Banking on Digital Growth
Banking on Digital Growth

Episode · 3 months ago

127) #ClarityCalls: What to Do When Leadership Doesn’t Set Clear Goals


Anyone with young children understands how much exploration and discovery we lose as adults.

But many financial brands need to start thinking like a kindergartner again.

That’s because when it comes to digital growth, curiosity is a key competitive advantage.

In this Clarity Calls episode, the curiosity of my guest, Abby Boggs-Johnson , Digital Marketing Officer at Western State Bank , leads her to ask an important question:

How do you get leadership to define what matters most to them?

We discuss this question and arrive at some key insights, including:

- The pros and cons of starting with a blank slate

- How to think about metrics and KPIs

- How to use the GRO (growth, roadblocks, opportunities) framework as a map for your digital growth journey

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

Listening on a desktop & can’t see the links? Just search for Banking on Digital Growth in your favorite podcast player.

Abby ask do you have any tips for howto get leadership? To help define what matters to them and for me to thenfigure out what metrics and KPI S match that. This is a fantastic question Abbyand one that I look forward to talking through together with you on thisepisode of Banking on Digital Growth. 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 clarity calls series where James Roberts sits down for a conversationwith someone in the digital growth community to provide clarity into thebiggest digital marketing sales and leadership questions. Others have. Ifyou'd like to join James Robert for a future conversation texture questionright now to 8 3 to five 4957 and 92. And remember the only bad question isthe question that goes unasked, Let's get into today's clarity calls,conversation greetings and hello, I am James robert, ley and welcome to the127th episode of the Banking on Digital Growth podcast. Today's episode is partof the clarity call series and I'm excited to welcome Abby bob johnson tothe show. Abby is a digital marketing officer at Western State Bank,specializing in digital content and creative strategies. And she has agreat question that I look forward to talking through together with both youas well. Her to provide you with clarity as you continue to move forwardalong your own journey of digital growth. Welcome to the show Abby, thankyou, thank you for having me and I'm excited to chat a little bit more. Yeah,and you've got a great question and before we get into that, I always liketo open up on a positive note here. What is good for you right now,personally, professionally, what's one positive thing happening in your life?It's your pick personally or professionally, one positive thing? UmI think I have my husband and I have a three, almost four year old and he's atthat age or he is just like everything's exciting, like he'slearning so much at stake here, coming home with new stuff every day, so it'sjust a fun, it's a fun time. It is, it's a fun age. My wife and I, we have11, 97 and five. And so if I think back to those 34 year old that stage, it was,it was a lot of exploration and discovery and it's interesting too. Anduh you know, the older that we get, the less that we explore, the less that wediscover and for me and what I see particularly as a financial brandjourneys towards digital growth, that exploration curiosity is a keycompetitive advantage and I was on a board conversation the other day and Isay be more like a Kindergartner, like, like like just ask really goodquestions and get really good at asking good questions and always be a lifelonglearner and you've got a great question today that we'll talk through togetherand I'll set this up here, you wrote in and you ask do you have any tips forhow to get leadership to help define what matters most to them? And then foryou to help figure out what metrics KPs match that and then maybe some tools tobring all of this together from a reporting an operational standpointbefore I provide some clarity there, can you help set the table set thestage for perspective of where you've been up to this point and really deeperwhere your question is rooted. Yes, absolutely. So we were a smallercommunity bank and I would say probably about three years ago the marketingteam in general shifted a little bit...

...just in terms of a couple new hireschanging direction of strategy, wanting to do more of a digital first approachacross the board. So I think with that, then I joined about two years ago andbecause of that previously we didn't have really anything when it came toboth strategy, but also tracking reporting. So it's all pretty neutralorganization as a whole. And I think that's both a positive and negativepositive and that we're able to kind of start from scratch. We're going througha website redesign. So that will be kind of blank slate for us to be ableto set things up the way we want to track what we need to figure, justinstall things, do things properly from the get go. But then at the same timewe obviously don't have anything to work off of what there's nothing tostep into and refine. Its really just building it. So I think that's thebackground and both exciting opportunity of a challenge that we'refacing and figuring out what that needs to look like for our organization. Yes,and I like the blank slate because it's a fresh start. It does present somechallenges because there are no benchmarks to measure againsthistorically. So let's just accept that for what it is. And to be honest withyou, this is where a lot of financial brands are. It doesn't matter if theystarted their journey with us 456 years ago, they all started there. But nowthe good news is is once you establish these foundational benchmarks ofreporting and metrics, your future becomes so much more clear because youcan always look back to this point today and then measure not perfection,but measure the progress that you're making against these foundationalbenchmarks. So a couple of things that I heard strategy reporting website andthey all go hand in hand together. So let's start on the strategy piece ofthis because really beginning with the end in mind, particularly facilitatinga conversation, a dialogue with the executive team with senior leadersframed around a question that I want to give to you to take back and also forthe dear listener to facilitate a conversation like this, it's how do youwant to grow? Not you personally, but in this particular it's a greatquestion to do some personal reflection on but also due reflection on with thebank and grow as an acronym of what are your goals? What are the road blocksthat stand in the way of achieving those goals? And what are theopportunities to either create to capture or to capitalize on to overcomethose roadblocks as you move forward and make progress towards thosespecific goals for growth? So why don't we play a little game with this andactually just just riff on this for a bit when it comes to goals for growth,context is everything. And so a lot of times if you say well what are thegoals for growth? You're gonna get one of two answers, I don't know or it'sgoing to be a very broad kind of statement that's hard to gain clarityaround to execute against. So let's frame this up with what I call a thecoffee or cocktail questions. So imagine Abby you and I were havingcoffee, we're having cocktails, it's three years from now, what are wedrinking? It's your pick, coffee or cocktails? Coffee were drinking coffee,Okay, what what type of coffee you having? Just black drip coffee? Blackdrip, your were in the same boat because I I'm having a black decafamericano. Um so something very simple. So you're having your black drip coffee.I'm having my decaf americano. You're... a really good place when you thinkabout the progress that you've made from this conversation today, when itcomes to digital marketing, when it comes to digital growth, I want you toleap ahead in your mind and look backwards to this point. Take a sip ofyour black drip coffee and tell me what has happened for you to feel good aboutthe progress that you've made here. What are three things if you can leapahead, Look back, what are three things that have had to happen for you to feelgood about your growth? I think just more of a defined process and how howwe're doing things in terms of reporting what we're reporting on, howfrequently just really having a structure there. I think having a clearkind of roadmap for what we're doing just digital as a whole that I cancompare against. And the third thing I would say is having more resources toallocate to that. So whether that's not necessarily more headcount but moretime and resources that we're spending on digital. Fantastic. And I reallylike the definitive nature of this defined process for reporting frequencyroadmap to execute against and then so that you can track that progress andthen the resources, not necessarily headcount but just the space and timeto pause to review reflect, we'll call it capacity and capability, I thinkcapacity and capability or two because because capacity is time but thencapability and it might not be headcount but it might be a tool ortechnology that gives you a time multiplier to do more of this. Okay,perfect. With these three points in mind of process, roadmap capability,resources, what are the roadblocks that you feel could stand in your way as youmove forward to these three points looking backwards what what maybe oneor two things that could could trip you up here? I think just the lack ofclarity across the board or maybe a better way to word, it is not having adefinitive answers from stakeholders are key leadership on what successlooks like. And then for sure, I would say having a smaller team being justbeing part of a small organization so then not having that time and space orbeing able to carve that out or convinced leadership of why it mattersthat we do so lack of clarity from senior leaders across the board. Sowe'll call it unity vision that can then get translated to you against forexecution and then the time is that roadblock particularly as a smallerteam, smaller organization and I hear this a lot. So we're gonna come back tothis because this is really setting the table for you know, some some strongrecommendations going forward and then the last point is okay great, Let'scome to the opportunities, what are the opportunities that you see areavailable to either create something new to capture. So something that'sthere, but we're just not getting it to the full extent or capitalize onmeaning we have the capability, we can do even more do even better with that.So what are the opportunities in your mind? I think really we have for assmall as a team as we have on the marketing side. I think we all none ofus come from banking backgrounds. Um and I think that's good. I think thatwe have, we have a couple of us who are going to agencies in previous lives. Ialso worked for a third party administrator at one point, like alarge nationwide one. And so we have a lot of different ideas and experiencesthat we bring to the table. And I think our team is extremely talented in thatway. So I think we have a huge opportunity to really differentiateourselves from other banks like us and...

...we have creative ideas like we don'tnecessarily want to be, do what every other bank is doing, we want to do itso that it's still our brand and still what we are and what we represent. Butwe have a lot of good ideas and I think potential, especially when it comes towebsite content strategy, what that could look like in the future for us.That's a huge one for me. Absolutely, and I like the way that you take, wedon't have banking experience. I think that's a very good thing sometimesbecause historically I see from someone who's been in the banking world, evenin bank marketing, let's just say for the last 10, 15, 20 even 30 years, theyhave a certain way of thinking which then leads to a certain way of doing anexecution. But for those that come from outside of the banking world and youbring in a lot of new ideas and I would even call it innovation, the mostimportant thing is to to really think about the buying journey of how aperson buys a financial product, what does that look like from point A topoint B to point C, Point D. And whenever I start talking about thatwith with someone who's been in the banking world for 10, 15, 20 years,they're like that there are that many steps. Absolutely. And that's where thecomplexity ties back in, which then connects to one of the roadblocks youshared of just this lack of clarity of across the board. So I want to addressthat roadblock first training and education is critical to transformation,transforming the mind first and foremost, and at an executive level atthe leadership level, I hear all the time, like we just, we don't know whatwe don't know James robert like that's okay. As long coming back to that pointof exploration and curiosity, as long as your lifelong student, sometimesyou're gonna be the student, sometimes you're gonna be the teacher, but eitherway there's a learning experience on both sides of that equation. And sotraining education is really the first steps towards transformation and youhear this all the time, digital transformation, We need to digitallytransform, but we, we err on the side of just thinking about technology andso we introduced new technologies and that increases complexity. But if wetook a step back and we got really clear about where we've been, wherewe're at and where we could grow next. That question that we're talkingthrough, how do you want to grow? Take this back to senior leaders and spendhalf a day talking about spend a day goals, roadblocks opportunities andevery senior leader comes with three goals, three roadblocks, threeopportunities. So they have a little bit of homework. Now you come into theconversation, okay, let's prioritize these and get really clearorganizationally. Speaking of what are our goals, what are the roadblockswhere the opportunities that we can all work towards together then in marketingwe can then support all of these different elements and I'm gonna comeback to what you mentioned here defined process for reporting, because I thinkthat's a goal that a lot of financial brands have technology has transformedour world and digital has changed the way consumers shop for and buyfinancial 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 to because James robertwrote the book that guides you every step of the way along your digitalgrowth journey, visit www dot digital growth dot com to get a preview of hisbest selling book banking on digital growth Or order a copy right now foryou and your team from Amazon inside you'll find a strategic marketingmanifesto that was written to transform... brands and it is packed fullof practical and proven insights you can start using today to confidentlygenerate 10 times more loans and deposits now back to the show. So tellme you mentioned before paid advertising. So how are you currentlymeasuring success as it stands today? What does that look like? Yeah, so webasically just, we being marketing decided what counts as a conversion,what counts as someone who might be interested along that journey. So Ithink we, because I wanted something to measure and somewhere to start. So kindof just designed even just within analytics, some kind of somewhat justguesses I guess on goals and conversion actions what that looks like. So that'sthe approach that we're taking currently completely initiated bymarketing. So that's fantastic. So you're already working in googleanalytics, you already have goals established. Let's dive deeper. And andjust for the listener, even for you, see how we're taking kind of like thisoverarching goal of define process and now we're getting more granular, likechanneling this all the way down for every single one of these points thatwe've talked to today, we can do the same thing, but we're gonna focus onthis one. Right now, you're already in google and analytics, you already havegoals established. What are these goals that you've identified as conversionpoints? Just to get really, really clear about where you've been and whereyou can grow from here. What does that look like today? What's a conversionpoint? Right, so right now it's things like if someone fills out the contactform to contact one of our individual banks or bankers, we even just track ifsomeone clicks to more specific location information about one of ourbanks just as more of an interest kind of point if someone clicks to any ofour online applications, which I know as a challenge for a lot ofinstitutions that we have three or four different third party platforms. Yes,for different types of applications. So we're not able to easily orconsistently track that journey from start to finish or that applicationprocess from start to finish, but we are tracking if someone where we can,if someone is completed something and then um or and or if there at leaststarting that process are showing interest in that process, I think thoseare the big ones. So you're tracking Conversions on 3rd Party Apps. Is thattied back to a specific channel? So that would be through our websiteprimarily if someone starts that process from our website to go to that3rd Party application. Right. So I guess a framework for you and you'realready working in this mechanism is what we call TLC. Everyone needs alittle bit of TLC in their life. We all need, it would be great if we all get alittle tender loving care but for this conversation it's gonna be traffic,it's gonna be leads, it's gonna be conversions and really focus on theconversion aspect and element first and that's the hard part. So if you thinkabout when, when someone clicks apply on your website Do they immediately gooff to 3rd Party depending on what the application is, depending on what theapplication is. My recommendation is to get all primary conversions on yourwebsite then you're getting to like if you, you send them off to third party,you can still track with like with with cross site tracking it's a bit morecomplicated with that. So it's more clean if you can either number one getall the conversion, we call that a pre application form first, name, last name,email address, then send them off to third party because now you have a goalin google analytics. And if you think about goals, it all ties back toproduct line. So so think about product funnels, checking, retail, checking,mortgage, retail lending, each of one of your different lending products andthen you do the same thing on commercial or small business. And soyou have multiple goals, multiple...

...funnels because now you've got all ofyour conversion points locked in. That's the most important thing. Youcan dive deeper into that and take conversion to conversion and funded orconverted and funded because that's the ultimate like goal is we want fundedloans, you know, converted deposits. But for this conversation we're justgonna try to get conversion data. Now you're gonna get channeled attributiontied into each one of those specific goals. Then from there you can move upto the, to the l to the leads and leads. Might be intent. So it could besomething as soft as clicking on a branch or it could be a little bit moredefined of what we would call as a request to call back to a specificproduct line, meaning I'm in the consideration stage for a mortgage. I'mnot ready to apply just yet, but I want to pull out because when you have yourcontact page or your contact conversions, is that tied to a specific,is it to like a general contact page or is it once again tied back to a productline? Not product, it's more location specific at this point, but it's notproduct at this point so that you see where I'm guiding the conversation golocation independent, go back to product line and then you get clarityfrom conversions now into leads for specific product and you can do all therouting behind the scenes and it could be based upon like like the formselection of location but it all gets tied back into one conversion point forthat product line and then gets filtered out into the specificlocations there. And then finally your your T would be all of your trafficthat you send down into the funnel. Maybe it's so specific landing page butcome back a lot of this most likely if you're looking at your public facingwebsite is going to be organically based. If you're doing ad campaigns, Iwould look at running traffic against a specific dedicated landing page, doingthe same exact thing, conversions leads traffic and give you a cleardelineation of how people are navigating from awareness throughconsideration and then into purchase, coming back to that point ofconsideration though. A couple of other conversion points callback,downloadable buying guides. So for example, download the mortgage buyingguide, download the small business growth guide and that's another leadconversion point that gives you more of what I would call a marketing qualifiedlead your call back would be a cell's qualified prospect and then yourconversion on the pre app would be a cell's qualified lead because they havethe most intent for conversion follow up technology question marketingautomation Crm, what does that capability look like today? Nonexistent? Really, as you're looking to build this new website to prevent itfrom putting this lipstick on a pig and making it look pretty. Making it bigmobile responsive. Really consider bringing marketing automation as a keycapability to build a website that sells with the primary role being. Asyou're already sounds like you're dabbling with lead generation, takingthe good, making it even greater because as your website is generatingleads another question for you on a conversion, what happens if someonestarts the application and then leaves the application? How is that gap beingbridged? Currently I think it's different depending on what whatproduct it's for. Different teams handle it differently in terms offollow up or not or abandoned or not. Yes. And that right there is going tobe an opportunity to and don't and this is where I'm really like don't beatyourself up over it once again, people just don't know what they don't know.And that's where digital secret... is another element to bringinto this conversation And I recommend testing a product every 90 days tonumber one get a benchmark against because there's the hard metrics ofconversions and then there's more of the that's quantitative then there'sthe qualitative side of What happens if I start this. AM I really gettingfollowed up with and then do that? Not just one time do it at least 5 to 10times. Do you get multiple data points and then you get the pattern out ofthat because then there's ways to improve upon that process and thatexperience for that particular product line. But that's where marketing,automation and Crm particularly is going to come back into play too asyou're generating leads marketing and then transition those into the cells.Team quote unquote lending. Now lending is gonna have to move those through thefunnel. Then you can identify and now we're getting really granular where inthe cells process are people following up because you you brought them inmarketing to conversion but then there's another micro funnel, if youwill for that sells team is at one touch point is a to touch points. Isthat three? We have a smaller, maybe there's 3 $350 million financial brandin our banking on digital growth program, just how to coach and callwith them two weeks ago, Market teams generating exponentially more leadsover the last 12 to 18 months. Sales isn't following up with them andthey literally got that call went to because they're running a campaignright now with some paid traffic literally got that call, walked intothe cells, the chief learning officers and said I need you to call these 10people who had just converted the 1st 24 hours. They weren't full conversions.They started but abandoned A little pick up the phone, 80% touch point rateon the on the outbound call and then 60% actually converted and put another$100,000 on the portfolio just doing a couple outbound calls. Um and so it'sthat's where training education is going to come back into play with thisbecause once marketing, I just had this conversation with Paula Tompkins anepisode, I think it was 1 26 right before this one talking about theeducation between marketing and sales alignment. But that has to be broughtup to the senior leadership level so that senior leadership can reallysupport that marketing castles equals the growth team. So if you take all ofwhat we just talked about and really kind of what started broad strategy anddive deeper into this google analytics is a great place. Data, uh marketingautomation and techno uh in Crm is a capability for technology, but theyindividualize these funnels. Data box is a great platform to visualize thestories and the narratives here to bring all of this together,particularly like if you're moving you can tie in google analytics data, youcan tie in social media data, you can tie at google Adwords data, youtube, adcampaigns all into a specific funnel, visualize all of these different points.Even google data studio does the same thing we've seen Data box probably hasa bit more of a simplified version of this marketing automation crm. Sothat's what I would look at from the technology side, talking through all ofthis together, I want to leave you with one practical, next best step forward.Not my recommendation, but from what we've talked about, what is the nextbest thing from an accountability and I'm gonna check on you, I'm gonna checkon you in a month from now. What is the next thing? One thing that you cancontinue to do, moving forward to make progress on your journey here, whatwould that be? I think it's having a conversation with my direct supervisor,my boss to start figuring out really a game plan to make some of us happen orget this on the priority list for at least for 2022 when it comes to ournext kind of initiatives, I would start...

...and frame that around how do you wantto grow? Like, like just keep leveling it up, keep taking that frameworkbecause for those that have gone through that process, it has reallyprovided a lot of clarity of what are our goals framed around the coffee andcocktail conversation. Okay, where are the roadblocks are going to stand inthe way and what are the opportunities available to create and capture, goingforward in brief review, Digital secret shopping, marketing automation crm andthen taking the funnels that you have not framed them around the location,framed them around product lines. You've already got the right elementsand play is just continuing to level up that and move forward if someone'slistening a body and and then they want to continue just the discussion of whatyou've been doing and where you're going and they maybe want to check inon you what's the best way for them to reach out and say hello, connect withyou on linkedin. You can find me on linkedin, my name. Abby bags, johnson,not a super common one. Safe I needed. So I'm pretty easy to find. Abby thishas been a lot of fun. Great conversation today providing you withjust a little bit more clarity on on how you continue to grow from good togreat to maximize your digital growth potential. Thank you so much forjoining me on the podcast. Thank you. I appreciate it. This is extremelyhelpful if you have a question like Abby digital marketing digital cellsleadership, text me your question that you'd like to gain clarity on to 83 to5495792. And I look forward to talking through it together with you on anupcoming podcast until then and as always be well, do good and make yourbed. Thank you for listening to another episode of banking on digital growthwith James robert ley, like what you hear, tell a friend about the podcastand leave us a review on apple podcasts, google podcasts or Spotify andsubscribe while you're there to get even more practical improvementinsights, visit www dot digital growth dot com to grab a preview of Jamesroberts, 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 and sales blueprint framed around 12 key areas of focus thatempower you to confidently generate 10 times more loans and deposits untilnext time, be well and do good.

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