How Financial Marketers Can Leverage Mobile During Times of Uncertainty
With locations closed and limited human interactions, financial institutions need to adapt quickly to connect digitally with consumers who are leveraging mobile-first banking now more than ever. While the number of omni-digital consumers has declined over the past few years, PwC research shows mobile-dominant banking customers have increased 50% since 2017 and they’re making their preferences known. With people utilizing mobile devices for tasks previously done in person, mobile-banking should be top of mind for marketers and financial institutions, beyond the world’s current situation.
The number of financial institutions the average consumer uses has increased by 10% since 2017. Even more worrisome is that 50% of customers who plan to open a new account in 2020 likely won’t do so at the bank they currently use. Agile institutions are moving to primarily digital offerings to enter new lending markets—think real-time account open and loan approval.
With social distancing in place and the rapidly evolving digital landscape, financial marketers need to shift away from branch versus digital mindset and focus on providing the right lending solutions at the right time, leveraging mobile devices.
The lending path to purchase
Lending is a high-intention product. Potential borrowers are motivated and ready to convert, yet McKinsey & Co discovered a leakage rate of 90% for new financial services customers who enter the funnel through digital channels.
During the awareness and consideration phases, lending customers are highly receptive to personalized mobile offers and messaging. A Google study showed a 48% increase year-over-year in mobile search traffic for lending-related terms such as mortgage, credit, and loans. Financial institutions have a clear opportunity to acquire new customers by aligning their messaging with a mobile-first audience, yet they have been slow to meet the challenge.
It’s not that they don’t recognize the imperative: An Econsultancy survey of financial industry leaders showed 81% of them believe personalizing the customer experience is important. Yet Forrester research revealed that 68% of financial services companies struggle to message the correct person across different devices and touchpoints.
The lending path to purchase is digitally dominant until consumers are ready to close a loan. At this stage, even mobile-first customers often seek personalized information from a representative. KPMG found that as many as 25% of these high-intent consumers drop out due to media friction—in many cases, the bank offered no easy way to request personalized information or connect with a representative. The need to optimize this experience and seal the deal digitally has become even more of a reality..
Sources of media friction
Friction points occur at every stage and across every channel, but they are particularly noticeable in the digital lending path to purchase:
- Messages aren’t served to the decision-maker
- Messages are irrelevant to the consumer’s situation
- The offer is unclear or irrelevant
- The medium is ineffective at targeting the consumer
- The message doesn’t include convenient options to check eligibility or get additional information
- The message doesn’t make it easy for the consumer to complete the application or speak to an agent
Financial institutions need to harness the capabilities of the entire mobile ecosystem—surfacing ads and marketing content, the in-app experience, text messaging and notifications, and mobile-optimized email—to eliminate media friction for lending customers.
Identity reduces media friction
Connecting touchpoints for a seamless, personalized mobile experience isn’t easy. Financial firms recognize that identity is at the heart of successful marketing strategies; Forrester research shows a majority have had an identity solution in place for a year or more. Even so, most still struggle to accurately recognize a consumer across different devices and maintain that identity over time.
Big Tech continues to hamstring personalized marketing efforts. Facebook’s recent privacy update makes it difficult for financial brands to reach potential lending customers. Google just announced it’s deprecating third-party cookies within the next two years, further complicating the process. How can financial marketers solve for this?
The answer is an identity resolution solution based on real persons, not their cookies or devices. Comprehensive identity resolution that recognizes individuals across multiple mobile devices and browsers ensures that targeted messages are served to decision-makers.
Messaging powered by accurate identity enables a personalized and consistent experience across all mobile touchpoints—ads, in-app messaging, SMS/text, and email—and eliminates media friction points to provide a connected experience. Consumers won’t fall out of the funnel due to irrelevant messaging.
Leveraging mobile’s unique functionality also solves friction points at the point of conversion. On-demand access via click-to-call, click-to-text, and chatbots connect consumers with the information they need to close the deal.
The bottom line
As the world rapidly changes, financial services need to change the way they manage and maintain relationships. To form deeper relationships necessary for acquisition, retention, and growth, financial institutions need to deliver the type of relevant interactions consumers expect.
That imperative doesn’t change for mobile-dominant consumers; the strategies needed to achieve personal relationships are evolving. It means knowing more about consumers beyond your brand interactions and creating frictionless mobile journeys by accurately and persistently recognizing each customer across various devices and channels along the path to purchase. Especially during times like these, it’s more critical than ever to connect with people digitally and offer the right solution to match their current needs.