Checklist for getting the most from marketing technology

Could you do your job without some of the newer digital technologies? Probably not, as digital communication has become vitally important in the workday of most professionals. Take marketing, for example. From sending email promotions to planning educational webinars, and from delivering mobile alerts to connecting with on-the-go consumers, today’s marketing communication channels allow us to reach more people, work more efficiently and, ultimately, improve the bottom line.

But trying to use newer channels without a good strategy and the right tools can drain staff resources.

Because the technology world is ever-changing – and consumer demands for “I need it now” services are ever-increasing – banks must stay on top of the latest trends. Staying competitive requires keeping up to date on the products and services your customers want, and knowing when to make upgrades.

As time and internal capacity become more limited, we’re seeing more institutions turn to outside service providers, like DigitalMailer, for e-communications assistance – often a more cost-effective solution. The right digital partner can offer insight and experience gained from work with other banks and credit unions, as well as deep knowledge of financial services needs. Most importantly, a skilled e-marketing firm will bring extensive technology know-how – such as the ability to send texts, emails or voice calls to mobile devices worldwide. Clients working with DigitalMailer also value the omnichannel, 1-to-1 marketing feature, as well as mobile marketing capabilities designed to reach Gen Y and Millennials.

Here’s a short checklist to help when choosing a digital communications partner:

  1. Objectivity. Are your service providers looking out for your interest or theirs? Choose a firm that will be even-handed, helping you leverage current resources with cost-effective new technology. By bringing a strong but fair-minded digital partner to the table, you can obtain constructive, unbiased feedback while ensuring a well-thought-out plan.
  1. Customer relations. Can the digital firm help your customers “have it all”? Right now, success equals convenience and access – meeting consumers’ desire to handle their personal finances on their timetable and their terms. Yet, they also want to feel you know them … and you want ways to deepen these relationships.  Your digital marketing firm’s capabilities should work in the background, so it’s your institution that customers see when they go online or receive communications – messages that are personalized from you to them. Your firm also should help you make cross-sell recommendations based on past buying behaviors and stated interests.
  1. Tools and expertise. Does the provider have both the right digital tools to reach your customers and the marketing expertise to offer sound advice? A good digital communications strategy is compatible with proven marketing techniques. It’s easy to target paper mailers and brochures, but also expensive. Yet, most community banks don’t have the bandwidth or capital to research, design and build data-mining tools to guide messages to specific targets. Look for a firm that can target the right message to the right person at the right time. Your provider should give a leg up on making it easier to take out a loan, bringing in automated forms that can be completed – and signed – online, as well as lending-response tools to reduce abandoned applications.
  1. Accountability. Who tracks your customers?Even with ample in-house resources, what may be lacking is adequate time and manpower. Your digital communications firm should be able to track promotions, pace the messages you send to specific recipients, and advise you of the progress on loan apps. That frees up your marketing and technology staff to focus on customer service and new programs – bringing greater efficiencies and generating higher returns.

Today’s new digital technologies are vital for grabbing the attention of your customers – and relying on a firm that augments your in-house competencies may provide the boost to get you there. Consider the benefits of engaging a firm that will help to ensure a successful campaign strategy and product rollout – often a complex undertaking. Doing so can extend your staff and stretch your marketing doillars.