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Online marketing & The Finance Industry

Based upon the current analysis of the finance industry, one of the major challenges is effective lead management. This is relevant for small business bankers, loan officers, corporate banks and trust officers.

Marketing models are satisfactory when it comes to the top feeding, but there’s a need to employ better online models when it comes to nurturing buyer behavior.

Effective Lead Management

Banks across the country generally rely on sales teams to determine which leads are qualified. There have been successful instances where marketing and sales have evaluated buyer behavior with respect to online tools including social media.

At the moment, interest rates are low and regulations imposed by the Obama administration have an impact on conventional fee income. Banks and credit unions are increasingly opting for new ways to make up for drop in revenues.

Revenue Power of Online Financial Services

With deposit rates generally remaining flat and loan demand soft, the dependency on fee revenues has increased for income growth. A survey recently conducted by MRI observes how 13 financial services have effectively employed value added services and promoted them via online marketing.

The survey indicates that financial institutions can increase sales of services by four times if they offer leading edge services the client would find attractive. For example, CD rates from Discover Bank will be an attractive option for those searching for the highest cd rates. Such offers can generate leads because consumers will see the bigger picture - generating interest on the certificate of deposit and the flexibility to reinvest money when the interest rates increase. 

Online marketing has increased credit score reporting, identity theft alerts and payment protection services among the surveyed institutions.

What B2B organizations can do?

One thing that was seen last year was that bank marketing and sales team operate in conflicting strategies. Marketing provides leads and sales are accused of not closing enough deals. Marketing however, should focus on targeting leads that are ‘sales ready’.

What B2B sales organization can do (some are already at it) is to use online tactics like Demand Generation Solutions. The principle of this approach is that companies can manage a repeatable process that can cater more interaction by employing social communications channels.

So what happens is that these channels are able to attract, educate and qualify a prospect making them sales ready. Staying with the CD example, the channels can be utilized to educate prospects about highest cd rates because they may not be aware about certain aspects such short term and long term maturities. 

Another thing that leaders in the fields are using is the Protocol Integrated Marketing Services. The mode of action is:

Awareness > Interest > Desire > Action

Benefits of online solutions

  1. Sales and marketing teams would work in unison instead of arguing the blame game. The online demand generation measures the lead in an orderly, scalable and consistent mode that can indicate if the lead is worth selling to. This is going to increase the efficiency of the process.
  2. Online services can generate revenue from value laden services. Allot each service an individual ROI and find out if there's room for improvement.
  3. The online approach is an ideal alternative to the spray and pray approach which largely rely on hit-and-miss results. Demand generation looks to manage the communication process and helps in the building of trust through dialogue.
  4. It reduces the time gap for B2B sales efforts in campaign implementation to closing. These solutions also help in identifying the decision maker parameters for clients and the problems they face.

Online marketing as a productive cycle

The cycle of productivity is what drives B2B business. More sales conversions will result in more revenue, which can revitalize the finance industry. The Federal Trade Commission has made its own guidelines for the regulation of internet marketing.

It would also be a good strategy for financial institutions to focus on the mobile banking and how it has become the preference of current users. The financial marketing campaign should be mobile friendly. A Federal Reserve Consumers and Mobile Financial Services report indicates that 87% of smartphones users access internet regularly and 28% owners have shifted to mobile banking.  

To cap it all, organizations should focus on techniques that have been mentioned above. It would help in overcoming marketing lead barriers that are mediated by government regulations like low interest rates.

The marketing content should be multichannel and each channel should have its own feedback efficiency. The stimulation of dialogue and observing the demand of the client will be better than force feeding. The finance industry’s increasing dependency on market condition has led to a state where the revenues drop often. The approach should be to use the identified lead generation and online marketing methods to become condition independent on a realistic scale.