By Antony Rahman
For some time now, digital marketing has been slowly gaining traction as one of the most important avenues for growth in the financial world. A pervasive online presence is indispensable for any bank looking to increase their customer base. Additionally, a polished user interaction design and support system for its suite of apps retain customer loyalty and contentment. This is all brought together by an easily distinguishable and memorable brand which should be consistent across all facets of a bank’s digital marketing services. Financial institutions in Bangladesh that wish to expand and reap the greatest benefits of their digital marketing efforts must presently ask themselves some very important questions in regards to their digital marketing capabilities.
Is your bank currently making use of mobile apps to help customers manage their account?
A mobile app must offer vital features such as mobile bill payment options and deposit features. Many financial institutions jumped on the mobile app bandwagon instantaneously when they witnessed its potential for customer satisfaction. However, in doing so, they unsurprisingly created clunky apps that were hard to use and low on features. It is important to make the development of the app a high priority; it is commonly the first impression that customers have in terms of digital banking. Mobile apps will soon become every bank’s central hub for providing service and customer interaction. According to surveys, at least 40% of customers (of all ages) now pay close attention to financial institutions online and mobile banking solutions to help them decide if they’ll patronize it or not.
Are you educating your employees and customers on your banking technology?
Your employees must be well versed in all aspects of the technology being used at your institution. They must be the first in line brand representatives of your digital media, and have a proficient and intimate understanding of all the online and mobile app solutions being offered by the bank. This will allow them to easily explain these services to any interested customer in detail. Similarly, an effort must be made to present the banking technology in an easily comprehensible way for customers. Sometimes, innovative online solutions and offers are simply not utilized to their fullest by customers because the customers do not find out about them, or do not properly understand the benefits they’d enjoy by using them.
Does your bank have a responsive, professionally designed and carefully maintained a website?
In today’s digital world, a bank’s website is in many ways the ‘face’ of the bank in the public eye. If the website is difficult to use, poorly designed, or lacking in important information or features, customers will immediately be more wary of engaging with that bank. Steps must be taken to ensure that your bank’s website is responsive and easy to peruse on mobile, tab and desktop computer platforms. If a potential customer enters your website through their mobile and they are met with limited content and features, they may not take the time to try and check the site on their computer.
Does your bank have a social media presence?
Delving into social media marketing is an investment into a bank’s reputation; over time, it pays off and becomes a considerable utility for building trust with the consumer-base. A bank which maintains a strong social media presence on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn is more likely to be viewed more favorably. Social media engagement with consumers creates a sense of personal interaction that prevents them from seeing your institution as a faceless, uncaring corporate machine. Advertisements, product, and service sales are seen as less grating and intrusive when they appear in the form of a new tweet, or a Facebook post.
Does your bank have a unique and recognizable brand?
With digital media and technology becoming an important asset of every financial institution, the only way to set yourself apart from the masses is to have a clear and distinct brand. A Brand is more than simply a logo, it is the culmination of the vision that the founders started with, and a representation of everything that makes your institution stand out from the rest. A brand is a story, and that story must be easily inferable from the bank’s social media and other digital marketing technology. Every part of a bank’s online presence must work to highlight and enhance the bank as a distinctive brand, which gives it a recognizable appeal to consumers.
These answers are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to a financial institution’s digital marketing needs. Nevertheless, they provide a solid starting point. There are dozens, possibly even hundreds of other avenues for a bank to invest in to keep up in today’s cyber-savvy business world and the greatest competitive edge now lies with those who stay ahead in the race for digital marketing innovation and implementation.
“Social media affords an incredible opportunity to sensationalize banking solutions with creative campaigns and positioning, with the added ability to push new products in a swift manner and take audiences to their websites.”
How important is it for banks to maintain a social media presence in the digital space now?
Social media platforms can no longer be considered places where people simply connect and communicate in real-time with the click of a button. Platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc. are increasingly providing a broader range of services to their users either directly or through partners, making them central to people’s lives. Content posted on social media platforms offers a clear picture of how banks seek to portray the organization. On top of the content list is information on their products, sponsorship news – events, teams and activities that the bank sponsors, and in third place comes news on the bank’s philanthropic activities.
How can banks in Bangladesh be made more aware of the importance of digital marketing and what it entails?
Banks in Bangladesh have already started adopting Digital Marketing. How effective this is, is rather questionable on the grounds that most of the banks do not provide online banking or smartphone app services as of yet. Having said that, successful digital marketing campaigns can penetrate the right areas and convert the online audience into potential consumers. The banks need to be aware that the facilities it provides and how their competitions are adopting this not-so-new trend in marketing, and how far they have come. Only through recognizing the opportunities it creates, the banks can be more aware of the importance of digital marketing and what it entails.
Banks are already active through their web portals. How can they improve upon the services they provide through their websites?
There is a shift worldwide to blogging and rise of online articles. Banks can grab that opportunity and create a recognizable identity for their products and services on a familiar platform for their customers through this. Social media affords an incredible opportunity to sensationalize banking solutions with creative campaigns and positioning, with the added ability to push new products in a swift manner and take audiences to their websites.
To become more proficient in the digital landscape means that banks will require staff who can operate on this landscape. How important is to familiarize their older workforce to this concept?
For any brand, it is important to understand that the employees are not devoid of the horizon of social networking. The people in an organization contribute to their social selling; not only should they be taught tips, tricks, and best practices, but companies should also make sure their employees post on their own behalf and not on the company’s behalf.