Institutions are seeking a multitude of means to stimulate their growth.
Growth is mission-critical for banks but can be difficult to achieve due to various factors. A successful growth goal and outcome needs a systematic approach toward execution. Banks can achieve growth by driving toward metrics that are broken into components across the institution. But to ensure that growth is not merely a board-level catchphrase, banks need to establish a clear set of strategies and plans that lead to sustainable success.
Three variables drive growth at banks:
• Leadership and strategy.
• People and culture.
Leadership and Strategy
Leadership and strategy are enormously impactful on any organization’s growth — or lack thereof. Winning banks are headed by executives who map out a clear vision and direction, backed by metrics, for where they want to take their organization. What gets measured gets managed. Accompanying this vision are strategies that banks can use to articulate growth goals and objectives throughout their organization.
Clarity of vision, open and transparent employee communication and simple messaging can all align growth objectives to people’s specific roles in the organization. This can boost understanding of their roles in the larger machinery and morale among employees. Finally, management should emphasize how the institution will monitor progress against realistic metrics, with the highest levels of leadership retaining the ability to adjust course when necessary.
People and Culture
The confluence of people and culture is another major impact on the growth of banks. An institution is only as good as the individual. Banks must create a team of motivated employees who are aligned with the vision and values of their leaders. Clear and transparent communication can foster a culture rooted in innovation, collaboration and customer-centricity directed toward growth.
The third major impact on growth is marketing, both strategic and tactical. Banks that have a firm understanding of their account holders’ current financial needs, their target markets and how to best serve them can effectively leverage marketing to foster growth. In a world of digital touchpoints, staying competitive means providing personalized and quantified marketing campaigns that aim to reach, connect, engage and ultimately spur action that positively impacts the bank’s growth trajectory.
Banks that work to align all three of these elements have a good chance of achieving their growth goals and sustainable success while gaining a competitive advantage and delivering higher value to their customers. Failure to do so can spell trouble for banks, leading to stagnation, decline and potential closures.
Challenges That Stunt Growth
The financial services industry faces several challenges that broadly hinder its ability to grow. In recent years, the industry has contended with a shortage of skilled employees, turnover and overwhelming ongoing demands. Although digital transformation is essential, it can be expensive and result in banking feeling less personal if the digital element is not fully leveraged for customer communications. This, in turn, clashes with a bank’s growth objectives.
Despite digital transformation being one of the top goals in the financial services industry, banks may not fully grasp how to capitalize on their digital assets. Banks need to utilize their abundance of customer data to humanize digital interactions. Using data and AI insights can lead to increased customer engagement within multiple digital channels, which leads to growth. But how do banks do this with the severe shortage of the skills needed to lead and implement digital strategies?
Growth as a Service
Digital engagement and cross-selling are critical for banks, especially in a hypercompetitive landscape with high consumer expectations. Banks need to invest in the right technologies to do this at scale. And those banks focused on growth have a mandate to find and use these solutions effectively.
The benefit of “growth as a service,” otherwise known as GRaaS, is that it does not just stop at technology. Understanding what technology platforms to use is an important part of the puzzle — but it’s still only a part of the puzzle. With GRaaS, bank leaders can get a robust combination of technology and industry experts who can become an extension of your bank, while putting the tech to good use towards your growth goals.
As a holistic approach that enables the growth of loans and deposits, GRaaS can also support banks’ quest to acquire new customers and digital users. The “service” in GRaaS is what is so pivotal. It delivers that soup-to-nuts value: expertise that can conceptualize, define, implement, measure and optimize multiple, concurrent data-driven campaigns to serve a bank’s growth objectives.