Content Marketing at the Branch Level

By blending digital and print technologies to manage your content distribution and communication, financial institutions can enhance branch-level customer interactions while reducing risk and improving brand control. The opportunity for leveraging bank data then deploying relevant messages digitally is tantalizing. But how exactly do you go about implementing those strategies at the branch level?

Financial institutions struggle to access, manage and analyze data across fragmented technologies. Content and customer data is often managed across siloed systems, and overlapping technologies aren’t integrated with existing marketing automation and CRM systems. It’s not uncommon for branch employees to have to log into multiple different platforms to manage their local marketing programs. This kind of disparity creates waste, obsolescence and extra costs for the bank.

Good Content Is Nothing Without Great Distribution

A new approach that some banks and credit unions are taking is Content Distribution Management. A CDM platform serves as a centralized resource to help manage content across distributed channels more efficiently and effectively, while giving sales a single place to access and customize materials. The CDM platform doesn’t do everything by itself, but provides a single foundation on which many other more specialized products can be stacked. It enables users to have a central repository for content and data that can link with other technologies such as CRM, web content management, marketing resource management, marketing automation and analytics. Organizations can pick and choose the plug-ins to best serve their needs – or write their own if they want something more custom.

Local branches can use the CDM platform to order print-on-demand items or download PDFs of collateral or regulatory documents they need. This reduces obsolescence by minimizing stockpiles of preprinted documents, while ensuring that the most up-to-date version is used. Custom catalogs can restrict access to just the right materials for a particular user in a given state, ensuring that the correct regulatory language is used and that staff can only access what they are licensed to sell.

Customization Without Risking Control & Compliance

Centralized marketing departments can build templates in the CDM platform where local branch users can access, personalize and deliver materials, generating highly-targeted collateral and branch-compliant campaigns. End users gain the ease-of-use and personalization they crave. Bank decision makers benefit from consolidating vendors and saving costs by producing materials only as they are ordered. There also is greater color consistency in a brand’s identity when financial marketers can control print production centrally.

By supporting customization, CDM empowers the branches of large regional and national banking systems to compete with credit unions and community banks more effectively by tailoring their marketing materials to local needs and preferences. Local branches can customize corporate templates for special themed promotions. If there’s a big fan base for a local sports team, promotions can be planned around them. If your branch serves a growing community of retirees, photography on sales materials should feature active seniors, not just young families.

When one organization with more than 800 locations migrated to a single-vendor platform for Content Distribution Management, it saved $2.4 million in a single year. This was on a volume of 3,500 orders processed and shipped per month. The organization maintained 900 different print and print-on-demand items in its inventory. Best of all, their customers enjoyed a seamless brand experience.

Despite online applications and mobile banking, chances are that your bank still uses a lot of print to communicate with its customers. Yet as much as 70 percent of marketing collateral is never used, according to a May 2014 study by SiriusDecisions. By mastering digital technology, you can put the power of customization into the hands of your branch managers while strengthening version control, mitigating compliance risk and reducing costs at the same time.

Technology-Enabled Distribution Improves Trackability

A common problem is how to track the ROI for any given campaign, promotion or piece of content. When marketers send out bulk content or use a technology that only hosts content with no traceability or customization, there’s really no way to gauge success and justify marketing’s worth to the larger organization.

In a central, controlled environment, you can intelligently track leads based on specific criteria, like knowing which branch locations are seeing success with which items. Allowing localized, customized content gives the ability to trace based on a personal URL, AR/QR code or landing page. CDM platforms will tell you exactly what is driving your sales.

Furthermore, personalization has been shown to drive higher levels of customer engagement. By leveraging digital technology to communicate in context, you’ll likely achieve greater response…and be able to measure it.

Technology tools are available today to expedite the deployment of targeted marketing content by your sales channel and generate valuable insights into how it is consumed by end users. Knowing which pieces are effective in achieving your marketing objectives – whether they are cross sell, market share capture or revenue growth – and where content gaps exist can drive future creative efforts and help build an effective strategy for content development and distribution.

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