How to Overcome 8 Common Digital Marketing Challenges

By Crystal Steinbach on May 09, 2023

Digital solutions to help generate deposits and strengthen your brand

From platforms to consumer behavior, the way that you promote your financial institution is shifting at a rapid pace. Digital has completely remodeled the world of marketing. Financial marketers cannot take the same old strategies and expect unique and personalized results. And without integrated analytics and insights, they are not able to adapt, respond and optimize their marketing activities, which can compromise productivity, impact new consumer acquisition, and affect the user experience (UX).

Here are 8 common challenges digital marketing teams at community-based financial institutions face, with a solution to each.

Differentiator-1Under-utilization of digital marketing channels.

You have some useful digital marketing tools at your disposal. However, you may not be familiar with some of the more advanced functionality, or you don’t have the resources to run all channels effectively. As a result, you focus only on the channels you know you can execute. Figuring out the best way to regain traction and increase visibility to your audience can be challenging.

SOLUTION: Start with a full marketing foundation assessment, followed with a comprehensive marketing strategy and marketing plan.

Your plan should outline, in detail, your approach to generating leads and driving deposits. The plan should include:
  • An audit of your current marketing mix
  • Performance measurement
  • Consumer segmentation
  • Market research

Then work to implement an effective plan so you can achieve your marketing goals for growth.

Differentiator-2Competitors are creeping in on market share.

Competitors, especially Fintechs, are attracting more and more consumers and eating up market share. They have bigger marketing budgets, they appeal to younger audiences, and they are very tech forward in their approach.

SOLUTION: Execute organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM), and paid competitive conquesting strategies (an example of conquesting is bidding on keywords of your competitors).

Search engine optimization is a continuous method of increasing the chances of users finding your financial institution first when they are searching and buying financial services. However, paid conquesting strategies, such as the following, have a more immediate effect.
  • Geofencing competitor locations
  • Buying up branded keywords
  • Targeting business prospect lists
  • Responding to specific offers

Differentiator-3The digital user experience (UX) doesn’t delight.
Not only does your UX need to be frictionless, but you also need to stand out from the other community financial institutions in your markets.

SOLUTION: Assess the UX of your website.

  • Start by looking at data to better understand user behavior on your website.
  • Audit various website presentations and workflows. You can use Google Analytics data to identify audience behaviors, flows and activities.
  • Identify ways to remove friction and delight your website users so that you can stand apart from other financial institutions and leave a memorable and positive experience.

Keep in mind that there are multiple factors that go into the UX and some insights cannot be quantified with data points. The user experience also takes into consideration ease of use, emotional response, and interaction with your brand. Be creative and test various scenarios, and work toward continuous improvement.

Differentiator-4 Lack of resources to meet the increased needs of consumers and internal stakeholders.

Are your marketers wearing multiple hats? Are you chasing the next campaign with few opportunities to look toward long-term goals? You aren’t alone. But you need resources. And you need the right resources.

SOLUTION: Ensure that your marketing team possesses the necessary skills and resources to handle present-day issues.

To learn more about how to field a marketing team, click here.

Differentiator-5Marketers can’t get the data they need.
Many financial marketing teams struggle to get useful and timely data from their core system and third-party applications, like account opening, loan origination, or mobile banking services. This leaves marketers guessing when it comes to which marketing activities are successful and what types of audiences should be targeted. How can you be expected to help grow deposits if you only have a partial snapshot of information?

SOLUTION: Make data and automation a priority.

Work with IT and your partners to automate data between the core and your marketing tools. The two most common methods to automate data is via Application Programming Interface (API) and Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP). Your data resources likely transfer data securely via these methods among your other tools. This should also be set-up for marketing purposes.

If you need help identifying the data points or serving as a liaison between your team and the IT resources, reach out!

Differentiator-6Lack of integrated marketing analytics and insights.
Remember, if it was simple to create data and analytics to measure the success of your marketing efforts, it would have already been done. It takes time and expertise to gather the necessary information to produce reports and dashboards that give you the ability to adjust your marketing tactics in real-time.

SOLUTION: Start by tracking all your marketing campaigns consistently.

Utilize Google’s free tools (like Google Analytics) to set up link tracking across all your campaigns. These UTMs (Urchin Tracking Modules) append to the end of your URLs and allow you to collect valuable insights on your marketing efforts across all your channels. Then create reports and dashboards to measure the campaign KPIs such as engagement, impressions, clicks, conversions, and more. Not only will you be on your way to creating more successful marketing campaigns in the future, but you’ll be able to report on tangible outcomes.

Differentiator-7Too many manual processes.
Are you still manually importing lists, requesting data files, asking departments for conversion data from third-party applications, and manually deploying marketing communications? Fragmented digital activities compromise productivity, efficiency, and the UX. It’s time to automate. 
SOLUTION: Consider automating the following activities:

  • Automate data transfers to your email service provider.
  • Build API connections between your core and your CRM.
  • Place JavaScript tracking codes on third-party applications to capture conversion data.
  • Place an audience pixel on your site to capture visitor attributes.
  • Automate email marketing communications such as:
    • Onboarding
    • Loan maturation
    • Retention
    • Deposit growth
    • Cross-sell
    • Surveys/review solicitation

Differentiator-8Reactionary communications.
When the retail department needs deposits, they come to marketing for the magic solution. Your president did a Google search, and your institution didn’t show up and want marketing to work on this right away. Mortgage officers need more leads this month and want marketing to help with lead generation. You end up scrambling to serve everyone’s needs but communications are not working together, efforts and resources are split, budgets are thrown to the wayside, and effectiveness of the department is at risk.

SOLUTION: Create a proactive, outbound communications strategies.

Your marketing calendar for the year should be as complete as possible identifying your primary campaigns, the target audiences, budgets, and marketing channels. Consider incorporating several always-on/evergreen campaigns that run year-round. These campaigns can be adjusted as needed depending on economic conditions or changes in consumer behaviors. Being proactive gives you the ability to plan out the best:

  • Omnichannel strategies
  • Digital media management
  • Advanced targeting strategies
  • Multitouch attribution
  • Real-time reports and analytics

Bottom Line:
Modern, competitive financial institutions need a digital marketing strategy that goes beyond just setting up a Facebook page and email marketing account. Digital marketing is a comprehensive practice aimed at attracting new consumers, increasing brand awareness, and growing market share.

Need help developing an optimal digital marketing strategy? Reach out

Topics: All Things Digital

About The Author
Crystal Steinbach

Crystal has over 10 years of FI experience and 15 years of digital marketing experience specializing in data analysis, marketing channel optimization, and the development of marketing strategies. With strong analytical skills, she will deliver real-time insights to help boost your digital marketing results.