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Emily Neier
by Emily Neier
on November 16, 2018

Banks are a necessary part of life for individuals and businesses, but there’s a lot of banks to choose from—so how does a financial institution stay ahead of its competitors? How does it keep growing in the digital age?

If you’re struggling to keep up, below we’ve got some growth tips just for banks.

1. Optimize for Mobile

If you haven’t optimized your website for mobile yet, you’re behind. Roughly half of web traffic worldwide is from mobile devices—websites have to be accessible on mobile, or the half of your customers relying on their smartphones will get frustrated.

But for banks, mobile goes beyond a responsive website design. Optimization for mobile includes email and apps, too. 55% of emails are opened on mobile devices—which is a much bigger deal for financial institutions sending more than marketing emails and promotional offers. Account balances, credit card statements, and important account security information might get missed by a customer if the email isn’t formatted to fit on a mobile screen.

Additionally, poorly functioning banking apps can be a source of frustration for customers, and therefore a channel of negative reviews and attitudes towards your bank’s brand. An app refresh followed by regular maintenance will keep your current customers using it—and they’ll leave positive reviews that’ll help build your brand.


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2. Social Media and Native Advertising

Social media platforms are creating advertising spaces that are increasingly native to the platform. Instagram especially is nailing their native ad space that blends into the user feed in both design and targeting audiences. But all business should be utilizing social media—so what’s special about this for the banking industry?

Pew Research Center indicates that 35% of of adults in the United States have an Instagram account, and 71% of adults ages 18-24 have an Instagram. That’s the younger half of the Millennial generation and the beginning of Gen Z. Social media usage is up across the board for platforms and demographic groups, so a basic, multi-channel social strategy will reach most of the market. But banks looking to grow might amp up their strategy on social platforms where the younger crowd—who’ve just started to wet their feet in financial decisions—is spending their time.

For banks looking to market B2B offerings, social media is still a good opportunity. The oldest Millennials are 38 now, so we’re steadily climbing into decision-making positions. In 2014, 46% of B2B buyers were Millennials. All of the major social media platforms allow for some level of audience targeting, so perhaps your bank’s next social campaign can focus on the generation recently blamed for ruining the American cheese singles industry.

3. Intervene Earlier in the Buyer’s Journey

Banks play a major role in a lot of buying decisions, especially those with higher price tags. But most of the time, banks don’t come in until the decision is ready to be signed off on. What if banks started coming into the big purchase buyer’s journey sooner?

For example, Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) developed an augmented reality app that users could utilize when researching buying a house. Users hold their device up to a property, and the app shows them it’s current price and sales history. CBA recognized a pain point for home buyers and created a simple solution, building trust with their audience. By intervening earlier in the buyer’s journey, CBA stands a better chance of signing app users to their mortgage options.

4. Monetize Data

At first, this sounds questionable because people don’t like the idea of having their information sold off to who-knows-where. But monetizing data isn’t a sketchy deep web deal—in fact, you could even do it in a way that’s helpful to customers.

You may have signed into another website using your Google or Facebook credentials, which is one way to monetize data. Several large Canadian banks took advantage of this API-powered solution by partnering with Securekey and the Canadian government which allows people to log into government websites with their bank credentials. Imagine renewing your driver’s license online without having to dig your wallet out to type in your license number (or heading out to the DMV for hours to do it).

5. Reach into Adjacent Markets

Generally, banks offer solutions directly related to money—but money plays a role in nearly every aspect of an adult’s life. Banks have a unique opportunity to reach into adjacent markets to grow business. This can go beyond partnering with a major retailer for a store credit card, or being the primary loan choice for a car dealership. For example, some banks are working with organizations in the healthcare industry to create a unified billing platform for healthcare expenses.

Banks and financial institutions have a unique position where they can grow in almost any direction they want. If your financial institution is looking to grow, we’d love to help you get started. If you’d like to see how we can help grow your business, click below to get in touch.

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