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!

 

Why perfecting the retail marketing mix is important

Contemporary retail marketing is a brave new world. While some basic principles remain when it comes to implementing effective retail marketing strategies, others have evolved to acknowledge and appeal to the new breed of consumer. Does your business have what it takes to succeed in today’s dynamic landscape? Let’s take a closer look at three critical components of the 21st century retail marketing mix.

1. It’s not you, it’s them

And by “them,” we mean your customers. While the retail marketing mix involves a number of elements — those trusty, oft-cited “six P’s.”  People, product, price, place, promotion and performance should all be focused in one clear direction: your customers.

It goes without saying that your customers are your business’ most important constituents, but a shocking number of retail enterprises fail to put them front and center when it comes to developing and implementing retail strategies. Here’s the cold hard truth: the more customer-focused you can make your retail business, the more success you can expect to achieve.

Lucky for us, we have more access than ever toward understanding our customers. From tracking in-store footfalls to online conversation rates, the ability to known and learn from customer behavior yields actionable insights into their wants and needs so you can stop wasting your resources on what doesn’t work and instead focus on results.

We’re living in an era of “YOU-tility,” and retail organizations are not exempt when it comes to satisfying the contemporary consumer. One common goal shared by today’s successful retail enterprises? To add value across all of the P’s.  This can mean anything from implementing point of sale solutions for on-the-go customers to targeting promotions to reach a particular demographic via their preferred means of communication, all without bothering the rest with irrelevant promotional materials.

2. Consistency is key

We can all agree that a retail organization which only emphasizes sales is destined to fail. Why? Because retail success also relies upon providing extraordinary customer service every step of the way. Want to gain an inside edge on the competition? Don’t settle for delivering what your customers expect. Instead, strive to exceed their expectations. After all, the ultimate goal is not to make a single sale, but to develop lasting customer loyalty, along with the potential for a lifetime of sales.

Because consumer shopping habits have changed, so must your marketing efforts. This means incorporating a complete range of omnichannel marketing methods in order to leverage technology into sales. To maximize your efforts and ensure that your message reaches your target audience in the most meaningful way, your business needs a compelling online and offline presence.

Today’s consumers expect the businesses they support to be transparent, accountable and responsive. While these may sound like trendy buzzwords, they’re a very real part of any successful retail marketing mix. This means every communication you send — whether in-store or via digital methods  — is aimed at reinforcing your brand sensibility across all touch points.

And don’t forget about email. While most people think social media and apps have overtaken email as the ideal means of communicating with consumers, email is still an important way to cultivate and engage consumers. In fact, a recent Inc. article decreed email marketing to be “vital for businesses of all sizes,” for a variety of reasons including its low cost, mobile reach, and impact upon both online and in-store sales.

Consistency also means establishing expectations for your staff and reinforcing these expectations so that organization-wide operations are coordinated, streamlined, and cohesive. Every team member should be working toward the common goal of satisfying customers through a well-communicated strategic plan.

3. A new kind of location, location, location

The traditional marketing mix has always emphasized location. After all, you’re not going to make any sales if access to your storefront is limited by a poor, inconvenient or incongruent location in terms of your brand and target consumers. And while your physical storefront remains an important concern today, it’s far from the only concern. Why? Because not only are today’s customers more mobile in terms of where they shop, but they also have access to endless e-commerce options. Shopping is no longer about geography. In fact, today’s consumers can get nearly everything they need without stepping foot inside a brick-and-mortar location. In order to keep up with the evolving retail mix, your e-commerce site is as important as your physical storefront when attracting paying customers.

Forrester Research’s report, U.S. Cross-Channel Retail Forecast, 2012-2017, predicts that by the year 2017, 60 percent of the country’s total retail sales will involve the web, and a full 10.3 percent will be online purchases. Unless you’re willing to forgo your 10 percent, creating an inviting, accessible, compelling and brand-centric new “location” — ie. your online storefront — is a must-do.

While finding the correct retail marketing mix takes some time and effort, it can serve as the difference between standing out from your competition and blending in with the rest. Keeping these three things in mind can help you maximize your retail marketing mix efforts in order to enjoy optimal results across your business, brand, and bottom line.

Are you a retailer in search of ways to set your brand apart in a bustling industry? Contact our team of strategists to schedule time to “talk shop” with us today!

How to spend your Q3 and Q4 retail marketing dollars

Whether making a last minute push to meet year-end numbers or simply subscribing to the reality of “use it or lose it,” most retailers pick up the pace when it comes to their Q3 and Q4 marketing methods. Wondering how to aim for and achieve the best possible results? Consider these seven proven ways to maximize your retail marketing allocations.

1. Better your blog

Unfortunately, many retail business blogs miss the mark when it comes to achieving their full potential. Why? Because they exist out of a sense of obligation, as opposed to as an extension of a company’s overall business strategy.

Blogs are cost-efficient, highly effective marketing tools….unless they’re left to languish, in which case they offer value to neither you nor your consumers. Conversely, a well-executed blog can help you build engagement and foster consumer loyalty while also enhancing SEO rankings and search results. Stop thinking of your blog as your website’s “ugly stepsister,” and start thinking of it as more of a fairy godmother of sorts — with the magical potential to generate sales leads.

2. Look harder at search engine marketing

Odds are, you promote your website via Search Engine Marketing (SEM) throughout the year. However, did you know that Q3 and Q4 offer the enhanced opportunity to take a closer look at your conversion rates? Are your average costs per lead and conversions meeting your expectations?  If not, consider where your efforts may be failing.

For many organizations, the critical element is poorly-designed landing pages which fail to generate search marketing ROI. After all, different campaigns have varying search optimization parameters. Taking the time to customize each campaign can yield powerful results right when you need them.

Also, keep in mind that while starting new campaigns may not yield realizable ROI by year’s end, maximizing your existing processes and programs has the potential to improve outcomes.

3. Focus on Facebook

While social media in general presents valuable opportunities for marketers, Facebook takes second place only to Google when it comes to worldwide net digital ad revenues. When was the last time you evaluated your Facebook advertising approach? Whether you’re looking to cast a wider net or increase sales, Facebook offers a captive audience to savvy advertisers.

Not only that, but Facebook’s robust analytics allow you to target your audience, choose from different ad formats, and understand your results through reporting, tracking and measuring capabilities. If your marketing efforts are going awry, these metrics can help you take swift, corrective actions.

4. Go for growth

While dwindling resources may compel you to trim expenses, it’s also important to keep an eye on the prize: building value. This doesn’t necessarily mean cutting costs, but instead amping up accountability. Execution-driven strategies position you to demonstrate the effectiveness of your retail marketing campaigns, and information management is a critical part of the process.

Today’s retail marketers have access to more actionable data than ever before. Demonstrable results are not only essential to assessing ROI, but also to making any last minute adjustments to move forward in the most productive way during retail’s busiest season.

5. Optimize email efforts

On that note, heading into the holiday season, it’s particularly important to deliver content to consumers via the most appealing and accessible means. While social media gets the lion’s share of attention, email remains a preference for many in your target market.

But not just any emails. From delivering coupon codes to informing recipients about upcoming in-store and online flash sales, emails can drive both traffic and conversions.

And don’t forget about the importance of mobile. Responsive, aesthetically pleasing email messages can also further optimize Q3 and Q4 outcomes.

6. Count on content

The typical 21st century consumer doesn’t want a hard sell; he/she wants value. As consumers prepare to open their pocketbooks during the season of giving, give them a gift of your own: meaningful content that either answers a question or enriches their lives in some essential way.

Content should be consistent, relevant, unique, and focused on making the entire shopping process more accessible and user-friendly. When designing your content strategies during Q3 and Q4, keep in mind that the best content is not about completing a sale, but about telling a story that engages consumers and bolsters your brand.

7. Cultivate the consumer experience

We can agree by now that contemporary customers are all about value over hype. With consumer confidence harder to come by than ever before, retail marketers can position themselves for success by earmarking Q3 and Q4 funds for enhancing efforts to understand what motivates their customers and deliver on these insights.

Don’t overlook the power of omni-channel marketing. Relevant real-time content delivered via a consumer’s preferred mode of communication has the potential to increase both sales and consumer engagement.

Finally, Q3 and Q4 also offer an ideal opportunity to nurture your leads. Are you doing everything you can do — in the most direct, targeted way — to get better ROI out of your lead generation?

As the calendar year draws to a close, retail marketers are greeted with unprecedented opportunities to put their end-of-year retail marketing dollars to optimal use. These seven techniques are sure to help you focus your marketing efforts where they’re least likely to overdraw your resources — and most likely to generate ROI.

Our team of retail marketing experts understands the challenges of doing more with less – and we’re poised to assist you in doing just that! Contact us 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.

What you should know about Snapchat advertising and teens

I won’t lie: I wasn’t an early adopter of Snapchat when the disappearing-photo app first arrived on the scene. Call me a smidge shallow, but my rationale was always that if I’m going to take the time to capture a picture of my oh-so-perfectly arranged lunch in lighting so undeniably”#nofilter needed” good, then I’d like to at least think that I’ll score a few “likes” out of the deal.  But with Snapchat, I find myself a bit perplexed. I mean, what’s with all this “disappearing” photo business? Where’s the recognition for my impressive food photography skills, and how on earth will my glorious meal live on in infamy?
Slowly, (and after receiving plenty of Snapchats from friends), I came around to adopt the idea. I figured, what the heck- it’s catching on, so there must be something behind the phenomenon. Stories I’ve heard repeatedly speak to it’s benefits, and I’m not the only one getting in on the Snapchat game. In fact, the app has topped 100 million monthly users. And as large of an audience as that is, you may be surprised to discover that national brands are willing to shell out $750,000 a day (!!) on disappearing ads featured in the “Recent Updates” section. Seriously. Over half a million big ones for ads that only last for 24 hours? That’s mind blowing.

…Or is it?

[quote] The reasoning behind Snapchat’s high price tag for advertising is that it’s not merely reaching a sizable audience — it just so happens to be the largest audience –  made up of the most challenging demographic for advertisers to reach effectively: teens and tweens. [/quote] As young adults move away from Facebook, and toward picture and video-heavy social media formats like Vine and Instagram, Snapchat makes a excellent case for the logic behind a heightened minimum cost per ad. In addition, it’s immediate, and since users are required to click directly on these ads to view them, there are some pretty strong opportunities for engagement. On the other hand, there are no analytics for advertising on Snapchat like we find on  Facebook, which understandably leaves plenty of brands a bit leery at the prospect of paying such a high cost without numerical data to effectively back it up. Brands such as McDonald’s are currently reaping the rewards of Snapchat advertising (even without the analytics support), and other companies – such as HBO, Nars, Macy’s, and even the New Orleans Saints – are following suit by using the app. While not all companies have the budget required to shell out a pretty penny per ad, there is always an opportunity to reach the teen audience organically as a low-to-no-cost alternative. This method may not have nearly as much reach, but it does include limited analytics (you have the opportunity to view who has seen your post – although often only during the specified 24 hour time period in which your ad appeared).

Personally, I’m not surprised that brands are forking over that kind of dough (pun absolutely intended when thinking back to my photogenic lunch) to advertise on Snapchat. If all the kids are doing it, it’s only a matter of time until companies are following suit. The question now is, “Is it there long-term value?”

Looking for some digital know-how, or have questions regarding how to best enhance your brand’s presence via social media advertising? The team of experts at our Florida digital marketing agency stands ready to provide ongoing support and strategic direction – advice we promise will last longer than your most recent Snapchat. Contact us today to start the conversation!