I saw a headline recently that claimed marketing experts are a thing of the past. Because marketing expertise is a core competency for DigitalMailer, it got my attention.
The Nov. 11 Forbes article, “The End of the Expert: Why No One in Marketing Knows What They’re Doing,” made the point that, although a lot of business professionals are well-studied and accomplished in classical marketing, few have been successful in shifting to digital marketing. “Sure, there are experts in some fields,” said Clark Kokich, chairman of the digital agency, Razorfish. “Someone may be really good in SEO or in mobile. But there aren’t any experts in making this transition.”
I don’t think it’s that black and white, but Kokich’s point raises important issues for today’s marketers, namely, that digital technology is significantly — and continuously — changing how we do our jobs. The onus is on all of us to stay current on the latest trends and technology available to best communicate with our customers or clients.
Consider this GEO location and mobile marketing example: While standing in line waiting to order at my favorite Mexican restaurant, I received a text message from that very restaurant asking if I wanted to join its dining club for special offers and discounts. All I needed to do was reply “yes” and it would enroll me on the spot. A savvy marketer had figured out a way to locate consumers that were within real-time range of his store. Using the geo tracking on my phone, he instantly reached out to me. WOW!
To stay relevant, we need to learn new skills and integrate digital marketing as a key strategic initiative. Consumers are changing how they interact and communicate with digital technologies. Customers expect their financial institution to do the same. So consider these communication methods to help your financial institution embrace the transition to digital marketing.
Today’s technology makes it easy to pinpoint customers’ activities or make educated guesses based on their profiles. Use this information to create targeted messages. Customers on the other end of your digital communication want to feel that you really know their needs, and a lack of personalization gives them an excuse to delete your messages. With the world growing more digital yet more personal, your financial institution needs to polish its game so the right offer gets to the right customer at the right time.
With smartphones in the hands and pockets of everybody from middle schoolers to senior citizens, it makes sense that more people are staying connected via mobile. Internet traffic via mobile devices is growing — two years ago it measured just 4%; today it’s grown to 20% in the United States and Canada, according to the online advertising network Chitka. Collect and maintain a customer email and mobile contact list and incorporate this information into your marketing efforts (with customers’ permission, of course). Your website should offer easy viewing via mobile devices as well. Not just cross-browser compliant, but an enhanced site specifically for smartphones. According to an October 2012 survey by eMarketer, although consumers still spend more time on their desktop than mobile, mobile use is growing14 times faster than desktop. Make it a priority to keep up.
Follow And Monitor Social Media
The popularity of social media impacts your financial institution whether you’re active in this space, planning to jump in, or still weighing the options. Many of your customers, potential customers, employees and business partners are socially connected, anytime and all the time, thanks to smartphones. Use monitoring tools to follow the issues and conversations taking place in social networks.
Listen for conversations about your financial institution, monitor what others are saying about it, and mitigate any brand and reputation risk. Social media has become an integral part of society — with that comes risk. All organizations, particularly highly regulated financial institutions, need to manage social media risk within company walls and on public domain sites.
There’s no doubt digital marketing enhancement and technologies bring great opportunities for promoting your financial institution. But as the mobile behaviors of consumers evolve, credit unions need to adapt. Yogi Berra had it right: “The future ain’t what it used to be.”
Ron Daly is the president/CEO of DigitalMailer, Inc., a firm providing the self-service digital communication tools today’s financial institutions need in their virtual branch as well as the expertise and resources to use them in their eStrategy to Connect. Communicate. Grow! To learn more, visit www.digitalmailer.comor call 866-994-4900.