It’s the message not the medium!

October 11, 2011 (comments: 0)

Here we go again…introducing more new channels for delivering financial transactions to our existing customers/members. Will this just be one more way to check account balances?

It seems that every five years or so banks and credit unions fall all over themselves in an effort to stay competitive by introducing the latest and greatest channel technology. Why?  

Number one reason—because everyone else is doing it. While new technology usually offers some advantages to the customer or the institution, functionality all too often, remains business as usual. The medium is new, but it’s the same old message.

This time it should be different, it’s time for a change in the game. This time when we jump into mobile banking solutions, social media strategies or Web 2.0 initiatives, we should stop and remember it’s about the message not just one more way to check account balances or to deliver a “special offer”  that may not even be relevant to the customer.

This time, when we introduce a new channel technology, it should be unified with most, if not all, existing channel technologies, and the channel applications should share data while executing a single corporate strategy for delivering consistent messages across all channels—not just the latest. By integrating channel applications, you will be able to unify the message and the personalized marketing efforts with the relationship and service efforts of your front-line, whether it is through a service rep or a self-service channel option. Optimizing all channel investments through unification should be the goal, not simply introducing new channels to appeal to segments of your customer/member base.

This time the plans and the strategies need to focus first on the message then on the medium. Who we are trying to reach and for what purpose needs to be unified with other organizational marketing and relationship building efforts.

Mobile, social media and Web 2.0 technologies offer a world of possibilities, but to take advantage of them (in a profitable way) requires a business strategy and an organizational structure that allows the customer to select the channel of their choice. The message should remain consistent whether it is a transaction, a personal service follow-up, intelligent and relevant marketing outreach or a relationship building contact. Being able to consistently deliver (regardless of channel) is the real game changer.


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