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Banking On Digital Growth Part 3: Practical Strategies for Growth

Digital Marketing

One of the current ‘must read’ books on our shelves here at Metric is Banking on Digital Growth by James Robert Lay. It’s full of insights and ideas on the future of the financial industry and has proven valuable to many of our credit union clients.

Our CEO, John McDonald, has pulled out a few of his favourite insights and we’ll be summarizing them here on our blog - but we hope you’ll read the entire book!

In Part 1 of this series, we explored the ways in which recent trends have disrupted and transformed operations for FIs and credit unions. In Part 2, we drilled down further to examine why credit unions must evolve their approach for today’s swiftly shifting market.

Today, we answer the questions of how credit unions can bridge the gap from traditional to digital and cyber-physical banking pathways.

As James Robert Lay points out in Banking on Digital Growth, there are many manageable, measurable changes that credit unions can make to stay relevant and in-demand. 

  • Establish a strong foundation for digital growth. Take stock of your brand, website and conversion pathways. When your brand stands out from the crowd, your website is user-friendly and optimized to convert, and you have the data measurement tools to analyze ROI, you have a strong foundation for growth. 

  • Build a digital growth engine. Map out the path your ideal customer will take to discover and then choose you. What digital tools will they use at each step? What messages will they seek along the way? Answering these questions will enable you to build your engine for digital growth—then measure, optimize, campaign and repeat!  

  • Maximize your digital growth potential. By committing wholeheartedly to digital growth, you maximize your potential to succeed. The world is growing more—not less—digitally-focused.The credit unions that commit to digital growth today, will lead in the field tomorrow.

  • Keep it human. Create opportunities for face-to-face contact by offering video chat solutions like FaceTime and Zoom.

  • Take the long view. Make decisions based on what’s likely to work in the future, not on what’s worked in the past. Don’t be afraid to break the mold!

  • Stay service-focused. Focus less on product innovation for its own sake, and more on creating a client experience that delights at every point. 

  • Take a page from a winning playbook. Look at what’s worked for other businesses that have transcended physical locations —  Apple stores, for example. Rather than transactional spaces, credit union branches are likely to become centers for financial coaching, guidance and accountability.

  • Rethink your sales approach. Break free from legacy marketing and sales systems built around branches and broadcast advertising. Focus instead on  identifying the information sources and tools consumers use at each stage in their decision making journey, and meeting them there with messaging that connects.

  • Master the art of digital communication. Convert your marketing teams to content and media experts. Find ways to use digital and mobile media to communicate with your prospects in a way that is empathetic and human.

  • Empower your sales team. Transform your sales teams from order takers and product pushers to coaches and consultants that have built authority through expertise

  • Bridge the trust gap. According to studies, only 8% of millennials feel they can trust financial institutions for guidance. To solve this, FIs must realize that trust is built based on purpose; in other words, your why is more important than your what. Start by developing a clear, well thought-out purpose—”why we do what we do”—to earn the trust of the next generation. 

  • Define your niche. Your credit union can not be all things to all people. Focus your sales, marketing and growth efforts by identifying two to three consumer personas—that is, niches of members who share the same goals, questions, concerns, needs and feelings toward FIs. Doing so will help you maximize your digital growth potential by focusing on the channels and content most likely to touch the right people at the right time in their customer journey.

DID YOU KNOW? Research has shown that 68% of banks and credit unions have not created or defined consumer personas. This is problematic because without personas, it is difficult to empathize or meaningfully connect with your audiences.

Are you ready to evolve your approach to credit union marketing? We’d love to chat about the trends you’re seeing—and how Metric can help you break ground in new territory. Talk to us today to get started.