How mobile marketing works for the financial sector
In the financial business world, mobile marketing is no longer something to put off – it is now a necessity. Companies who fail to integrate mobile tactics into their overall promotional strategy could fall short. Here’s how mobile marketing really works within the financial sector.
Why pay attention to mobile
Laying the groundwork for understanding this niche, it’s important to have a grasp on consumer behavior. In March, 2016, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System released their Consumers and Mobile Financial Services report. Key findings from this publication illustrate the significance of mobile behavior in banking technology in the modern era.
Of the adult population in the United States, 87% of consumers use mobile phones, including smartphones. 53% of those with a bank account and a mobile phone use their phone for banking, in some form; this segment continues to increase steadily. A notable portion of consumers are ignored when their financial service fails to offer mobile options for transactions.
Additionally, consumers are often using their phones to make informed banking decisions. Though the study above focuses on information such as how often people check their balance, make deposits to avoid overdraft, and other similar actions, there is much more to consider in the way of smartphones and how they affect banking relationships.
Mobile use cases in the financial sector
The financial sector’s implementation of mobile technologies includes more than online banking and alerts. Daily communication with customers is no longer taking place via postal correspondence or email as the only options. In fact, mobile provides a satisfactory platform for personalized communication, immediate transactions, and user engagement.
Mobile apps provide a convenient way for consumers to deposit, withdraw, pay bills, and more. Bank of America’s “Face Retirement” campaign proves mobile applications’ value in the financial sector. To raise awareness for the importance of saving for retirement, the company launched a branded app that shows the user what they might look like at retirement age. Consumers who had been exposed to the app held a 14% point lift in aided awareness. Additionally, the campaign generated 8.8 million impressions on Facebook and Twitter.
World Council runs a number of mobile banking initiatives for credit unions in Haiti, Mexico and Kenya. These programs provide easy-to-use and secure payments through mobile money. That way, Haiti earthquake victims received humanitarian aid and now there are about 700,000 registered users who take advantage of mobile money technology there.
Dakota Financial, LLC., a national funding company specializing in commercial automotive financing, found that daily communication with their customers – many of whom are in the trucking industry – posed a challenge, as patrons were constantly on the go. As a solution, the company tried text messaging to ensure receipt of their communications. This strategy was successful, and provided the added bonus of allowing some customers to respond while in a meeting.
We see that ease of communication can be enhanced through texting, and it doesn’t end there. Professionals may inclusively associate the term “mobile marketing” with text messages and apps, ignoring other branches like responsive websites and mobile advertising. With respect to how fast technology advances, this is understandable. However, it is important to stay current with the marketing trends in order to maintain momentum.
Mobile optimized website
A financial website’s theme needs to run as smoothly on mobile as it does on PC. When someone wants access to their bank account, they shouldn’t have to go home, or walk into a bank. By not providing customers with a responsive website (one that alters itself for navigational simplicity based on the device used) some banks fail to provide the best possible service.
Closely related to responsiveness is a web page’s speed or load time. When running multiple scripts, images, and encryption processes, financial websites can easily get bogged down – especially when traffic is heavy, which happens at certain times of day or days of the week. All growing websites need developers monitoring and adjusting around the clock. Frankly, banks get no exemptions from this.
Online advertising is generally delegated to Google AdWords experts. Financial institutions and companies benefit from thinking outside the box and considering mobile advertising networks to complement their Google ad efforts. Mobile advertising networks take banners and promotional text, link it to relevant apps and games, and send new leads back to the landing pages of the companies they serve.
ING Bank has seen tremendous growth through implementation of various mobile marketing strategies. 60% of their applicants enter through AdWords mobile advertising campaigns, resulting in 400% growth in loan sales. Mobile advertising makes their products and services easily accessible to their target audience.
Keep security in mind
One pitfall still remains; as privacy threats increase, financial institutions need to take extra precautions to keep sensitive data confiential.
This year’s Mobile Threat Report from McAfee warns consumers to turn off MMS auto retrieval, update software regularly, avoid opening messages from untrusted senders, and to use comprehensive security software. Financial institutions need to take it upon themselves to warn their patrons of the risks involved with sending out sensitive information, and be clear about what they will and will not ask for via mobile communications.
As digital technology evolves, so do the mobile marketing responsibilities of the financial industry. The tactics start with texting and apps, and end somewhere between social media marketing and mobile websites. Well over half of today’s consumers are accessing their banking information from mobile devices (this includes banking), and they will conduct business with the institutions that offer the most convenience.
Because of the sensitive nature of financial information, care needs to be taken during mobile marketing efforts to make customers aware of threats and inform them what to share and what not to share over their mobile connections.
Financial institutions aren’t released from riding the waves of the latest mobile marketing trends, they just have to work harder to maintain security. They need to leverage text messaging, build mobile apps, use responsive website themes, and facilitate all other conveniences that consumers are looking for. Yes, they may even need to be on Instagram to stay connected #financialservices.