Financial Institution Marketing Guide

Marketing your financial institution in the modern world can be difficult. This helpful guide will address marketing and media in the digital age of financial services.

Methods of Marketing for Financial Services

As marketing budgets get scrutinized more than ever in these tough economic times, it is imperative that marketers and business owners figure out how their marketing plans need to evolve. The goal is to figure out what kinds of exposure financial institutions need while spending less.  

With all the new media currently available that has yet to be fully explored, marketing teams can embrace a combination of different media options to give better marketing results efficiently and effectively!

Traditional vs. Digital Marketing Channels

Financial institutions not only have to rely on traditional marketing channels but must also embrace digital marketing channels. The mass adoption of the internet into everyday life is the single biggest event that has affected marketing over the last three decades (per the Digital Marketing Institute), and marketers need to embrace both traditional and digital marketing channels for a successful marketing strategy!

Why Do Financial Institutions Need Marketing?

As foot traffic to branches declines, banks and credit unions need to exercise several creative marketing approaches to retain customers/members, cross-sell, inform and engage them, build brand awareness, and stay relevant in ever-evolving times.

FI Services Marketing Guide Table of Contents

What is Marketing for Financial Institutions?
- Methods of Marketing for Financial Services
- Traditional vs. Digital Marketing Channels
- Why Do FIs Need Marketing?

8 Marketing Strategies for Financial Institutions
1) Radio, TV, Billboards (Traditional)
2) Sponsoring Community Events (Traditional)
3) Partnering with Local Businesses (Traditional)
4) Email Marketing (Digital)
5) SMS Text Ads (Digital)
6) Display and Retargeted Ads (Digital)
7) Active Social Media Accounts (Digital)
8) Personalized In-App Ads (Digital)

How to Approach Financial Services Marketing
- Embrace Digital and Omnichannel Marketing
- Keep Your Messaging Fresh and Relevant

DeepTarget Offers Top-Rated Marketing Solutions for Financial Institutions
- Contact DeepTarget for More Information

What is Marketing for Financial Institutions?

The main objectives for financial institution marketing are:
• To increase brand awareness of their financial institution in the community they serve
• Grow with new customers and client acquisitions
• See an increase in financial products and services sales
• Increase customer loyalty and retention

By using a variety of marketing strategies, financial institutions are there during every step of their customer’s journey to focus on fostering stronger bonds and better relationships with their account holders.

Most financial institutions exercise traditional marketing methods, which include TV, print, radio, and signage. But as digital marketing grows exponentially, more financial institutions are embracing digital marketing methods such as the adoption of mobile apps and online campaigns, as well as blogs, content marketing, social media marketing, and more.  

Customer Outreach and Acquisition

Customer outreach connects potential banking customers and credit union members with a financial institution while building an enhanced relationship. To accomplish this, successful financial services companies focus on improving the customer experience across all channels and with every communication touchpoint.

Creating Brand Awareness

Feeling connected to a brand goes much deeper than just convenience. Today’s users want more control and consistency out of their brand experiences. Financial organizations must find clear ways to communicate their brand through both traditional and digital marketing methods to create a clear identity for the organization.

Building Trust with Existing Customers

Trust is the most valuable currency you can acquire these days, especially when the financial security of consumers is on the line! It is critical that businesses within the financial sector build trust among their existing customer bases. When there is trust, customers stay, which leads to greater profits. Trust not only keeps existing customers loyal, but they will feel confident in referring the financial institution to their associates and friends.

8 Marketing Strategies for Financial Services

From traditional to digital methods of marketing, there are several ways to broadcast your financial institution's message to your audience.

Traditional Marketing for FIs (#1-3)

There is a myriad of options when it comes to traditional avenues of advertising your financial institution.

From classic billboards to corporate event sponsorships, here are some tried-and-true ways of getting the word out for your brand.

1) Local TV, Radio, Billboards

Financial institutions can reach their local audience via TV, radio, and billboards by focusing on a defined geographical region. While some may consider these methods archaic, they still can carry weight and bring in customers for your bank or credit union!

2) Sponsoring Community Events

Community is incredibly important for financial institutions that rely on their reputation to gain trust amongst existing and prospective customers. One way to create a positive brand image is to engage with the community while sponsoring in-person events. To do this, it is useful to get insights and feedback from key customers who also happen to be community leaders or advocates.

3) Partnering with Local Businesses

Joining efforts with a trusted, local company who has the same values as the financial institution’s customers/members lends to a wider reach of consumers within the community. For a financial institution, co-branding and partnering with other local businesses also promotes the FI’s commitment to small, local businesses, thus giving them a better standing in their community.

Digital Marketing for FIs (#4-8)

Successful digital marketing campaigns can effectively reach account holders, resulting in lead generation and cross-sales.

The key benefits of digital marketing vs. traditional marketing are:
- More precisely defined audiences
- Accessibility of data to build customer personas
- Effective way to reach younger generations
- Improved marketing cost-efficiency
- Greater budget flexibility
- Easier A/B testing (Source:

4) Email Marketing

The key to a successful email marketing strategy is to provide quality over quantity when it comes to communication. Financial institutions can provide relevant and valuable content that serves customers and members on their financial journey by using data insights about them.  

Customer or member data gathered from website engagement and internal information can be used to generate relevant content and offers that go beyond marketing to dually serve as good customer service! 

5) SMS Text Ads

SMS messaging offers engaging content in a format that most smartphone users are highly familiar with and inclined to respond to quickly. With open and response rates far above any other channel, text messaging can be used as a value-added tool to inform customers or members of new services or offerings. SMS is a marketing strategy that builds engagement with customers across their financial journey!

6) Display and Retargeted Ads

The financial industry has been adopting digital campaigns that use images, video, text, and hyperlinks where users can learn more about a product or service. When these display ads use consumer data insights and AI to serve up highly relevant content within authenticated apps (such as online banking and mobile banking), they capture attention and have proven to yield excellent results.  

Progressive marketing techniques also apply the practice of retargeting, which serves the message to a group of users who have previously visited the site. By retargeting these users, financial institutions can stay on the top of the users’ minds and bring them back to the site to learn more.  

7) Active Social Media Posting

Social media is the golden standard of online engagement and has been since the launch of the first social networking website close to two decades ago! Social media should not be used merely to sell, but it should be utilized to grow connections and foster relationships. It can be used to build relationships with customers and is becoming a fundamental part of financial institutions’ marketing mix and branding strategies. Social media is also an ideal medium to receive feedback and to adjust messaging or tactics.  

Additionally, social media is emerging as a cost-effective approach to providing customer service. By using social media to deliver customer service, financial institutions report cost savings of more than 70% in comparison with the traditional phone call approach to customer service. (Source: FinTech Futures)

8) Personalized, In-App Ads

Creating targeted, personal communication across all channels builds conviction and loyalty between the consumer and their bank or credit union. Automation and intelligence can help power these communications at scale. Meaningful messages compel user engagement by relaying content that interests them. Highly targeted, personalized messaging leads to exceptional results!

The use of personalization brings together both logical and emotional factors in creating messaging that is catered to each user. This facilitates tailored experiences while building stronger relationships and loyalty, all while making marketing efforts more efficient and cost-effective. (Source: Marketing Evolution)

Digital Banking is Crucial in Today's Financial Landscape

Over the past decade, financial institutions have made significant investments in technology, with digital banking apps being at the forefront of modern banking. Digital banking is fast emerging as the primary gateway for customers to transact with their banks. The priority and investment here have brought many benefits to banking consumers as their many transactions became virtual!

How to Approach FI Services Marketing in 2022

Technological changes in financial services have never been more rapid or meaningful than they are now. While the financial services industry has made progress, it has also seen its fair share of challenges on the digital journey. Efficiently marketing to customers and prospects is a big aspect of the financial sector. Marketing teams have struggled between being ignored and being faced with unrealistic expectations, often wrestling with too few or not the right resources.  

Interestingly, in the new paradigm of data-driven everything, transforming a bank marketing department from a cost center to a thriving profit center is not a far-fetched reality. Yet, many FI marketers are still entrenched in traditional ways of marketing with their competitors.  

These traditional marketing strategies and tactics can be considered old hat in an ever-changing, rapidly expanding, and flourishing digital economy. Financial Institutions must recognize that the majority of their account holders are, in fact, digital users. They are digital users outside of banking, giving them high expectations about all their digital experiences.  

Embracing Digital Marketing Channels

It’s always more efficient to work smarter, not harder. That’s why FIs need to meet their users where they are! In 2022, that means digital media must be recognized and acknowledged. The average adult spends close to 8 hours on digital media every day, which has increased even more during the pandemic. (Source: Statista)  

With so much time devoted to digital media, the rational approach is to meet users where they already spend their time - meet them where they are focusing their attention!

Consider Content Marketing Plans
for Your FI's Website

By sharing relevant content that includes meaningful and educational articles, blogs, newsletters, videos, podcasts, and other media, financial institutions can attract and retain their users. Strategic content marketing focuses on creating content that is pertinent to users, giving them valuable takeaways from your brand.  

The goal is not to overtly promote a product or service provided by the financial institution. Instead, the objective is to dispense valuable information pertaining to the financial services industry to users, thus, making the financial institution an authority on the subject matter. “In many institutions, marketing has become synonymous with customer education.” (Source: The Financial Brand)  

That authority leads to trust and encourages interest in the financial products and services offered by the institution. Sixty-one percent of financial services marketers testify that content marketing has generated both traffic to their website and helped build stronger relationships with their account holders. efforts. (Source: Marketing Evolution)  

Importance of Omnichannel Marketing

Omnichannel marketing, as opposed to siloed marketing, delivers appropriate and applicable content across a multitude of different digital channels that work in concert with each other to create unified and consistent messaging.  

Embracing omnichannel marketing allows financial institutions to meet their users where they are in a seamless manner, allowing users to choose the channel they are most comfortable using at that moment. Combining the high ROI strategies of email and SMS with other channels, including online banking, mobile banking, and more, is a key to crafting a digital marketing strategy that will bring success to FIs and their consumers.

Many banks and credit unions are doubling down on these highly performant and automated outbound communications mechanisms to take advantage of the successes of omnichannel marketing.

Keep Your Messaging Fresh and Relevant

Relevant communications show account holders that the financial institution knows and appreciates them by sending messages and offers that meet their current needs and objectives. Tailored messaging is more meaningful to the reader and tends to be more appreciated. This gives financial institutions that deploy intelligent (and insights-based) communication an edge in a highly competitive environment.

Partnering with a Trusted FI Marketing Agency

Both small and large financial institutions can benefit from hiring a marketing agency that is well-versed in current marketing technology and trends.

An established financial marketing agency, like DeepTarget, has the potential to:
- Bring new expertise and best practices to the financial institution
- Lower overall marketing costs
- Generate a fresh perspective
- Use an arsenal of tools and technology

DeepTarget Provides Top-Rated Marketing Solutions for Financial Institutions

Technology is fast-paced and ever-changing. If you’re not ahead of the curve, you’re actually behind, so it’s crucial to stay current with technology growth!  DeepTarget helps financial institutions grow by simplifying digital marketing to deliver amazing experiences that result in up to 10 times more sales and lasting relationships with their digital users! Artificial intelligence and machine learning power the personalization engine – and hundreds of financial institutions are seeing great results with it today!

It's So Easy, You Can Try It For Yourself!

See how your digital engagement and cross-selling can be transformed to drive member loyalty and new recurring profits from over 15 loan and fee-based products and services. Try it out for yourself!

Our Story
Your Story
Our Story