Thank you to everyone who attended ICBA Bancard’s webinar, Master the Art of Customer Acquisition, co-hosted by Fintel Connect and MK Decision. The MK Team sends a special thank you to Alana Levine, Chief Revenue Officer and founding member of Fintel Connect, for joining our Chief Executive Officer, Har Rai Khalsa, to discuss how community banks can leverage digital channels to attract new and existing customers. Alana and Har Rai’s commitment to driving innovation and growth in financial services provides an ecosystem of knowledge for community banks as they support customers digitally.

MK and Fintel initially connected through ICBA and The Venture Center’s ThinkTECH Accelerator program. MK’s mission of strengthening local economies by empowering community financial institutions with our technology aligns perfectly with Fintel’s initiative to bring the power of scalable performance marketing to financial brands across the industry. Thus a partnership was formed and is recognized by ICBA Bancard as the dream team.

Community banks struggle to identify and appeal to individual audience segments on the digital front. In this webinar, Alana and Har Rai dive into how financial institutions can engage with potential applicants using key marketing tactics and lead prospects down the customer acquisition funnel with MK’s intuitive digital account opening and loan origination platform.

Understanding Your Target Audience

As the industry moves into the digital age, community banks must understand who is absorbing their content and using online services. There are four consumer personas that banks need to recognize and target with effective awareness channels.

Gen Z & Young Millennials (18 - 32 years old)

These generations are digitally inclined and constantly use mobile devices to interact with content for financial education. Young millennials and Gen Z’s are connected with FinTechs as they complete digital transactions through companies like Venmo and CashApp. Many do not open a checking or savings account until the age of 18.

Since they are actively connected through social media, their actions are heavily influenced by peers. Their first financial institution must leave a lasting impression to generate rapport and referrals. Community banks can reach these personas with easily consumable digital content. Short video clips are very effective across social media channels like TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter. Look to establish relationships with financial influencers to deliver bite-sized pieces of informational content to cater to these generations.

Senior Millennials (33 - 40 years old)

Senior millennials also have a heavy online presence. However, this generation looks for larger liability products like personal loans, indirect loans, and business credit cards. Many prospects are planning for their future and may want to purchase a home or start a business. How can your bank offer appealing lending products?

Senior millennials perform extensive research before making a purchase decision. They utilize long-tail keywords in Google search queries to find solutions for their specific needs. Community banks must leverage a niche approach when speaking to this audience. Communicate the unique selling point of your products through traditional online content like articles and social media to generate interest from senior millennials.

Gen Xers (41 - 56 years old)

This demographic currently has the highest income of the four personas. After spending 10+ years with their institution, they prefer banks to support their financial needs versus up-and-coming FinTechs.

Gen Xers are shifting their finances and looking into long-term investments like refinancing their home, so institutions must recognize their specific pain points and fine-tune the messaging. They also research products before making purchasing decisions. Deliver authentic and consistent content with customized offers that appeal to their pain points to capitalize on this market. Banks must refrain from repeat offers. Gen Xers lose trust when banks serve them ads for products they already own.

Baby Boomers (57 - 75 years old)

This persona primarily consists of depositors, and banks rely heavily on this segment for lending authority. Baby boomers are a bank’s top in-branch customer. They like to develop a personal relationship with the bank, whether on the phone or in-branch. As the influencer in the family, their financial advice will often pass to future generations. Local banks need to develop a legacy plan to retain children and grandchildren.

Baby boomers are slow to adopt new technologies but can still be interacted with online. They like to use email and are influenced by relevant, contextual information. Banks can also reach this segment over social media. Facebook Live events hosted by bankers to introduce new products or discuss pain points are a great way to connect with this audience and provide a personal feel.

Guiding Your Audience Down the Acquisition Funnel

Before community banks invest marketing dollars into digitally targeting each consumer persona, it is crucial to analyze your online presence and create a strong foundation. The top three things influencers look for when partnering with a bank are:

  1. Clear messaging across the website that is relevant to the audience.
  2. A frictionless customer journey.
  3. Transparency in KPI measurements.

How can banks dedicate time to transform their online experience to enhance their offering and seamlessly track applicant data? Insert, MK. Over the last six years, we transformed the Consumer Experience with a digital onboarding platform that supports both sides of the balance sheet. Our Back-Office Experience centralizes application workflows in a single order processing system and eliminates siloed customer data. MK’s platform, combined with a healthy performance marketing strategy, helps institutions guide consumers down the acquisition funnel.

Beginning the Customer Journey with Proper Awareness

Many community banks struggle to gain exposure for their business. Marketing is expensive, and competition in the industry is at a record high because megabanks capture most of the market share. Often banks improperly target their audiences and deplete excess marketing dollars when the strategy is unclear. Institutions should also have a clear understanding of their target cost per acquisition (CPA). How much is your bank willing to spend to onboard a new customer? Marketing partners like Fintel Connect can help you meet your CPA goals.

As experts in influencer and performance marketing, Fintel Connect pairs financial institutions with a network of affiliates to achieve sizable growth. This channel is budget-friendly since it’s performance-based, meaning you will only pay for new customers gained. Fintel can help your bank build relationships with influencers and publishers to tell your brand story to the right audience and encourage prospective customers to learn more about your financial products. Consistent messaging will effectively reduce applicant drop-off and drive your target CPA costs down.

Rethinking How to Generate Interest in Your Products

Your website is your first branch, and many banks struggle to gain interest online. Outdated, text-heavy landing pages and antiquated website designs fail to capture why customers should choose your institution. Unresponsive interfaces impair the customer experience and cause a loss of trust that negatively impacts your brand.

Consumers expect financial services to have the same level of seamlessness as ordering a Starbucks coffee from their phone. If the path to conversion is complicated for the end-user, you are more likely to lose the potential applicant. Additionally, failure to follow up and re-target leads will cause a significant drop-off in consumer interest.

It is imperative to be where your customers are and to do so cost-effectively. Increase consumer consideration by using data to target and deliver appropriate content to each persona on the synonymous digital channel. MK’s modern online Store showcases your financial products with a simple, intuitive design and boosts cross-selling opportunities by suggesting relative loan and deposit products.

Turning Informed Interest Into Action

If your institution relies on paper applications or in-branch visits to onboard new customers, you have effectively eliminated the digital channel. Seamlessly convert applicants with MK’s mobile-first Checkout, which can be completed in under three minutes. To help grow both deposits and loans for your institution, MK introduced Cart, where customers can apply for multiple products in a single application. A sticky “Apply Now” button follows the consumer as they shop for financial products to encourage them to take the next steps, ultimately leading to more conversions.

MK integrates with digital banking providers to pull existing customer information directly from the source and expedite the application process with data pre-population. In Dashboard, back-office teams can review new orders, run automated credit and identity Decisioning, and deploy end-to-end dataflow from application to core processor. Make the onboarding experience intuitive for your customer and seamless for your teams.

Conclusion

Banks must be conscious of which channels their audiences utilize to attract and convert customers with frictionless, intuitive experiences.

Do not fall behind the times. Stay competitive and make the switch to a single vendor for digital account opening and loan origination. Learn how to go digital and choose the right vendor by watching the full webinar here.

We understand that each institution has its own unique needs, and we want to hear yours. Schedule a discovery call with our Sales team to grow both sides of your balance sheet.