As data becomes richer and more useful, the result is the “steep learning curve faced by bank marketers.”

Craig Colgan

eRic Cook, a presenter at the ABA’s Bank Marketing Conference in Denver, September 11-13, is a former banker and now Chief Digital Strategist at WSI Digital. WSI Digital is based in Northern Michigan and focuses on serving community banks with custom, mobile-friendly website development. and digital marketing solutions. He will lead his Learning Lab at a conference on Strategic Approaches to Digital Marketing for Banks. His experience in the rapidly changing world of banking marketing has made him a key voice in where the field is heading.

How much has banking marketing changed in recent years? From the beginning in the late 90’s to today, I remember when I was afraid to give everyone at TON. Bank access to email. It now trains bankers on how to effectively use social platforms and online networking to build personal relationships and create a distinctive personal brand online.

Data has become so accessible that we can track just about any digital marketing metric imaginable, and what lies ahead in the form of machine learning, AI, Web3 technology, and more further underscores the steep learning curve. Just do it. What bank marketers face. continue to face

What are the key upcoming trends for banking marketers? With so much information to make decisions with, I think data is certainly an important consideration. Key deal information, customer profitability, social his trends, and even the evolution of website metrics with the eventual demise of Google’s Universal Analytics and his transition to GA4 in July 2023.

That change alone will make data from the web more focused on revealing user journeys rather than every single individual session, so marketers can see how people are banking on different devices. You will be able to better understand how you are involved with I also think it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for things like AI (maybe tiptoe into copywriting to explore this area first). and needs. At this point, the Metaverse and Web3 are certainly still ‘Wild West’ destinations, but there are also several financial brands that are exploring and exploring what opportunities lie ahead.

How do banks stay current in the face of such rapid change in all areas, especially marketing? It’s not easy. Because the “day labor” requirement to be a banker (and everything a banker needs to know) hasn’t gone down. Still, you have to keep up with all the changes, new platforms, technologies, increasing competition, and so on.

Indeed, attending an event like the ABA Bank Marketing Conference is a great place to start. Network with as many people as possible. Be a sponge and take it in. Take it not only from speakers and exhibitors, but also from those who are there ‘on the front lines’ just like you. This is one of the things I look forward to in my sessions. Engage bankers, share their stories with each other, and learn from your peers.

Back when I was a banker, meetings and banking school were the best ways to stay on top of my game, learn new things, and get to know people who could be there for me as future resources. I also remember presenting some of the ‘non-banking’ events that weren’t afraid to look outside the industry and focus on the bigger picture: marketing, content, data analysis, strategy, etc. Getting involved is also a great idea.

“Getting off the grid” and attending larger events where there are examples from other industries can give you ideas, give you a different perspective, and help you come up with something that might otherwise never have been considered. It’s helpful.

What attracted you to work with bank marketers? After graduating from university, I started working in the banking industry in 1992. My father was a banker growing up. But I had no intention of going to the bank. never say never. We ended up working with Marshall Savings Bank in Marshall, Michigan for 13 of his 33 years as a banker. Marshall Savings Bank has been acquired several times and is now Huntington Bank.

During his tenure at the bank, he worked as a teller for the first three years, starting at ground level. He then moved on to various areas such as technology, compliance, marketing and operations, eventually becoming a senior manager/executive overseeing the region. of the bank.

I built the bank’s first website in 1995 and became one of the first community banks in the country to have a web presence. My “gut feeling” was that having a website and being part of the “World Wide Web” was what all kinds of businesses would do. Including banks. In 2007, I decided to quit banking and become passionate about all things digital and opened an agency.

This will allow us to work with bankers across the country on digital challenges. And I love helping people find ways to tell their stories that make a difference, connect with communities, build relationships, and stand out online.

What are some tips for banks to work well with vendors in marketing and other areas? I “grew up” from a small community bank and have had to rely on partners to serve our customers and stay ahead of our competitors. When I was a banker and worked a lot with vendors, one of the things I tried to do was treat them as true partners and make sure that both the bank and the vendor are focused on the big picture. is to check

I was very transparent about the bank’s goals and objectives and what we wanted to achieve, working closely with our partners to see how they could help us achieve our goals. Vendors who were not interested in partnering with us and simply wanted to sell me something did not last long for us. We ended up relying on a handful of vendors. Not all vendors will need this level of “partnership” approach, but important vendors will take the time to understand your bank and what you want to achieve and You should be comfortable making suggestions. Banker, you might want it. I think our clients are banking professionals, but maybe not so many in digital marketing, online strategy, etc. As their partner, it’s our job to go the extra mile to ensure that what we bring to the table is more than just that. It’s specifically asked for, but what do you need to be successful?

What mistakes do marketing vendors make when working with banks? Vendors wishing to serve the banking industry must be able to put themselves in the banker’s shoes. The challenges they face, their current culture (and their challenges), the questions they need answered, their compliance concerns, and more. /security/regulation etc.

Bankers also need a great deal of patience, as things don’t go quickly and a partner-focused approach is always appreciated. You need to let the bankers know that you will be there for the long term and that you will be there to help educate, explore and develop ideas at the right time.

In addition to their agency work focused on helping banks, in 2020 Eric and his team launched an industry-specific mentoring community called LinkedBanker. The program enables individual bankers and those serving the banking industry to discover how they can leverage digital and social tools to build relationships with their customers, prospects and the communities they serve. It was created to help you.

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