Banking on Digital Growth
Banking on Digital Growth

Episode · 11 months ago

60) #ExponentialInsights: Creating a Sustainable Competitive Advantage w/ Matt Monge


Physical or digital? Human or bot? Technology or customer experience? These questions pose a dangerous false dichotomy for financial institutions.

A sustainable competitive advantage over time emerges from people — human beings — who can pull together a technologically-driven solution drawn from disparate sources.

In this episode of Banking on Digital Growth, I talk with Matt Monge, the brand and marketing agency director for On the Mark Strategies. Matt helps financial brands be more human, particularly in the post-COVID digital world.

We talked about:

  • The difference between employee experience and employee engagement
  • Where people are getting stuck in digital transformation
  • How to create a competitive advantage for your financial brand

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

Digital is going to have to involve thehuman element. It absolutely is going to. The better I get at one, the betterthe other is going to get, and vice versa. You're listening to banking on DigitalGrowth with James Robert Lay, a podcast that empowers financial brand marketing,sales and leadership teams to maximize their digital growth potential bygenerating 10 times more loans and deposits. Today's episode is part ofthe exponential insight Siri's, where James Robert interviews the industry'stop marketing sales, and Fintech leaders sharing practical wisdom toeexponentially elevate you and your team. Let's get into the show. Greetings inHello, I Am James Robert Ley and welcome to the 60th episode of theBanking on Digital Growth podcast. Today's episode is part of theexponential insight, Siri's and I'm excited to welcome Mat Mongie to theshow. Matt is the brand and marketing agency director for on the MarkStrategies, and I've known Matt for years. I trust the insights he shares,and I love the fact how he is helping financial brands to be more human,particularly in this post Covic digital world mats. Mission is simple becausehe wants to help organizations differentiate and he wants to helppeople to make a difference. Hello, Matt. And welcome to the show. Hello,my friend. It is good to see you. It is good to see with you. It is good to bewith you. And I always like to start on this point here, particularly as we arein a new a new year. Ondas. We reflect back on that great century of 2020 andlook ahead to 2021. What do you most excited about right now? Whether thatjust be personal or professionally speaking, Most excited. Oh yeah, man,there's just there's a lot to be optimistic about right now, I thinkwhether it's you know, personally, we have we have kids doing well in school.I hate to say in spite of everything that's going on, but there's certainlya lot of obstacles out there, but I think our kids, whether it's mine,other people's, what are the kids are doing fine right there, there, chompingat the bit and they are rolling with punches. I think you would bring up aninteresting point, though, with that in the fact that kids have a much higher acue or an adaptability quotient. Then we do say as adults, business leaders,professionals at financial brands. And I know that this goes back to aconversation you had years and years ago. Why do we lose the ability or whydo we lose our adaptability? The older that we get? Boy, I don't know, man. Wewere just talking before we turned on the thing about teaching. And whateversome of it is, we unlearn. Ah, lot of stuff, right? We unlearn creativity. Weunlearn that little bit of fearlessness coupled with playfulness. I was justreading what was the name of the book essays and something that Einsteinwrote where he talked about how important playfulness was You beingcreative as an adult. But kids, man, they haven't learned how to be that yet.So they're still able Thio take stuff. And sure, they may be disappointed, butthey get over and they pushed through. And I think some of us sometimes couldcertainly take a cue from that and be more resilient, B'more, adaptable andflexible. And what have you you know? Yeah, it's one of those things. I'vedone this exercise, you know, probably a couple 100 times. Now do what we takesome spaghetti and we build a tower with marshmallows. And really, it's allabout what what we would call agile or rapid prototype development. Failingfast learning, quick failures, the...

...fertile seeds from which new growthsprings new. And it's funny because the study has been done, you know, hundredsof thousands of times that millions of times in multiple different industries.And I forget who was the architect of the study. But what they had found whenthey quantified it was that kindergarteners higher structures thanthe best MBAs or business leaders do. And it's all because the kindergartenerisn't afraid to build it, break it, learn from it and do it again. Eventhat much better. Yeah, that doesn't surprise me. Yeah, not even a littlebit. Let's talk about this because, you know, one of the biggest lessons. And Iknow you do a lot in around the areas of of culture, of brand of experienceand one of the biggest lessons that I've learned reflecting on 2020 andhave been doing a lot of writing around because I think through my writing, Itypically right around 2000 maybe 3000 words per day, more or less is thatfinancial brands have done a tremendous job focusing on the digital ExperienceCove. It has forced that. So we're making some progress there. But thereare two opportunities that I would like to talk about with you, which is aroundnumber one, humanizing the digital experience and the number two. Really,How will humanizing the digital experience on Lee come when we focus onimproving the employee experience? Because from the research that we'redoing here, there's typically a lack of humanity in the digital experience forfinancial brands, which is rooted deeper in a lack of clarity, awarenessand buy in for the employees, Which is why 60 to 80% of digitaltransformations projects failed to begin with in the first place. So, yeah,what is the difference between employees experience and employees?Engagement? Let's start there. Well, that's one of those dangerous questions,right, because it can be that you ask several people and you'll get 18different answers on it. But it really is one of those deals where, um, whenif you if you want to engage your team, you would do things like you do thingslike you, you coach them mawr and you'd do things around learning, development,leadership, development. You would improve other things, but all of thosethings play into how they experience their environment. But when you'retalking about holistic employee experience, now you're talking about,well, literally, everything. They're experiencing their entire life cycle.So, like birth thio, forgive the morbidity. But birth to death employees,life cycle, all the touchpoints, all the senses, everything that's happening,everything they're sensing and experiencing. So when we're looking atthat, it becomes way more holistic in nature than you know. I'm doing big airquotes that no one will see but, like just employee engagement, so employeeengagement can have an effect on the overall employee experience. But it's alittle bit more limited in scope. Yeah, when when we look at the importance ofemployee experience, particularly through the context of digital growth,where are the biggest gaps or the misunderstanding of just digital?Because I see even now postcode, there's a lot of fear, particularly forthose who maybe are on the front lines or those that have been in thisindustry for, you know, 2030 40 years, and they built their entire careeraround the world of brick and mortar. Where are people getting stuck? Still,you know e hate to paint with a broad brush. I think it's gonna vary fromperson to person, but you see things... false dichotomy. False dilemma,right? That too very similar logical fallacies. But it's it's one of thosethings where it's an either or right, so either we can be physical or we canbe digital. Either we can be human or we could be digital. Either we could bereally good at member service in a branch, or we can focus our efforts ondigital. Well, that's a false dilemma that you're you're kind of propping upin your mind, and it's subconscious and it's often accidental, doesn't make youa bad person and doesn't make you dumb makes you a human being who'sstruggling with the complex issue strategically, right? So it's almostlike you have to get it, that presupposition that you're holding onto,you realize that's what it is and think. Okay, what if I can clear that out fora second and start from both of these things can and do coexist Now what do Ido? How doe I wrestle with that seeming paradox that I have and realize thatall of this is going to stay very vague and messy except that they both aregonna be very riel strategies that I have to address and be very good at andthen move forward. Digital is going to have to involve the human element. Itabsolutely is going Thio. The better I get at one, the better the other isgoing to get, and vice versa. So if you could start all the way backthere, get those presuppositions that you have those mental models, right?It's systems. Thinking at work is what it is. But if you can understand thosetypes of things in the very beginning, then work towards strategy, then thenyou're gonna be way better off if you're talking about like, executivelevel kind of stuff. Yeah, so started once again. I mean, it's starting withthe end in mind versus just starting and trying. And I know one of thethings that you've written about is this idea of a nem ploy, e experience,strategy and the reason I'm wanting to talk more about this is, I feel thatall of the massive changes that were brought on by co vid put people in avery uncomfortable situation. It put people in. What I write about is thecircle of chaos, where they feel confused, frustrated and overwhelmed.And that keeps them trapped in a new model that I've been thinking rightabout called The Cave of Complacency. I know you and I have been having aconversation before hit record about that, the elements of story andnarrative. So I've written a lot about the digital consumer journey, butyou're actually writing about the employees experience journey and andthis is I love the perspective. So can you unpack this idea of the employeeexperience journey and how the employee experience journey might help someone aescape, the circle of chaos as an employee or a team member, or be helpthem to come out of their cave of complacency with courage and confidence?Yeah, you know, part of it is again, it's just it's a holistic thing, right?So we can't even think about an employee experience journey withoutunderstanding how connected it is strategically to everything else thatthe organization is doing so organizations leadership has to bethinking through. Okay, I'm so worried right now about what our members aregoing to say. Credit means what a member is gonna be doing. Or CommunityBank, for example, What are what our customers we're gonna be doing rightnow? Because the pandemic we need to make sure we keep making making thatdollar. So that has to be on point. We're gonna be taking a look at it.Make sure digital is this and this and this and whatever. And it's not wrong.It's it's critical. Just as critical, though, is making sure that thatemployee experience is nailed down with Justus. Much specificity, right? Whatare all those? Touchpoints? What are all those portions of those journeys?What are all the stopgaps? What are all the things that they're? They'rehappening there mapping that out in the exact same way. So when that happens,those folks you can expect you can expect one or two things, right?Because if they are ignored, you would...

...expect a fall off on the customer orthe member side from members working toward like that. Well, imagine what ishappening right now on employee side especially given what 2020 is. It'sgonna be magnifying that thing. So then it becomes you will see that folks whohave been doing the hard work on the culture employees and experienced sideprior to 2020 have employees who are locked in adapting their autonomous andthey're pushing forward. Whereas others now they're having to figure it out onthe fly. And you have folks who are just internally wired that way, thenthey're able to push through others. Now we're having to figure out Oh mygosh, how do we help these folks along? And it's been, you know, asignificantly more difficult struggle. Yeah, that's why I think of theformulaic approach of a Q plus e que, particularly in the age of AI, is gonnabe far greater than I. Q. Because I look at Cove, it is. This is just thepreview. This is just the things have yet to come of all of the massivechanges that we're going to live through, an experience both at a macroand the micro level, and as leaders, I think we need to create an environmentwhere people feel safe. We need to empower them to educate, to provideclarity into what that role transformation might be for them.Because otherwise to your point and and maybe you could impact a little bitfurther. A lot of talk has been made over thepast. I would say 2 to 3 years around. C X customer experience. That's great.That's fine. That's dandy. But I'm predicting in 2021 going into 2023 2024.I think E X is going to be the next big thing that we start focusing on atorganizations because E x informs the C X and I got another model. But I wannahow do those two play hand in hand together? Well, who's providing the C Xright or who's designing the U X? It's one of those things that I'm. This iswhere I get in a little bit of trouble because some people don't know me aswell. I'm saying some of this with tongue firmly planted in cheek. Soplease, please don't misunderstand the tone. But like who do we suspect isproviding the customer and or member service? Who do we suspect is trying todesign the user experience? If we're starting to get into the world of, youknow, into the digital space with APS and the website on the Web design andall that stuff. These are still human beings. So the degree to which weinvest in those humans and invest in understanding how humans work andconsumer psych and all that stuff. That's the degree to which we will getthe member experience right or the customer experience, right? We can doall the maps we want to, but if we don't understand the humans who arenavigating those things, we're done like we won't get it. We'll build thesepretty little things, but it just won't matter because you'll have miserablepeople trying to navigate them. They won't perform as well. Technology hastransformed our world, and digital has changed the way consumers shop for andbuy financial services forever. Now, consumers make purchase decisions longbefore they walk into a branch if they walk into a branch at all. But yourfinancial brand still wants to grow loans and deposits. We get it. Digitalgrowth can feel confusing, frustrating and overwhelming for any financialbrand marketing and sales leader, but it doesn't have thio because JamesRobert wrote the book that guides you every step of the way along yourdigital growth journey. Visit www dot digital growth dot com to get a previewof his best selling book, Banking on Digital Growth, or order a copy rightNow for you and your team from Amazon.

Inside you'll find a strategicmarketing manifesto that was written to transform financial brands, and it ispacked full of practical and proven insights you can start using today toconfidently generate 10 times more loans and deposits. Now back to theshow. Things might sound a little paradoxical, but I've never said thisbefore, but the thought just came to me. Do it. A competitive advantage for afinancial brand or any brand, for that matter, in the world of Ai automationis to double down and invest mawr in your people, whether that be throughtraining and education, to provide clarity in the unknown so that thatthey can overcome those fears or to provide some hope as well to up skillthem and just to say, Hey, you know what? Just because automation and AI iscoming on the scene doesn't mean that you're irrelevant. It actually probablymeans you're even 10 times more relevant because we're gonna useautomation and AI to take away the mundane task that you're having to doday in and day out so that you can spend more time creating more value foreven more people. Oh, you're 1000% right. People who are adaptable, whocan look at situations with a member or a customer and actually possess theability to on the spot, be creative in a real way with what they see on thatscreen and be analytical and put together. Solutions from disparatesources actually possess that ability because they've been in a culture thatis a safe space to try things like that, not get pummeled over the head becausethey didn't take the cookie cutter solution that's always been presented.That's where you see the real impact of it, because that creates revenue overand over and over again. But that doesn't happen on accident. That is anintentional context that's been created for those people in intentionalexperience and culture. That is a sustainable competitive advantage overtime. That's a big, big deal, but it's also very rare. Well, I can't help butjust think you said something that was key give. Our people are, andparticularly those on the frontline, whether the front line and I think theidea of the front line has to transform beyond that someone at the in thebranch. No, that could also be a digital cells person, a digital serviceperson. But the context of how they're delivering that sells or serviceexperience is gonna be vastly different than doing it in a face to face context.So when you think about giving someone empowering them to make those on the onthe spot decisions, I cannot help but think. And the world lost a great mindway too early. Tony Shea, who was the CEO of Zappos for the longest time. And,you know, it was all about humanizing, really. I mean, he was so far ahead hewas humanizing the digital experience before, like, that was even a thoughtwith the whole perspective of, and there was a video that had sharedrecently where he talked about if we could get someone on the phone or toe,help them just not to sell them, but to help them, And if we can help themwe're gonna find other places that can help them. We have a higher propensity.And he gave a certain percentage. It was pretty high of converting them. Ifnot now, then down the road. Is this kind of what you're thinking here? Yeah,absolutely. And you know, I was Who was I talking? Thio, I alluded to him isWell, when that that example, Man, I'm stumbling over everything here. I'mhaving a very human moment where he was talking about the example with the call center andhow some of their metrics are so wonky when put next to everyone else is. Butone of the things they brag about is...

...they have They look a call timesentirely differently, right? It's not so much. Hey, we need to We need tokeep those call times down so we can plow through as many people as possible.It's what did you do on that call? And they have, like, this Hall of famewhere that one you know, one of those calls was 77 hours. Yeah, and but itwas because they want to talk about everything, ordered that person pizzaon the other line and whatever else and it's just an entirely different way oflooking at it. But it's an entirely human way because it's all about thatinteraction building that relationship. I can't imagine what would happen ifsomeone stayed in the lobby with a member. The same one for that long can.I mean, seriously, can you imagine what would happen? You know? Yeah, You know,as you're talking through that and this is a question for the dear listener.But when was the last time? And maybe, you know, if you're not in this directrole, you might need to go talk to someone else. When was the last timethat you just had a conversation with one of your account holders Areperspective account holder, just to ask them how they want to grow. And andthis is something that we teach around. But it's it's one of their goals. Oneof the roadblocks where the opportunities and just listen. I justhad J Paultre on a couple episodes before, as we ended 2020 and he wastalking about this idea of relationship and the need to just ask good questions,keep our mouths closed, and then listen. What are you seeing through the workthat you're doing around that is there. Is there movement in that direction ofasking good questions, listening and then to your point coming back and thentaking action and providing guidance off of those insights? You know itcandidly. It's it's really it's hit and miss My team gives me a playful hardtime because and I and I deserve it and 10 times more, to be sure, because I aman oddball, proudly an oddball, with with certain things. But I believe inquestions I really do that the Socratic method questions are so, so powerfuland listening, of course, to the answers. But think about the potencybehind pointed, specific questions like Do we know really? Really? Do we knowwhat we want from members? What we want them to feel, think and do at all thesepoints throughout the process of them interacting with us. But But really,can we answer that question like what we want them to feel, think and do whenthey first interact with us on the phone? Do we know that? Do we know whatthose gaps are? Do we know what they're probably feeling versus what we wantthem to. What's the gap? What? What that we do could bridge that gap. Do wehave specific conversations like that? Are we gathering that data from them orwe conducting ethnographic research? Usually, we just kind of assume we wantthem to feel good. What does that mean, Right? I have no clue. And it comesback to what you said before when to take this conversation. Almost fullcircle now is the difference between employees experience versus employeeengagement. And you said, Well, you ask 18 people, you're gonna get 18. I think,particularly at an institution, there has to be a unified definition. That'sone of the reasons, like the way we have a definition for digital growth.We have a definition for experience experience being nothing more than welldefined systems and processes that have been defined, applied optimize over aperiod of time, resulting in one of two things. A positive emotion or negativeemotion. And I love your question, which asked, How do you what people toeto think, to feel to do to answer that question, particularly from that of thelens of a financial brand leader,...

...whether they're being marketing sellsthe leadership team. We have to escape our own doing to create space and timeto stop pause, review, reflect toe, learn to think to then apply thatthinking to do even better, and then create that space and time to do itagain. Because otherwise I see a lot of financial brands. They just get in thatdoing mode and we just keep where we I think it's a maybe you even use thisword before it's intentionality. Yeah, it takes It takes constant humility andorganizational self awareness. Mm. And this constant like organizationalstance of we're never going to be there were always gonna be learning. We'realways gonna be listening. We're always gonna be humble enough to say we wantto just keep tweaking, keep learning. And every once in while, it's gonnatake, like a violent adjustment when we discover Oh, man, this is a gaping holewe have here. Yeah, sometimes will be the student and sometimes will be theguide or the teacher. But I think we have to commit to playing both roles onthe journeys that we're all taking as an individual, as a team, as anorganization, because transformation of any type. Whether it be personally,professionally, digitally doesn't matter always begins with some type oftraining education to provide awareness and clarity into the unknown to helpthe unaware become aware of what those opportunities are to begin with in thefirst place. And and it's been such a great conversation. I wanna look aheadwith you into this year of 2021. And what is If we could just focus in onone specific action item recommendation that you could give to financial brandmarketing cells and leadership teams if they could just focus on one thing in2021 to make this year even that much better? What would that one piece ofadvice be from you? I think it would be, too. Keep that same, that same urgencythat we've had this year to look at everything, every possible way that wecan grow and adapt and keep pressing forward with ways Thio to serve thepeople that were to serve that same level of urgency and passion andexcitement that we had over these past several months to make that who we arenow because that has produced something inside teams and groups andorganizations that that we've not seen before and some speed and some agilitythat a lot of folks, I don't think, knew that they actually had. But it'sbeen in there the whole time. That potential has been in there the wholetime, so I'd love to see that continue. If I could frame that up, it would beDon't fall back on getting comfortable. Don't get comfortable being I should Isay Don't get comfortable being uncomfortable because if you getcomfortable, then you get strapped in the cave of complacency and you canlook around at all the different corpses there from brands that we knowin love, Blockbuster and Borders and Kodak. And the list goes on and on thathave come out of this, this retail apocalypse that I think 2020 caught alot of people. We all knew it was coming. We just didn't know it wasgonna hit so hard and so fast and so talking with you today. I'm excited,encouraged and inspired about, you know, the months and years to come because Isee the future is still brighten and I do Thank you for joining me for thisconversation. If absolutely. If anyone wants toe to continue this conversationwith you, what's the best way for them to connect and say hello? I'm on SocialMedia Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter or Matt at mark arnold dot com. That's it,Matt at mark arnold dot com. Connect with Matt. Say hello to Matt. Learnfrom Matt, just as we all have today.

Thank you, Matt. As always. And untilnext time be well, do good and wash your hands. Thank you for listening toanother episode of banking on Digital Growth with James Robert Ley. Like whatyou hear. Tell a friend about the podcast and leave us a review on Applepodcasts, Google Podcast or Spotify and subscribe while you're there to geteven. Mawr Practical and proven Insights, visit www dot digital growthdot com to grab a preview of James Roberts bestselling book Banking onDigital Growth or order a copy right now for you and your team from Amazon.Inside, you'll find a strategic marketing and sales blueprint framedaround 12 key areas of focus that empower you to confidently generate 10times more loans and deposits until next time, be well and do good.

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