Banking on Digital Growth
Banking on Digital Growth

Episode · 11 months ago

59) #InsideDigitalGrowth: Fireside Chat With Joe Welu

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode of Banking on Digital Growth, we go inside digital growth as I share my recent conversation with Joe Welu, CEO of Total Expert, during a Fireside Chat hosted by The Financial Brand.

Joe asked me good questions about what digital growth really is, the need to define digital consumer journeys, and how to maximize growth and build trust through technology.

Here's what we talked about:

  • How COVID-19 has changed the way banks and credit unions are doing business
  • What the digital journey has in common with a Shel Silverstein poem
  • How to unpack the acronyms from my book

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. Thanksfor joining me for the 59th episode of the Banking on Digital Growth podcasttoday. We're gonna go inside digital growth as I share a conversation Irecently had with Joe. Well, you CEO of told Expert. During a fireside chathosted by the financial brand, Joe asked me some really good questions aswe talk about what digital growth really is. The need to stop and pauseto define digital consumer journeys and how to maximize growth and build trustthrough technology, among many other good areas of focus. To educate andempower you enjoy the show 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 inside digital growth Siri's, where James Robert shares answers to some ofthe biggest digital marketing and sales questions he gets from the digitalgrowth community. Have a question you want to get answers to on a futureepisode. Visit www dot go ask jr dot com to submit your question today. NowLet's go inside. Digital growth. We've been talking about gettingtogether for a while, having a conversation about this topic. And now,man, your timing was amazing on the book. Obviously, I know you didn'tanticipate what was going to be transpiring this year, but talk usthrough the book a little bit. Let's start out there and give us a littleoverview on on the book. So the book is a strategic marketing manifesto. It has12 key principles or calls to action that I would like to see financialbrands move forward with the help them escape the circle of complexity that isreally holding so many back, the circle of chaos. And now it's We could look atthis as an opportunity to to turn inwards, or we could look at this as anopportunity to turn outwards and really help those in the communities that weserve. Yeah, for sure, man, I honestly, we look at the past few months andwe've we've seen so many of the institutions that that we work with,that you work with that have had all of a sudden become the financial firstresponders to everything that's happening in the country, and we sawthem respond in a way that was amazing in my mind, because we're used toseeing things take years when it comes to digital transformation. And we sawso many organizations completely do huge transformation and change in theway they were doing business in in 30 days. What would have taken before,maybe 2 to 3 years. You agree with that? I mean, what are your thoughts on whatyou've seen? I mean, you're right. What we saw transpire was initially a healthcrisis. That, as I spoke and I wrote about back in March would quicklybecome a financial health crisis. It has been amazing to see the pivot oralmost cove it being a forcing function to transpire the digital firstconversation. One of the things that I'm really encouraged about is reallyputting people at the center of all of the thinking and all of the doing. Andeven though we're apart, Digital has allowed financial brands to still betogether with the people that really need the most help in the communitiesthat they're serving. Yeah, I I would agree. And you see, all of a suddenbeing there for your customers and staying connected to your customers hada whole new meaning. And with that on all the events that have happened, allthe unfortunate things many of the organizations that that we've talkedwith said, You know, we are looking at this as an opportunity to go deeper,move quicker on some of our initiatives that we had to improve ourcommunication to improve our entire digital strategy. So that leads us toreally the topic of the day, which is digital growth. So let's let's kick offby talking about how you define digital growth. I mean, you're one of, if notthe most respected guy in this space. And I know so many organizations thathave worked with you speak so highly of your knowledge and just yourunderstanding and really command of the topic. So enlighten us on what yourthoughts are, what it means. And let's start there. Let's actually starttalking about why this is a problem in the first place and one of the firstproblems that we need to address. When we go in and we work with the financialbrand, we assess diagnosis situation. The question that we ask is what isdigital growth. It's an open ended question and the responses that we seerepeatedly, particularly at the executive team level it z online baking.It's mobile banking. It's remote...

...deposit capture, and they're like,We're good. I'm like, uh, that's the service side of the business. Whatwe're looking at through the lens of digital growth is acquisition andretention growth activities that were traditionally built for the physicalworld around the brick and mortar of branches. It's also the engagement side,right? I mean, you know, you look so many of the transformation projectsthat we have have talked about and seen, and the banks are most, I would say,vocal about is the experience, the online applications, as you mentioned.And now it's this this whole another layer of how they communicate andengage with the customer through the first time they come in contact withthe brand all the way through, right, So the entire journey communication iscentral to achieving digital growth. It's just the ways that we communicatewith prospects with leads with customers with members. That's been thebig transformation over the years, but it's just communication, just likewe're doing right now, I can see you. I'm reading your body language. I'mgetting so much more communication, not only through your voice, but alsothrough the video as well. Yeah. Yeah. So who would have thought that it wouldbe? It would be completely normal that so many people would be comfortable onvideo right now that's happening. And we're starting to see that in some ofthe banks and credit means that we're talking with. So I'm gonna ask youpoint blank question here, and you can answer it as directly as you'recomfortable with. But as Covad really changes Kobe 19 really changed the waybanks and credit unions are doing business. It's been a forcing function.It is actually accelerated. I look at this is like an accelerant to thefuture. It showed us in a very short period of time. What is actuallypossible? What is actually achievable with a digital first, a digital growthmindset. But when we look at this, this is not just about ah marketing activity.This is a marketing cells operations. This is a nightie. This is an entireorganization transforming how they think about growth. What they memberfirst a customer first perspective. I mean, it's it's really not about thedigital side of the technology side. It's about the member or the customer,and it's if you reverse engineer ultimately, what is best for them.What's the best experience? What are the best ways to get them? The outcomethat's going to be best for them. It ends up being You have to have thedigital capabilities combined with the people side, which we've talked aboutmultiple times. So you know, I want to go one layer one layer deeper on that.And you know, we've talked a lot about how organizations typically have lookedat. I'm gonna have my marketing running over here. I'm gonna have my sales ormy customer teams going this direction, engaging with the customers, and nowwe're looking at it as one really ecosystem and an orchestration of thoseactivities. How do you think about is that how you think about it? And wetalked about the concept of It's really a growth team. It's not marketing, it'snot sales or service. So if we look at this from the traditional lens or thelegacy lens, you do have marketing on one side and marketing is controllingthe brand positioning. They're generating leads, hopefully. But thefrustration for marketing is whatever they say to the sales team. They weregetting you these leads. What are you doing with them? If we're getting leads,it all but on the opposite end of the spectrum on the sell side sells ussaying You're not getting us the right types of leads. And I think that typeof internal friction and frustration is detrimental to a financial brand movingforward with digital growth. So if we just removed the labels per se ofmarketing and cells and we combine them under one umbrella of just, say, thegrowth team and unified them around a common purpose of growth, that's atransformative factor that can really accelerate the progress Ah financialbrand makes on this journey. And obviously that's easier said than done.There's a lot of the audience and listening right now and say, Sure, we'dlove toe, have alignment. We'd love toe, have data integrated in a way to whereare our marketing and engagement side of the company of the business isreally in tight lock step with the people taking care of the customer,they love to do that. But where do you start? How how do you even there's it'sso overwhelming. The data silos, the in some cases projects where we've they'veinvested huge amounts of money that they haven't seen the outcome. Theyhaven't seen the results. How do you start, man? How do you start if you'reon the other, You're in the audience right now. This is something that Irecommend to every financial brand that we have ever worked with. It's a It's alittle poem by Shel Silverstein about this girl named Melinda May, and shetried to eat this monstrous well. And the thing is, she thought she could.She said she would. And so she started...

...writing at the tell and everyone said,Melinda, you're much too small. But that didn't bother Melinda all. Shetook little bites and shooed very slow, and that's the point of that narrative.We're gonna achieve digital growth bite by bite by bite. Let's measure theprogress that we're making on this journey by looking at where we've comefrom, not by looking ahead of what we have to do, because if we do that, itwill be like this impossible mountain. We have to climb some measure progress,not perfection that we're making on this journey. We've been a part of alot of conversations and a lot of projects toe where you can see the paththat ah lot of brands follow. And if they start looking at all the thingsthere are that they need to do long term, it's somewhat paralyzing right,and they think about the barriers to doing it. And so what we have found.The best plan, if you will, is to carve out a focused set of things. Maybe it'sjust nurtured. Maybe it's nurturing people that have shown intent orinterest in the brand, but they haven't yet become a customer. Maybe it's justthat and you're gonna You're gonna drive some engagement, nurturing theirthat. That could be one example, right? Do you have any thoughts on how to stowthat first step? Maybe. Yeah, like, let's break this up into three keyactivities. We have triage, we have treatment, and then we havetransformative activities. Triage is it's what we can fix in the here andthe Now it's the quick wins. It's the low hanging fruit that's just waitingto be captured. Treatment is where we establish from foundational systems andprocesses for example, the nurturing as you reference to where we can buildupon that progress because what this is really about. It's about getting quickwinds, getting some mo mentum. Because when we do that, we helped to build theconfidence of the team, the confidence of the organization that you know whatwe are moving in the right direction. And then it's just a self perpetual,self fulfilling prophecy. Because as we move forward, we're gonna get moremomentum. And it's just almost like a flywheel. And the results of the triagecould be different at each organization. Right? If you're if you're a mid sizedor small credit union versus ah ah, large community or regional bank, thatmight look completely different when you start doing the triage and triage.So what? The way you're using? And I love that word in this context, it'sreally you're evaluating everything that's going on and saying okay that Ican handle, and we could actually take action on it in the next 90 days. Where60 days? Yeah, one of things I read about in the book is developing adigital growth mindset and its its first diagnosing are assessing thesituation objectively because a lot of times we just don't know what we don'tknow, and there's no harm, no foul with that. But once we assess, then we getsome awareness in tow. Hey, here are the opportunities that we can capturehere with roadblocks that we need to eliminate. And from there, Once we havethat awareness, we could get some alignment and take action. But we takeaction. We break things down smaller 90 days and then we can reevaluate andreapply the prescription. If we're going to stay in these medical terms,because then it's it's that self perpetual progress and that momentum.So take a year, break it down into 90 days and just focus on a few things.Just make a commitment or to saying we're going to really hone in here, andthen we'll reassess after that 90 day period and then apply that learninggoing forward once again. One of the things that we've learned that it'svery difficult or challenging for a lot of organizations is that mindset shiftthat is required not just within one piece of the business, but it's reallyrequired within the I t side of the business within the business lineitself. Executive leadership. How do you think about that? In terms of orderof importance, if you're going to actually have a growth mindset as anorganization, getting everybody on the same page is critical, right? Oh mygosh. And a lot of that problem can be solved by defining a common purpose ina purpose statement that becomes a positioning statement that getsinternal buying an alignment that helps to attract the right type of peopleexternally. But you said something really critical, that idea of a growthmindset, because I think with all of the exponential change in consumerbehavior, in technology, in the competitive landscape and now with Cove,it changes very hard. And it's very easy to fall into what I call thegrowth gap. Or the gap is where we gripe about problems so having apurpose that's greater than the traditional mission or vision statement,but one that is framed around the problems of the people that wereserving. I found that to be a transformative exercise to get theeternal alignment to get the buy in, because when things do get, get hard,we can always fall back on that purpose. That North Star. I think that's a great,great comment. And I know internally, personally and our organization, wehave a lot of young engineers and...

...technical people that are coming intoour company. And, you know, I heard I heard a comment a few months ago thatokay, we help banks and lenders and credit unions get more business. That'snot really inspiring, right? And said, Whoa, wait a second, actually, if youthink about what we are, what our purpose is and what our goal is for andI know when you're working with customers, your goal is, well, you wantthe organization. You want to create a scenario where they can be a lifetimepartner for that consumer. Ah, lifetime financial partner. And if they'reaccomplishing that, the outcomes that the consumer is having are gonna besuperior or that it's not gonna happen if they're not a lifetime true lifetimepartner, meaning they're helping advise and make decisions offering productsand services in a strategic way. You have any thoughts on that? I mean, thatwas sort of our takeaways and and I only go down that path because youmentioned that you have tow. It's gotta be inspiring and have purpose. And yeah,because here's the thing products and we all know this the products in thisvertical and almost really every vertical today. They've all beencommoditized because of digital. The way that we escaped thatcommoditization is to define ah, purpose that puts the transformation ofpeople far and beyond the traditional transaction. Because money is money isan epidemic, the stress makes people sick and it's not getting any easier.People are hurting. It's taking a toll on their relationships, their mentalwell being. And people are looking for someone that they can trust to guidethem beyond that stress towards a bigger, better, brighter future.Transformations over transactions 100%. And we've looked at right now with theunfortunate events that have happened in the world, the financial system inthis country has got an incredible opportunity to make a tremendous amountof progress in rebuilding. Trust with the consumers was lost in the lastfinancial crisis relief right today. If you look at all of the programs, the PP P loans that are there for small businesses. They're really the stewardsof these programs in the capital and the money piece. It's so critical tothe businesses and people's lives and the impact that these organizationshave the ability to make. And I know many of the conversations I've had withour customers is how focused they've been at taking action, getting money inthe hands of people that needed money. And and many of them that were able todo that at a really high level had said, Okay, we've we've invested in some ofthe transformation. Now we're seeing the benefit on being ableto mawr,fluidly communicate, being able to get to the customer segments, communicatewith this group based on what's important to them right now. And and soyou know, I agree with you on just how important it all is and what a what agreat time this is to to be in the industry. So let's let's move on todefining a sui look at digital growth and understanding it and developing aplaybook. The customer journey is ultimately it's so vital to understandit, toe, optimize it and to continuously focus on it break thatdown for us a little bit, and I know you go into a lot in the book. Yeah, soyou know the customer journey that is the central thesis of digital growth.If we academically to find digital growth to come back to the previousquestion, digital growth is it's just systems and processes that are centeredaround the consumer journey. The challenge of a lot of financial brandsis that they either a, have it documented the consumer journey,digital first or be. Maybe they've dabbled in that type of consumerjourney mapping, but there's a lot of gaps in the journey that they can comeback and and bridge. And so the way that we look at this is an acronymcalled Banker. It is the bankers. Did you come up with that on your own?That's here. Is that James Robert original? You know, I have a lot ofacronyms and it za self serving tool with a little bit of a D D. It's veryeasy to get distracted, so I've found over the years that acronyms are just away to help me remember something. A process of methodology and so banker isactually be a n c e r. You just I could come up with anything for the K. So youwanna break that down and talk through it? Because so, yeah, let's do it, man.I want I want to hear from your words on how you can sort of sort of the flowwhat each of those letters me Because I do think it's a sanctus simplifies it.And these are these air concepts and where we're talking about a lot ofcontent here today. But ultimately, we want to give people bite sized chunksthat they could take away and use day today as their back to running theorganization. So break this down. I...

...think this is an important piece. Thisstrategy circle is one of the most practical models of financial brand canapply, can think through, can optimize around. And so let's break this downstep by step and weaken dialogue with with each of these points. If you wannago, go down it. The be Step Number one is to build an audience with data. Oncewe build an audience with data, we can then begin to move to the A or attractleads with personalized offers. Then and only then can we nurture thoseleads the in with automation and content. Because as we're movingsomeone through this buying journey, people have to know us first, then likeus, and then through the nurturing were placing deposits into a Consumers trustfund that sits between their ears. And once that we reach a level of trustthat, like you know what, really like what these guys stand for. It's morethan just about dollars and cents. I get a sense that they're caring for meand my well being. We could finally move to the sea and convert those leadsfor loans and deposits. So build an audience, attract leads, nurture leadswith automation and content, and convert those leads for loans anddeposits. Once we convert those leads, we can expand the relationships bydelighting accounts. And one of the greatest Blue Ocean opportunities isthe R. Repeat the entire process with ratings, with reviews and withreferrals because that's just gonna move someone else right back to thatwhole process. Once again, what we call the flywheel, right? Ultimately, ifyou're if you're running a true flywheel of growth, you have thatattract engage in May is happening all the time is creating advocates. Iscreating people that really love doing business with you because you've you'veadded value in a way that maybe others had You made them feel special. I wantto talk a little bit about the first parts of the journey here and buildingan audience in a attract phase, if you will. And I think a lot of a lot oforganizations they think about this in far too simplistic terms. They think ifI run a product promotion and we've got a great rate or an incentive, somewherelike that is a great strategy that might be part of the strategy. Butwhere we've seen organizations fall short is the trust building phase thatthat is really where the magic is. If yes, agree with that, you know if if welook at the Bankers Strategy circle, one of the biggest gaps we find is inthe nurturing component of the relationship and that nurturing has toehappen. Here's the key. It has toe happen digitally. There's never been afinancial brand that we've worked with that has an active nurture component.Before working with us that, at least from what we've talked about, at leastnot a well thought out one, right? So maybe maybe none of them do, I don'tknow. But one of the things that we see is a is a really a big opportunity fora lot of organizations. Those of you listening Here's what the consumerscrave knowledge, right? They ultimately crave knowledge and education centriccontent. And if you can educate them on what's relevant to them, meaning youhave tow have as you mentioned the data side. So you have some data, some dataabout the segment that you're going after or where they came in throughwhat channel they came in through what content they were looking at, and I caneducate them on what might be most relevant to them and give them somevalue. That part of that whole nurturing process is something thatalmost always gets, gets blown or missed that we see and be interested inyour experience. It's a very simple mantra. Once again. Easy, Thio say,easy to understand, easy to remember, harder to get the cultural buying, andthat's where we come back to the purpose. Help first sell seconds.People are looking for that guidance. They wanna have a guide, right? Theywanted somebody to guide them if you want to be. If you think about assumingthe organizations that are talking with us assuming that everybody says wewanna have a relationship with this consumer that lasts their lifetime atleast theoretically, right? And we What does that mean? I wanna be able Thiosell to them or help them with additional financial products andservice services that will be impactful to them at what's going on in theirlife at that time. Well, the on leeway...

...you get there is if you start at thebeginning of the process and do it right, you can't really get there ifyou've already had ah, lack of if you were really just Onley transactionalthrough the whole time and you say Okay, now I wanna have a lifetimerelationship with this customer. You haven't put the work in. You haven'thad the trust building that you need Thio. It's an investment. It's aninvestment into someone else's well being. And if you if you take a stepback and you think about what someone once in life they really three things.They want to be healthy, they want to be wealthy, and it doesn't mean to be aBrazilian. Air is just I don't want that financial stress at night, right?They want them to go away. Exactly, because whenever that goes away, thenwhat? What can I be? I could be happy. And money is the thread that connectsall of those dots together and like the opportunity coming back to your pointof being the helpful guide, something I write about in the book. It's amethodology called story selling, and it really looks at like the narrativestructure that has been around for thousands and thousands of years, goingback to the earliest stories of Like Gilgamesh, for example, there could only be, ah, hero and ahelpful guide in this story. And that's the world that we play is a financialbrand were the Obi Wan Kenobi's of the World, where the Mr Miyagi is where theYoda's and were guiding the Luke Skywalker's to help them, you know, getbeyond whatever pain is holding them back. Yeah, I agree in in terms of thestory side and how people want to be guided and what we see right now. Ifyou look at and you take all the events that have happened, you say Okay, howdoes this translate into digital transformation? And you guys weretalking about a lot of, you know, touchy feely type building trust andeverything. If you want to grow and you want to drive profit and you want todrive growth, which you have to as an organization or you're going to getstepped over and you're going to go backwards So I don't think it's it'sreally an option, I think is an organization. You have to go there andwhat is the best way to do it? Well, the best way is to do it in a waythat's gonna actually have a You're gonna have deeper relationships withthe customers that you have. And as you're requiring them, you're doing itin a way that it doesn't have to mean that you're going to put all theseadditional resource is on top of it. Ah, lot of times it just means you're gonnaput some content and communication in place that's going to be complimentary.You're going to be surfacing to your customer facing teams what types ofthings they should be talking about to a specific customer as they're goingthrough that journey. So I want to hear from you in your experiences. You'retalking to banks and credit unions and their defining ah, customer journey andtheir understanding of it. What do you see? You talk about the touchy feely,and that's a big internal conflict that I that I hear. And I get someobjections, too. And I'm like, This is a human game. It is about that thetechnology, the technology to the tool to bring people together for good, tocreate value. It's the way that we communicate. But we also have to have alot of empathy when we look at the digital consumer shopping journey forfinancial product. Here's the thing from our research, we have found thataround 85 to 90% of financial brands have never shopped their digitalexperiences. That 78 yeah, let's say that one more time because that'sreally shocking. 85 to 90% of financial brands have never shopped or secretshopped their digital experiences, while around 70 to 80% plus arecontinuously shopping there in branch experience. Yeah, and so I think thatthe mist ake that we see organizations make, particularly if it's on maybe thecommercial side or you're on the maybe the mortgage side or some of them, orwhere it's more related. There is a some kind of a relationship, and sothey're like, Well, we've got relationships with those sets ofcustomers, But it's the brands that combine technology and the humanconnection part. Those are the ones that in our minds, and I believe youagree with this they're going to win in the future. They're gonna win morecustomers and more loyalty. If you wanna apply that practically it'sformulaic. It's the D X. It's the digital experience, plus the HX thehuman experience combined. That then yields and equals growth. And thatdigital experience can actually be broken down into three subsetexperience experiences, the lead experience with customer experience andthen the referral experience, and then on the human experience sidetraditionally delivered through technology. In this type of a medium,it's help and hope multiplied by empathy. And really, what people arelooking for is hope and hope oftentimes has to come before help you combinethose two together. That's that's an ex...

...exponential factor for financial brandon this journey. So I think empathy is a word that I've heard you use a coupleof times and I think is I'm looking is you're looking at the customer journeyand particularly right now, we looked at a lot of communication fromorganizations across the country, both that were customers of and our our teamor customers of. And we're looking at a lot of the content communication thathas been sent out, and so much of it wasn't in the right context. And Ithink what happens is when people don't think you care. You don't have thatempathy. They don't necessarily hear what else you have to say and eso aspart of this part of this strategy of really getting digital growth, havingcontext in your communication and making sure that it's actually you'reyou're having empathy and that you know what's important to these differenttypes of customers. Do you? How do you think about that? In terms of thehierarchy is importance? Yeah, I mean, content is the fuel of the digitalgrowth engine. It's what makes the gears turn. But the content is. I'm notgoing to say it's useless, but it's not as helpful if it's not contextual to aperson's specific pain points, their questions, their concerns, their fears,their frustrations. Because what we can do is we can use content to bring thecure the solution to those particular pain points. And when you think aboutthe complexities of just money, anything that we can do to provideclarity, to provide calm, to help reduce someone's anxiety, that's a stepin the right direction. And then we think about how do we apply it? It'sthrough kind of what you guys are doing with your platform, because now we canbring empathy, content and context to the market at scale. Yeah, it's justabout it's really about connecting the dots and to be able to have a reallyhigh quality customer journey, and everybody wants if you talk. If wecalled Ah 1000 financial organizations, almost every one of them is gonna listexperience customer experience towards the top. Where I think you get a lot ofdifferent answers is what does that mean? And if you think about the factthat the experience it covers every interaction from the first time whenyou think about a lead, for example, the lead might be somebody that lookedat your site and downloaded a white paper or a piece of information about atype of loan product. Maybe they're coming to you about the P P P programand so that at that moment okay, every interaction that happens subsequentlyis going to either build trust and and improve experience, or it's going todecrease it. And that sets the tone toe loyalty. So ah, lot of this is aboutwhen you start at the beginning of the journey from our conversations and ourexperience, we start at the beginning of that journey. Are you able, Thio?Then utilize the data and drive those those really personalizedcommunications with some scale so that you don't have to say, Hey, I got 100or 500 or 5000 people that are out dealing with our customers. How do wecontrol everything they're doing? Well, you're not going to control everything,but what you can do is you can augment it, enhance it, and you can make surethat you you minimize any mistake's right. You said that a word you talkedabout Scaled, and I want to take a step back and actually unpacked the idea ofcustomer experience just for a moment. Because it's one of those big buzzwords that I hear get throwing around in border rooms. Let's academically tofind customer experience. Customer experience. It comes back systems andprocesses that have been defined applied. And here's the secretoptimized over a set period of time, resulting in ah, positive or a negativeemotion. It can take weeks, months, even years to get up enough depositsand consumers trust fund between their ears. It could take minutes, evenseconds, to deplete that and have to start all over again. All right, so wegot quite a bit more we want to cover in the next 10 or 15 minutes or so. SoI'm gonna I'm gonna keep moving. Here is we look at the customer experienceand we sort of defined how how people look at or how you need to look at it.Then the most common way to start improving things in your organization.If you look at what are your goals? I wanted to create growth and profit, Ofcourse, How do I do that? I want to be a better or a more frequent partner,more consistent partner to my customers and, well, how do you do that? Step onein in our minds is I'm gonna look for Aziz you mentioned in the triageconversation. I'm going to start looking for those gaps in the customerexperience, right? And as I look at it,...

...there's some common gaps that we see.But I'd love to know from your experience. What are we alluded to alittle bit of this earlier, so I don't want to make you repeat it, but I thinkit's important, and I want to see what else you have to say about stopping sothree gaps. Gap number one. It's a gap in the nurturing of a lead or aprospect. The solution here is to take a proactive stance in a person'sjourney versus taking the traditional reactive stance, waiting for someone toraise their hand, saying I need help, really, if we move our way down intothe sea of the Bankers Strategy Circle conversion. That is often one of thebiggest low hanging fruit opportunities to create value to capture value fromsimply for the fact that people abandoned loan application and depositapplications all the time. So let me hammer on that really quickly because Ithink it's so powerful what you just said. So if I focus, if I do what yousaid and I focused on, I want to improve my conversion. This is takingpeople that have already shown intent, right? They've shown intent to dobusiness with your organization and nurturing. Give me Give me like a 32nd.What would you dio obviously communicate? But talk us through, Talkthe audience through that a little bit in the nurturing stage? Yeah. Yeah.Okay, so I'm a Homebuyer buying homes complex. I go to Google. How do I buy ahome in Houston, Texas? What do I need to do? What do I even start? I end upon a community financial brands website. They have the complete guide to buyingthe home you love as a resource. They're not trying to get me to applyfor a mortgage. They're not trying to get me toe check out their rates.They're just saying, Hey, here's a helpful guide to get the home you love.Well, that looks interesting. So then I put my name in my email address.They're not asking for anything beyond that. I download the guide. They're nottrying to get married right away. They're trying toe. They're justgetting a little bit of information. So and then go into a nurture face. Yeah,And so then it goes into using ah marketing automation platform. Kind oflike with what you guys were doing, and I'm going to get additional helpfulResource is. And based upon my engagement with these emails, theymight be text message based upon my engagement, that journey would begin tobecome a little bit more personalized the contextual piece of this so they'llbe able to say, You know what? He actually he's a little bit furtheralong in that journey because here's the thing when it comes to financialproducts, these air long buying journeys they take, you know, weeks,sometimes months even. And if we can just keep our name in front of them notpromoting a product but helping first and selling second, we can become thehelpful guide. People are looking for mapping that out very critical. Nexttopic I want to cover here before we run out of time for the day. So we wantto talk about maximizing technology organizations in order to really dothis and scale it and make the leaps so many of these brands would like to make.They gotta maximize tech. And what's the biggest challenge for? What do yousee in any thoughts on maybe how to avoid it? Martek Sales Tech It doesn'tmatter. Ah, lot of financial brands are getting sold. Rainbows and unicorns.Yeah, we've talked about that before. What do you mean by that? Like breakthat down a little bit more for the audience. You know, they buy technologyfrom a third party. The third party oversells it. It's gonna be so simple.It's gonna make life so easy. And then after they go through their 30 days ofon boarding financial brand on their team, they're left to their own devices.And so where do they end up? They feel confused. They feel frustrated. Theyfeel overwhelmed. And they're like, What do we do next? It's kind of likebuying Ah, car. You know they're going to buy the Rolls Royce, but the RollsRoyce just sits in the garage when all they really needed was just the Lexus.Yeah, and I think you you alluded to one of the things that we always makerecommendations on. And this goes across the tech landscape, not justwith people that, or looking to do two things in the customer engagementmarketing space, which is where we're at, but really any of the techtransformation that you need a partner with organizations partner with vendorsthat are going to stand by you for the life of the agreement and partner withyou. And we see that as well. We see a lot of because, you know, it's hard.This stuff is hard, it's heavy lifting. And the 1st 30 days is, generallyspeaking, getting started. And so having that alignment with not just onevendor but the core vendors that you that you have in your stack, make sureyou have the partners because that's the iteration that has toe happen.Without that iteration, you really don't end up getting the values. Ithink of what ultimately you're saying is that is that accurate? It is, andit's kind of like, you know, how you guys operate from. We're not only justgonna provide the platform. We're gonna...

...show you what to do. We're going tocoach. You were going to guide you were gonna teach. You were gonna empower youso you could take this and do it even better than ever. Thought possible.Once again, define apply. Optimize. Make it even better over a long periodof time. Because what we're building here, our marketing assets that createexponential value over a year 2345 year period. It's not just to here, and thenow is value creation over an extended period of time. And it just to kind ofsummarize some of the things that that you've said that I think are reallyvaluable, obviously starting on that triage side, identifying the areaswhere you can make an impact, right? Of course, when you're when you'redeciding and working with tech providers having the ability to do walk,crawl, run. We've talked about this and and feel free toe. Correct me if I'moff based on some of the things that you've said in our conversations, whereI'm generally seeking out your opinion on on the best approach and a lot oftimes it's partner with vendors that can do a walk crawl runs where they canprove some value to you in a fairly short amount of time and then go on tothe next chunk. Is that Is that still how you think about it is stillconsistent, even with everything that went on out there lately? You know?Walk, crawl, run. This is like running a marathon. You just don't get up andsay, you know what? I'm gonna go run 26.2. No, you have to go through. Youknow, I got to get myself condition. I gotta build up my confidence. You don'trun by yourself. You get a running partner, you have something to hold youaccount accountable. You do a five K, then a 10-K, maybe than a half. And sowhat you're doing is you're building your confidence up over time with thispartner. You're not doing it alone. Pilot programs are a great way to getproof of concept because you're not over selling anything. You're notmaking unrealistically expectations because what happens when expectationsare not fulfilled? People get upset. They feel frustrated. So pilot programs,quick winds, low hanging fruit and we talked about this. Reinforce it. Thenurturing stage of the buying journey, the conversion stage of the buyingjourney. Keep it simple. Keep it focused. The only way to escape thecomplexity of digital is through a path of simplicity. Don't try to boil theocean. Yeah, so go simple attack, the attack, the nurture and the people thathave shown intent that you're just forgetting about that or what we callslipping through the gaps in the journey. And if I want to get moreadvanced, I would say the next step and love your feedback on this. The nextstep would. Then how am I going to expand on that relationship and part ofwhat you said was having a ratings and reviews program and then also, it'sbeing able to use my data to engage with those people that have alreadybecome a customer. Remember that, Yes, let's break. Yeah, let's break up bothsides of the equation, the ratings and the reviews and really even thereferrals building referrals into the process because a lot of financialbrands will measure like net promoter score. It's a vanity metric. I mean,great. Your net promoter scores like 9.2 or 92. What I want to see is toturn that insight, that data to your point. I want to turn that into action.I want to take my promoters and asked them to refer their friends or theirfamily to the financial brand. And let's throw in incentive behind that aswell. And in some use cases we've seen, like a 15 to 20% conversion rate onreferrals. So that's the ratings reviews and referrals. Because theother thing, too we have to look at is how much is a member or a customerinfluencing the buying journey of someone else, Those stars that you seewhen you go and Google your financial brand And you see the Google placescome up those stars that you see subconsciously impact other futureprospects. So ensuring that we're asking for people to rate and leavethose reviews very critical piece of this journey. The data side. That'ssomething that we could have a whole another discussion about, because it'swe can use the data we can, and and and and there's really three parts, there'sthe data, there's the analytics. Then there's the insights that come from theanalytics. Looking for the last part is action it is and and looking for theopportunities that people might not even be aware of, that how you might beable to help them taking what once again, a proactive stance in a person'slife, not just a reactive stance. And so if you look at the data side and somany rands out there, they're short on Resource is their data sets complex.It's not connected. It's a massive lift. And I think going back and focusing onthis is a This is a marathon. There is no question The good part that we'vecovered today is you can absolutely drive value for your customers andultimately growth in the business by starting small, starting with whateverslice that you can get to, that you can...

...start working on improving and then, asyou have additional levels of resource is or additional layers of resource is,start connecting all those different data sets and chunk that project out,and just to kind of put a bow on some of this, and if you attack that on thedata side, you can start looking at you can increase. I mean, we've talkedabout increasing pull through on application rates by 15 to 30%. Yes,that's a low hanging fruit opportunity. Someone goes to your website. Theyclick the apply button, they start the application process, and we know 85 9093% abandoned that application for one reason or another. It's complex. Theygot distracted. They needed to get some other piece of information simply bycapturing a name and an email and a phone number to do some outboundoutreach to them. Yeah, we have seen the use cases of 15 to 30% additionalpull through with no extra effort at the top of the funnel. No thing this isno extra spend, by the way, right? This is not spending more money and manytimes, some some organizations that we see they've already got pieces of thetechnology. Maybe they need something to come in and augments that or more.Maybe just connect the dots for him. But it's it's really money that is justsimply kind of falling through the cracks. And I think more important thanthe money where we've seen lately is the importance of being able to connectin a deeper way with those customers, right? It's not just about the money ofthat transaction, but it's having a true customer for life. And if youthink about how valuable a lifetime relationship with a customer is, it'shard to wrap your mind around how and we take. You know, part is, it's ourindustry, right? We partner with these organizations. But how is everyone notgiven MAWR attention to creating customer for life scenario? And I thinkit's just been, you know, give me your thoughts as kind of a parting thought.Here, it's just been the pace of everything has been kind of insane, andnow it's just netting it all out. And where we've come back to is that it'sstill all about the customer relationship, isn't it? It is. You know,this is, ah, human game. It's a people game, and whenever we put people at thecenter of all of our thinking and doing it makes it so much easier because thetechnology kind of fall, that's what I think the complexity comes into. It'slike, Oh my gosh, there's so much technology involved, particularly ifyou've been in this industry for 2030 40 years parting thought, Don't letbeer, whether it be yourself, your team, your organization keep you from movingforward along this journey. Don't let the fear of the unknown don't let thefear of change Don't let the fear of failure don't let the fear of successeven holds you back from moving forward, and you don't have to do this alone.There are a lot of good people like you and your team doing great things toprovide the guidance, the help and the hope for these financial brands. Thoseare great great comments James, Robert And as always, the knowledge that thatyou bring to the space and the expertise is second to none. I knowwe've We've learned a lot from from working together and listening to thestuff you're working on. And I know so many of the brands that you've helpedare are extremely grateful. This was such a fun conversation, and I reallyappreciate the questions Joe asked me. In fact, Joe and I enjoyed thisfireside chats so much that we have a follow up discussion that I'll besharing with you soon. And as you listen to the good questions, Joe askedme, Maybe you have a question of your own that came to mind. Now is the timeto text me that question. That digital marketing, that digital sales questionthat you've been thinking about and you'd like to get answers to on afuture podcast episode. Text that question to 4155793004 That's four and55793004 And remember, the only bad question is the question that goesunasked until next time, and it is always be, Well, do good and wash yourhands. Thank you for listening to anotherepisode of Banking on Digital Growth with James Robert Ley. Like what youhear? 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. MawrPractical and proven insights, visit www dot digital growth dot com to graba preview of James Roberts bestselling book Banking on Digital Growth or ordera copy right now for you and your team from Amazon. Inside, you'll find astrategic marketing and sales blueprint framed around 12 key areas of focusthat empower you to confidently generate 10 times more loans anddeposits until next time, be well and...

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