Marketing mayhem: How to overcome obstacles and promote your bank

Don't you think that your customers deserve the best? That quality experience begins with your marketing - with the promises, sales pitches and advertising you use to raise awareness about your bank.

Unfortunately, many financial institutions overlook the value of marketing, especially in today's hyper-regulated and ever-evolving industry. This doesn't have to be the case for your bank. You can instead dedicate time into your marketing strategy as a way to increase your client base, retain your existing customers and grow your overall business.

If that sounds desirable for you, there are a couple of steps that need to occur first: 

  1. Overcome common obstacles
  2. Revamp your marketing campaign
Overcome obstacles to succeedObstacles can get in the way of a marketing plan.

Don't let obstacles weigh you down
Effective marketing can be hit or miss. It is a fine line between a quality strategy and a missed opportunity, and all it takes is playing into a few of the common obstacles affecting banks across the country.

In an article for The Financial Brand, Carie Schelfhaudt, marketing officer at Radius Bank, outlined several of the obstacles often encountered by financial institutions. No. 1 on her list was a lack of knowledge about the customer. This makes sense - banks that advertise to the wrong crowd won't get any benefit out of it - and your company must first narrow down your target audience. 

Schelfhaudt pointed out that this task is harder thanks to the explosion of digital banking. You may have the same amount of customers as before, but they prefer to bank online instead of inside your branches. This means you can't put a face to the name, and you are at a disadvantage when trying to build relationships.

She also cited a poor first impression as another key obstacle. That can be achieved by a bad choice in bank name or even an unattractive website. Think from the perspective of a customer - what do they see first? If your website isn't up to the task, you could be turning away customers before you ever talk to them.

Use marketing to your advantage
With the right strategy in place, you'll be able to drastically improve the efficiency of your bank through marketing. Think of marketing like an extension of new technology - tools like mobile banking, versatile ATMs and cash recyclers are all beneficial, and the right advertisement can have a similar effect.

"The right marketing is an important tool for any bank."

In order to achieve that, here are three tips for how to improve your bank's marketing strategy:

1. Talk to customers
Your first step should be to talk to your customers. You can do that in the branches themselves, or via email or telephone. The goal is to figure out what they want out of your bank as well as build relationships. The best marketing strategy will always be the one tailored to your target audience, and you won't know what that is unless you ask. So, get out there and start talking.

2. Feel free to experiment
Experimentation is also an early part of effective marketing. At the beginning, you won't know which avenues work best for your business. Start small and try as many as possible. You can reach out with an email campaign, or you could start a few new social media accounts, or you could create a few print ads to run in local newspapers. Don't limit your options at this stage - feel free to experiment.

3. Choose a niche
Your marketing will also receive a boost with a niche. This is a small segment of your consumer base that is often underserved. Choosing a niche will allow you to become an expert in one specific area, plus it will help you avoid competition and grow your business. Niche marketing is also a sound way to save money, yet reap the rewards of quality bank marketing.