Does the Need Still Exist for Brick-and-Mortar Banks?

Living in a digital age, we are privy to the technological shifts that are occurring on an everyday basis. Almost everything we do requires some assistance from high-powered technology, including handling our finances. The days of the brick-and-mortar bank location seem to be numbered, with many banking locations shutting down in favor of investing more resources to reach people digitally.

From a financial perspective, it makes sense. After all, it’s far more efficient to have your clientele handle all their banking needs online, eliminating the need for tellers and associates who are expensive to hire and retain. And, it’s much more convenient for your customer to obtain all of the services she needs through a few swipes on a smartphone app, rather than having to visit a bank each time she wants to know her account balance. With these factors in mind, the shift toward digital is a win-win for both banks and their customers.

It’s impossible to say whether digitization will ever eliminate the need for brick-and-mortar banks completely, but there are some financial services institutions “banking” on this trend. There are dozens of online-only banks, which operate entirely in the digital realm. Many of them offer exactly the same features as traditional brick-and-mortar banks, with the only exception being that there’s no physical location to visit to obtain information and make deposits.

For instance, Ally boasts that it too, has no brick-and-mortar locations, which means less bank overhead and fewer staff to pay – and even going so far as to pay customers’ ATM fees to remain competitive. Moven also embraces the idea of online-only banking, but supplements it with budgeting tools similar to those that Mint offers. And, according to The Business Journals, BankMobile aspires to become a mobile-only bank, allowing users to do anything via their smartphone device that they could do in person, including applying for a loan or mortgage.

It’s no surprise that banks are embracing this technology, given a recent Pew Internet report that says [quote]51% of all American adults bank online[/quote] 51% of all American adults bank online. And, according to the same article, 32% of all U.S. adults (or 35% of all cell phone owners) bank using their mobile phones. As smartphone use becomes even more widespread, it’s likely that this number will continue to increase, especially as long as banks continue to make an effort to phase out dated technologies.

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So, what’s the takeaway from all of this? Banks need careful monitoring their customers’ digital activities so that they do not fall behind the times in terms of service offerings. A bank that’s just now launching a responsive website, an easy-to-use app for both iOS and Andriod, and a mobile check deposit feature is simply playing catch-up, which becomes a real weakness on the competitive landscape. Also, bank marketers who don’t seriously consider that the future of banking will likely require a mobile-first strategy and the potential eradication of physical credit cards and debit cards need to understand how rapidly technology is changing the way we do our banking.

Using this information, banks can work with their development teams to introduce technical strategies to be better equipped to customers’ needs, both online and offline. Doing so may also result in identifying supplementary marketing strategies to specifically target customers on their phones and computers, or that introduce user-friendly budgeting tools to effectively reach their clients, thus increasing the number of consumer touch points.

If you have more questions as to how to best create and develop a digital strategy for your bank or financial services business, contact the team at our Orlando marketing agency to schedule a consultation.

How the Apple Watch Could Impact Marketing Efforts

Like tech geeks everywhere, the team at BIGEYE’s Orlando advertising agency was thrilled to hear about Apple’s latest innovation, the Apple Watch. Just like many moons ago when cellphones were limited to just calling one another, watches that simply tell time may be a thing of the past.

But what is the implication of the Apple Watch for marketers? We’ve always been advocates of the possibilities of “wearable tech,” but we think the Apple Watch is going to open up a new world of applications that marketers can leverage to help engage with their customers.

The most amazing-and likely the most impactful-features that make up the Apple Watch are its ability to display social media updates, run simplified apps and access Siri. Marketing companies can find ways to leverage the Apple Watch as a tool to generate more customer touch points through customized apps and via integration with mobile technology. For instance, athletic companies may be able to use the Apple Watch to help users monitor both heart rates and fitness activities. Companies like FitBit and Nike’s Fuelband helped create this type of interactive wear, but with a seamless integration to Apple’s iPhone, the target audience for this technology is much broader. As a result, it will now be easier than ever to share this health information with an even larger demographic. In doing so, companies can also collect data about users’ activities to help target nutrition ads, gym deals and other special offers, directly to their watches.

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Another interesting aspect of the Apple Watch is its projected ability to revolutionize mobile payments. While this technology has been in play for quite some time (think Google Wallet), historically, it seems that when Apple adopts technology, it then becomes an industry standard. Simplified mobile payments will undoubtedly make it even easier for people to make purchases in both brick-and-mortar stores and via online channels. The technology tips its hat to Eastern countries such as China and Japan, where payments made directly from mobile devices is the norm. The West has been slow to adopt this technology, but with the new Apple Watch, there are more opportunities for watch payments to revolutionize the way people conduct transactions. This is great for marketers, because as we all know, the less cumbersome the steps in the purchasing process, the more likely the end result will be a sale.

[quote]Although we don’t yet know everything about the possibilities in the world of smart watches, we do know that this type of technology can change the way we communicate with one another.[/quote] As many people have begun communicating using visual expressions-such as emojis and Snapchat-rather than written expressions, the Apple Watch can make messages of the visual-type even easier to exchange than sending a text or email from your cell. As a result, we anticipate that communication will become even simpler than it already is. In fact, Apple’s Watches will even have a vibration feature that allows you to get someone else’s attention by sending them a vibration that no one else can hear. And, if you can get a friend’s attention with just a simple vibrate, then think of how an advertiser might be able to attract the attention of a broad audience with just one interaction!

The Apple Watch won’t eliminate the need for iPhones. In fact, it is reliant on owning an iPhone to use it. But, what it will do is provide even more opportunities for marketers to become part of their customers’ everyday lives.

By finding intelligent ways to leverage Apple Watch technology, marketers will remain at the forefront of innovation.

How to Sell Out a College Football Game Like A Pro

On September 7, bitter football rivals University of Miami and University of Florida kicked off to a stadium full of screaming fans. Some people wait all year for football season (including the staff at our Florida advertising agency) – fanatics dress up in their favorite teams’ colors and enter stadiums full of pride, shooting down any social plans that might interfere with a big game.
This year, when UM and UF played, they did so in front of a packed house of nearly 77,000 fans, which was the Hurricanes’ largest crowd since 2004. According to The Palm Beach Post, one of the major reasons college football game attendance has been dropping off in recent years is the fact that it’s all about atmosphere. With today’s fancy gadgets, viewers can get the stadium atmosphere from just about anywhere. Better TVs and more access have made it easier to watch the game from any location.[quote]Plus, social media allows real-time feeds and engagement from anywhere with a cell signal or Wi-Fi.[/quote] Who wants to pay for the experience in person when they can just as easily watch it with up-to-the-minute commentary in front of their high-definition TVs and a dozen friends?

But, there’s something inherently fun about seeing a game in person, a ritual that gets lost in an era of high-tech digital tools. Sports marketers aiming to fill seats at college football games are looking for innovative ways to help fill seats as stadium attendance continues to decline.

For instance, UM’s “Game Pass” card for season ticket holders offers a loyalty program that keeps fans visiting throughout the season and rewards them for doing so. Thirty-five to forty percent of the stadium’s 30,000 season ticket base have opted into the program.

Other schools, like Georgia Tech, are putting their money into aggressive marketing techniques to help sell tickets. These schools have hired third-party sales businesses to help reach out to alumni and other interested parties to sell tickets to games. In years past, there was no reason to be pushy when it came to sports marketing, but in recent years as companies have seen a sharp decline, schools have needed to reevaluate the ways in which they can help sell out football games.

Others are investing in digital ticketing, marketing and fundraising products to help them manage ticket inventories. Working with entrepreneurs who come from sports marketing backgrounds, colleges are aiming to reach a new generation of people who may just need an extra push to make the trek to the stadium on game day.

Some colleges are combating declining ticket sales by altering the ticket price per opponent. For instance, at Notre Dame, big games price in at slightly more expensive than smaller ones, prompting deal-seekers to attend the more affordable games and leaving the bigger games for fanatics.

For many colleges, selling seats is an avenue to better sponsorships, more resources and ultimately, better programs. When viewed in this light, it becomes essential to ramp up efforts, not just to instill school pride, but to help raise the overall status of the school as well. Our Florida advertising agency realizes the importance of maintaining high sales during college football season, and we want to see our local colleges score touchdown after touchdown with their marketing efforts. Contact our team today – so we can help yours!

Maintaining Perspective When Marketing Beer to Women

Beer companies get a bad rap when it comes to marketing beer to women. A recent article that appeared on Fast Company noted that 75% of beer purchases are by men. The article also went on to note that historically, beer companies have had trouble reaching females when it comes to marketing. These companies miss the mark by trying to sell these women by creating and selling sugary drinks that aren’t exactly in line with women’s tastes, which, according to the data, is primarily geared to wine.
So, what can these beer distributors do to get women on board with their brands and potentially double their revenue? There seem to be a number of strategies that companies can use to increase revenue through female purchasers – and they don’t taste like cough syrup in a bottle.

[quote]Product innovations may be key.[/quote]Just because women typically don’t like the harsh tastes of beer doesn’t mean that beer marketers need to create drinks that taste more like candy than beer. In fact, some of the more successful beer drinks marketed toward women are part of an expensive line of lambics from Lindeman’s. These fruit-flavored beers have a slight sweetness, but are heavier and bolder than a malt-based wine cooler.

But, for companies that lack the budgets to produce beers directed at women, there is still hope. While years ago beer drinking may have been uncommon by women, today is another story.

Women currently make up 25% of the beer market, yet many beer ads and marketing promotions are directed toward men. These marketing spots often come across as testosterone-fueled, showing scantily clad women alongside the men who are trying to win them over.

If the classic idea that men don’t understand what women want is true at all, then perhaps it is time for beer companies to take note of this and get a woman’s perspective. Focus groups, qualitative data and data collected from surveys and social media can give you insight into what the masses are thinking.

And, speaking of social media, women are extremely active on platforms such as Pinterest and Facebook. Developing a Pinterest strategy for your beer company can help your marketing team reach women where they live on the internet – the internet pin board is 97% female, and numerous companies that have run Pinterest campaigns have shown significant success.

As with all marketing, it is important to have a strong product. But, with marketing, it’s how you sell it that’s key. Each time I go to the bar, I see women drinking beer alongside their boyfriends or the other men in the group. Beer is also generally cheaper. It may be higher in calories, but brands like Budweiser have learned to reach women by creating a beer that is lower in calories than a traditional beer.

If your goal is to try reach women consumers, do what most successful companies do – make sure you have a superior product, and sell it accordingly. And, if your bubblegum flavored hot pink malt liquor drink isn’t a huge success like you’d hoped, talk to our Orlando advertising agency about how we can help you create a better beer marketing strategy to reach women.

To learn more about how you can market to moms in order to create brand preference and instill brand loyalty, contact us today! Our team of experts is poised to share strategies for segmentation, creating appeals and assessing your own brand to attract the perfect female audience for your product or service!

Sports Marketers Take Social Media Interaction To the Next Level

As tennis fans rush to the doors of the beautiful Louis Armstrong Stadium, set in the backdrop of Flushing, Queens, to see history made at the US Open, tourists and spectators quickly find themselves mesmerized by the humongous US Open Social Wall. The 50-by-8 foot wall is a collage of images, tweets and updates containing a plethora of online commentary around the big event.
It’s no secret that sports enthusiasts comprise a strong segment of social media. Just think about how many Facebook posts we see in our feeds each time the Bucs score a touchdown. But many times, sports marketers find themselves scratching their heads: they’ve done Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. “What else is there to do?” clients ask our Florida advertising agency. Well, our team of experts is hereto serve up some pretty invaluable solutions!

The digital team behind the US Open found a way to leverage social engagement to create a stunning digital footprint that comprises an integrated picture of the big event. As documented by Instagram’s photojournalists, Twitter’s commentators and Facebook’s check-ins and status updates, it’s not just one person’s version of the events any longer-it’s now the story as told by everyone, anywhere in the world, on one sprawling wall.

Years ago, sports marketers realized they would need to leverage social media outlets to help raise brand awareness and encourage customer engagement. What started with simple accounts led to major social media-based campaigns. However, in today’s data-driven sports marketing, simply registering a Twitter account isn’t enough. While that’s an important piece of the puzzle, it is important now for brands to find even more ways to innovate through interactivity and social sharing.

Take, for example, Nike, which not only encourages its fans to purchase its products, but has also created a community in which purchasers can align themselves with the brand on multiple fronts. Fans are able to monitor weight loss, challenge themselves to beat their athletic goals and interact with other members of their community, all through a distinct network created and maintained by a single brand. Nike even went so far as to build products for its users and fans, such as the Nike Fuel band, which helps people monitor their daily athletic activities and allows them to compete with friends. Ultimately, this brings Nike’s users closer to one another through technology.

By making social media a main attraction, the US Open Social Wall not only encourages people to engage with the content, but also provides a beacon for coverage concerning the day’s activities.[quote]Social media interaction isn’t limited to celebrities and sports personalities.[/quote] The Social Wall encourages people around the globe to share their thoughts, emotions and support for the players they love. And, it doesn’t hurt that the event’s big corporate sponsors are also raising awareness of their services.

While something as spectacular as the US Open Social Wall may not be feasible for every sports marketer, the takeaway is that such marketers can be inspired by watching how bigger companies use social media for their own campaigns. With that, marketers can then find ways to innovate within their own boundaries. At our Orlando ad agency, we pride ourselves in offering an advantage set that is sure to help clients win the marketing game. Contact us today to get started!

Which Brands are Using Google+ in an Innovative Way?

With over 400 million users, Google + is a marketing opportunity you can’t pass up. We recommend incorporating Google+ into the social media aspects of advertising campaigns for all of our Florida advertising agency clients. With an average referral rate, there is good potential for your business to get some great promotion from it. Take a cue from the some of the top brand pages and how they are working the Google+ scene.

Cadbury UK

(2,863,888 Followers-as of this publication)

  • Cadbury UK images and posts are both conversational and eye catching. Each image is branded with their logo or branding colors to have more visual impact on the audience’s memory. With every image they include a light hearted engaging comment about their new product or even asking a question of the audience to stir a response.
  • Currently they are featuring a campaign for Cadbury Egg recipes and created a Google+ community page for fans to share their edible Cadbury Egg creations. An eggcelent idea to help boost consumer engagement!

 

H&M

(2,587,411 Followers-as of this publication)

  • From fashion spreads, new product updates, celebrity stylists, music videos and fashion tips, H&M provides variety within their posts to keep followers engaged and coming back for more.
  • Since H&M is a fashion clothing brand, much of its content is image driven and mainly of their own products. Posts are conversational and relevant to the brand.

 

Time Magazine

(2,551,424 Followers-as of this publication)

  • Following of-the-moment and on-trend topics, Time Magazine updates its page with top news stories, trending questions and intriguing images like NASA’s view of Earth at night and  behind the scene pictures from the White House to increase customer engagement.
  • Even though Time is known for its more serious news pieces, it uses Google+ as a platform for more viral style content to keep followers entertained as well as informed. A great way to ad variety, charm, and personality to a page that could easily become stale and stagnant with constant news updates.

 

Key practices to take note of:

  1. Engaging &  Interactive Media Content: Give your posts a dose of variety by supplying a mix of video, themed images, links, comments, and the occasional light hearted or humorous post to keep your audience coming back to your page more and more.
  2. On Brand Posts: Consider this art of your branding. When posting make sure all content is in line with your company brand. People have expectations based on your branding or what type of business you are, so be true to your brand and give followers what they are looking for.
  3. Promotions: Since Google+ has a strict non-advertising policy, use content driven promotions to spread the word about a new product, discount, deal, etc. It will boost our existing content and engage your followers to act.
  4. Current or Trending Statements: Follow the lead on trending conversations especially if it deals with your line of business and post about leading stories. It will keep your content current, as well as boost conversations with followers.
  5. Google+ Tips: Check out the Google+ Business site or download the Google+ For Business Guide  for more tips on how to utilize Google+ to its full potential.