reach a certain profitability threshold, you can set up a campaign with multiple touch points throughout the year, ensuring they receive some kind of communication (email, phone call, direct mail) each quarter. Profitability rankings can be used to drive loyalty for your top customers and incentivize growth for the lower-profit ones.
Wealth Intelligence: A Clearer Picture of Who You Serve
You need to know not only your customers’ level of profitability, but also their capability for growth with your bank. This is largely determined by their wealth status, which is why it’s important that you have access to customer data points, such as investable assets, real estate holdings, and net worth.
According to Alois Parker, research director for Aire Group’s wealth management group, “banks can improve how client data is organized and used” to accommodate a higher quality of advice for customers. It’s not enough to simply acquire this data; you need to use it strategically in campaigns.
When wealth data is incorporated with an analytics tool, you can identify trends and areas of opportunity among your customer base. You can segment customers into lists and target those who would be most applicable for various investment packages, credit cards, or loans.
Make Your Move with 360 View
President and CEO of Kennebec Savings Bank Andrew Silsby recently stated: “To compete effectively, America’s smallest banks must keep up with the latest technological trends and carve out a proper niche in the marketplace.” Competition is not slowing down in the banking industry, and small banks and credit unions must make strategic technology investments to appeal to an increasingly digital audience.
This means moving beyond baseline CRM and employing robust tools like the 360 View growth platform. Our platform includes not only a CRM, but marketing automation, profitability, analytics, and goals and incentives modules. We’d love to show you how they all work together to take your sales, service and marketing strategiesto the next level. Schedule a demo with our team today.