In many financial institutions, you’d be hard pressed to find a major initiative in which the marketing department doesn’t play a role. Now more than ever, you’re being asked to do so much more and often with fewer resources. If you’ve ever wondered how on earth you can balance these efforts and get it all done, you don’t need to clone yourself; you just need better tools.
Why use marketing automation?
A marketing automation system can elevate your marketing game while allowing you to work more efficiently. This software allows you to streamline and automate repetitive marketing tasks. And it’s not just email; today’s marketing automation platforms offer a broad range of functionality and tools, along with powerful insight and data that provide benefit to others within your FI and allow you to connect with customers and prospects with more intuitive and relevant communications.
A strong marketing automation tool will give you the data you need to better manage your sales funnel, so you’re able to deliver highly personalized and relevant content that nurtures prospects at every point along the sales process, paving the way to convert prospects into customers. It also helps your frontline staff stay as efficient as possible, as they can prioritize their calling efforts with lead scoring that identifies their best prospects.
What can marketing automation do?
There are tons of automation options out there and while many offer a similar set of tools, the overall scope of functionality can vary from one system to another.
Some common functions that marketing automation can be utilized for include:
Landing page creation
Cross-channel marketing campaigns
Lead nurturing and scoring
Social media management
Custom form creation
CRM & sales tools
So how does that help you? Here are a few ways your FI might utilize marketing automation:
Setting up an email onboarding campaign, welcoming new customers and providing them with relevant product messaging to encourage cross-sell of additional products and services.
Quickly creating a custom form that can be integrated within your existing website to collect contact information for branch manager follow up.
Developing dynamic landing pages–without involving a developer – to provide trackable landing pages for your campaigns.
Simplifying social media by posting to all of your platforms from one centralized location – reporting is a snap, too!
Developing customer personas that allow you to better target your audience and send highly personalized content. Personalization at scale - all the wow, without the work!
Automating your expansion – schedule business-as-usual promotion efforts, so these efforts don’t get lost amidst other high priority initiatives that may zap your internal resources.
Better focus your calling efforts by using lead scoring to identify “warm” contacts – no need to waste time on disinterested ones!
Meeting your digital-focused Millennial and Gen Z audience where they are – they crave personalization and they want to feel understood. Automation allows this – and makes it easier for FIs to authentically target specific audiences effectively.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. In short, marketing automation does all of the above, and then some, while also delivering the crucial data you need to determine the ROI of your efforts.
How do I select a marketing automation platform?
When it comes to marketing automation tools, you’ll quickly find that there are a lot of options out there. It’s important to start your search with a clear focus, in order to make sure your team selects the platform that best addresses your business needs.
Start by defining your business objectives. Once you identify the key tasks you seek to streamline with your marketing automation efforts, prioritize finding a platform with the functionality you need to achieve them.
For example, if the ability to create custom landing pages for your campaigns is a high priority, don’t get distracted by a tool with lots of bells and whistles that you don’t need. It’s easy to lose sight of what your must-haves are when you’re faced with a slick platform. Keep your goals in focus to ensure you’re selecting the marketing automation system will serve the role you need it to.
Don’t forget to consider things like:
What kind of training will be provided?
How many contacts can I upload to the system?
Is the interface user-friendly and easy to understand?
Is the cost worth the value that it provides?
What does it take to get up and running? Do we have the support we need to make that happen? And what level of resource will it take on an ongoing basis to maximize the investment?
Be sure to request demonstrations, and include representatives from all banking departments who will likely be using the tool. A demo will allow you a behind-the-curtains glimpse at the software to go beyond the sales pitch and see if the tool performs the tasks you want in a way that will be beneficial to your FI. During one demonstration, we quickly ruled out a platform because the interface was so clunky and outdated that we knew the rate of adoption would be lower than we’d like. Other tools quickly rose to the top because we could easily see that all of our must-have boxes were checked – and then some.
Do your due diligence. While it adds time to the process, doing a thorough business case analysis to determine what elements of the software you’ll use, and what value they will provide, requires that you weigh your options and think beyond the distractions of a persistent sales person. Marketing automation only increases your efficiency if you use it – so take your time when making a decision!
Research is speaking clearly: Customers are craving personalization, and they want their FI to deliver financial guidance that meets them where they are. Setting up and implementing automation efforts allows you to better tailor your messaging to your various customer personas, delivering targeted messages that appeals to their specific needs more easily than ever.
Wondering if marketing automation can help you? Not sure where to get started? We can help! Reach out to Sarah Turner, our Director of Digital Services, to start the conversation.