It’s 11:57 pm and you check your phone one last time before bed. Your Facebook feed has been blowing up since 11:57 last night. Even near-strangers posted “Happy birthday!” on your Facebook wall — but your mother didn’t call. How could she forget? Well, she is human, after all. And in reality, most of your virtual well-wishers only remembered your birthday because a piece of software reminded them.
Technology has changed how we connect, express care for others, and keep track of significant life events (relationship status change, job change, anniversaries).
For marketers, this technological shift is an unqualified boon. The recipe is simple: 1) harvest self-reported personal data from your target market, such as name, birthdays, family status, location, and profession and 2) feed that into a marketing automation platform that can track data points and trigger personalized communications such emails, texts, postcards.
Robots (AKA Marketing Automation) are Ready and Willing to Help
What's the reason you felt disappointed when your mom forgot to call? It's because you have a 1-to-1 connection with her and you expect certain things.
You probably wouldn't feel terrible if your dentist forgot to send an email on your birthday. But if he did remember it would mean even more because you weren’t expecting it! That’s what makes the marketing automation opportunity so special — businesses can delight and surprise their customers with communication that feels personalized and perfectly timed.
Community banks and credit unions are known for having better relationships, being more focused on people over profits, and with marketing automation, you can reach them at a new level. The possibilities go far beyond birthdays or account anniversaries.
With the right automation platform and integrations, you can:
- Equip customer service reps with helpful personal context;
- Target seasonal offers to specific customer segments (such as Mothers’ Day);
- Dial in your communication strategy based on individual preference (similar to how airlines send you notifications via SMS);
- Trigger customized offers (if they have a car, maybe offer a HELOC);
- Re-engage dormant accounts.
Giving Machines a Human Touch
This use of technology may not feel more human to you — data and automation aren’t words that inspire warm thoughts. But there’s no denying that when an acquaintance remembers details about you, such as your name or favorite restaurant, it feels good. It feels like you matter to them enough for them to store away all those little details.
Marketing automation gives you the power to make people feel important in a way that was all but impossible in the pre-internet age of marketing and advertising. It’s a powerful relationship-building tool that shows how much your institution cares and is willing to go the extra mile on their behalf.
The truth is, much like we want Netflix to recommend the next show to binge watch, or Amazon to show us the perfect upsell to compliment our latest purchase, consumers expect businesses to collect and leverage their personal data to create more personalized experiences that deliver the right offers at the perfect time.
Cutting Edge Technology within your Reach
Remember when I said this was an easy recipe for marketers? Well, like a recipe, getting the desired end result requires starting with the correct ingredients and tools. In this scenario, your ingredients are data sources and the tool is a marketing automation platform.
Don’t fall into the mental trap of “only banks or credit unions with 7 digit marketing budgets can afford this kind of tech.” You’re already collecting lots of information about account holders. And there are marketing automation platforms that are designed for nearly every price point and industry — even banking!
The Robots are on Your Side
Visualize a world where on any given day an account holder asks you about a new loan, or investment advice — or better yet, decides to move all their financial activity to your institution. What prompted the conversation? Maybe the postcard that was triggered on their account anniversary, or the SMS message offering a free investment consultation when you recognized a higher than usual deposit — even the satisfaction survey that emails out after they reported a stolen debit card.
You know your account holders better than anyone — with a little extra consideration and effort, you can design marketing communications that make each recipient feel like the only person who matters.
Best of all, once you set it up, the robots (marketing automation platform) won’t forget to call, text, or write, which frees you up to focus on tasks that only you can do.
Want to Explore More?
Jim Marous of The Financial Brand wrote a piece exploring 10 reasons why Community Banks and Credit Unions can't afford to avoid Marketing Automation.
Or, if you're ready to start exploring how your institution specifically could benefit from a marketing automation platform, we'd be happy to give you a tour of our platform, Connect.