5 Reasons Consumer Banks Need a Behavioral Marketing Strategy

Amazon. Uber. PayPal. Fitbit. Netflix. What do all of these successful companies have in common? Ease, convenience and most of all – an experience that makes customers feel their needs are met without having to ask for it. These brands recognize that consumers are hyper-connected, on the go and have higher expectations than ever before. To cater to those demands, successful brands like Amazon are responding to individual interactions with behavioral marketing.

Unlike mass marketing, behavioral marketing consumes online data and uses this data to power tailored messages to the user. These individualized messages can be sent in real-time, making it easier for brands to stay top-of-mind with busy consumers. For example, using behavioral marketing, companies can engage their customers in the moment by reminding them of products or content they’d recently shown interest in. Or, brands can suggest complementary and alternative items based on the customer’s current or previous behaviors on their website.

With this “culture of busy” prevalent in today’s society, it’s essential that all brands embrace a similar behavioral marketing strategy - and consumer banks are no exception. Mass marketing  is an outdated model-- just ask the 52% of brands that have disappeared from the Fortune 500 list in the last decade. If you haven’t made the shift to behavioral marketing yet, you are losing customers who will quickly adjust their money and their loyalty from your banking institution to an easier, more efficient option.

Still not convinced behavioral marketing is essential to keep up with business? Here are 5 reasons why consumer banks need a behavioral marketing strategy:

1.  Re-engage Your Distracted Consumers


With hyper-connectivity, people are now more distracted than goldfish. Yes –  goldfish. Studies show that people generally lose concentration after 8 seconds. Every time you land on Amazon’s website, they feature new products customized to you based on your previous product views and purchases because they know they may lose your attention otherwise. “Oh wow, I forgot I wanted that.” “Oh interesting, it’s on sale now.” “Oh yeah, it’s time to re-stock on that.”  In fact, 35% of Amazon’s sales are directly attributed to real-time personalization based on individual behaviors.


This attention span is true for consumer banking as well. People may spend a few minutes on your site exploring a savings plan, filling out an auto-loan application, or considering refinancing their mortgage before their child spills a drink all over the floor, or their boss walks over to their desk to discuss a client issue. With people putting off visiting their local branch on a regular basis, it’s harder to prioritize the time to sit down and finish an application or do the necessary research. Which brings me to my next point...

2.  Stay Ahead of the Competition


That worse than goldfish attention span is why FinTech has become so disruptive to the financial services industry with the potential to take away $4.7 trillion worth of revenue from traditional financial services institutions. FinTech is so popular because it creates frictionless, convenient and quick solutions to benefit the hyper-connected population.  

These same principles must be applied to consumer banking – and sooner rather than later. 50% of consumers want beneficial services in real-time, but only 23% feel they are currently getting that from their current institution. To stay ahead of the curve, digital marketing teams are prioritizing behavioral targeting, personalization and customer journey management. With 55 percent planning to increase investment in personalization in 2017 (CMO.com), the industry as a whole is recognizing its need for more targeted, personalized marketing tactics. Engaging customers with individualized messages rather than a one-size-fits-all offer not only will help them feel appreciated, but will increase their trust in your brand and their up-sell/cross-sell potential.



3.  Finally Put that Customer Data to Work

More than any other industry, Banks have a wealth of data at their disposal.  So creating a personalized customer experience should be easiest for the financial services industry above any other. The challenge, however, has been access to real-time data to deliver responsive, personalized customer interactions that make doing business with you easier and more convenient.

Behavioral marketing platforms have made it possible for companies to access real-time and previous behaviors of users to identify key trends and to individualize customer interactions through responsive digital marketing. More targeted marketing and sales activity are possible as a result, and new opportunities for cross-selling and upselling emerge.

4.  Automate Responsive Triggers Based on Real-Time Activity

The other great benefit of behavioral marketing platforms is that once all the static and real-time customer data is in one place, automating responsive triggers that also take into account their previous history becomes easy. This allows you to respond to immediate opportunities based on your prospect or customer’s actions. Any time someone visits a page on your website, engages with specific content, or begins to fill out a form but doesn’t complete it - you can re-engage that person with a web pop-up or email trigger to remind them why they were on your site in the first place. You’ll be able to help them pick up where they left off-- whether that’s by encouraging them to finish the form they abandoned or sending drips that have nurturing content to educate them on the topic they were originally researching.

The best part is that behavioral marketing platforms take into account any change in behavior as well. So if your responsive triggers or drip nurture content do their job and help convert the customer, the customer will automatically stop receiving those drips and begin to receive more relevant content based on their most recent interaction.

5.  Improve Individualized Personalization

According to a recent consumer banking survey conducted by NGDATA™, consumers do not feel as though their banks treat them as individuals with 51% of younger customers feeling that their banks’ communications are irrelevant and would be happier if their bank understood them better. Having a digital marketing strategy that leverages behavioral marketing to create a personalized customer experience is essential in acquiring, growing and retaining customers.


By applying a behavioral marketing strategy that responds to individual customer interactions in real-time, marketers can convert customers faster and keep them coming back. To learn more personalization examples, creative strategy, industry stats and tips for financial services marketers, check out our Behavioral Marketing Playbook for Financial Services or request a demo today.

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