The key to local marketing is in knowing, leveraging, reaching, and engaging your key market segments. In the financial sector, this means a mix of general market messaging with an awareness of the areas surrounding your branches. Market segments are a great way of devising personas for your targeted messaging. When providing our marketing services to local banks, we help them craft messaging targeted to the general market and also demographic and ethnographic conscious messaging to help them connect with their consumers. Because local branches are a mix of residents and foot traffic, relevant messaging should be framed based on the needs of the consumer, where ethnographic messaging and visuals may be used for actions like “Opening an Account” at a local bank; general market messaging may be more appropriate for messaging related to accessing the ATM network.
Here are five thought starters for local banks:
- Make your messaging walk the talk: Meaning, make decisions that consider your surroundings. One example of this is when we help local banks market their specific branches and suggest a strategy to consider that provides a mix of TV, digital, social, email, and out of home marketing. However, how we help them structure their strategy and messaging is based on goals and proximity. Technology has enabled us to reach people where and whenever we want, based on recent interests. Using a mix of proximity, ethnic, and demographic awareness and the right mediums for each will help financial institutions reach and connect, engage and convert your local audience. Most importantly, it will help you build an emotional connection.
- Work your data: When looking for a marketing agency in Los Angeles, make sure the agency is able to provide you with a comprehensive set of placements that can help you reach your local audience and not just with one avenue. A comprehensive agency is able to utilize all forms of marketing and advertising as is applicable to the client. Also, using both online and offline data tracking can help reach potential costumers. What matters most is the number of times needed for the customer to be able to recall your bank’s name and experience at that crucial moment of deciding to open an account or seek a loan.
- Identify your core: Each branch has a core group of people that are the key target for their products and services. No messaging can be everything to everyone. Therefore, especially when a new branch opens, focus on growing your core audience first. That is the place where you’ll be able to learn and understand your crucial stakeholder customer. Knowing how they behave, what they like and dislike, and the intricacies of their relationship to your branches and location are what will help you make the customizations you need to meet their needs. If you’re looking to connect with Millennials and Gen-Z, you’ll want to focus on creating messaging that connects with them at a social level, leveraging messaging from reviews and positive experiences from people with your bank as that is one of the ways they validate trust.
- Follow Up: One of the most misunderstood pleasantries of marketing is follow up. Surveys are not always the best way to connect with people. A simple email follow-up, thanking people for their business or interest, is something that can be set up as an automated process but that provides a lasting impression and improved perception of the quality of service.
- Have an Identity: In the world of social media, having an identity is a tried-and-true way to connect with your audience. Social media can be one of the most effective tools to keep connected and top of mind with your local customers. However, using organic social as a marketing tool is flawed; we suggest paid social for that. The nature of social media is organic; keep your posts focused on value, local perspectives, and openness with your community. If you become a resource to the community, you’ll get more engagement on social media, which in turn will lower the need and expense of paid social. Over time, this will allow you to shift some of your paid budgets to engagement, keeping you connected with your customer.
Having an awareness and a measurable plan is what allows us to help local banks reach, engage, sustain and grow the core audience of customers. Learning is one of the foundations of every business; what you do with those learnings determines your level of success. By continually analyzing performance, fine-tuning, and researching, you’ll be able to deliver on your marketing goals. The era of set-it-and-forget-it marketing is long gone; the future is filled with initiatives like using data forecasting to drive messaging through AI and machine learning. Being small, local, or nimble means you have to plan more aggressively, keep in touch more efficiently, and grow exponentially. Therefore, work with an agency partner that has that goal and mindset to get your message out to the community.