Better Together (Part 2 of 3)

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Musts for launching digital banking services

Hint: Be a marketer

This is the second of three sneak peeks at some of the points I’ll cover in my presentation at next month’s ABA Marketing and Retail Conference. Note that I said “some of the points.” For the whole shebang, I hope you’ll join me in Orlando on Sunday, September 7, at 3:45 for my session, “Better Together: Marketing Mobile and Tablet Banking with the Help of IT.”

YOUR FUTURE HINGES on offering a killer suite of mobile services. But that’s just Step One. For a killer suite to do you any good, you’ll need to put some effort into Step Two, that is, getting customers to sign up and use it. Here are some enrollment musts:

• Don’t be a wimp. Incredible, I know, but some marketers actually worry about “badgering” customers with too many messages about mobile services. I have three responses. (1) You’re not badgering as much as you think. You live with your messaging, which means you’re exposed to it all the time. Your customers aren’t. (2) Think back to when you studied Adam Smith and learned that the appropriate response to demand is supply. Now consider that mobile banking is hot because your customers demand it. If you want your bank to stick around for the long haul, now is not time to worry about bringing up mobile services once too often. (3) You’re a marketer, dammit. Market!

• Capitalize on your proprietary media. Paid advertising is fine, but don’t overlook the media you own outright. Promote mobile services on your website, ATM screens, statements, stuffers, lobby posters, tent cards, e-letters, newsletters, and more. Your messages will have the advantage of appearing in an environment free of competing advertising. And by marshaling this low-cost solution, you will have the advantage of earning brownie points with the even most austere corporate bean-counter.

• Use smart banners. Of your customers who access your website from a desktop computer, some 30 percent also access it from a mobile device—but do not have the mobile app. This is the ideal time and place for a banner that lets them download the app. If your financial institution is like most, you will see a marked increase in enrollment beginning on the day you implement this tactic alone.

Phone

• Icons help. Back in the Stone Age, when direct marketers wanted phone calls instead of clicks, they found that displaying a telephone icon (like the one on the right) next to a phone number actually increased calls. Likewise, today icons resembling smart phones and tablets increase clicks. Display them in your messages.

• Sign up your employees. You cannot expect your people to extoll what they haven’t experienced. Then, once your employees are signed up and hooked on your mobile services, you can …

• … Motivate employees to sign up customers. This will require training. If you’re interested in increasing the results of said training several-fold, you should also offer meaningful incentives. I recommend incentives that every employee can receive, as opposed to contests that yield only a few winners. If you want to do both, even better.

• Parade your security. In the old days, one way to allay fears of low-tech theft was to have a huge, thick, impenetrable vault door in plain sight from the lobby. A beefy guard packing heat tended to reassure, too. Today, a fear of high-tech theft keeps some people from using mobile services. Be sure to promote your commitment to and procedures ensuring security. This will require some finesse. You want to talk about security in a way that allays fears, not increases them.

Coming up next in Part 3: Important take-aways

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