GlobalFintechSeries Interview with Jill Homan, President at DeepTarget
Jill Homan, President at DeepTarget shares a few thoughts on how marketing and sales teams in financial institutions can create a better digital presence and experience for fintech and finance customers in this interview. Catch the complete story:
Can you tell us a little about yourself Jill?
I’m the President of DeepTarget – a solution provider that utilizes data mining and business intelligence to deliver targeted communications across digital channels for banks and credit unions, where I bring leadership experience as well as established knowledge in technology and financial services. As DeepTarget continues to grow and expand our digital offerings in an effort to help our banks and credit unions reach their own goals and growth, our focus is to create new solutions to help financial institutions increase their engagement with their customers and cross-sell more of their products.
Before working at DeepTarget, I owned a consulting company where I provided strategic counsel, including business planning and sales strategy development. When I’m not at work, you’ll find me enjoying sports, especially college baseball and tennis, and volunteering in my local community and church.
What according to you are the biggest mistakes financial institutions make when crafting their overall marketing / digital marketing strategy?
Crafting a marketing plan that’s specific to your bank or credit union is crucial when it comes to reaching your audience. A well-rounded plan can help you communicate with your customers and members in a multitude of ways – helping you get the right message to the right person at the right time. Marketing to consumers isn’t limited to a great website, the perfectly placed advertisement or a great social media campaign; it’s about targeting personalized messages to reach the right audience.
That said, I think the biggest mistake that many financial institutions make is underestimating the value of the “human” digital banking relationship. There is a wealth of data and wonderful innovative technologies that can assist in maximizing banker connections and treating each person as a unique individual. In today’s world, especially with the transformation that has occurred over the past four months, being able to create 1,000’s of simultaneious personalized banking experiences is more important than ever.
How does a platform like DeepTarget enable their efforts?
Connecting your financial institution with the right marketing software helps your institution deliver targeted communications across digital media as well as provide your employees with the information needed to cross sell your products. Partnering with a technology provider that uses business intelligence and data mining allows your institution to effectively and affordably engage the consumer with personalized and targeted messaging that deliver tangible bottom-line results for your bank or credit union.
We recently added a 3D user experience application, 3D StoryTeller™, to our Digital Experience Platform. 3D StoryTeller turns raw data into engaging and personalized “My Financial Story” user experiences for consumers on their digital banking platform of choice, enabling financial institutions to offer their customers a truly unique and personalized experience. We are essentially bringing fun and engaging social-type experiences to the the financial services industry. The big-deal difference is that our financial stories are smart and personalized for each individual banker. The stories are also analyzed for interest and behavorial characteristics, and they just continue to get smarter and more valuable to the banker.
The DeepTarget Digital Experience Platform, with available APIs and open platform commitment, make consistent experiences throughout the banker journey a reality. It is exciting to see the emergence of more support for open and connected digital ecosystems, giving financial institutions more choice as they work to assemble best-fit digital solutions.
What are some of the focus areas that financial institutions should pay attention to when it comes to their marketing and sales initiatives in the light of the new normal?
Throughout the pandemic, we’ve listened to our bank and credit union clients to understand their needs as well as their consumers needs. We’ve learned that staying connected with your team and your customers or members continues to be key to successfully navigating this time. As the country starts to return to a “new normal” and banks and credit unions begin to consider when and how to reopen their branches, communication should be a critical part of your institution’s plans to reopen.
Financial institutions need to connect with customers in a meaningful way, using digital channels to share important and relevant messages. Placing an increased emphasis on digital services continues to be important as consumers are relying on the digital experience more than ever before, which can also play a big role in how an institution communicates with internal employees, as well as customers or members.
More important than ever before, community banks and credit unions need to implement a strategic marketing and communications plan. Promotional materials may need to be shifted and messaging may need to be changed to be more appropriate as organizations start to reopen. For example, digtial campaigns that describe reopening plans, detailing the health and safety precautions that an institution is planning to take, are now important. It’s important that these campaigns are launched in appropriate digital engagement points like in-app banking, email, and web, so that awareness and education are at the forefront.
It is also important that financial institutions “escort” the banker digitally to websites, apps, or other action areas to better their experience. For example, if a consumer hasn’t signed up for online billpay, make sure that is pointed out and allow a simple swipe or click action to take them to the sign-up location. Consider technology that will reduce the lift and the friction – one the eliminates silo’ed communitions in favor of a “design once-engage everywhere” approach.
In a platform, like DeepTarget, banks and credit unions can design their messaging and engage bankers across all digital spaces including mobile banking, online banking, email marketing, financial management apps, lending, kiosk apps, eStatements/ePortals and websites. This creates a seamless, consistent communication channel for consumers. While this is helpful for marketing efforts in a normal setting for promoting news or specific services, it’s especially important right now, when customers need clear, constant messaging wherever they look.
Throughout the pandemic, we have seen our highest-performing financial institutions have a healthy combination of relevant financial services/offices, community information, and financial literacy advocacy. Think “relationship” – not one-sided communications.
Can you share a few thoughts on some of the biggest marketing campaigns undertaken by FIs / banks that have helped cut through the noise in the recent past with innovative messaging?
We have the best customers and every month we see over 250 million engagements, generating about 70,0000 leads resulting in 14,000+ new loans, deposits, cards and new accounts. So, there have definitely been some recent shining stars. A few that come to mind:
Partner Colorado Credit Union used simple messaging about “becoming your best financial self” and advocating for 2020 financial heath by offering free financial wellness counseling. This campaign saw click-action of more than 13.5%. That’s huge – given .05% click-through is the industry average.
Michigan Schools and Government Credit Union experience over 9% of member engagement in a simple member assistance campaign where they promoted awareness of digital services, and offered immediate “escort” to resources.
Ohio Valley Bank saw their web traffic to their Autoloan Center more than triple when they extended AutoLoan promotions to digital banking.
Finally, while product sales were not taboo, they had to be targeted and relevant. Big winners were timely consumer loans, skip-a-pay services. electronic billpay, and virtual service connections. Critcal Community Outreach was also a big deal – proving the position of the financial institution as a trust-center.
Virginia-based Healthcare Systems Federal Credit Union created a campaign starting in March 2020 at the onset of the pandemic. They utilized DeepTarget’s free solution for Critical Community Outreach within digital banking to deliver personalized campaigns with members’ first names prepended for a more personal campaign. The combination of timeliness, personalization and empathy proved to their members that their credit union cared about them even during this unprecedented time of uncertainty with the pandemic.
Before we wrap up, would you like to share specific finance management or business tips for Marketing and Sales or Finance teams struggling through this uncertain time?
Probably the biggest business tip I would offer financial insttituions is to pause and consider the prominent trust-position in your communities that you possess – use this carefully and wisely because once we abuse it, it is more difficult, if not impossible, to regain. Recent times have seen consumer leaning on their community banks and credit unions as their key source for a wide range of critical community information and desperately needed services.
We’ve seen our financial institutions be the source of key information including COVID-19 assistance programs, SBA-approved lending sources, pandemic testing centers and even coupons for re-opening local businesses. We have a saying around DeepTarget that we use related to digital bankers – “Know me or No Me.”
I think this is more true now than ever. I mean, I probably would not feel very welcome if I walked up to my in-branch teller and he called me “Bill” – and offered me 529 Investment Plan – when my kids just graduated college. We’d never think of doing that in our local communities. It’s time we realize our digital presence is a resource that can make or break us.
Hundreds of financial institutions use DeepTarget to increase loan demand, promote product adoption and support intelligent marketing through advanced data mining and analytics. They engage customers in seamless communications with intelligently targeted product offers in online and mobile banking, web, and email marketing. These banks and credit unions can now have thousands of concurrent one-to-one conversations with their customers every day, boost customer loyalty and increase income with DeepTarget.
Jill Homan is president of DeepTarget. She has extensive experience in executive leadership with leading technology and financial services organizations. Homan joined DeepTarget, a FinTech company developing and deploying an open, data-driven customer engagement and cross-selling platform for credit unions and banks, in 2017. Prior to joining DeepTarget, Homan was with Intergraph Corporation, Mobular Technologies and served as a business consultant. DeepTarget Inc. is a solution provider that utilizes data mining and business intelligence to deliver targeted communications across digital channels for banks and credit unions.