From the laptop of Keith Brannan, Chief Marketing Officer Kasasa:
The ongoing global health crisis has introduced new challenges for all of our businesses, of which you’re no doubt aware. Our team speaks daily with community financial institution (CFI) leaders and we wanted to share a couple of marketing themes that have emerged.
Whether we are in this pandemic crisis for one, two, three, or six months, no one wants to shut down their marketing only to restart it later.
Everyone is in uncharted waters and we are seeking new, reliable information that can help maintain the right momentum.
One of the top questions we hear is, “what should I do with my marketing right now? Should I pause?” I get it. Nobody wants to waste a dollar that could be better spent elsewhere.
Here is our four-step recommendation that answers that question, supported by data.
Step one - Don't pause your marketing.
You should maintain or even increase your marketing efforts — if not the spend, then the impressions. In this crisis, as well as others, the community needs you to be available and know they can still get the services they need. The only way to accomplish this is to communicate more, not less. When they see regular marketing and communication, consumers feel more confident that you are there to support them when times are tough. An evaluation of past economic downturns indicates those who stay the course with their marketing win during and after the downturn.
The worst possible outcome would be when times are tough, your name disappears from the landscape. That sends a harmful message about your brand.
Step two - Reassure your community.
Now is the time to shift messaging a bit. We are recommending a portion of your outbound efforts shift to “reassurance messaging.” It allows you to stay in the market, indicates your desire to support the community, and drives consumers to your website, while still respecting that they may need reassurance more than product information. But tomorrow they will be shopping again.
If you are currently running media with Kasasa, you have the option to call your CSM for assistance shifting a portion of your messaging.
Step three - Pick the right channel.
Now more than ever you need to leverage digital and social advertising as a way to target your community with those new reassurance messages. According to Nielsen, our new quarantined lives are driving media consumption to historical highs as the average American now spends 4+ hours using a smartphone, 4+ hours watching TV, and 2 hours listening to radio/podcasts each day.
That’s a lot of new media inventory on Sling, Pluto, Hulu, Roku, etc. So not only is the targeting great, but all that new media inventory drives prices down, allowing you increase your reach without spending more.
At Kasasa we are seeing impressions increase by 30% while also seeing click rates improve by almost 10% on social and 72% for digital.
Step four - Target and influence.
Over the last few weeks consumer behavior has changed. Searches for financial products like personal loans, auto refinancing, and online account opening are up, while other product searches are down. Interestingly, the Kasasa media we run for many CFIs has remained steady in its performance for driving online applications.
That means that even though consumer behaviors may change, they can still be influenced with the right targeting and media. Now more than ever, your marketing needs to leverage data science.
BONUS STOP - Prepare for what's next.
The most important thing to know is the longer we are in this position, the more likely consumer behavior will remain changed when this is over. Habits develop far more rapidly when they are reinforced positively, so if a consumer finds a provider that offers an easy online experience during this time, they are far less likely to switch back.
That’s all. For the moment.
We will keep sharing information as we get it and try to answer the hard questions with real data. For now we believe the best course of action is to be vital to your community and account holders. Let them know you understand, reassure them, reinforce your presence, and plan for a future that supports their changing behaviors.