Resource constraints are a common challenge throughout the community bank and credit union space. The phrase “we wear a lot of hats” is probably something you have said yourself, or at least heard from a colleague. And it’s true. Smaller financial institutions are forced to operate very lean organizations, requiring individuals to juggle multiple responsibilities.
In order to compete with the billion-dollar budgets of the megabanks, credit unions and community banks have to work smarter and stretch their dollars further. Below are a few tips to help you maximize existing resources, freeing up time to focus on areas that sometimes get deprioritized, such as innovation and new products and services.
5 Ways to Maximize Your Resources
Focus on the best consumers for you.
The more you know about the people in your market, the more efficient your marketing efforts will be and the better your campaigns will perform. It’s not enough to know just the basics about your local consumers. To truly engage the right people, you need to know which consumers are the most likely to want the products and services you offer — and focus your efforts around them.
By leveraging existing customer data and consumer modeling techniques, you can identify consumers who are more likely to establish and maintain a profitable relationship with your institution. Targeting these high opportunity consumer segments can reduce marketing waste and improve your return on investment. If you want a look at which groups of consumers in your market have the highest potential, request your free, customized Market Insights Report here.
Optimize your frontline staff’s approach.
Get the most out of your best sales resources — your frontline staff. Rather than simply following orders or settling disputes, train employees to serve consumers in a more consultative role. About 70% of community bank and credit union account holders say they see their financial institutions as partners, whereas just 57% of megabank customers feel that way. So, take on the partner role that consumers want and help educate them about your products and services.
Have substantive conversations with potential account holders to determine their needs and then provide product recommendations to solve their problems, increasing cross-sell potential at the point of sale. This means employees must be well-trained on products and branch managers must be active leaders to encourage this role change.
Use technology and automation to execute efficiently
Technology and automation create efficiency for your team if done right. With marketing automation, you can have an “always on” approach throughout each stage of the consumer’s lifecycle, from prospect to account holder, all powered by data.
Use email automation to send regular communications that are most relevant to that consumer at the right time. This saves your institution the time it takes to develop creative assets, increases your program’s effectiveness, and improves the overall consumer experience. That way, your marketing team can focus on higher level, more strategic initiatives.
Leverage multiple channels for a better ROI.
Successful marketing isn’t accomplished through a single channel. Consumers jump from one device to another all day, every day. This makes it nearly impossible to catch their attention on just one channel. By delivering consistent marketing to the same consumer across multiple channels (like direct mail, email, digital and social), you increase the number of chances that they will see your message. In our tests, we’ve seen that a multi-channel marketing approach can increase the performance of a single direct mail campaign by 3-5X, increase your return, all while reducing the cost of acquisition.
With the right tools and partners, you can efficiently manage campaigns across many channels, including email, direct mail, social media, in-branch collateral, and digital media without putting a strain on your busy marketing team.
Grow your network, grow your business.
You’re not alone. There are financial institutions across the country who have overcome similar challenges with their limited resources. Use their knowledge to your advantage! Expand your network to include executives from other community financial institutions to share ideas and information with each other.
There are also many companies at your disposal who specialize in different aspects of your business and can become trusted partners. These companies have likely tested, failed, and found efficient strategies that truly work for institutions like yours. For example, with the right vendor and tools, you can reduce risk and quickly generate consumer-facing materials that are compliant with state and federal guidelines – all while reserving your valuable resources to focus on other priorities.
Better resource utilization means greater engagement and profitability.
Meeting your aggressive goals with limited resources can be daunting, but it can be done. In fact, we’re seeing institutions use existing marketing resources and partnerships to generate an average 50% lift in account acquisition and a 45% lift in non-interest income when compared to standard free checking.
Kasasa has the data and insights to help you identify consumers in your market who are 3X more likely to open accounts, and products those consumers will love. We can also work with you to market to consumers with an “always on” approach across multiple channels, and provide training that enables your frontline staff to be your strongest selling engine. As your partner, we’ll help you develop strategies that increase efficiencies, meet your goals, and give you more time to focus on building your institution’s future.
 2015 Consumer Banking Insights Study
 Kasasa analytics