How to develop a successful bank conversion marketing program

As featured in an earlier blog post, millennials represent 92 million in the United States and are reaping the benefits of improved financial conditions after bouncing back from the recession hit. These young adults are ripe for new banking relationships and considering new bank products to suit their needs, such as checking and savings accounts. This is the perfect time to convert them into new banking customers but how does one do that with one of the most fickle generations?
Establishing a well-planned conversion marketing strategy is key to success realization. There are numerous formulas and methodologies from which to choose. At BIGEYE, we use a proprietary model called the BIGEYE Conversion Matrix™ (BCM). It starts with preparing your data set, followed by activating your conversion optimization program and unlike other methodologies out there, works with both online and offline conversions.

BIGEYE Conversion Matrix
BIGEYE Conversion Matrix

Here’s how a conversion marketing program may look like for a bank:

Audience data insight

It’s important to not only know your audience but to immerse yourself in understanding them. For example, millennials were born into technology, the Internet, read blogs, and are practically tethered to their mobile devices. It’s also important to note that these young adults are not especially brand loyal and highly influenced by their peers.

Market and audience segmentation

In addition to pulling demographic, psychographic, ethnographic, and technographic insight on your audience, one must also consider the target market(s) and segment the audience into more groups. For example, your branches may be located between a couple of neighborhoods and your audience may be a mix of individuals and companies. The approach toward attracting one segment may be significantly different than the other.

Program KPIs, goals, and objectives

One of the most important stages of establishing your BCM data set is defining your vision for success realization. What are the key performance indicators, goals, and objectives? How will you measure success? Most likely the answer will contain a number of items such as number of new accounts opened, number of bank products upsold to existing bank customers, in-branch appointments booked, number of live chat sessions, branch and ATM location look-ups, etc.

Metrics and benchmarking

Once your KPIs, goals and objectives are defined, it’s important that a form of measurement and benchmarks are set. You may feel that your conversion marketing program is successful but in order to prove your instincts in quantitative terms, you will need to run your result data through the metrics.

CRM planning

Using the right customer relationship management tool and setting it up effectively will ensure that every conversion is organized for future action to be taken. By spending some time planning your CRM strategy, your bank can build an ongoing email marketing program and alert your customer service representatives of a customer inquiry.

SEM planning

Finally, the success of your conversions is tied in part to the quality of traffic your website and/or landing pages receive. A carefully designed search engine marketing program that integrates organic with paid search strategies, will help drive the exact audience you are seeking to convert.

Running your conversion marketing program

How To Develop a Successful Bank Conversion Marketing Program
Once your BCM Data Set is complete, you are ready to launch your program. For new accounts, you may wish to set up dedicated landing pages that are custom designed to provide content specific to the audience segment you wish to attract and the product or offering you wish to feature. One of your landing pages might feature your small business checking account products with clear call-to-action (CTA) messaging directing the user on how to take action. Another landing page might focus specifically on your “no fee” checking account products with a clearly stated “Apply Now” CTA button.

Once your landing pages are created and your SEM program is pointing to them, you will want to test multiple versions of each page to maximize your conversion performance potential.

Some oHow To Develop a Successful Bank Conversion Marketing Programf the elements you can test are as follows:

Color – Does the blue button perform better than the red one?

Copy – Are there certain words that resonate more with your audience than others?
Images – Is the photograph you’re using showing someone that is too old or too young? Maybe it’s not the correct ethnicity or the activity of the subject is all wrong.

Content Positioning – Does the user have to scroll down to far to find the CTA button or form? If so, consider trying a version of the page that brings that more prominently above the fold.

As your bank introduces new products, features, branch locations, etc., you will want to make updates to your program so that they correspond accordingly. The more targeted, relevant, and tested your program is, the more conversions you will receive.

In search of additional ways to establish – and maximize – you bank’s conversion marketing program? Contact our team of experts today to devise an innovative approach that both attracts and retains profitable customers.

Millennial market: Property management marketing the new generation

As you are likely aware, rent costs have spiked nearly 15% since 2010, while mortgage interest rates are at new lows after the recession. Yet believe it or not, millennials are still happily paying an average of $1300-$1500 (or more) for rent month after month, with no property equity to show for it. There are many reasons why millennials are opting to rent instead of buy, and to successfully market to this generation, BIGEYE would like to share the following helpful hints to assist you in gaining a greater understanding of those reasons:

Know who you’re talking to:

There are 92 million millennials in the United States. Collectively, they have over 1.3 trillion dollars of student loan debt, may have spent a few years living with their parents or friends when the recession hit, and are bouncing back from 4.7% national unemployment rates. On a brighter note, financial conditions are improving for the 20- and 30-something set, and many are finding themselves ready to cut loose and enjoy a breath of fresh air.

Apartment living can represent that much sought-after breath of fresh air. When older generations explain what the “American Dream” means to them, they often cite owning property or putting down roots. Millennials may include having luxury amenities they wouldn’t be able to afford if they owned a home, such as valet parking, a pool, free gyms or billiard rooms, or a building concierge. Couple these attributes with easy access to food, nightlife, arts, and entertainment in the heart of most urban hubs. American Dream, indeed.

To millennials, the prospect of a 30-year mortgage translates to staying in one place – in one job – for the next three decades. This is a generation that can barely commit to two-year cell phone contracts. Marketing campaigns mapping out this generation’s lifespan aren’t liberating, they’re terrifying. Marketing campaigns that highlight the freedom of renting (or owning a secondary rental property as an extra income stream) – now that’s something.

Speak their language:

Successful property management marketing hinges on your ability to speak this generation’s language. Communicating with millennials the same way you would to the Baby Boomer generation is sure to leave your apartment marketing a little flat. This generation wants to live in locations where homeownership may be out of reach, or they may not be ready to get married and settle down yet – making homeownership a necessity.

The mistake most people make when marketing to millennials is that they assume the Y-generation is unhappy with this arrangement. Goldman Sachs conducted a study that suggests 30% of millennials believe buying a home is important … just not right now. A similar study  shows more than 79% of renters between the ages of 18 – 35 want to buy a home within the next five years. That means these renters are content being, well, renters until then. But what does that mean for property managers?

In highly desirable locations, such as San Francisco, Denver, or New York City, that means it’s an owner’s market. Even if millennials were ready to buy, high down payments, aggressive credit requirements, and staggering debt to income ratios make this prospect difficult. Property managers that give millennials access to apartments with high-perceived value will win their hearts, and since most renters pay up to 30% of their disposable income in rent according to Zillow, you’ll also have access to a large piece of their business.

Vacancy rates are at a 20-year low according to the American Census Bureau, so property marketing that targets exclusivity and accessibility to desirable locations is crucial for success.

Know your niche:

For millennials, you want to highlight value not price. Chances are, they know they aren’t saving as much as they’d like or that their paycheck is going to their landlord rather than their student loan holders. Successful property management marketing ideas highlight the value they are getting – despite the cost.

Since millennials are choosing to marry later in life, play up your apartment property’s sense of community and camaraderie. Talk about the convenience of having an on-site property manager to take care of (and pay for routine maintenance and upkeep). Highlight convenient month-to-month options that let millennials dream about their next job promotion to Singapore or London. Boast your building’s free wifi or cable packages that make working remotely or being an entrepreneur a breeze (working by the pool sounds pretty great to us).

Once you begin to understand a millennial’s version of the American Dream, you can begin positioning your property management marketing around those elements. Chances are, they’ll be substantially different from customers in other generations, but that doesn’t mean this market segment is less valuable. In fact, millennials make up about 36% of the housing market in the United States, making them the predominant generation in the industry.

The long and short game:

The short game for millennials is all about renting. The long game, however, appeals to their desire to buy. The economy is improving, interest rates are low, and sooner or later, millennials will begin tying the knot, having kids, and settling in to their mid-level careers.

Once you’ve proven that you understand them, they will remain loyal to you as their needs change. Some millennials will likely stay in the apartment market, opting to convert their rent to a mortgage payment on a condo or flat in the neighborhoods where they first started their careers and barely scraped by. Others will “head for the hills” – or suburbia – for a little more space and lower housing costs. As they grow, your marketing campaigns can grow with them.

Millennials are also poised to become some of the biggest buyers in the second and vacation property market. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) noted a staggering drop in the average age of vacation home purchasers. The market that used to be saturated with retirees with an average purchase age of 61 has plummeted to 43. As millennials watch their siblings turn a profit on vacation properties, and sites such as VRBO.com, HomeAway.com, and AirBnB.com make vacation rentals more accessible as a secondary source of income, millennials will flock to these opportunities as a way to – you guessed it – further harness their own financial freedom.

Millennials are very different from other generations, but understanding and marketing to them isn’t as difficult as you think. After all, everyone wants a beautiful space to come home to at the end of the day – no matter what generation you’re in.

Ready to develop a marketing strategy that resonates with your target demographic, including millennials? Contact our team of experts today to schedule a consultation!

 

Betting on an impulse: Visual retail merchandising

Considering the prevalence (and incredible convenience) of online retail outlets such as Amazon, it’s no surprise that these channels are gaining popularity. In fact, a whopping 81% of shoppers research products online prior to completing a purchase, causing retailers with brick and mortar shops to grow increasingly creative – with even more compelling offers – in an effort to nudge prospective shoppers out of their homes (and their footie pajamas), and actually into stores. As a result, creating emotional and visual intrigue and really connecting with your target demographic has become even more critical to a brand’s marketing strategy – due in large part to the digital shopping cart.

This desire to be blown away (and out of those comfy pj’s) by in-store design hasn’t emerged out of nowhere; in fact, it’s part of my biology… and part of yours, too. It’s well documented that as a group, humans tend to make purchasing decisions based largely on this type of emotional connection. We’re actually hard-wired to pursue certain stimuli, and it’s this arousal and consumer intrigue that honestly compels us to spend money, initiating purchases that we often weren’t planning on making. (Those retailers are onto something, aren’t they?) Truth be told, this is why I can’t simply walk past the Brooks Brothers window display without feeling the urge to stop in for a quick gander around the store – only to find myself at the checkout with yet another button down shirt, perfectly starched pair of khakis, or a stylish new sport coat.

Furthermore, there really is both an art and a science to creating effective retail visual merchandising displays. On the artistic side, the BIGEYE team encourages our clients to design expressive displays that create a sense of awe and intrigue – driving the target customer to connect with the brand so much so, that they cannot possibly return home empty-handed. However, on the more scientific side, we rely on facts and data to determine what will drive customers into a store, drawing from fields as diverse as neuroscience, anthropology (this time, the study of humans, past and present), and psychology. It seems to harken back to the old advertising industry adage, often quoted by the “original Don Draper” himself, David Ogilvy that, “It’s not creative unless it sells.” Typically, this expression pertains largely to copywriting, but upon further contemplation, we think it especially holds true for retail visual merchandising component, as well.

According to a 2014 research report from Merzer, the physical store environment is an important element in retail decision-making, as 75% of purchases are unplanned or made on impulse. How many times have you gone in to Target for “just one thing,” only to end up in a busy checkout lane, complete with a fully loaded shopping cart? This is telling, as is shows us the power of a well-designed store, and to a more concentrated degree, the presentation of the in-store displays themselves. Our goal, then, as marketers, is to enhance this experience, so much so that we’re building the retailer to consumer connection, and ensuring that the correct messaging is being delivered to the desired customer – as component of the overall branding experience.

Specifically, when it comes to retail visual marketing, the questions that we specifically want to answer boil down to:

  • Which brand elements are going to generate the greatest degree of interest from our target market?
  • How can we best appeal to a relatively broad demographic that represents our ideal customer?
  • How are we able to develop a display that entices our target demographic to select products proffered by our brand – and to complete a purchase – versus choosing the competitor’s product?
  • What is our audience seeking when selecting specific companies, brands, products, and services – and how do we connect on an emotive level?
  • Which specific marketing elements may we incorporate into our overall strategy to build awareness, and to ensure that our brand is perceived as a differentiator?

We all know that with the hustle and bustle of our lives, we find that we’re busier than ever before, and in this digital era, it’s imperative to design a display that will capture a consumer’s attention – and fast. After all, your brand may not only be in heated competition with other brick and mortar retailers, but also with the plethora of online shopping options. Although the online landscape was once presumed to be the end of the storefront, it’s now evident that shoppers want to continue to engage in heightened brand connections through in-store experience shopping. Companies are event able to employ sophisticated marketing techniques to combine their in-store displays with innovative digital campaigns to take advantage of capturing new customers in both stratospheres, developing a perfect media mix.

Oftentimes, we hear about retailers who have not yet partnered with a developed marketing team, and as a result, they fail to understand the connection between their in-store displays, and the impact on ROI. As marketing experts, we are armed with the knowledge and experience to tap into the human psyche to drive individuals to make purchases. Not only are we able to provide the necessary expertise to encourage optimization of these displays for success; we are also able to use purchasing information to better analyze the ongoing success of these recommendations. When it is determined that an initial strategy needs further thought and strategy, we’re poised to complete the additional testing required to maximize revenue opportunities – developing insights that inform and enhance a brand’s overall marketing strategy.

If your brand is seeking highly effective retail visual merchandising strategies, BIGEYE is well-equipped to partner with you. We’ll ensure that your retail environment is an immersive brand experience that truly connects with your target consumer and drives them to purchase. Contact us today by calling 407.839.8599.

Assessing Ello and Emerging Social Media Sites For the New Year

Recently, tech blogs and trendsetters alike have been talking about Ello, a new social media site designed to serve as an alternative to Facebook. In many ways, it seems preposterous that a company would try to challenge – or even potentially replace – Facebook, which is by far one of the largest technology companies in the world. What you might find fascinating, however, is that Facebook’s key target demographics tell a bit of a different story – one that leaves us pondering whether or not the site may eventually be headed in the same direction as Friendster, or a quite possibly, a “pre-Justin Timberlake” MySpace.

When I joined Facebook, which by now was approximately eight years ago, it was the quintessential online social media destination for users in their 20’s and early 30’s to communicate with one another. Rarely would you find a parent with a Facebook account of their own, and, in terms of other social networking options, there were a few, but none were so communal. Facebook served as a landing place for all my friends – including those from many different social circles – no matter how I knew them. Times have most certainly changed with emerging social media, and with the rise of Ello, who knows? We might just end up seeing an exciting new shift in the way people access this type of online networking.

Most bonafide marketers understand that today’s “young people” aren’t as present on Facebook, and given the host of other options, they’re more likely to spend a bulk of their time visiting Tumblr, Instagram and Snapchat. It doesn’t take a seasoned marketing professional to know that it takes a lot of bandwidth to be everywhere at once. This is one of the key reasons why these days, my peers are generally only active on social networks in which they associate meaning to their daily lives – and, they remain active on forums where people with similar interests tend to gravitate.

Personally, I follow a lot of comedians and comedic actors and actresses on Twitter, which is the perfect venue for crafting short, funny “witticisms.” On the flip side, Facebook is relegated to keeping in contact with a wide circle of friends, while LinkedIn assists me in maintaining professional connections, and growing my network. I access Instagram and Pinterest daily, but other accounts such as YouTube, Foursquare, Google+ and Vine tend to go virtually untouched and oftentimes, unmaintained.

As a digital strategist, my Orlando advertising agency’s social media team and I truly don’t envision that Ello will succeed in becoming the new “Facebook alternative.” As recourse however, I am placing a pretty firm bet on that notion that it may eventually attract communities of its own – communities made up of Facebook users who may feel as though Facebook is not the best social media site to serve their varying needs. This might be as a result of its use of data manipulation, or perhaps, the addition of an advertising component, or simply, that users may find their personal news feeds to be disinteresting. Whatever the reasons – and there are many – we’re seeing something much larger at play here.

[quote]In creating and maintaining a social network, it’s important to know where your audience spends a majority of its time.[/quote] If you look closely enough, you will see that users practically canvas the web – they’re accessing sites of all types. There are entire social networking sites that are geared specifically to peoples’ interests and ideologies. Often times, it may simply consist of a message board of people who are interested in topics deemed otherwise obscure, such as “hula hooping culture” or “18th century songwriting.” Topics that might not resonate with most of us, but as the moniker goes, “if you build it, they will come.”

In a similar vain, crafting and maintaining these social networks has a great deal to do with formulating a community, and marketers can utilize this lesson in helping to propagate such communities around their products. Specific audiences may be on Facebook because there’s nothing better, but I’m certain that if you attempt to present them with a dedicated forum – one that speaks directly to their area of interest – I’m sure you won’t be surprised to watch as the population of that social networking community flourishes. As a result, members have the opportunity to create connections both online and off. One such example is Fitocracy, an online forum for self-proclaimed “fitness geeks.”

I’m a firm believer that Facebook is here to stay, although with many of the above concepts in mind, the site’s following may have the potential to shrink. This is particularly true as its users find more specialized social networks where they can connect with like-minded people (and not necessarily individuals that they know personally in the real “offline” world). By keeping in mind that a successful social media strategy isn’t limited to the most popular social networks, brands can essentially begin to seek audiences in these not-so-mainstream avenues – which, in turn, might allow them to develop more authentic connections to their own customers.

Looking for digital expertise on how to best navigate the social media landscape? Contact us today to form a partnership to chart your course!

Why Customer Tracking Programs Using Data Mining Are A Win-Win

In today’s fast-paced, technologically charged environment, it should come as no surprise that every company we interact with – whether digitally or in-person – is collecting information about us. The team at BIGEYE’s Florida marketing agency knows that the more apps we download, the more time we spend perusing websites, and consequently, the more frequently we utilize rewards cards, the more we’re allowing the companies we interact with to increase their knowledge of us. The overarching purpose: to better understand how we use products and services produced and proffered by these businesses. For many years, this process, called data mining, was mired by privacy considerations. After all, how much about my purchasing habits do I really want a large, national brand to gain access to? With a little forethought, the answer has become much clearer: the more these companies know about us, the more capable they are to cater to our needs.

Before an influx of digital tools made it easier to gain insight into consumer behavior and purchasing preferences, businesses had to do quite a bit of “guestimating.” For example, it might be safe to assume that you sold 10 cupcakes over the course of a week if your inventory confirmed 10 fewer cupcakes than you had at the start of the week. But, what does that really tell you about who you sold those cupcakes to, and when during the span of the business week they were sold? This is where a well-defined loyalty program comes in.

When companies are aware of the exact products that you’re purchasing, and how often your transaction history includes these items, programs are better tailored, offering the goods and services that align best with your buying preferences. For instance, if your retailer knows your preferred toothpaste brand, then you’re probably a prime target when that brand comes out with a new floss or toothbrush. The retailer can offer you a discount that you’ll actually use, and as a result, you may end up with a fabulous deal on an innovative new product.

While this two-way street of business to consumer benefit has been standard practice in the marketing world, it’s taken on a new life in the age of big data. Using another retailer example, this is why Amazon is better equipped to recommend books that I might enjoy – after first becoming familiar with my current penchant for non-fiction, or why Facebook is able to directly target ads toward me – all based upon websites that I’ve visited previously.

[quote]There is a point-of-sale challenge, however – this data is much more difficult to capture during the customer’s in-store experience.[/quote] From an online perspective, Amazon has the benefit of being able to share products with its users that may be of interest to them – both while shopping and throughout the checkout process. On the flip side, while at a brick-and-mortar store, by the time you’ve reached the register, it’s often too late. As a result, retail businesses must strive to capture this data using other means. Here’s a sneaky little secret: logging-on to a store’s wifi, or accessing their app while you’re visiting a retailer, your consumer data – including your movements – may be captured, allowing for discovery of those merchandising displays that may have caught your attention.

Further developments in this space include data processing cameras that help map consumer preferences, including capabilities such as customer identification, with additional technology to recognize consumers each and every time they return to the store. While 77% of consumers claim to find this type of in-store tracking intrusive, what they may not realize is that they’re already being tracked through online purchases, mobile phone and social media usage, and many other daily activities. So, why should the in-store exchange be any different, particularly if it results in improved services and enhanced customer experience?

Yes, retailers are seeking personalized information about their consumers, just as the old adage of “knowing your customer” implies. Truly, however, most are really interested in obtaining these purchasing details primarily so they may create an unparalleled consumer experience – one that is more enjoyable and efficient shoppers, whether online or off. As a result, and in congruence with the resurgence of rewards programs, customers benefit from additional discount offerings, free samples, and other services targeted toward these uniquely personalized needs.

Need assistance in reaching prospective customers by employing an effective tracking program? Contact us today to partner together to score BIG returns for your business!

The Changing Nature of SMS Marketing for Businesses

Throughout your day, how long do you go without sending or receiving a text message? While I’ve been putting this post together, I’ve already sent six texts… and it’s only 8:30 a.m.! It’s no wonder marketers are starting to truly understand the value of reaching customers via text. Alongside messages from people you care about, it’s becoming increasingly common to also see messages from brands you care about.

While it has long been the norm for radio stations and TV programs to encourage communication via text, the team at BIGEYE’s Orlando ad agency has noticed that mainstream brands have been reluctant to catch up. And it’s likely due to the heavy reliance on email marketing, or a simple failure to understand how a short text can portray as much information as other forms of marketing. Think about it: People receive dozens of promotional emails each day, and some of us even opt to keep those promotional message divided into “tabs” so we don’t have to be inconvenienced by them while we’re perusing more important messages. And, as far as using Facebook as a marketing tool, businesses who invest heavily in social media sometimes learn that only a small fraction of their total followers have actually seen their posts.

SMS Marketing is the one realm where businesses can send messages and know with a matter of certainty that the reader will receive the message. In fact, it’s this thinking that has prompted the new iBeacon, which pushes text messages to peoples’ smartphones when they’re near a store that has a beacon housed therein. Many people expect this to become a mainstay of technology, unlike QR codes, which are used heavily abroad but haven’t taken off in the United States.

For many people, text is the preferred method of communication. [quote]I even have a friend whose voice mail says, “Don’t bother leaving a message, because I won’t listen. Just text me.”[/quote] Unscheduled phone calls have become invasive, and instead they opt for text as a primary form of communication. So, it should be no wonder that people are feeling more comfortable than ever receiving text messages from the companies they adore.

In fact, SAP reports (registration required) that 64% of consumers think businesses should converse more with customers via text. Further, of the people polled, 76% said they were more likely to read a message sooner if it were a SMS instead of an email, and 70% thought SMS was a good way for the business to get their attention. For some consumers, SMS is more useful in providing “peace of mind” about identity and data, which is something to understand given a current climate of recent data leaks and hacks.

This all makes a SMS strategy sound rather impressive, doesn’t it? If you are considering investing in SMS, there are a few things to remember, like even though it seems as if everyone you know has a smartphone, as of January 2014, only 58% of adult Americans had smartphones – many people are still relying on “dumb” phones that might not automatically read website links. Of course, the specifics of your SMS plan will involve researching and understanding your target demographic and understanding their mobile usage behaviors.

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For more ideas as to how your company can effectively integrate an SMS strategy, please contact us today to learn how our Florida ad agency can help you!

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