Financial Institutions Need Digital Marketing Strategy and Risk Management Policies

Posted by Tim O'Rourke on Thu, Apr 14, 2011 @ 06:55 PM

risk reward diceRegulators of financial institutions are concerned about digital media, and while a great deal of thought has gone into maintaining security of digital banking transactions, not much has been done with social media and other “inbound marketing” tools. In the uncontrollable world of social media, bank and credit union employees, as well as their customers and members, can engage in risky behaviors without thinking about the ramifications. Yet, the financial industry needs these tools in order to communicate with customers and the public at large in the new digital world.

The fact that social media has risks need not stop a bank or credit union from embracing an inbound marketing and customer/community engagement strategy. Banks are in the business of taking risks, but they need to get a better handle on the risks associated with digital marketing. Since no money transactions occur in most social media channels, the risks are more related to the security of private information and damage to your brand.

Every financial institution needs a Social Media Policy. Regulators will be looking for one the next time they do an IT examination (funny that they think of social media as IT). The policy should address the dos and don’ts of using social media for all employees and how to deal with situations in which customers make mistakes in your branded media. Common sense should be the rule, but in today’s litigious society you need to be clear about protecting customer information and protecting the company’s reputation. In helping banks and credit unions develop these policies, we have seen good policies and policies that backfired on the Company. An Australian bank set a policy that employees could be disciplined if their friends and family members posted negative things about the bank in any social media. Employees and their union took the bank to task and the bank finally admitted it was a mistake. They changed their policy.

orienteeringIf you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there. Policy guides strategy and if you don’t have a digital marketing strategy, you are likely to make mistakes in your policy. So, before a bank or credit union sets out to develop a social media policy, an important first step is to think through the overall plan for digital media, inbound marketing and use of social media.  We’ll do more on bank and credit union inbound marketing strategy in future blogs. 

We would love to hear from banks and credit unions about what they are doing to plan their digital media strategies and mitigate the risks. Call us at 919-732-2835 or click here and complete the form on our home page and we will contact you.

Tags: Digital Marketing Strategy, Social Media, Strategy, Marketing Strategy, Banks, Financial Institutions, Risk Management, Banking, Integration, Credit Unions

The Consumer Decision Journey - Turn Customers Into Salespeople

Posted by Mike O'Rourke on Mon, Dec 27, 2010 @ 07:11 PM

If you’re reading this blog, odds are you’re very familiar with the sales funnel concept for turning prospects into customers. The funnel is tried and true, and about as marketing 101 as it gets. It’s helped countless businesses to identify opportunities to refine their marketing processes and build their customer base. 

However, recently the sales funnel has been failing to account for the nuances of the modern purchase decision process. Consumers are more empowered than ever thanks to the social nature of the internet, and the funnel’s one-way nature neglects existing customers’ abilities to give feedback and interact with brands and other potential customers.

Last year, McKinzie developed a new marketing model that effectively illustrates the added dynamics of consumer feedback and the socialization of the buying process. They call it the Consumer Decision Journey, and it’s already beginning to pay big dividends to businesses that are embracing it.

It’s a bit more complicated than the sales funnel, but it elegantly describes an admittedly complex process involving a variety of forces.

Consumer Decision Journey

I highly recommend developing an intimate understanding of the consumer decision journey’s key concepts, but if you’ve only got a few minutes, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better illustration of those concepts at work than this video:

Your customers might be more effective than your best salespeople. How are you creating passionate advocates? What are you doing to empower your happy customers?

Tags: Social Media, Digital Marketing, Strategy, Marketing Integration, Marketing Strategy, Consumer Decision Journey, Integration