New Year’s Resolutions for Bank Marketers (Additional Thoughts)

New Control’s Jim Marous just posted his 22 Industry Leaders Provide New Year’s Resolutions for Bank Marketers. I thought I would share more of the content I provided to Jim for his excellent collection of material of what will impact financial services marketing in the coming year. I appreciate being part of this great piece.

Our industries challenges are many, the pace of innovation is relentless, but the future is bright for those organizations that can remain nimble. I look forward to learning, sharing, and meeting even more of you in 2013. Look for me at Finovate, Future of Money, Bank Innovation (Panel), and NetFinance (Roundtable), and probably a few more places.

Let me know what you think, or schedule some time to discuss.

Evolution of Current Trend: Mobile Engagement 

Between Startups and Large Banks, We’re Going To See Mobile Applications Explode In Unexpected Ways

2013 will move the mobile banking conversation beyond transactions. While certain analysts see mobile phones as driving transactional banking and the tablet as driving financial management tools, this channel preference debate deserves deeper conversation.  In the coming year, we’ll reach the tipping point where more than 50% of all banks and credit unions will have mobile services…but the majority of these applications still offer limited capabilities…transfers, bill pay, a brief snapshot of transactions, maybe some financial management. There is some promise of proximity aware merchant rewards, of transaction level tagging and ongoing engagement through personalization, but we need to deliver more, frankly. We need to engage our customers with their own data, and drive new levels of personalized service to help them create their own value from their transactions. Good examples of this come from Simple or MoneyDesktop, but there is much more to do. As Brett King has said, the opportunity for mobile is not the wallet, it is re-imaging the utility of banking from a mobile perspective. The behavior of mobile payments has been well established, as has the consumption of content through mobile devices.  Banks have the data and the means available to further engage customer’s changing behavior: What does my aggregated financial picture look like right now? Which account should I pay with? Proximity awareness and user preferences will help drive us toward the best place for coffee, restaurants, groceries or gas. Our mobile applications will see renewed  focus on engaging and simplified customer experiences, and improved contextual offer placement. We’ll see more applications leveraging voice, as well as the social graph because individualized preferences are critical. Care to see Norah Jones tonight? There are tickets available, and she’s playing in about two hours. Would you like me to secure tickets for you, make a dinner reservation, and call a cab? Yes please.


Single Resolution for 2013: Focus On Onboarding, Acquisition Opportunities, Marketing Automation (Growing New Customers, Existing Customer Cross Sell) 

There are many things that banks and credit unions can improve…so much low hanging fruit.  We have poorly designed websites, we don’t have engaging online banking technology, we put up with fintech partners that don’t deliver compelling mobile technology…we don’t focus on the user experience and a consistent formula for talking to our customers…but what is lost when we don’t have a robust customer onboarding program? How can we leverage technology that delivers an engaging onboarding experience, accross channels? We need to improve our self-service deposit and loan account opening, from those that are self-service through the web and mobile, to those that customers experience in the retail office.

Look what happened during Bank Transfer Day? Customers of big banks moved to big banks, for the most part…because it was simply easier to do so.  Online account opening for new customers can be easily improved, mobile account opening (like we see at USAA) can be added…new ways to leverage leads through the web, social media…get people to the point of commitment, get them on-board as simply and quickly as possible (including improving the in-branch experience), make it easy for existing customers to add new accounts and accept automated credit offers – by improving these areas, banks will start to address the lost revenue from compressed margins, lower fee income from debit and credit, and the nibbling of payment income streams by startups and payment networks. Without continuous customer growth (and related retention efforts), we’ll see the number of financial institutions drop from 14,000 today to half that in a decade. It will happen that fast. Customer behavior is dictating much higher levels of technology investment.

The Coming Year

I ended up publishing over 40 posts to this blog in 2012 and expect 2013 to be more focused on delivering thought-provoking original content.  I plan to discuss everything from building out client facing technology and marketing roadmaps, to sharing experiences working with various consultant groups, along with industry trends in several areas from design to mobile to payments to social to user experience. There is always so much going on in fintech. So watch this space.

I wish you a Happy New Year and continued success with your endeavors.

Brad @Leimer

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