As the market experiences turmoil, community financial institutions reevaluate spend, prioritizing efforts with clearest ROI. Marketing, particularly digital marketing, can often feel like a frustratingly mysterious financial black hole. Money goes in–and unreadable results (eventually, maybe) come out. This lack of transparency often leads to marketing budgets being cut in haste. But, with the right solutions in place, marketing spend can be optimized to generate tremendous revenue for a bank, at a lower cost.
We sat down with Nicky Senyard, CEO and founder of Fintel Connect, to get her perspective on how transparency can transform a bank’s marketing capabilities and drive real growth.
“What transparency means for me, for community banking, is that if they have the data, then they can make good choices. Transparency gives you the ability to see, and the ability to see gives you the ability to act.”
Fintel Connect is the leading growth marketing solution built specifically for the financial industry. It gives financial institutions access to a network of thousands of publishers. Beyond introducing banks to a captive audience, Fintel Connect tracks the results of each marketing effort, a key component to creating a successful, ROI-driven, digital marketing strategy.
Senyard explains that no matter what a bank’s focal point of growth may be (commercial, small business, retail, etc), any digital strategy must include a roadmap that highlights the destination and the necessary markers along the way. This is what’s missing from current approaches to digital marketing: useful data and a tool to analyze it.
“One of the best leverage points that a bank has is digital growth. All of these banks have invested in digital account opening, invested in websites, invested in tools, etcetera. It’s now time to do something. I really feel like the reason that they freeze and do nothing is because they don’t have the data to do it. They don’t want to spend [money] online because they see it as a waste. Because it goes into a black hole,” Senyard explains.
When asked what differentiates a successful versus unsuccessful digital marketing strategy, Senyard suggests: “unsuccessful digital marketing activity is seeing the number of clicks and impressions you get. A successful marketing campaign is actually being able to see the net new customers and where they came from–and then being able to track the value of those customers in 6-12 months time. Being able to relate it back to a channel, or a campaign, or an ad. If you can see where it came from, you can do more of it. If you just see clicks, who cares?”
Why isn’t every bank utilizing marketing data this way? According to Senyard, the hassle of integration stands in the way. “This stuff is not for the faint hearted. We have to integrate to get that data.”
In order to access and track this resource, a bank would have to allow third party integration into their digital account opening system, or their loan origination system, or their CRM, or their core. And, in Senyard’s view, “integrations are not the bank’s gig. Or the marketing department’s gig. We’re talking to so many [ad] agencies at the moment that can’t get this data for their clients and are trying to get more budget because they’ve got this feeling that it’s working really well, but they can’t justify it.”
Here’s the question: Is it worth the labor of managing an integration for the sake of improving digital marketing strategy? If your bank values increasing deposits and customer growth and optimizing spend, then the answer is undeniably yes.
While discussing the frustration of an unsuccessful marketing strategy, Senyard maintains that “there’s nothing more demoralizing than when you can never work out whether you’ve hit the mark or not. There’s nothing more demoralizing than saying, ‘Well, I don’t quite know if that was successful because I couldn’t measure it.’ When you have data, you can get more intricate and more complicated and more adventurous within the realms of success.”
Senyard suggests that after a bank offloads the labor of data acquisition, marketing teams can begin to “envision.” “The human analyst can spend time evaluating what they need to evaluate, instead of spending the time looking for [data]. What [Fintel Connect is] doing is … providing it all on a silver platter.”
Experimenting in marketing can be risky and expensive, but Senyard advocates that it’s worthwhile to “put money into things that allow you to take risks, in a small and calculated way.”
“Data gives you profitability. That’s what it comes down to. Because you can test and learn in places you would’ve never taken the risk before. You can take risks because they’re calculated risks.”
Rather than throw money at the wall and hope that it sticks or prematurely cut marketing budgets, banks should seek solutions, such as Fintel Connect, that bring transparency to their marketing efforts. With access to Fintel Connect’s invaluable performance data and tracking capabilities, banks can better optimize spend, even during a downturn.
“Transparency is such an ambiguous term, but it’s so powerful in my world because transparency equals data, equals profit.
Get in touch with the Fintel Connect team to learn about their transformative products for financial institutions.