Banking on Digital Growth
Banking on Digital Growth

Episode · 1 year ago

61) #InsideDigitalGrowth: Clearing the Obstacles to Digital Growth w/ Joe Welu & Sam Kilmer

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Today, we're to go inside digital growth and continue the fireside chat conversation I started in Episode 59 with Joe Welu, CEO of Total Expert. This time, Sam Kilmer, Senior Director at Cornerstone Advisors, also joins us.

We discuss solutions to common obstacles along with best practices from industry leaders to help you build a foundation for future success.

Joe, Sam, and I talk about:

- The evolution of sales from a hard-sell to a learning-first model

- What it means that we're moving into an expertise economy

- When the size of your financial institution matters and when it doesn't

You can find this interview, and many more, by subscribing to Banking on Digital Growth on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or here.

Hey, guys, it's James. Robert. Thanks for joining me for episode number 61 for the Banking on Digital Growth podcast. Today we're to go inside digital Growth and continue the fireside chat conversation that was hosted by the financial brand. Joe. Well, you, CEO of Total Expert and I started an episode Number 59. However, this time we're joined by Sam Kilmer, who is the senior director at Cornerstone Advisors. And Sam asked. Joe and I have some very good questions that I know will provide you with a tremendous amount of insight and clarity into some of the biggest digital growth opportunities available for you and your financial brand to capture. Because we're going to discuss solutions to very common obstacles that we see along with sharing best practices from industry leaders to help you build a foundation for future success. Enjoy the show you're listening to Banking on Digital Growth with James Robert Lay, a podcast that empowers financial brand marketing, sales and leadership teams to maximize their digital growth potential by generating 10 times more loans and deposits. Today's episode is part of the inside digital growth Siri's, where James Robert shares answers to some of the biggest digital marketing and sales questions he gets from the digital growth community. Have a question you want to get answers to on a future episode. Visit www dot go ask jr dot com to submit your question today. Now let's go inside. Digital growth. Let's mix this thing up. Let's have a little bit of fun. I'm just gonna open this up. You know, we're never short of a good, provocative opinion or world view, even if you want to disagree with it, maybe even violently to make the conversation more fun. All just open it up with an opening salvo that there's certain types of sales and marketing out there that just kind of hang on and for dear life and the way I would describe it as you. Sometimes you've seen some of the books on it, you know, The Rainmaker, selling and whatnot. I mean, we've seen stereotypes of it out in the industry with many of you Remember the movie Glengarry Glen Ross would always be closing, you know, coffee's for closers. Remember the coffee's for closers, of course. Smile and dial, smile and dial another one of the more recent vintage Leonardo DiCaprio and the wolf of Wall Street said, I'll see if I could get this right. Sell me this pen. And it was all about the charismatic in person or over the sweatshop phone call. Heavy of selling you something, whether you needed it or not. And it's just seems to me like over the last several years we've moved on environment. We're not just millennials, but all of us have moved towards self buying and learning for ourselves. First, it seems like Cove, it is actually kind of sealed. The deal on this for a lot of us. I don't know if you guys have any thoughts on the state of that traditional rainmaker relationship selling. I know, Joe, anything you've seen. I Number one. It's we've just seen seen everything accelerate in the direction we're talking about, which is that it's not just about you can't you can't just think about How do I? How do I close more business? How do I do more loans? How do I open? Maura counts. It's ultimately how can I create value and a partnership and build a relationship with my customer that that not only do we find valuables and organization because there are customers, but ultimately that they find value it right, and then it's the way that you're able to communicate those products services with way you're able to educate the consumer. Their expectation for being educated before they make any decisions is on Lee Increasing and James Robert. I know you have a tremendous amount of experience and perspective on this topic as well. Yeah, so what it boils down to is really two things the empowered and the educated consumer, and all of that has been brought on by this rise in digital by the rise in the Internet. If you have a question, where is the very first place you go? You go to Google, you ask Google, and then Google will help provide you that. Answer that response. That guidance. And that's really the opportunity that we see four financial brands I'll never forget. It was only just a couple of years ago, the CEO of a financial brand told me one of their goals was to push product down people's throat, and so the opportunity was to help the unaware become aware of what the opportunities are to help first and really sell second and be that helpful guide on these consumers journeys. Because even with Kobe, I think what we're seeing is...

...there's still a lot of confusion. There's a lot of chaos and people are looking for two things. They're looking for help, and they're looking for hope and hope often has to come before help. Yeah, fine, no question. I mean, we saw many of the organizations that that we've all been fortunate Thio work with and in some of some of which I haven't been ableto been fortunate to work with. But I've admired how they have through this environment this last six months. It really ultimately became financial first responders for the communities that they serve. And to see that start happening to see organizations actually moving with the intention of helping. That was really cool from from our seat, right. And you've seen Thean Destry as a whole. And in some of the changes that have happened with with digital over the last few years, you've just you've seen this new perspective this year from Hey, I need toe help these customers in in a very different environment than we've ever seen. So it's it's just really change, change the dynamics a lot, and one of the best ways to do that is with an acronym that we use. It's it's just it's going all in and it's three things. It's first and foremost is just asking what's what's what's keeping you up at night. What's bothering you. Listening number two to those responses and then learning and then using that as a way to craft solutions and really cures to those people's pain points. And by just having that open ear, that empathetic ear, it allows others to guide that conversation for you. So you're not having toe wondering. Well, what should we do next? How do we help people? People will tell you how they wanna be helped. Yeah, you know, James Robert, as you mentioned that it occurred to me, you know, we're a cornerstone. Were in and out of, you know, several 100 financial institutions a year. I mean, obviously, summer way more exceptional than others that any number of things marketing has always been. I think we could all agree one of the weaker points in banking, not because of any anything sinister anybody that's done anything wrong, it's just it's not been the focus area. It wasn't on the agenda of strategic planning for many, many years. Just like technology wasn't for many, many years. But it sure is now a Z. I think about that. I love to get your take on this. It just it strikes me that there's an internal like What you were just saying makes perfect sense of what Jodi said makes perfect sense. But somewhere between us all knowing that and then when they translate that into their marketing content and their delivery, it just comes across often. Times is kind of every everybody's saying the same corporate squawk. You know, it doesn't it doesn't that that thing that we know that we should help people instinctively it gets converted into, you know, we've got the best rate. Check it out and it just it doesn't translate. For some reason, empathy is lost in the translation, right? Yeah, and it just It also seems like Joe, this is something that you and I have talked about before. Two. Is is that when you get sort of inside the financial institution, you know, when you say marketing it immediately sort of conjures a department of bureaucracy in organization. It doesn't conjure a discipline or a center of excellence or a way of doing things. It seems like we've kind of had some organizational funk that James Robert is folks like you and I have been kind of getting into these shops. We start asking about market. We're not asking about a department we're asking about. You know how you go about doing certain things to help people. I just I don't know if either one of you guys have ah thought on that, but I know that you had a nice view on this. That kind of showed the challenge. James Robert of you've kind of got three different areas that might be organized differently in a bank might be 13. Not even three, you know. But you still have this need there in the middle of the expertise and how you translate that into help. Yes, yes, you know, we've We've moved beyond a product economy, one that has been commoditized and and when we see historically, we talk and we think about marketing. Maybe why marketing hasn't been viewed as a strategic part of a financial brand. It's because marketing up to this point has been a a cost or an expense expense center. Whether that be TV, direct mail, radio, print billboards, it is very hard to quantify that. And so all you would get is one message to many people, and it was the same commoditized corporate speak. But now, as we move beyond the product economy, we're moving through an experience economy, one that is built around systems and processes. But to me, I'm looking towards the future, and the next level up is going to be what I'm calling the knowledge economy or the expertise economy, where the knowledge that we retain and then not only retain that share that and communicated out into the marketplace, but also to our current account holders to our current stakeholders. It's our...

...expertise which will become our competitive advantage, whether that be through marketing, whether that be through the cells line or the service line expertise is essential, and one of the big questions, then, is ultimately and this is such an awesome slide, and I think it's so on point. But is how do you enable the delivery of this expertise? And ultimately, how do you orchestrate the different functional areas of the business. How do you orchestrate the marketing and the messaging to align with the sales and the service organization, the human beings that are taking care of the customers, right? The the consumer is, maybe they're reading something that's helpful. That's educational. Maybe it's about small business banking. Maybe it's about wealth planning. Whatever it might be that they might be reading, then how do you arm and enable the rest of the organization so that when that consumer comes in the door and ask the question, there ultimately have a very on point message? That's consistent, right? So it's ultimately the big question that we see organizations and you guys obviously have a front row seat to this is how do you appropriately orchestrate thes things to to work together and how then do you enable the delivery of that expertise? And being able to differentiate on expertise and high quality advice is a financial institution. I mean, it is so critical to the future, and I know you guys agree with me on that, Yeah, you know, I think that the other thing that we forget, so obviously I think the three of us are all in a violent agreement here that there's so much upside potential of getting this right. I think the thing that we oftentimes forget is, you know, we've tended to think in banking that, you know a bad credit portfolio will kill a bank. True, we've tended to think that a bad acquisition can kill a bank also true. But also, if we don't get this digital growth stuff right, it's maybe the third rail that takes us off the rails is a bank, and I think we were not giving it. We're not giving it what it needs to know. I think the main thing I had to look at is just during co vid. My colleague, our research director, Ron Shevlin, just recently concluded a study on this where he asked hundreds and hundreds of consumers a representative sample nationwide were they most recently opened up their primary financial account relationship. And if you kind of take a look at the results here, that green bar there on the far right of each one of these categories is in the last few months during the co bed and sort of the digital transformation that none of us really asked for immediately. But we all got it thrown in our laps. Didn't great acceleration, right? I mean, great, great. No, no doubt if you look at this, what's happened is is that mega banks and digital banks like Chime and Varroa and Al I have picked up more than their fair share of new business. And it has directly been at the expense of predominantly community banks and also, to a lesser degree, but still impact. It would be credit unions. And you have to ask yourself, The question is, what we see is they're the megabanks. There's one thing this scale of marketing and technology and digital and call center in these things the mega bank. This is one thing the mega banks and maybe the digital banks. They've gotten this right. This is a real threat, don't you think So, guys? Absolutely. You know, when we look at this, when we look at this idea of scale, that is exactly what digital growth provides. It provides a multiplying effect where two becomes 44 becomes a it becomes 16 so forth and so on. And so at first, for if I'm a community banker or lead over credit union or just a legacy financial brand, for that matter, an incumbent. I've looked at digital up to this point as a neck Spence because it requires some investment whether that be on the technology side, the capability, the content, the talent and so it first digital will have, ah, hidden dip. But very quickly we're gonna come out of that dip on the other side and digital becomes the accelerant. Thio use Joe's words. It will become the force multiplier. Exactly. Exactly. Well, Joe, you've worked with. I mean, you worked both with community financial institutions and credit unions, But you've also worked with some really big big lenders that air really out there. We've worked with, you know, two of the top five banks and then all the way down to write much smaller community financial institutions. So we've we've definitely had had exposure to the whole the whole gamut for sure. I want to speak to that point because I think this is very important. I just did some advisory work for a top 15 European bank and some of the questions that I was getting through this engagement, where the exact same questions that I get from say, a local community bank or credit union here, stateside, where I see the opportunity is, you know, a lot of times credit news of community banks will think to themselves were just too...

...small for this. So we just don't have the size. It's actually that smaller size that is really a capability, because you're able it is you're able to pivot and turn that ship much faster than large giant aircraft carrier. And if I think about the dinosaurs right, you think about the environmental changes that took out the Dinosaurs Cove. It's just an environmental change that environmental change we're seeing with digital. It wasn't that large dinosaurs that survived these environmental changes. The dinosaurs died. It was the smaller, more adaptable, nimble creatures that not only survived. They thrived following the dinosaurs demise. Yeah, if you're small and nimble right now, you're you're asking the smartest organization. Those most well run organizations are asking these questions. How do we use this to our advantage? How how do we position ourselves as that guide as that financial partner to the consumer in these local markets? How do we How do we put our arms around them digitally speaking right. How do we take care of them and just be there for, um, and make them feel like we understand their needs, what they're going through? I think a big part of what the financial institutions that have done exceptionally well is they've had a level of empathy and understanding what's helpful for their consumers, the digital banking acceleration and the account openings. I really think that that's simply a function of that trend. Arguably, yes, it's accelerated, but that's already been accelerating in terms of account openings online. You guys agree with that, right? I mean, we've seen this this trend for a while. That's not surprising. Yeah, I know it's not surprising, and I would just add that. I mean, I think when you really peel this back and looking at the session name here, we're talking about digital growth, and I can see that there's probably somebody out there in bank land that's saying, But Sam, our digital banking is strong, were on you know Rev. Three of our digital banking offering. You know, we have decent, you know, account opening that's getting better, and I just one of the things that I always kind of push the pause button on that is to say, those are probably the two best areas in terms of the state of the state. Right now, when we go in and people young and back at Cornerstone on a typical bank or credit union right now, you know I've got this loosely laid out here on the slide by I've adopted the federal government's homeland security color coding methodology here. I hope that hope that's not too big government for you entrepreneurs out there. But I just the point to make here is that we would say that you're right, your digital banking systems out there. You put a lot of attention in those, and if you look at your account opening systems, I suspect many of your pretty critical of them right now and probably rightfully so. But believe it or not, that's actually not too bad, either. I mean, it's a little bit of a yellow, but it z caution, but it's not too bad. It's the other areas. A couple, the areas that we've been talking about thus far that are really the oranges and red, you know, kind of flashing red beacons that we're finding out there, Which is just are you giving people what they need to help them in a way that allows them to buy for themselves? And it's just, you know, this self guided help. And you mentioned James, Robert, when somebody goes to Google and sort of the knowledge search and kind of really putting this together in automation with your Martek and make putting all that content out there and I don't know if either one of you guys have When you see this picture, what do you see? What do you see here? Is anything jump out of you? I think the security colors jump out for sure, but, you know, thank you. Appreciate that slide wear over consultant. Great. Well, I was actually gonna take a different approach. I actually see this is almost like the report that you get whenever you take your car into the mechanic. The mechanical look at this, But but but I actually see this and mapped out to almost the what I call the digital consumer buying journey. And we've done a great job to your point, Sam of the service side of the business. So once someone opens an account we can conduct and interact with them digitally through mobile APS, etcetera. But as we move up into the to the buying funnel that that area of awareness and really the consideration stage of the buying journey, that's where we're seeing the greatest gaps that can be bridged going forward. And so that is the greatest opportunity. And to the point of this idea of going to Google, I think there's, you know, we we can look at financial services and the complexities of a checking account, or or really even more so on the mortgage side or the lending side, the complexities of getting that loan. It's almost like health care, right? You can go and you can google your symptoms and Google is gonna give you a lot of information. But that expertise from the doctor from the physician to overlay the context of a person's unique situation. That's almost what we're seeing with financial...

...services from that perspective of expertise, because you could get some general broad knowledge. But to apply that through the financial brand, that's powerful. Yeah, I mean the things that I think it is exceptionally powerful, and if you look at the first couple of layers here, digital banking, a digital account opening. There's no question there's various phases of, shall we say, optimization and refinement that is maybe going toe happen in those things. But arguably a lot of that's becoming table stakes very quickly. From our perspective, what's not becoming table stakes where we see a huge open field opportunity than is as those people are coming into the organization? How do you number one Engage interact with them in a way that's going to create tremendous loyalty and advocacy from those customers. How do you provide them value and advice using the data and analytics. So the center of this I look at that, really, this is a great slide. The center of this is how do you use the data and analytics and then action on that and enable the humans that are actually advising and taking care of your customers? Right? I think it's so awesome to think that we're in a place as an industry where the data that technology, all of the things exist to actually have a more positive impact and a better outcome for a consumer right, And if you think about you know a lot of our roots are in the lending side. So how many people have gotten the wrong type alone? Right? Well, today you have the opportunity to really distill down and help meet people, make better financial decisions. If you're an organization and I'm looking at a path forward and how do we grow, man, if you can get to a place where you're really helping people make better financial decisions there, there's a lot of opportunity there from our C absolutely. And one of the things that you said I wanted to build upon that thought was this idea of the data and analytics that gives the financial brand an ability toe, as the title here says, to target to target people from a proactive stance, leaning into other people's pain points because historically speaking as well as financial brands, we've waited for someone to raise their hand. But now, with all of the data, we can take a proactive stance, do outreach to meet the person where they're at on their own individual financial journey in that lifetime. On that lifetime journey, right? What milestones through data now and in many of the organizations that we see and Sam you guys have Ah, obviously an even deeper perspective, but the amount of data and things that your your consumers and and hopefully you're you're managing the compliance correctly and you've got all your opt ins and whatnot. But assuming all of that's there, the amount of data that you have on on your customer can inform how you should be engaging with him. And most likely, what is the next big financial milestone that they're gonna have at this stage of life. And then you should be delivering things that are going to help inform that next financial decision. Right? So you're building that trust that James Robert always talks about. If you're delivering things that are more relevant and more helpful, you're going to create a much more trusted relationship and give you the opportunity as an organization to then help make recommendations on products and services that will be the right ones for them. At that point. Yeah, it's a it's a good point, Joe and I always a little bit hesitate here when I put up the reds and the oranges, because I'm always fearful that you know you'll have a financial institution. Were always being very mindful of. You know, of course, you don't just go into a bank and say, Well, yeah, your content and your call center sucks. It's like, Well, no, you know, like, of course they are. That's why we're hiring you. Don't tell us. Tell us something that we can do about it. I just point to these things because they're obviously challenges. But I think the more important thing is, what can you do about it? How can you prioritize those things? And so we kind of laid out a few things that you can sort of think, you know, getting back to James Roberts. You know, whole point of, you know, help first, is what? What's kind of like the three point plan that you can get to here and a few thoughts. And I'd like I really like to get you guys, you know, going on this and maybe have Joe have you may be digging on the messaging part of this, but we think that there's three things to be thinking about, you know, first of all, how to optimize your messaging and what are some specific things you can do? You can see that we have those wind out there, you know? Do you use a consultant? Well, sure. You know, consultants like me like it when you use consultants, But you could do some of this stuff yourself to, you know, Do you? You know, Then you build out the ecosystem, know what's out there. You know, be aware of your options in terms of Martek and content systems. And then, of course, empower the talent there. This isn't just a plug it, you know? What is it? We always say this is not set it and forget it. Ron. Paul, Appeal. This is going to take some effort by some by some heavy lifters and probably some talent that your bank may have thought of not thought about paying that much over the years and sort of...

...doing this. But, Joe, I know you put so much work in this first piece of helping people craft messages and calls to action and getting that into their assets that they can then put into place whether they're Federated throughout the bank or whether they have a central market and how that works. What do your thoughts on that? Yeah. So number one I think first of all these steps are are all critical and none of this is a one time. Let's do this project and then we're finished, right These air, very iterative things that for, you know, for all practical purposes, you're you're on a journey of constant improvement and optimization off these core capabilities and systems. And you have to understand, I always think you guys say this a lot, and which is the reason we're huge Fans of both you guys do is you meet organizations where they're at right wherever, there, that iss. Okay. And so, if your step one is in many cases looking at looking at your customer journey that you have for your different personas and then understanding what is the communication that is going out and in that means messaging. In many cases, that might be emails that might be social posts. It might be direct mail, but how are you communicating with that customer? Look, all relationships, the quality of every relationship in anything boils down to the quality of the communication. And if you don't have that nail, then it's really hard to to get to the to the next thing right. So I think is step one. That's that's a critically important component. And the first thing that we would advise whether somebody is working with us or not, if they just I mean, we have a lot of conversations where hey, if we could be helpful and give some free advice, we love doing that right? So that would always be a logical first step is kind of audit your customer journey. Look at how you're communicating with your existing customers and then identify sort of the quick winds from that list of that review that you just did. And then I think, in terms of how can we create progress in 60 90 days? Right? So that's kind of that's Step one addresses that and then, of course, building the ecosystem. I mean, we've we've invested tens of millions of dollars and continue to invest tens of millions of dollars in building an open platform because the word ecosystem is so important. Whatever technology that you have has to be compatible and flexible and a p I first so that you can integrate data sources and tools because there may be new marketing technology and in some solution that will solve one specific problem really well is your organization have a foundation that can spend that up quickly and get it deployed? That's having getting that ecosystem right? So that's critical. And then, of course, empowering your talent. This is This is James Robert. I love your feedback on this, but ultimately I think this is one where we see organizations struggle here a little bit. In some ways, it's because they want to try to create, take the roles the people that they have today and force them into these new roles that they really need. In some cases, it works, but in some cases you've gotta hire a different skill set, which is uncomfortable for a lot of particularly the smaller organizations. I've been thinking a lot about this writing a lot about this. Speaking a lot about this over the last 6 to 8 months, and what this bulls down to is at the heart of it is transformation. You know, we we are looking at developing and gaining new capabilities, creating some new capacities on the talent side, and when we try to move someone from the past into the future, if they don't have clarity of what that future even looks like. It's very easy to want to stay in what I call the cave of complacency where it's safe. It's comfortable. But my call to action for financial brand marketing cells and leadership teams is to come out of the cave of complacency. Complacency, come out with courage, come out with confidence. But a lot of this is going to begin by gaining insight into what the opportunities are. So when I when I look at this idea of transformation, training, training is really at the heart of transformation, and it's that, like like this whole system that you've laid out here, it's not a one and done event training will continuously happen as the digital space evolves at an exponential pace with in the years to come. E I like the I like the comfort cave analogy. I mean, you know, hashtag come out of the cave. I think the other thing is maybe hashtag drive people out of the cave. It's no longer comfortable, and I think the one thing that I think is really dis discomforting to senior bank executives, they're used to...

...thinking about lenders and branch managers and resident producers. But when they think about somebody who's a data scientist or a digital content person, they still think about a cost line. It's an expensive. It's on the piano. They look at it as an expense, right? Yeah. I mean, this is fine. This is a financial accounting industry. We looked at the P and L. But this this is something we have to break through with a management accounting mindset that says the P and L is not gonna service here. We have to look at this a new way. I want to address that I like. I like driving them out of the cave with a stick. Yeah, you know, way might not even have to drive them out of the cave. We could just ask them to look around at all The skeletons and the corpse that are in the cave from those that failed Thio have the courage to transform their mindset. I think mindset is so critical with this, because when we traditionally think about marketing and cells into your point, when you think about cells, it's the branch manager, it's the lender. It's not just sells doing this alone, and it's not just marketing from the Old World sense of promotion and placing ads and billboards. It's marketing and sells, aligning around a new perspective, something that we call the growth team. And so it's it's unification because marketing has typically been been driven by a certain perspective, cells has been driven by a certain perspective. But when you can unify both around a common purpose, that's a transformational experience, No question. Yeah, E think I've heard you talk of this a little bit about this in terms of the human element of this and trying to trying to tie it all together. And I wonder if you could kind of take us through. The Joe would like to get your take on this, too, is I know, James. Robert, you've kind of got this whole, you know, kind of laid out into a framework that you've written about as an author. Could you kind of take us through this a little bit? Absolutely. I think a lot of times in this digital world, we all talk about this idea of technology. Technology is just a tool that connects and brings people together. But what what we're really focused on is two sides of this equation. We have the digital experience, and the digital experience, once again is about systems and processes, and we can break the digital experience up into three subset experiences. You have the lead experience. You have the customer experience, which is really big in the conversational space today. And then you have another untapped opportunity, which is the referral experience, or activating what we would traditionally call our net promoters to go out and refer their friends and family. You know, turn that insight into action. On the other side, though, we have the human experience, and this is what I mentioned before. The human experience is really two things. It's help, and it's hope, and that's multiplied through empathy. And when you can bring both sides of those equations typically delivered through the digital channels, that's the exponential multiplier that we're looking for four financial brands. Yeah, we we discussed the topic called really operationalize ing empathy. How do you get empathy into the organization? And it's really the you know, the huge advantage that so many of the organizations that that we all work with have is they have really incredible people, right and So if you think about digital transformation, historically, a lot of the people in these organizations they get they get sort of nervous about becoming obsolete. We'll you're bringing in automation to, you know, get rid of, you know, get rid of things. Certainly there are efficiencies that can be had by technology. But really, where the magic is the exponential things, the exponential for the force multiplier things are when you can enhance the ability for the people in your organization to connect and serve mawr intelligently with MAWR empathy. If you can empower that through technology and drive it, that's really an exciting thing to witness happen. And in the transformations of some of these best run organizations that we see are they're doing that, it's it's just very rewarding for them as an organization. And when people have, you know the ability to connect and serve customers better and bring your bringing out the best in them and you're creating a better outcome for the consumer. It's a win win all the way around. I like what you said about operational izing empathy and really, you know, I think that complements what what I think a lot about which is operational. Izing expertise in both empathy and expertise can be delivered through experiences, and I think it's important to know what is an experience and experience. Experience is just, ah bunch of systems and processes that have been number one well defined and thought out. Number two applied. And here's the secret Number three. These experiences must be optimized over a period of time because they will result in one of two things. Either a a positive emotion or be a negative emotion. And a lot of this comes back to what Sam was finishing before. This is about making deposits into a consumer's what I call a...

...consumers trust fund that sits between their brains. And it could take months years to deposit enough trust to where they take action to make that commitment with your financial brain split second to destroy it, right? If you if you send them a message that's out of context, you send them an email that looks like you don't know who the hell they are, where you give them an offer that's that's not in alignment with where they're at In the financial journey, you could just destroy any of that trust that you've built up, and I was seeing a lot of that coming out of covert with a lot of email communication, ramping up email. I think it's still the workhorse of what we call the digital growth engine, because that is where you know we have all these different channels, but everything typically comes back to email. I'm looking at emails about to experience its its second it oration. Within the next couple of years, they almost another golden age because we're we could get much smarter with email communication through data through analytics, through insights and content absolutely through through watching what's happening with your messaging. If you If you have systems and you have a an ecosystem in a text back in place that can give you the view of what's actually happening in our how are your customers opening your content? Are they engaging with what's happening next? I want to back up just one moment because you said something that was really powerful and and in terms of, you know, the expertise and the empathy and the expertise component, and I think about the fact that consumers don't really care about your expertise. Unless you have shown them some empathy, unless they know you understand them and care of them care about them. And so you have to do you have to have both, right? You have to have the ability if you have to have context about where your customer is, so that you can appropriately demonstrate empathy before they're gonna listen to your expertise. And we see a lot of organizations get that context piece wrong, which allows them to or or prevents them, I should say, from not displaying empathy. And then it doesn't matter how great the advice is. If you burn that, they're not going to give you that second chance. Yeah, I take a step back and I come back from the consumer. Come back inside the bank. Joe, I know something you and I have talked a lot about is the differences within banks where they have, you know, they don't have a chief sales officer. Typically, some of them moved to achieve banking officer, but more often than not, revenue leadership is Federated throughout the bank. And it occurred to me you know so much of our marketing in community banks and credit unions has been, if we could be candidates, been very deposit oriented. Nothing wrong with that. But it's been very deposit, of course, in Cove it Most banks are sitting around credit unions, air flush with deposits right now, but interestingly, that the you know, the chief sales officer of most bank banks and credit. And it's probably the chief lending officer be the closest one to that. So you kind of a little bit of a disconnect with you have these kind of strong, entrepreneurial, hard charging mortgage and commercial leaders over here that just are looking for deals. And then you've got marketing expertise over here on the other side. That's largely been around, you know, basically getting checking accounts, and it's it's interesting. It's almost like there needs to be a We are the world moment where everybody gets together and shares at the conference from table for allowed to do that again and just kind of be honest about what we don't know about one another's competencies. I think that's great perspective and you you ultimately you definitely see that that clearly different worlds and almost it's like different universe in some cases to where you've got the marketing organization and the sales and lending organizations. The people taking care of the consumers and and marketing is treated as sales support or for a lot of lending organizations. And I agree from an institution standpoint, it's many cases geared towards deposits and things like that, and what it hasn't been geared towards is how do we How do we enable the whole customer life cycle to be optimized? Right? And it's the orchestration of the communication, messaging and things that come out of marketing, along with the people that really deliver those special experiences. And if you think about why does everybody why the you know why does every organization If you talk to all the executives out there, why is it that customer experience is still at the number one top of their their priority list? And ultimately, it's because the experience is what is going to drive loyalty or lack of loyalty? Right? And it's that loyalty, that ability to have a long term relationship with that consumer is where all of the profiting growth comes from long term, right. So it's you have to look at things differently today, certainly than than what people in the industry did 20 years ago. I said, You bring up a really good point. You know,...

...we're traditionally marketing has been a support role for cells. Marketing in this digital space is really it's a demand generator. They can create the demand for the cells team. And if we can define those roles more, practically speaking, what is marketing two things. It's controlling the brand of the experience, and it's to generate leads. Then cells can pick up those leads, nurture those leads and then convert those leads over a period of time. And you have to have both sides of the equation once again the digital experience in the human experience working together. And I think that's that's why we're so big on this idea of being in the lining around a purpose, really beyond promoting just products, or are and putting the transformation of people over transactions. Because people are confused about money, people confused about their financial situation, and they're looking for someone to guide them beyond that to a bigger, better, brighter future. Yeah, I'll just point out one key gap that we see a lot of times guys and and and we we all look at in the way we work with these. Some of these brands is ultimately, you want to try to identify gaps where they can have some quick winds and make big progress. Right? So one of the key things and James Robert, I think traditionally this comes from marketing does generate leads. You send out an email blast. Ah, batch and blast, maybe, which is sort of the traditional methodology for marketing a lot of organizations. They fire an email, campaign out something, somebody raises their hand. It gets kicked over to somebody who then is going to engage with that consumer. But where we see the ball dropped is then what happens to that consumer or that lead or that opportunity? If they don't Trans Actor decided to move forward right away. If they don't respond right away, many times it's where it falls. That's where falls apart, right? I want to speak very practically to this because this is one of the biggest pain points that we see is well through some of the studies that we conduct. You know, when, when, when you compare community financial brand, whether that be a community bank or credit Union and you're looking in your secret shopping, say, the mortgage experience or even the checking experience. And someone starts the application and they fall off or they abandoned or someone raises their hand. And they have a question, and it takes sometimes 3 to 5 days for cells to then follow up with that person. But then you compare that to, say, a fintech who's following up within the 1st 24 hours, and it just doesn't stop there. Then it will continue on for sometimes 3 to 6 months through an automated workflow coming back to your point earlier, providing the right content with the right context based upon their own unique buying situation. Yeah, it's almost like it's almost like on the wheel here that you you put together here, James Robert of and purchasing on board. There should be like a little there should be like a little off ramp here that says this is where it goes off the rails and somebody institutions somewhere between purchase and on board. But before advocacy could ever actually take hold, you you kind of really lose the mojo. Yes, you were trying to dio Sorry I wasn't trying to interrupt. You know, I was same. Same topic and seem that I was going to talk about is ultimately, there's. There's places along the way that there are clear gaps where the ball is dropped and and there's there's the good news is for many organizations, there's there's some pretty simple things that they can put in place from a process and a technology standpoint to incrementally improve in that area pretty quickly because, ah, lot of organizations have a very distinct sort of transition. When somebody inquires on something, if they're not, they don't move through the funnel and become a customer right right away. Many times they get they get forgotten about and the vast majority and depending on the business line. But the vast majority of those consumers will end up transacting with a different institution. Yeah, one of the best examples that I've heard comes from four seasons around this point. Automate the predictable humanize the exceptional, and I hear branch managers lamenting the fact of you know what? I got all of these leads in my pipe. I just don't have time to follow up with them. That's what automation can come in help to rank and prioritize who is what and where in that buying journey. So that now, as a human being, I can reach out to those who are really at the right time to get that human context. That human touch point. Really interesting. Yeah, I know. James, Robert, you put a lot. I mean, we've got a lot of models here to kind of think through. That helped kind of tell the story or the journey of progress. And I wonder if you could take us through this strategy circle here that I that I know that you put a lot of work into. Yes, So it's how do we make the intangible tangible? And that's where the models How do we simplify the complexity of all of this? That's where the models come in. And and Banker is an acronym to where we're looking at at...

...six distinct areas of operational efficiency to communicate empathy to share expertise. And the very first step in all of this is to build an audience with data. And the whole goal of this is to drive traffic to what must become the most profitable source of growth source of revenue, which is a website that sells not just a glorified online brochure but a website that sells, and it's focused on legion and lead acquisition. So what do we do next? Now that we're driving, traffic marketing can then attract em que els or marketing qualified lead with personalized offers based upon someone's either a digital exhaust or digital behavior, or be there transactional behavior in the transactional Data. The third point. As we attract thes marketing, qualified leads, every lead is gonna be in a different stage, and this is where we can begin to nurture. Those leads with automation and context and content come into play because we have to make those micro deposits and the consumers trust bank to increase that trust over time. Because from that point now cells can begin to convert those leads for loans and deposits. And then to the point of what we're talking about before the journey is really Onley beginning because we spend so much time effort and energy has financial brands to go and and drag these leads in and convert these leads. But then we have to give them a positive on board on boarding experience to expand those relationships and the way that we do that is by delighting accounts. We have to make them continue to feel good, to affirm, to reinforce their decision to do business with us. Because then and Onley then do we have permission to ask them to refer their friends to rate us on Google or to review us that experience? And then that referral repeats the entire cycle all over again. So marketing attracts. Yeah, marketing attracts cells, engages and service delights. What do you see here, Joe? What jumps out at you, You know, ultimately, I mean, this is this is such a great slide. I'm looking at it here on my laptop with a little more little more detail. But, you know, I think it's just so well done in the way it's it lays it out, and I think the part about the magic that can happen in Step five and six, where you're expanding relationships by delighting accounts and then repeat with ratings reviews and referrals. Those two steps can drive so much growth and value for an organization. Yet so many don't ever have the opportunity to get to that point because they dropped the ball somewhere right and and through that initial parts of the journey, maybe they do a certain step wrong. But the way there sort of connecting everything together and orchestrating things. There's a gap somewhere, a lot of times that prevents them from getting to that point. And and sometimes it's it's just really driving the workflow to to kind of create that next action to have that that sort of human touch inserted somewhere, right? Like maybe it's a hey, a text message saying Hey, thanks for you know, thanks for checking in with us and enquiring about whichever product people are still going into branches. Obviously somebody stops by having a message go out that feels very personalized. Those are the types of things that can really in a in a instant, elevate the experience of consumer has to to a place of wow, that was that was personal. They actually cared about me as a human versus just I wanna open another account. I want to do another loan and rifle you through the you know, the assembly line, so to speak. Yeah, the whole goal of the Bankers Strategy Circle is to provide a framework for what I call digital consumer journey mapping, because when we look at historically speaking journey mapping, it's typically just focusing on one of these elements. But it's all of these elements working together as, ah, hole. The sum is greater than its parts. And and I think Joe What? When? When you're unpacking those insights. There's three things to consider when it comes to digital Consumer Journey mapping three key questions Because because journey mapping is an exercise in empathy and the first question to just ask and consider is from the lens of the consumer. Where do you want me to go? Number one? Number two. How will you help me get there? And the number three? How will that make me feel? And if we can keep those three questions at the top of our mind when mapping out these experiences and empathy, these experiences and expertise, we will continue down towards a path of digital growth. Nothing else. If you're a banker out there and you think that...

...credit is science and operations of the Bank of Science, but sales and marketing is somehow another, a guru thing or a Svengali thing. What you're looking at here is the engineering of the mashup of sales and marketing into a process in every single one of these things is measurable, just like loan loss, just like any other aspect of the banking process. And so I would encourage bankers to peel this apart and look for things that you can measure here. You know what is your speed? To authenticate a new account all the way down to anak tive debit card? You know how many leads are you converting into into applications? Most bankers know how many applications convert into close loans because they have to know that for compliance reasons. But usually if you ask about how many leads they get that don't get qualified, it's Hominy, Hominy, Hominy, Hominy. It's a it's a black hole. And so I would encourage people or or a field of opportunity. However you look, how about that? Yeah, yeah, let's close on a positive note, and I and I, you guys, this has been This has really been a lot of fun. Yes, this was such a fun conversation, and I really appreciated the good question. Sam asked. Joe and I. So do you have a question? A digital marketing a digital cells question that you'd like answers to on a future podcast episode. Now is the time to get out your phone text with that question to 4155793004 That's 4155793004 Text me your digital marketing your digital Selves Question. And remember, the Onley bad question is the question that goes unasked until next time and is always be Well, do good and wash your hands. Thank you for listening to another episode of Banking on Digital Growth with James Robert Ley. Like what you hear? Tell a friend about the podcast and leave us a review on Apple podcasts, Google Podcast or Spotify and subscribe while you're there to get even. Mawr Practical in proven insights, visit www dot digital growth dot com to grab a preview of James Roberts bestselling book Banking on Digital Growth or order a copy right now for you and your team from Amazon. Inside, you'll find a strategic marketing and sales blueprint framed around 12 key areas of focus that empower you to confidently generate 10 times more loans and deposits until next time, be well and do good.

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