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It’s 2017. Tectonic forces are reshaping the banking landscape. Your competitors are exploring a myriad of new ideas and innovations that will threaten the status quo. Financial marketers have to stay sharp to keep their institution relevant and competitive in this fluid, fast-changing environment.

Here is a list of 10 things you’ll need to do to survive and thrive in the Digital Age. You can learn how to do all these and much more when you attend The Financial Brand Forum conference this May at the Cosmopolitan Resort in Las Vegas.

1. Make the Shift to a Digital-First Marketing Strategy

While some traditional marketing media — like direct mail and TV — still have a place in the modern marketer’s toolbox, it is undeniable that the battlefield has shifted to digital channels. Financial institutions must aggressively ramp up their skills and level of acumen in the digital arena.

Maximizing marketing in the Digital Age means investing more in new tools and tactics like retargeting, content marketing, native advertising, mobile marketing, geo-locational targeting, programmatic campaigns, pre-roll, social media and email.

It’s this simple: any marketing plan that doesn’t place digital at the forefront is doomed to fail, and the bulk of your marketing budget must reflect this shift.

RELATED SESSIONS AT THE FORUM 2017

  • Digital Marketing Workshop: How To Build Your Strategy & Make the Shift
  • Leveraging Social Media Channels to Advertise Financial Products and Services
  • Loan Growth Workshop: Marketing Loans in the Digital Age
  • Marketing Strategies for Loan Growth in an Omni-Channel World
  • Rethinking Growth Metrics and Digital Marketing ROI in a Mobile-First World
View Forum Agenda

2. Accelerate Advanced Data Analytics Capabilities

Data-driven marketing is the future for the financial industry. To find success in the Digital Age, marketing and IT will have to work more closely than ever before. The new digital landscape has completely redefined the approach organizations must take to marketing. Financial marketers hoping to find success in the future must leverage the mountains of data they generate — in every department.

To fully realize the potential of data analytics and keep pace in the Digital Age, you will need new technologies, new tools and new strategies… and the talent to manage them.

Bottom line? We now live in an “algorithm economy,” where only two factors really matter: the data sets you work with, and what you do with them. Marketers who have the best data sets (their input) and the best algorithms (their output) will win.

WHAT YOU’LL LEARN AT THE FORUM 2017

  • How to leverage data analytics to align your brand strategy with business objectives, redefine your customer experience, and create a clear roadmap for the future.
  • How to translate your raw data — customer behaviors, transaction patterns, buying habits, late payments, unusual activity, social media interactions, etc. — into actionable marketing strategies.
  • How data-driven insights will help you build alignment among key stakeholders for your institution’s strategic plan and future vision.
  • How to build algorithmic models that strengthen relationships, maximize revenues and reduce customer attrition.
  • How to integrate psychographic modeling, lifestyle segmentation and heat map scoring into your marketing and growth plans.
View Forum Agenda

3. Digital Transformation: Adopt a Mobile Mindset

Consumers today rely on mobile as their primary, preferred channel when interacting with their financial services providers. In fact, many consumers now shop for and ultimately acquire financial products entirely in the mobile channel.

Financial institutions simply must have a killer mobile app and a mobile-savvy marketing plan or they can’t compete in the Digital Age.

Banks and credit unions must optimize their mobile experience throughout the customer journey, including marketing. And yet many financial marketers aren’t prepared for the realities of marketing banking products and services in a mobile environment — they are essentially starting from scratch.

FEATURED SESSION AT THE FORUM 2017

How to Transform a Traditional Community-Based Institution Into a National Digital Bank

radius_bank_digitalNot long ago, Radius Bank had six branches. Today, with just one branch, Radius Bank effectively serves customers in all 50 states through a digital retail platform built with an amalgamation of fintech partnerships.

In this session, Radius Bank will show you how to leverage a combination of digital marketing and innovative fintech solutions so you too can attract deposits from customers across the nation. Learn what works, what doesn’t, and what to avoid firsthand from this experienced team.

View Forum Agenda

4. Marketing Attribution: Solving the ROI Puzzle

Marketing has historically struggled to prove its value in the C-suite. Many senior-level executives in the banking industry aren’t sure how marketing directly contributes to the bottom line.

Back in the 20th century, it may have been difficult for marketers to establish a correlation between their campaigns and any results generated — Did the last TV spot we ran produce a lift in new accounts? Or not? But in the Digital Age, there is no excuse.

Nearly every modern marketing tactic today leaves a robust digital trail — rich streams of data that can be monitored and measured. Financial marketers must use this data to establish ROI by linking their marketing investments with results, and increase marketing’s accountability with digital KPIs and a new marketing scorecard. In the Digital Age, everyone in the C-suite should be able to clearly see the impact and power of marketing.

RELATED SESSIONS AT THE FORUM 2017

  • Identifying and Implementing the Right Marketing Attribution Model
  • Using Marketing Metrics and Media Models to Optimize Your Strategic Plan
  • Growth Strategies Workshop: Aligning Marketing and Execution to Increase Profitability
  • The ROI of Digital Onboarding
View Forum Agenda

5. Embrace the Power of Marketing Automation

Marketing success in the Digital Age centers around three themes: segmentation, personalization and automation. You must first start with a targeting strategy that goes beyond the crude, antiquated clusters that everyone used back in the 1990s. With the abundant wealth of data available in the Digital Age, financial institutions can pinpoint specific subsets of consumers that share unique characteristics, preferences and needs.

Once you’ve capitalized on data-driven insights to define new segments, then you can tailor your marketing messages in ways that maximize both relevance and results.

You must ultimately find ways to supercharge your financial institution’s approach to marketing with automated analytics models that translate raw digital information into actionable strategies.

WITH HUNDREDS OF MARKETING AUTOMATION PLATFORMS OUT THERE, WHICH ONE IS RIGHT FOR YOU?

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Register now, before it's too late!

The Financial Brand Forum 2017 kicks off May 17th. Don’t wait, time is running out!

6. Modernize the MarTech Stack

It will be virtually impossible for most financial institutions to successfully adapt in the Digital Age without modernizing the marketing technologies they rely on. You won’t be able to automate your marketing, improve your data analytics capabilities nor use insights derived from digital channels to prove marketing’s ROI if you continue using the outdated and obsolete tools of yesteryear.

New technologies are transforming the face of marketing, and there is no shortage of platforms available to financial institutions today. But which one is right for you?

At the end of the day, two things are certain: (1) you must significantly increase your investments in martech, and (2) you must choose the right solutions… or you will get left in the dust.

The agenda for The Financial Brand Forum 2017 is packed with three straight days of strategy sessions, how-to workshops and killer breakout presentations guaranteed to build both your brand and your bottom line.

Nothing but practical ideas and actionable advice about the most critical branding, marketing and advertising problems facing financial marketers today — candid, direct, honest and always focused on results.

View Forum Agenda

7. Simplify and Elevate the User Experience

In the Digital Age, there are a million other things people would rather think about than banking. It is boring. It’s tedious. It’s complex. That’s why UX is everything. You must go beyond the basic table stakes needed to stay competitive in digital channels today and engineer a digital experience that truly connects with today’s wired, tech-savvy consumers.

That means building your strategy around making banking easy and saving people time. But if you are 100% committed to simplifying the banking experience, you had better be prepared to retool everything — your entire product line, your marketing, staff training, and (quite probably) your core data processing system… for starters.

You will need to create fresh, new, engaging and immersive brand experiences across all your channels and touchpoints. And marketing must be integrated throughout the entire customer value chain, influencing all elements of the experience, at all funnel stages. It should be fast, easy and secure — that’s what today’s digital consumers want.

Without a seamless, painless and integrated omni-channel experience, all the marketing in the world won’t matter and your growth strategies will flounder.

RELATED SESSIONS AT THE FORUM 2017

  • Customer Experience Marketing Strategies for the Modern CMO
  • Lessons From The World’s Digital UX Leaders
  • How to Overcome the Three Biggest Digital CX Disconnects in Banking
  • Branch Design Workshop: Crafting Your Branch Experience in an Omni-Channel World
View Forum Agenda

8. Build a Rock Solid Brand Strategy

Much ado has been made about fintech startups and neobanks disrupting the status quo in banking, but traditional providers enjoy one major strategic advantage: consumers trust legacy financial institutions significantly more than the new wave of challenger brands.

That’s why it’s critical that today’s banks and credit unions refocus their attention on their own brand strategies. You must push your brand in new directions, and build consensus around a clearly-defined position. Keep it fresh, keep it relevant, and most importantly: you must differentiate your institution in meaningful ways.

If you don’t zig when everyone else zags, you’re going to be little more than an undifferentiated commodity. You need a dynamic brand with personality and emotional appeal, and a cohesive, integrated banking brand identity that transcends a single channel.

Having a strong brand — one associated with simplicity and digital sophistication — is the only way traditional institutions will be able to ward off the threats posed by outside disruptors.

RELATED SESSIONS AT THE FORUM 2017

  • Brand Strategy Workshop: Achieving Differentiation in the Sea of Sameness
  • Using Culture + Design To Build a Disruptive Breakthrough Brand
  • Strategic Planning Workshop: Finding Your Blue Ocean Strategy
  • Building Powerful Brand Strategies: Taking a Fresh Approach
  • Marketing Banking Products in an Image-Driven Culture
View Forum Agenda

9. Cultivate Your Internal Brand

There’s more to building a strong brand than just a snazzy logo and beautiful brand identity. Do your employees know how to live your brand? Or is your current branding strategy little more than lip service?

If you aren’t using your brand to screen, train and evaluate employees, you still have work to do. You need to align your internal culture with your brand strategy, and inspire employees to become brand ambassadors. Fuse branding with HR, and encourage staff to deliver on your brand promise in bold new ways. Tie your brand strategy with your corporate values, mission and vision. Incorporate branding behaviors into day-to-day interactions, both internally with each other and with customers.

RELATED SESSIONS AT THE FORUM 2017

  • Rewarding Employees to Build an Internal Branded Culture
  • Proven Strategies to Shape Your Institution’s Culture
  • ForumX Presentation: The Power of People
View Forum Agenda

10. Foster a Culture of Agility and Innovation

Although innovation is a proven path to differentiation and increased competitiveness, the banking industry’s short-term focus, siloed approach and adversity to risk often thwarts progress in this area. In order to meet digital consumers’ heightened expectations and rise to the challenges presented by fintech disruptors, financial institutions must foster a culture of agility and innovation.

Build cross-functional teams that foster cooperation between marketing, IT, innovation and sales. Create alignment between marketing and your corporate, strategic and financial goals. Effectively engage your CEO, CFO and others to remove internal friction. Empower champions that are able to push back against naysayers.

Today’s big digital players in other industries test and learn as part of an iterative process. They are not afraid of renewal and failure in doing so. They are agile, and experiment in real time. But without top-level management support for innovation, it will be difficult for your organization to achieve the success of the smaller and more nimble fintech firms that you now compete with.

RELATED SESSIONS AT THE FORUM 2017

  • The 6 Characteristics of Truly Creative People
  • Creating Insanely Effective Marketing Campaigns by Embracing the Power of Experimentation
  • ForumX Presentation: Fifth Age of Banking
  • ForumX Presentation: Back to the Future — A Trip Back to 1986
View Forum Agenda

Learn More at The Financial Brand Forum 2017

The Forum 2017 features three full days of interactive workshops and how-to strategy sessions from more than 70 world-class instructors.

Over 1,500+ of the best and brightest in banking will be at The Financial Brand Forum when it gets underway this May, making it the biggest conference anywhere in the world for senior-level marketing executives in the financial industry. You can’t afford to miss it!

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