July 11, 2019

3 steps to add fireworks back to financial services advertising

Financial institutions tend towards conservatism in advertising, but this often leads to pretty conservative results. So how can banks and credit unions create ads that are memorable while still being “on-brand?”

The digital age means advertising is no longer confined to a newspaper or television set. Email inboxes, social media feeds, streaming service commercials, in-app ads, and website banners have exponentially increased access points to the consumer. This plus increased competition has resulted in an exponential increase in ad campaigns including many that are lackluster, unoriginal or blah. Quite a few businesses have fallen to less-than-stellar tactics to attract their customers’ attention.Tactics like information overload, mass marketing, or being just plain weird (thanks, Skittles).

Highly regulated industries like financial services may find the need to stand out especially challenging. Financial institutions tend towards conservatism in advertising, but this often leads to pretty conservative results. So how can banks and credit unions create ads that are memorable while still being “on-brand?”

There are financial institutions that have done this and done it well. For example, Citi’s “Live Richly” took a novel approach by thinking about the end consumer as a person, not just a customer. People don’t care as much about the business of a bank as they care about living well and being happy, and this sentiment is perfectly captured in this simple, yet effective campaign.

Another example of a catchy campaign we love is from DeepTarget’s client Montana Federal Credit Union who spread the word about their summer vehicle and RV loans with a “Happy Trails” ad campaign. This adventurous campaign took a fun spin on vehicle loans that paid off with some really impressive results including 224,442 impressions and 285 resulting sales transactions across three locations in Great Falls, Cascade, and Fort Benton, Montana.

So what are the three keys to adding some pizazz to your ad slogan?


1.    Devise a great idea.

In order to capture a reader’s eye, you’ve got to offer something they want or need in the first place. Think through your products, the season, the economy and more to come up with your “big idea” – the idea that is going to help you get noticed and set the stage for a great customer experience.

2.    List the benefits for your banking consumer.

This is an important step that many FIs overlook. Have a brainstorming session where you skip product features and interest rates, but focus on the end result from the consumer’s perspective. Will they jumpstart a life goal, take a dream vacation, have a nest egg for hard times, gain a trustworthy partner for their small business, feel confident about paying for college? Make a list of the value that your product can add to someone’s life - because great ads don’t go on and on about how great their product is, but instead showcase how great their customer will feel because of it.

3.    Add some sparkle.

This is where writer’s block can easily sets in.  The goal is to be clear, not clever. Consider your target market, reflect your financial institution’s brand image, and keep your messaging short and simple. What simple phrases sum up the benefits you just listed for those who you want to act on taking up what you are offering? Try these out on a few people including yourself to see if the messages resonate and touch a chord with you enough so you will want to act. That’s generally the best test!

Ads that combine these three elements generally will differentiate themselves from the competition, like this ad series from Intrepid Credit Union (formerly Helena Community Credit Union). Your bank or credit union has a personality; so don’t be afraid to show it. For added benefits, deploy these ads with the power of an intelligent digital marketing and sales solution that gets your ad to the right person at the right time on the right channel.

DeepTarget’s intelligent digital marketing and sales solution is in use by hundreds of credit unions and banks of varying sizes across the country. In addition to being intelligent, it is both affordable and easy to implement and use with ~95% automation.  What’s the use of investing in a costly or cumbersome communication and data analytics solution when you have to worry about limited resources? DeepTarget clients have automated the use of customer intelligence to deliver relevant product offers and pinpointed one-to-one messaging to their banking customers through mobile banking, online banking, web, and email - all the while engaging them in a seamless communications experience, wherever, whenever and however they bank. Check out these customer success stories to see the high ROI and returns that they are receiving. If you are ready to experience all that DeepTarget has to offer, contact us at success@deeptarget.com.

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