In the era of digital banking, data is king. Only financial institutions that value it and put it to use stand a chance in the coming decade.
To illustrate, a report from the Aberdeen Group found that financial institutions that use analytics to understand customer attrition have a 12 percentage point lead in market share over those that do not, and in their recent banking outlook report KPMG went so far as to say that “banks that develop an infrastructure allowing them to analyze data quickly, that staff up to do that work, and that make revenue-oriented analytics part of their culture, are the banks most likely to grow their top lines.” That’s as clear as it can be. Better data analytics leads to more revenue, which will lead to dominance over the competition year after year.
But obtaining valuable data can sometimes be tricky. Account holders and potential account holders don’t want to fork information over to you unless they receive something valuable in return.
How can you grow the amount of valuable data in your database by providing real benefits to end users? We give three suggestions below.
Three Ideas to Get More Account Holder Data
To Grow Your Email Lists: Offer No-nonsense User Guides
Examples might include “How To Not Get Screwed When Getting a Mortgage in Vermont” or “9 Ways to Make Sure You’re Getting the Best Deal on a Business Loan in Seattle.” Leverage the expertise of your loan officers, and hire a professional writer to tighten the prose.
Make sure your guides are focused on your region. You want people to Google “mortgages in [your region]” and have your user guide pop up. By establishing yourself as a credible, impartial voice in the field, and by gathering a database of email addresses in the process, you can start the long game of upselling in your region.
As we talked about in a previous post on content marketing, you should expect to be consistently involved with a campaign like this for 18 months before you start moving the needle. It takes time to earn the trust of potential account holders, but financial institutions that do it consistently will yield big results.
To Outsmart Your Competitors: Offer Digital Money Management Software
Picture this: An account holder sees that they can manage their finances in your digital banking portal, and as a result they add all their accounts. When that happens, you have access to aggregate data — including all the data from the external accounts your users add. You can then use that data to make personalized offers that directly counter what your competitors are doing. It’s a win-win situation. Account holders get help managing their money and you get smarter marketing.
The reason this is so important for financial institutions is that companies like Mint are already competing on this front. They use digital money management to incentivize users to add data, and then they market on behalf of their large financial partners — who are probably your competitors. If your account holders start logging into Mint.com to see all their finances because you don’t offer a good alternative, they’ll be less likely to log in through your portal and you’ll have less and less access to account holder data.
To Acquire New Users: Offer Products and Services to Potential Account Holders
For example, you might put a mortgage calculator on your site and link it to a gated offer for a free mortgage-loan consultation. Or you might offer in-branch workshops to anyone in the community who wants to learn how loans work. You could even offer your financial management app for free to anyone who wants to use it. The point is that when people see that you’re interested in their financial well being, they’ll be much more likely to give their information in return.
These three actionable ideas will help you amp up your database and drive more revenue, but they’ll also make the lives of your end users better in legitimate ways. In addition, consider that once your users see that you consistently add value to their lives, they’ll be more likely to give you more of their information in return. You’ll start the process of building loyalty and nurturing long-term relationships. It all starts with adopting the mindset that everything you do should benefit account holders.