Close

February 24, 2018

State of Mid-sized Bank Marketing 2018: Stuck in the Past

Bank Marketing Plan - Bank Marketing 2018

State of Mid-sized Bank Marketing 2018: Stuck in the Past

In today’s business landscape, having a targeted customer-centric online experience is no longer a novelty idea but rather a necessary strategy for attracting new customers and keeping current customers. At a critical point in time when many financial institutions are reluctant to invest in advancing online technologies, financial institutions that are investing are creating a substantial competitive edge in obtaining new customers, gaining insights into customer behavior, creating a unified online brand experience, and engaging in the way consumers want to be engaged. In marketing, perception is reality. A flat, static online presence that only communicates in one direction without segmentation does not reflect well for a brand. Bank marketing in particular seems to be lagging behind many other industries.

Understanding your customers is vital to growth, it is important to build a strategy to improve online reviews and comments, which can be accomplished through several methods. As your organization continues growing, your marketing and communication efforts will require the right tools and strategies necessary to enable customized personalization. While retail banking customers expect digital innovations in their financial institutions, business banking clients are following suit:

“’I believe that the days of B2B marketing — in the traditional sense — are gone,’ says Laura Barger, Managing Director, Head of Corporate Content Marketing at BNY Mellon, “particularly when it comes to digital strategy.” While the person shopping for business banking services may be using technology to perform their search today, but they are still a person. According to Laura, financial services marketers need to wake up to the opportunities afforded them through deep data analysis on digital channels, to yield greater levels of personalization and automation” (Susan Marshall, thefinancialbrand.com).

 

Analyzing Florida’s Mid-Sized Bank Marketing

In this review, we are going to analyze the 10 largest banks in Florida (based on South Florida Business Journal’s 2017 Q1 numbers). We’re choosing to analyze Florida bank marketing because 1. Our internet marketing company is located in Florida and 2. Anthony Bart, owner of The Bart Organization, worked at BankUnited from 2011 to 2015. Florida’s Largest Banks, Q1 2017:

Billion-Plus Banks Q1 2017 In $000’S Assets Q1 2017 Net Income
BankUnited $27,881,033 $66,193
Florida Community Bank $9,382,096 $39,753
City National Bank of Florida $8,524,659 $24,258
Mercantil Bank $8,382,996 $8,074
Sabadell United Bank $5,808,706 $11,708
Ocean Bank $3,566,673 $7,438
Stonegate Bank* $3,238,047 $7,994
TotalBank $2,968,478 $6,093
BAC Florida Bank $1,996,652 $4,479
Gibraltar Private Bank & Trust $1,620,680 $1,140

As you can see above, the top 10 banks in Florida have at least 1 billion in assets, in some cases, many billions. These are by no means small organizations, they do not lack resources. We are going to review the top 3 Florida banks’ internet marketing below:

 

Bank Marketing Review: BankUnited

Website: https://www.bankunited.com/

BankUnited-Bank-Marketing-Analysis

The Good:
  • BankUnited’s website looks professional at first glance.
  • The website is responsive, which means that it can be viewed properly on all devices.
  • The brand colors are displayed throughout the site.
  • Structure is navigable enough.
  • Product and service landing pages found on the same domain.

 

The Bad:

Let’s take a look at where BankUnited’s website bank marketing lacks:

  • The site boils down to an informational piece about BankUnited and it’s services.
  • Provides no option to open an account online. Many individuals and business owners will see this and run.
  • Static pages, not built for a highly personalized experience.
  • No live-chat (or so well hidden that I can’t find it). This is a no-brainer benefit to customers and potential customers.

 

The Ugly:
  • The copy-write date still says 2015. This tells me that very few resources and manpower are put into their website strategy.
  • Static buttons. While not all of their buttons are static, a button image that does nothing when you hover over it is not good.

 

Account Opening:

BankUnited’s website does not allow account opening online. One must go to one of their locations.

 

SEO Overview:

BankUnited - Organic Search Positions

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is more than a fancy marketing keyword. Brands should be spending time and resources to continually improve their search engine positioning for their top industry keywords with knowledge of each level of each product/service funnel and  user intent front of mind.

  • BankUnited is ranking for 6400+ keywords.
  • Almost 33,000 visitors come to the site organically each month.
  • More than 98% of all organic traffic comes from some combination of BankUnited’s name. This is a huge missed opportunity for allowing potential customers to find them.

Conclusion: BankUnited has a huge opportunity to build a SEO/content strategy to generate new business.

 

Brand Monitoring:

Without seeing BankUnited’s backend systems, we can still analyze how well this bank is protecting their brand. Let’s analyze comments and reviews left by customers or potential customers and see BankUnited’s response:

Comment 1:

Customer: “The epitome of rude. Very judgmental on appearances. I would rather bank at Wells Fargo. Tellers need a class on social skills towards patrons. No matter how they look. Gave a star only because this is what allowed me to write a review.” 1 star

BankUnited Response: None

Comment 2:

Customer: “Made a large cash deposit, got a receipt for my deposit and then got a call after the bank closed saying that they were taking $100 out of my deposit because the banker’s drawer was short $100. Doh. Now I bank elsewhere.” 1 star

BankUnited Response: None

Comment 3:

Customer: “Lots of promises no delivery. They made a few mistakes 1. double billed for a line of credit after the line of credit was closed for a year. Then made me prove they had not billed for the line of credit for the previous year. 2. They promised a free account and there were service fees. They charge fees for online transfers in between your business and personal accounts. Two days for checks to be made available. There are better banks out there.” 1 star

BankUnited Response: None

I think you get the point. BankUnited is missing many opportunities to: 1. Rectify each customer’s situation 2. Respond publicly 3. Show other potential customers that they care about their current customers.

Content Strategy:

Without being able to review their email marketing strategy and other back-end content strategies, let’s review what we can observe:

Social Media:

Generic in nature, no seemingly greater goal behind the content. Some personalized content showing causes and good community activity. Seemingly no greater overall strategy.

Blogging:

No blogging strategy.

Video:

No video strategy.

Website on-page Optimization:

BankUnited Metatags and Metadescriptions

  • Page keywords not chosen correctly.
  • Some titles are properly optimized (for mostly incorrect keyword choices).
  • Keyword saturation: lacking the correct density (too few).
  • Meta Title: Lacking, using only h1 tags on pages.
  • Meta description: None written for sub-pages. Utilizes existing copy on page.
  • Internal linking needs major improvement.
  • Many other errors or neglect

 

Bank Marketing Review: Florida Community Bank

Website: https://www.floridacommunitybank.net/

The Good:
  • Florida Community Bank has a website.
  • Brand colors are utilized throughout.

 

The Bad:

Where to begin?

  • An informational piece for Florida Community Bank.
  • Not responsive for devices outside of desktop! WOW.
  • Provides no option to open an account online. Many individuals and business owners will see this and run.
  • Static pages, not built for a highly personalized experience. Everyone will see the same graphics, no matter who the visitor is or what they are interested in.
  • No live-chat available. Again, this is a no-brainer benefit to customers and potential customers.

 

The Ugly:
  • This website looks like it was built in 2000.  This website does not reflect well on the Florida Community Bank brand.
  • Small businesses often have websites that look as good or better.

 

Account Opening:

Florida Community Bank’s website does not allow account opening online. One must go out of their way to one of their locations.

 

SEO Overview:

Florida Community Bank - Organic Search Positions

  • Florida Community Bank is ranking for 4900+ keywords.
  • Almost 28,000 visitors come to the site organically each month.
  • More than 98.5% of all organic traffic comes from some combination of Florida Community Bank’s name. This is a huge missed opportunity for allowing potential customers to find them.

Conclusion: Similar to BankUnited, Florida Community Bank has a huge opportunity to build a SEO/content strategy to generate new business.

 

Brand Monitoring:

Without being able to see Florida Community Bank’s backend systems, we can still analyze how well this bank is protecting their brand. Let’s analyze comments and reviews left by customers or potential customers and see Florida Community Bank’s response:

Comment 1:

Customer: “If it were possible to rate this place with negative stars, I would! As a former bank teller, I have never seen a pair of tellers so slow and inefficient. Every single transaction, no matter how simple, turns into a complicated, unnecessary delay!” 1 star

Florida Community Bank Response: None

Comment 2:

Customer: “The worst costumer service that i have experienced in my whole life , simply the worst , they not even deserved one star.” 1 star

Florida Community Bank Response: None

Comment 3:

Customer: “My experiences with the bank:
1. unnecessarily levied monthly service charges against the account without proper notice. In fact they gave no notice. No statement mailed. They refused to reverse and told me that they were penalizing me because I decided to close my account with them.
2. the website is not user friendly
3. the bank has business hours only which are inconvenient in todays business environment, surrounding banks are open later and on the weekends
4. they have no deposit equipment that accepts checks for self banking
5. they unilaterally downgrade the interest rates w/o notice to the customer in all accounts. One has to go through unending requests to maintain a standard money market rate. All games with them.
With rates that exceed what they currently offer at other banks there is no need to deal with their substandard service.” 1 star

Florida Community Bank Response: None

Similarly to BankUnited, Florida Community Bank is missing many opportunities to: 1. Rectify each customer’s situation 2. Respond publicly 3. Show other potential customers that they care about their current customers.

Content Strategy:

Without being able to review their email marketing strategy and other back-end content strategies, let’s review what we can observe:

Social Media:

Generic in nature, no seemingly greater goal behind the content. Mainly showcases bank’s good efforts, with no obvious strategy to grow the channel (Facebook). Does not provide much value to clients.

Blogging:

No blogging strategy.

Video:

No video strategy.

Website on-page Optimization:

florida community bank - Google Search

  • Page keywords not chosen correctly.
  • Some titles are properly optimized (for mostly incorrect keyword choices).
  • Keyword saturation: lacking the correct density (too few) on most of the pages reviewed.
  • Meta Title: Lacking, using only h1 tags on pages.
  • Meta description: None written for sub-pages. Utilizes existing copy on page.
  • Internal linking needs major improvement.
  • Many other errors or neglect

 

Bank Marketing Review: City National Bank of Florida

Website: https://www.citynationalcm.com/

City-National-Bank-of-Florida-Website

 

The Good:
  • City National Bank has a website.

 

The Bad:

Similar to Florida Community Bank’s website:

  • An informational piece for City National Bank.
  • I understand all about your fees and how much it costs to open each account, but I don’t see any rates or perks for me to open the account in the first place.
  • Not responsive for devices outside of desktop! Again, WOW.
  • Provides no option to open an account online. Many individuals and business owners will see this and run.
  • Static pages, not built for a highly personalized experience. Everyone will see the same graphics, no matter who the visitor is or what they are interested in.
  • No live-chat available. Again, this is a no-brainer benefit to customers and potential customers.
  • The domain name is strange. It is not an easy name to remember (the cm at the end).
  • The domain has unnecessary “/home” additions to the URL.

 

The Ugly:
  • It’s difficult to tell which website was created first, City National Bank’s site or Florida Community Bank’ site.
  • The overall design does not reflect well for the brand. It screams “lack of technology and personalization.”

 

Account Opening:

City National Bank’s website does not allow account opening online. One must go to one of their locations.

 

SEO Overview:

city national bank - Organic Search Positions

  • City National Bank is ranking for 3600+ keywords.
  • Almost 21,000 visitors come to the site organically each month.
  • More than 95% of all organic traffic comes from some combination of City National Bank’s name. This is a huge missed opportunity for allowing potential customers to find them.
  • City National Bank is not ranked first for their own branded keyword (another City National Bank ranks above them).

Conclusion: City National Bank has a huge opportunity to build a SEO/content strategy to generate new business.

 

Brand Monitoring:

Without seeing BankUnited’s backend systems, we can still analyze how well this bank is protecting their brand. Let’s analyze comments and reviews left by customers or potential customers and see BankUnited’s response:

Comment 1:

Customer: “Stay away from this branch , They take for everrrrrrr , they’re system it’s always down , the worse bank I been to!!” 1 star

City National Bank Response: None

Comment 2:

Customer: “Absolutely horrible customer service! I would never come to this location! Wow.” 1 star

City National Bank Response: None

Comment 3:

Customer: “Went to open an account there and it was an unprofessional disaster. Beginning with the bank teller who insisted on opening my account and had me standing up for 15 minutes with other customers waiting in line. Then a lady who claimed to be the branch manager came and told the teller she should not be opening accounts and wanted me to take a seat and advised me it could take up to 3 Business days for her to open account. Never again.” 1 star

City National Bank Response: None

I think you get the point. City National Bank is missing many opportunities to: 1. Rectify each customer’s situation 2. Respond publicly 3. Show other potential customers that they care about their current customers.

Content Strategy:

Without being able to review their email marketing strategy and other back-end content strategies, let’s review what we can observe:

Social Media:

No social media strategy.

Blogging:

No blogging strategy.

Video:

No video strategy.

Website on-page Optimization:

city national bank money market - Google Search

  • Page keywords not chosen correctly.
  • Some titles are properly optimized (for mostly incorrect keyword choices).
  • Keyword saturation: lacking the correct density (too few).
  • Meta Title: Lacking, using only h1 tags on pages.
  • Meta description: None written for sub-pages. Utilizes existing copy on page.
  • Internal linking needs major improvement.
  • Many other errors or neglect

 

8 Key Steps Mid-Sized Financial Institutions can Take to Improve their Bank Marketing

If it’s not clear from the high-level bank marketing overviews highlighted above, most small and medium-sized banks need serious improvements in their internet marketing strategies. An internet bank marketing strategy can’t be put together quickly and will require buy-in from all levels of the organization. I’ll highly 7 key areas mid-sized internet bank marketing can improve:

1. Get Buy-in from Senior Leadership

Getting senior leadership on-board is critical for bank marketing to move to today’s incredibly powerful internet marketing tactics. To get started, develop answers to the following questions senior leadership might ask before you pitch anything to them:

  • Why do we need a new website?
  • How can internet marketing help us improve our bottom line?
  • How can social media improve our bottom line?
  • We’re doing well already, why do we need any of this?
  • How much does it cost?

 

2. Get Buy-in from Other Critical Teams

Getting buy-in from senior leadership is very important. But equally important is getting buy-in from important teams within your structure. It’s a great idea to set up committees that meet bi-weekly or monthly. Some important groups to have representation include: IT, Web, Compliance, Legal, Risk. In other committees, such as in building out a social media strategy, you should include representation from customer facing groups such as: Business Banking, Mortgage, Commercial Banking, and any customer facing group.

 

3. Building Optimized, Strategic Websites

A great website is more than just the way it looks aesthetically. Your website should help you accomplish major goals your organization has. For example, BankUnited could be building a website strategy that brings in hundreds of millions of dollars of deposits from CDs and money market accounts if one of their main goals was to increase deposits. In 2018, it’s not enough for large organizations to only have a great looking website, but must leverage strong personalization tactics to bring what their customers and potential customers want, when they want them, and how they want them. Leading industries implement artificial intelligence strategies to fully customize a user’s web experience based on many factors, including which pages or offers they have visited in the past. This is an extremely valuable tool for CRO (conversion rate optimization).

 

4. Creating Content Strategies that Count

Many organizations, especially small and mid-sized banks, create a social media strategy just for the sake of being on social media. If you asked their teams what goals they were trying to accomplish with their social channels, the answer would probably include some sort of trivial vanity metric. Content strategies should be working with your website to accomplish your major organizational goals. Using the BankUnited example of needing to bring in millions of dollars of deposits, one of their content strategies could be to create content that matches the 3+ stages of a marketing funnel. Creating a blog strategy is one way to take advantage of the largest search engine in the world, Google. Creating a highly optimized video strategy can help your organization rank for the 2nd largest search engine in the world, YouTube. Social media can be used to help accomplish many goals, but it must be understood that it is one spoke on the wheel that connects to other internet strategies to accomplish an organization’s goals.

 

5. Monitoring Brand Mentions and Comments

Organizations that don’t have an online brand monitoring strategy leave themselves open to one sided criticism. According to Yougov.com, “78 percent of consumers in the United States read reviews before making a purchase decision. YouGov’s report reinforces findings in a previous study that found that 87 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as they trust friends and family. On the other end of the spectrum, four out of five consumers reverse their purchase decisions based on negative reviews” (Jake Gammon, Yougov.com). This data is a major reason why so many brands throughout nearly every industry value their online reputations and are willing to go above and beyond to protect it. It is so critical for bank marketing to include a strategy for improving your brand’s reviews online. There are plenty of software options to choose from that not only assist in your bank marketing but can help you monitor your brand online.

 

6. Enabling Ability to Open Accounts Online

Having the ability to open an account online would greatly improve the customer experience in banking. Nearly gone are the days of needing to go to a physical branch location to open an account. For bank marketing, the ability to open an account online would drastically improve your internet marketing efforts.

 

7. Measuring Analytics Beyond Vanity Metrics

Many organizations neglect analytics entirely. Some organizations measure vanity analytics like “visitors to website” or “likes on Facebook page” to measure success. Companies should be analyzing so many other important factors that help accomplish their organization’s goals. Analytics can be used to improve conversation rates, show you where you need to improve your website, help you build strategies and user experiences that work, and even help marketers understand exactly who their customers are based on actual data.

 

8. Connecting the Dots with CRM Tools

Finally, to tie your bank marketing together, your bank should have a industry leading CRM tool (SalesForce is one example). A customer relationship management tool, if implemented correctly, can be critical to understanding your current customers and potential customers. For example, a CRM connected to your other bank programs can help connect your sales team with your marketing team by letting the sales team know exactly which marketing materials their lead has touched. Inversely, the marketer can see encounters the sales team has had with that potential client and group leads similar to that lead together for a specialized campaign.

 

Concluding Comments on Mid-sized Bank Marketing

The power of internet bank marketing is endless if done correctly. Having worked at Florida’s largest bank, I have seen first hand the need for improvements and how banks operate. I understand how difficult it is to change opinions and educate internal teams and leadership. Both the marketing director and the CEO need to be on the same page to accomplish internet marketing strategies. It cannot be accomplished by just a few people in your institution. I am so strongly convinced that financial institutions whom implement these bank marketing strategies will be leagues ahead of their local competitors in growing their business, reaching new clients, and creating an amazing customer experience.

Bank-Marketing-Anthony-Bart-The-Bart-Organization

 

How is your internet marketing strategy? Do you know which keywords you’re ranking for? We’d be more than happy to review your web presence and provide you with a free consultation.

SCHEDULE A FREE CONSULTATION

 

Anthony worked at Florida’s largest bank, BankUnited, as Assistant Vice President, Digital Marketing Specialist from 2011 to 2015.

The Bart Organization is an Internet Marketing company that helps businesses of all sizes either start digital marketing strategies or improve their current digital marketing efforts. We specialize in internet marketing services including: Social media marketing, digital advertising, SEO strategy, local SEO services, and website strategy. We also perform SEO West Palm BeachMiami SEO, Fort Lauderdale SEO, and Charlotte SEO for clients. Contact us today to see how we can help!

 

Subscribe to receive news and updates:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *