Why Are Bank Marketing Departments Not Profit Centers?

It’s 2022 and the technological changes in everything in life have never been more rapid or meaningful. And while the banking industry has made some progress, it continues to encounter challenges on the digital journey.

Marketing efficiently to customers and prospects remains a big one. Transforming a bank marketing department from a necessary evil and cost center to a thriving profit center that actively generates revenue is not a far-fetched reality. Traditional marketing strategies and tactics can seem downright primitive in a rapidly expanding and flourishing digital economy. Banks must recognize that their account holders are in fact digital users and have high expectations about all of their digital experiences.

So why hasn’t bank marketing adopted to the digital economy? Even though the benefits are easy to visualize, the issues and factors preventing this transformation are real and complex.

Over the past decade, banks have made significant investments in technology. At the top of the list were digital banking apps, which became the main gateway for customers to interact with their banks. Bank transactions became virtual. But while transactional activities took precedence, customer engagement was not top-of-mind for bank executives.

The question that many banks failed to ask themselves is: Are we doing enough digitally to let our account holders know that we understand and value them? It’s vital that banks engage with their customers uniquely, at scale. This engagement must be unique; each consumer is experiencing a different life state and distinctive financial odyssey. Accomplishing this involves a journey — not an event or app.

In a world of intense competition and tech savvy consumers, digital engagement is not only needed for a bank to survive, never mind thrive. How does it begin? For a bank to transform their marketing department, the strategy and investment starts at the top. How important is digital engagement to the bank? What tools and resources does the bank need to expand the digital universe of a financial institution? Does the marketing department have the authority to comply and seek out the solutions to help in this journey?

Changing how marketing works requires executives to treat modern data-driven marketing as a key growth strategy for their banks. Developing high-level goals will drive clear revenue objectives, generate data-driven strategies and leverage  digital marketing technology to power legitimate marketing performance metrics.

Differing priorities, lack of clear direction, fear of change, uncertainty about results and confusion about available solutions — these are not small challenges faced by bank marketing professionals. Banks motivated to make the changes to better equip their departments with the tools and resources they need should not underestimate these issues; it’s important to recognize and address these genuine issues when they arise.

Interestingly, most banks won’t need to make significant additional investments. That’s because they won’t be spending any more on marketing — they’ll be spending it differently, in ways that generate positive results. This digital marketing investment relies on data — business  and artificial intelligence —for smarter communication with consumers, so they understand that their trusted bank truly knows them and humanizes every interaction, even though the medium is digital.

What if banks operated with clarity of purpose, a strategy for growth, a transition path to digital engagement and the ability to source practical solutions? It’s not about having the newest shiny object, but instead having a reliable and robust tech platform that drives new sales for financial institutions every day. Proof and results matter. Solutions can help your bank grow by simplifying digital marketing with amazing customer experiences, resulting in new product sales and lasting long-term relationships with your digital users.

Banks can revolutionize their marketing department into a future-proofed, thriving profit center. Who is ready?