Banking on Digital Growth
Banking on Digital Growth

Episode · 1 year 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. Thanks for joining me for the 59th episode of the Banking on Digital Growth podcast today. We're gonna go inside digital growth as I share a conversation I recently had with Joe. Well, you CEO of told Expert. During a fireside chat hosted by the financial brand, Joe asked me some really good questions as we talk about what digital growth really is. The need to stop and pause to define digital consumer journeys and how to maximize growth and build trust through technology, among many other good areas of focus. To educate and empower you enjoy the show you're listening to Banking on Digital Growth with James Robert Lay, a podcast that empowers financial brand marketing, sales and leadership teams to maximize their digital growth potential by generating 10 times more loans and deposits. Today's episode is part of the inside digital growth Siri's, where James Robert shares answers to some of the biggest digital marketing and sales questions he gets from the digital growth community. Have a question you want to get answers to on a future episode. Visit www dot go ask jr dot com to submit your question today. Now Let's go inside. Digital growth. We've been talking about getting together for a while, having a conversation about this topic. And now, man, your timing was amazing on the book. Obviously, I know you didn't anticipate what was going to be transpiring this year, but talk us through the book a little bit. Let's start out there and give us a little overview on on the book. So the book is a strategic marketing manifesto. It has 12 key principles or calls to action that I would like to see financial brands move forward with the help them escape the circle of complexity that is really holding so many back, the circle of chaos. And now it's We could look at this as an opportunity to to turn inwards, or we could look at this as an opportunity to turn outwards and really help those in the communities that we serve. Yeah, for sure, man, I honestly, we look at the past few months and we'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 first responders to everything that's happening in the country, and we saw them respond in a way that was amazing in my mind, because we're used to seeing things take years when it comes to digital transformation. And we saw so many organizations completely do huge transformation and change in the way 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 what you've seen? I mean, you're right. What we saw transpire was initially a health crisis. That, as I spoke and I wrote about back in March would quickly become a financial health crisis. It has been amazing to see the pivot or almost cove it being a forcing function to transpire the digital first conversation. One of the things that I'm really encouraged about is really putting people at the center of all of the thinking and all of the doing. And even though we're apart, Digital has allowed financial brands to still be together with the people that really need the most help in the communities that they're serving. Yeah, I I would agree. And you see, all of a sudden being there for your customers and staying connected to your customers had a whole new meaning. And with that on all the events that have happened, all the unfortunate things many of the organizations that that we've talked with 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 our communication to improve our entire digital strategy. So that leads us to really the topic of the day, which is digital growth. So let's let's kick off by talking about how you define digital growth. I mean, you're one of, if not the most respected guy in this space. And I know so many organizations that have worked with you speak so highly of your knowledge and just your understanding and really command of the topic. So enlighten us on what your thoughts are, what it means. And let's start there. Let's actually start talking about why this is a problem in the first place and one of the first problems that we need to address. When we go in and we work with the financial brand, we assess diagnosis situation. The question that we ask is what is digital growth. It's an open ended question and the responses that we see repeatedly, 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. What we're looking at through the lens of digital growth is acquisition and retention growth activities that were traditionally built for the physical world 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 projects that 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 and engage with the customer through the first time they come in contact with the brand all the way through, right, So the entire journey communication is central to achieving digital growth. It's just the ways that we communicate with prospects with leads with customers with members. That's been the big transformation over the years, but it's just communication, just like we're doing right now, I can see you. I'm reading your body language. I'm getting so much more communication, not only through your voice, but also through the video as well. Yeah. Yeah. So who would have thought that it would be? It would be completely normal that so many people would be comfortable on video right now that's happening. And we're starting to see that in some of the banks and credit means that we're talking with. So I'm gonna ask you point blank question here, and you can answer it as directly as you're comfortable with. But as Covad really changes Kobe 19 really changed the way banks 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 the future. It showed us in a very short period of time. What is actually possible? What is actually achievable with a digital first, a digital growth mindset. 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 entire organization transforming how they think about growth. What they member first a customer first perspective. I mean, it's it's really not about the digital 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 outcome that's going to be best for them. It ends up being You have to have the digital capabilities combined with the people side, which we've talked about multiple 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 looked at. I'm gonna have my marketing running over here. I'm gonna have my sales or my customer teams going this direction, engaging with the customers, and now we're looking at it as one really ecosystem and an orchestration of those activities. How do you think about is that how you think about it? And we talked about the concept of It's really a growth team. It's not marketing, it's not sales or service. So if we look at this from the traditional lens or the legacy lens, you do have marketing on one side and marketing is controlling the brand positioning. They're generating leads, hopefully. But the frustration for marketing is whatever they say to the sales team. They were getting 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 us saying You're not getting us the right types of leads. And I think that type of internal friction and frustration is detrimental to a financial brand moving forward with digital growth. So if we just removed the labels per se of marketing and cells and we combine them under one umbrella of just, say, the growth team and unified them around a common purpose of growth, that's a transformative factor that can really accelerate the progress Ah financial brand 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'd love toe, have alignment. We'd love toe, have data integrated in a way to where are our marketing and engagement side of the company of the business is really 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's so overwhelming. The data silos, the in some cases projects where we've they've invested huge amounts of money that they haven't seen the outcome. They haven't seen the results. How do you start, man? How do you start if you're on the other, You're in the audience right now. This is something that I recommend to every financial brand that we have ever worked with. It's a It's a little poem by Shel Silverstein about this girl named Melinda May, and she tried 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. She took 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 the progress that we're making on this journey by looking at where we've come from, not by looking ahead of what we have to do, because if we do that, it will 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 a lot of conversations and a lot of projects toe where you can see the path that ah lot of brands follow. And if they start looking at all the things there 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's just nurtured. Maybe it's nurturing people that have shown intent or interest in the brand, but they haven't yet become a customer. Maybe it's just that and you're gonna You're gonna drive some engagement, nurturing their that. That could be one example, right? Do you have any thoughts on how to stow that first step? Maybe. Yeah, like, let's break this up into three key activities. We have triage, we have treatment, and then we have transformative activities. Triage is it's what we can fix in the here and the Now it's the quick wins. It's the low hanging fruit that's just waiting to be captured. Treatment is where we establish from foundational systems and processes for example, the nurturing as you reference to where we can build upon that progress because what this is really about. It's about getting quick winds, getting some mo mentum. Because when we do that, we helped to build the confidence of the team, the confidence of the organization that you know what we 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 more momentum. And it's just almost like a flywheel. And the results of the triage could be different at each organization. Right? If you're if you're a mid sized or small credit union versus ah ah, large community or regional bank, that might 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's really you're evaluating everything that's going on and saying okay that I can handle, and we could actually take action on it in the next 90 days. Where 60 days? Yeah, one of things I read about in the book is developing a digital growth mindset and its its first diagnosing are assessing the situation objectively because a lot of times we just don't know what we don't know, and there's no harm, no foul with that. But once we assess, then we get some awareness in tow. Hey, here are the opportunities that we can capture here with roadblocks that we need to eliminate. And from there, Once we have that awareness, we could get some alignment and take action. But we take action. We break things down smaller 90 days and then we can reevaluate and reapply 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, and then we'll reassess after that 90 day period and then apply that learning going forward once again. One of the things that we've learned that it's very difficult or challenging for a lot of organizations is that mindset shift that is required not just within one piece of the business, but it's really required within the I t side of the business within the business line itself. Executive leadership. How do you think about that? In terms of order of importance, if you're going to actually have a growth mindset as an organization, getting everybody on the same page is critical, right? Oh my gosh. And a lot of that problem can be solved by defining a common purpose in a purpose statement that becomes a positioning statement that gets internal buying an alignment that helps to attract the right type of people externally. But you said something really critical, that idea of a growth mindset, because I think with all of the exponential change in consumer behavior, 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 the growth gap. Or the gap is where we gripe about problems so having a purpose that's greater than the traditional mission or vision statement, but one that is framed around the problems of the people that were serving. I found that to be a transformative exercise to get the eternal 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, we have a lot of young engineers and...

...technical people that are coming into our company. And, you know, I heard I heard a comment a few months ago that okay, we help banks and lenders and credit unions get more business. That's not really inspiring, right? And said, Whoa, wait a second, actually, if you think about what we are, what our purpose is and what our goal is for and I know when you're working with customers, your goal is, well, you want the organization. You want to create a scenario where they can be a lifetime partner for that consumer. Ah, lifetime financial partner. And if they're accomplishing that, the outcomes that the consumer is having are gonna be superior or that it's not gonna happen if they're not a lifetime true lifetime partner, meaning they're helping advise and make decisions offering products and services in a strategic way. You have any thoughts on that? I mean, that was sort of our takeaways and and I only go down that path because you mentioned 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 this vertical and almost really every vertical today. They've all been commoditized because of digital. The way that we escaped that commoditization is to define ah, purpose that puts the transformation of people far and beyond the traditional transaction. Because money is money is an 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 mental well being. And people are looking for someone that they can trust to guide them beyond that stress towards a bigger, better, brighter future. Transformations over transactions 100%. And we've looked at right now with the unfortunate events that have happened in the world, the financial system in this country has got an incredible opportunity to make a tremendous amount of progress in rebuilding. Trust with the consumers was lost in the last financial crisis relief right today. If you look at all of the programs, the P P P loans that are there for small businesses. They're really the stewards of these programs in the capital and the money piece. It's so critical to the businesses and people's lives and the impact that these organizations have the ability to make. And I know many of the conversations I've had with our customers is how focused they've been at taking action, getting money in the hands of people that needed money. And and many of them that were able to do that at a really high level had said, Okay, we've we've invested in some of the transformation. Now we're seeing the benefit on being ableto mawr, fluidly communicate, being able to get to the customer segments, communicate with this group based on what's important to them right now. And and so you know, I agree with you on just how important it all is and what a what a great time this is to to be in the industry. So let's let's move on to defining a sui look at digital growth and understanding it and developing a playbook. The customer journey is ultimately it's so vital to understand it, toe, optimize it and to continuously focus on it break that down for us a little bit, and I know you go into a lot in the book. Yeah, so you know the customer journey that is the central thesis of digital growth. If we academically to find digital growth to come back to the previous question, digital growth is it's just systems and processes that are centered around the consumer journey. The challenge of a lot of financial brands is that they either a, have it documented the consumer journey, digital first or be. Maybe they've dabbled in that type of consumer journey mapping, but there's a lot of gaps in the journey that they can come back and and bridge. And so the way that we look at this is an acronym called 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 of acronyms and it za self serving tool with a little bit of a D D. It's very easy to get distracted, so I've found over the years that acronyms are just a way to help me remember something. A process of methodology and so banker is actually be a n c e r. You just I could come up with anything for the K. So you wanna 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 flow what 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 of content here today. But ultimately, we want to give people bite sized chunks that they could take away and use day today as their back to running the organization. So break this down. I...

...think this is an important piece. This strategy circle is one of the most practical models of financial brand can apply, can think through, can optimize around. And so let's break this down step by step and weaken dialogue with with each of these points. If you wanna go, go down it. The be Step Number one is to build an audience with data. Once we build an audience with data, we can then begin to move to the A or attract leads with personalized offers. Then and only then can we nurture those leads the in with automation and content. Because as we're moving someone through this buying journey, people have to know us first, then like us, and then through the nurturing were placing deposits into a Consumers trust fund that sits between their ears. And once that we reach a level of trust that, like you know what, really like what these guys stand for. It's more than just about dollars and cents. I get a sense that they're caring for me and my well being. We could finally move to the sea and convert those leads for loans and deposits. So build an audience, attract leads, nurture leads with automation and content, and convert those leads for loans and deposits. Once we convert those leads, we can expand the relationships by delighting accounts. And one of the greatest Blue Ocean opportunities is the R. Repeat the entire process with ratings, with reviews and with referrals because that's just gonna move someone else right back to that whole process. Once again, what we call the flywheel, right? Ultimately, if you're if you're running a true flywheel of growth, you have that attract engage in May is happening all the time is creating advocates. Is creating people that really love doing business with you because you've you've added value in a way that maybe others had You made them feel special. I want to talk a little bit about the first parts of the journey here and building an audience in a attract phase, if you will. And I think a lot of a lot of organizations they think about this in far too simplistic terms. They think if I run a product promotion and we've got a great rate or an incentive, somewhere like that is a great strategy that might be part of the strategy. But where we've seen organizations fall short is the trust building phase that that is really where the magic is. If yes, agree with that, you know if if we look at the Bankers Strategy circle, one of the biggest gaps we find is in the nurturing component of the relationship and that nurturing has toe happen. Here's the key. It has toe happen digitally. There's never been a financial 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 least not a well thought out one, right? So maybe maybe none of them do, I don't know. But one of the things that we see is a is a really a big opportunity for a lot of organizations. Those of you listening Here's what the consumers crave knowledge, right? They ultimately crave knowledge and education centric content. And if you can educate them on what's relevant to them, meaning you have tow have as you mentioned the data side. So you have some data, some data about the segment that you're going after or where they came in through what channel they came in through what content they were looking at, and I can educate them on what might be most relevant to them and give them some value. That part of that whole nurturing process is something that almost always gets, gets blown or missed that we see and be interested in your experience. It's a very simple mantra. Once again. Easy, Thio say, easy to understand, easy to remember, harder to get the cultural buying, and that's where we come back to the purpose. Help first sell seconds. People are looking for that guidance. They wanna have a guide, right? They wanted somebody to guide them if you want to be. If you think about assuming the organizations that are talking with us assuming that everybody says we wanna have a relationship with this consumer that lasts their lifetime at least theoretically, right? And we What does that mean? I wanna be able Thio sell to them or help them with additional financial products and service services that will be impactful to them at what's going on in their life at that time. Well, the on leeway...

...you get there is if you start at the beginning of the process and do it right, you can't really get there if you've already had ah, lack of if you were really just Onley transactional through the whole time and you say Okay, now I wanna have a lifetime relationship with this customer. You haven't put the work in. You haven't had the trust building that you need Thio. It's an investment. It's an investment into someone else's well being. And if you if you take a step back 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 a Brazilian. 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, then what? What can I be? I could be happy. And money is the thread that connects all of those dots together and like the opportunity coming back to your point of being the helpful guide, something I write about in the book. It's a methodology called story selling, and it really looks at like the narrative structure that has been around for thousands and thousands of years, going back to the earliest stories of Like Gilgamesh, for example, there could only be, ah, hero and a helpful guide in this story. And that's the world that we play is a financial brand were the Obi Wan Kenobi's of the World, where the Mr Miyagi is where the Yoda's and were guiding the Luke Skywalker's to help them, you know, get beyond whatever pain is holding them back. Yeah, I agree in in terms of the story side and how people want to be guided and what we see right now. If you look at and you take all the events that have happened, you say Okay, how does this translate into digital transformation? And you guys were talking about a lot of, you know, touchy feely type building trust and everything. If you want to grow and you want to drive profit and you want to drive growth, which you have to as an organization or you're going to get stepped over and you're going to go backwards So I don't think it's it's really an option, I think is an organization. You have to go there and what is the best way to do it? Well, the best way is to do it in a way that's gonna actually have a You're gonna have deeper relationships with the customers that you have. And as you're requiring them, you're doing it in a way that it doesn't have to mean that you're going to put all these additional resource is on top of it. Ah, lot of times it just means you're gonna put 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 of things they should be talking about to a specific customer as they're going through that journey. So I want to hear from you in your experiences. You're talking to banks and credit unions and their defining ah, customer journey and their 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 some objections, too. And I'm like, This is a human game. It is about that the technology, the technology to the tool to bring people together for good, to create value. It's the way that we communicate. But we also have to have a lot of empathy when we look at the digital consumer shopping journey for financial product. Here's the thing from our research, we have found that around 85 to 90% of financial brands have never shopped their digital experiences. That 78 yeah, let's say that one more time because that's really shocking. 85 to 90% of financial brands have never shopped or secret shopped their digital experiences, while around 70 to 80% plus are continuously shopping there in branch experience. Yeah, and so I think that the mist ake that we see organizations make, particularly if it's on maybe the commercial side or you're on the maybe the mortgage side or some of them, or where it's more related. There is a some kind of a relationship, and so they're like, Well, we've got relationships with those sets of customers, But it's the brands that combine technology and the human connection part. Those are the ones that in our minds, and I believe you agree with this they're going to win in the future. They're gonna win more customers and more loyalty. If you wanna apply that practically it's formulaic. It's the D X. It's the digital experience, plus the HX the human experience combined. That then yields and equals growth. And that digital experience can actually be broken down into three subset experience experiences, the lead experience with customer experience and then the referral experience, and then on the human experience side traditionally delivered through technology. In this type of a medium, it's help and hope multiplied by empathy. And really, what people are looking for is hope and hope oftentimes has to come before help you combine those two together. That's that's an ex...

...exponential factor for financial brand on this journey. So I think empathy is a word that I've heard you use a couple of times and I think is I'm looking is you're looking at the customer journey and particularly right now, we looked at a lot of communication from organizations across the country, both that were customers of and our our team or customers of. And we're looking at a lot of the content communication that has been sent out, and so much of it wasn't in the right context. And I think what happens is when people don't think you care. You don't have that empathy. They don't necessarily hear what else you have to say and eso as part of this part of this strategy of really getting digital growth, having context in your communication and making sure that it's actually you're you're having empathy and that you know what's important to these different types of customers. Do you? How do you think about that? In terms of the hierarchy is importance? Yeah, I mean, content is the fuel of the digital growth engine. It's what makes the gears turn. But the content is. I'm not going to say it's useless, but it's not as helpful if it's not contextual to a person's specific pain points, their questions, their concerns, their fears, their frustrations. Because what we can do is we can use content to bring the cure the solution to those particular pain points. And when you think about the complexities of just money, anything that we can do to provide clarity, to provide calm, to help reduce someone's anxiety, that's a step in the right direction. And then we think about how do we apply it? It's through kind of what you guys are doing with your platform, because now we can bring empathy, content and context to the market at scale. Yeah, it's just about it's really about connecting the dots and to be able to have a really high quality customer journey, and everybody wants if you talk. If we called Ah 1000 financial organizations, almost every one of them is gonna list experience customer experience towards the top. Where I think you get a lot of different answers is what does that mean? And if you think about the fact that the experience it covers every interaction from the first time when you think about a lead, for example, the lead might be somebody that looked at your site and downloaded a white paper or a piece of information about a type of loan product. Maybe they're coming to you about the P P P program and so that at that moment okay, every interaction that happens subsequently is going to either build trust and and improve experience, or it's going to decrease it. And that sets the tone toe loyalty. So ah, lot of this is about when you start at the beginning of the journey from our conversations and our experience, we start at the beginning of that journey. Are you able, Thio? Then utilize the data and drive those those really personalized communications with some scale so that you don't have to say, Hey, I got 100 or 500 or 5000 people that are out dealing with our customers. How do we control 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 sure that you you minimize any mistake's right. You said that a word you talked about Scaled, and I want to take a step back and actually unpacked the idea of customer experience just for a moment. Because it's one of those big buzz words that I hear get throwing around in border rooms. Let's academically to find customer experience. Customer experience. It comes back systems and processes that have been defined applied. And here's the secret optimized over a set period of time, resulting in ah, positive or a negative emotion. It can take weeks, months, even years to get up enough deposits and consumers trust fund between their ears. It could take minutes, even seconds, to deplete that and have to start all over again. All right, so we got quite a bit more we want to cover in the next 10 or 15 minutes or so. So I'm gonna I'm gonna keep moving. Here is we look at the customer experience and 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, Of course, 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 one in in our minds is I'm gonna look for Aziz you mentioned in the triage conversation. I'm going to start looking for those gaps in the customer experience, 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 a little bit of this earlier, so I don't want to make you repeat it, but I think it's important, and I want to see what else you have to say about stopping so three gaps. Gap number one. It's a gap in the nurturing of a lead or a prospect. The solution here is to take a proactive stance in a person's journey versus taking the traditional reactive stance, waiting for someone to raise their hand, saying I need help, really, if we move our way down into the sea of the Bankers Strategy Circle conversion. That is often one of the biggest low hanging fruit opportunities to create value to capture value from simply for the fact that people abandoned loan application and deposit applications all the time. So let me hammer on that really quickly because I think it's so powerful what you just said. So if I focus, if I do what you said and I focused on, I want to improve my conversion. This is taking people that have already shown intent, right? They've shown intent to do business with your organization and nurturing. Give me Give me like a 32nd. What would you dio obviously communicate? But talk us through, Talk the 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 a home in Houston, Texas? What do I need to do? What do I even start? I end up on a community financial brands website. They have the complete guide to buying the home you love as a resource. They're not trying to get me to apply for 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 not trying to get married right away. They're trying toe. They're just getting 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 of like with what you guys were doing, and I'm going to get additional helpful Resource is. And based upon my engagement with these emails, they might be text message based upon my engagement, that journey would begin to become a little bit more personalized the contextual piece of this so they'll be able to say, You know what? He actually he's a little bit further along in that journey because here's the thing when it comes to financial products, 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 not promoting a product but helping first and selling second, we can become the helpful guide. People are looking for mapping that out very critical. Next topic I want to cover here before we run out of time for the day. So we want to talk about maximizing technology organizations in order to really do this 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 you see in any thoughts on maybe how to avoid it? Martek Sales Tech It doesn't matter. 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 break that down a little bit more for the audience. You know, they buy technology from 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 of on 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. They feel overwhelmed. And they're like, What do we do next? It's kind of like buying Ah, car. You know they're going to buy the Rolls Royce, but the Rolls Royce 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 make recommendations on. And this goes across the tech landscape, not just with people that, or looking to do two things in the customer engagement marketing space, which is where we're at, but really any of the tech transformation that you need a partner with organizations partner with vendors that are going to stand by you for the life of the agreement and partner with you. 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, generally speaking, getting started. And so having that alignment with not just one vendor but the core vendors that you that you have in your stack, make sure you have the partners because that's the iteration that has toe happen. Without that iteration, you really don't end up getting the values. I think of what ultimately you're saying is that is that accurate? It is, and it's kind of like, you know, how you guys operate from. We're not only just gonna provide the platform. We're gonna...

...show you what to do. We're going to coach. You were going to guide you were gonna teach. You were gonna empower you so 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 period of time. Because what we're building here, our marketing assets that create exponential value over a year 2345 year period. It's not just to here, and the now is value creation over an extended period of time. And it just to kind of summarize some of the things that that you've said that I think are really valuable, obviously starting on that triage side, identifying the areas where you can make an impact, right? Of course, when you're when you're deciding 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'm off based on some of the things that you've said in our conversations, where I'm generally seeking out your opinion on on the best approach and a lot of times it's partner with vendors that can do a walk crawl runs where they can prove some value to you in a fairly short amount of time and then go on to the next chunk. Is that Is that still how you think about it is still consistent, 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 and say, you know what? I'm gonna go run 26.2. No, you have to go through. You know, I got to get myself condition. I gotta build up my confidence. You don't run by yourself. You get a running partner, you have something to hold you account accountable. You do a five K, then a 10-K, maybe than a half. And so what you're doing is you're building your confidence up over time with this partner. You're not doing it alone. Pilot programs are a great way to get proof of concept because you're not over selling anything. You're not making unrealistically expectations because what happens when expectations are not fulfilled? People get upset. They feel frustrated. So pilot programs, quick winds, low hanging fruit and we talked about this. Reinforce it. The nurturing stage of the buying journey, the conversion stage of the buying journey. Keep it simple. Keep it focused. The only way to escape the complexity of digital is through a path of simplicity. Don't try to boil the ocean. Yeah, so go simple attack, the attack, the nurture and the people that have shown intent that you're just forgetting about that or what we call slipping through the gaps in the journey. And if I want to get more advanced, I would say the next step and love your feedback on this. The next step would. Then how am I going to expand on that relationship and part of what you said was having a ratings and reviews program and then also, it's being able to use my data to engage with those people that have already become a customer. Remember that, Yes, let's break. Yeah, let's break up both sides of the equation, the ratings and the reviews and really even the referrals building referrals into the process because a lot of financial brands 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 to turn 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 their family to the financial brand. And let's throw in incentive behind that as well. And in some use cases we've seen, like a 15 to 20% conversion rate on referrals. So that's the ratings reviews and referrals. Because the other thing, too we have to look at is how much is a member or a customer influencing the buying journey of someone else, Those stars that you see when you go and Google your financial brand And you see the Google places come up those stars that you see subconsciously impact other future prospects. So ensuring that we're asking for people to rate and leave those reviews very critical piece of this journey. The data side. That's something that we could have a whole another discussion about, because it's we can use the data we can, and and and and there's really three parts, there's the data, there's the analytics. Then there's the insights that come from the analytics. Looking for the last part is action it is and and looking for the opportunities that people might not even be aware of, that how you might be able to help them taking what once again, a proactive stance in a person's life, not just a reactive stance. And so if you look at the data side and so many 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 on this is a This is a marathon. There is no question The good part that we've covered today is you can absolutely drive value for your customers and ultimately growth in the business by starting small, starting with whatever slice that you can get to, that you can...

...start working on improving and then, as you 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 the data side, you can start looking at you can increase. I mean, we've talked about increasing pull through on application rates by 15 to 30%. Yes, that's a low hanging fruit opportunity. Someone goes to your website. They click the apply button, they start the application process, and we know 85 90 93% abandoned that application for one reason or another. It's complex. They got distracted. They needed to get some other piece of information simply by capturing a name and an email and a phone number to do some outbound outreach to them. Yeah, we have seen the use cases of 15 to 30% additional pull through with no extra effort at the top of the funnel. No thing this is no extra spend, by the way, right? This is not spending more money and many times, some some organizations that we see they've already got pieces of the technology. 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 just simply kind of falling through the cracks. And I think more important than the money where we've seen lately is the importance of being able to connect in a deeper way with those customers, right? It's not just about the money of that transaction, but it's having a true customer for life. And if you think about how valuable a lifetime relationship with a customer is, it's hard to wrap your mind around how and we take. You know, part is, it's our industry, right? We partner with these organizations. But how is everyone not given MAWR attention to creating customer for life scenario? And I think it'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, and now it's just netting it all out. And where we've come back to is that it's still 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 the center of all of our thinking and doing it makes it so much easier because the technology kind of fall, that's what I think the complexity comes into. It's like, Oh my gosh, there's so much technology involved, particularly if you've been in this industry for 2030 40 years parting thought, Don't let beer, whether it be yourself, your team, your organization keep you from moving forward along this journey. Don't let the fear of the unknown don't let the fear of change Don't let the fear of failure don't let the fear of success even 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 to provide the guidance, the help and the hope for these financial brands. Those are great great comments James, Robert And as always, the knowledge that that you bring to the space and the expertise is second to none. I know we've We've learned a lot from from working together and listening to the stuff you're working on. And I know so many of the brands that you've helped are are extremely grateful. This was such a fun conversation, and I really appreciate the questions Joe asked me. In fact, Joe and I enjoyed this fireside chats so much that we have a follow up discussion that I'll be sharing with you soon. And as you listen to the good questions, Joe asked me, Maybe you have a question of your own that came to mind. Now is the time to text me that question. That digital marketing, that digital sales question that you've been thinking about and you'd like to get answers to on a future podcast episode. Text that question to 4155793004 That's four and 55793004 And remember, the only bad question is the question that goes unasked until next time, and it is always be, Well, do good and wash your hands. Thank you for listening to another episode of Banking on Digital Growth with James Robert Ley. Like what you hear? Tell a friend about the podcast and leave us a review on Apple podcasts, Google Podcast or Spotify and subscribe while you're there to get even. Mawr Practical and proven insights, visit www dot digital growth dot com to grab a preview of James Roberts bestselling book Banking on Digital Growth or order a copy right now for you and your team from Amazon. Inside, you'll find a strategic marketing and sales blueprint framed around 12 key areas of focus that empower you to confidently generate 10 times more loans and deposits until next time, be well and...

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