Banking on Digital Growth
Banking on Digital Growth

Episode · 1 year ago

75) #ExponentialInsights: Building Your Brand From the Boring Middle ft. Chris Snyder

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Look at big sexy ad agencies.

They create funny commercials and spin off huge ad campaigns. They're the top.

Now, look at the bottom. You should see tech, web dev, mobile apps, and all that crazy stuff.

Okay, raise your eyes to the middle. The middle is landing page optimization, forms, and buyer psychology. The middle is MailChimp.

The middle is where you win.

In this episode of Banking on Digital Growth, I talk with Chris Snyder, founder of Banks.Com, a reliable and trustworthy source, democratizing access to information for financial brands and those they educate and empower.

We talked about:

- The value of Kolbe profiles to understand natural operating systems

- Why you need to double down on sustainability

- Ways to measure progress besides unit economics

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

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

At the end of the day, if you don't take care of that, the stuff you're doing to build great product, which is the Web Dev stuff or the stuff you're doing to be super sexy at the top and you don't converge those and you don't figure out a way to nurture and build and grow and get feedback and iterate and tie this all together. You're not gonna win. You're just not going to win. Mm mhm. 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 Exponential Insight series, where James Robert interviews the industry's top marketing sales and fintech leaders sharing practical wisdom to exponentially elevate you and your team. Let's get into the show Greetings and hello, I am James Robert Ley and welcome to the 75th episode of the Banking on Digital Growth podcast. Today's episode is part of the Exponential Insight series, and I'm excited to welcome Chris Snyder to the show. Chris is the founder of banks dot com, a reliable and trustworthy source, democratizing access to information for financial brands and those that financial brands educate and empower in the communities that they serve. Welcome to the show, Chris. Thanks, James. Thanks for having me. I'd like to open up a question or with a question from the table. Talk cards I got as a gift from my friends over at Total Expert. And that question is this. If you could eliminate one thing from your daily routine, what would it be and why anything that has to do with operations? Are we talking personal or professional? It is your It is your call, anything that has to do with operations. I gotta tell you, I cannot stand the tedious grind e operational load systems process. I just don't I don't love it. I have people that do that. I particularly like to do it. You know? I'm right there with you. You're in really good company. I have to ask. Have you ever taken a Kobe profile? Have you ever had your Kobe done your Kobe score? I've had a lot of these profiles done. I don't think that I've had a Kobe though. So Kobe is A is a tool that we use to help understand what a leaders natural operating system is. And it looks at four different areas of the mind and the cognitive part of the mind. The doing. So it's not about personality, it's not about intelligence. It's about just how you operate and how you do. So I'm willing to bet your very similar to me. I'm a 3294 I'm a three fact finder, meaning I don't need a lot of information giving the executive level summary. I'm a to follow through so really low on the operation side. I typically look to brake systems, and I'm a nine on the quick start meeting. I'm gonna go jump off a cliff and build the airplane as we're falling down at terminal Velocity. So we're in alignment on all of that. I'm ready just to go dive right in and not a ton of planning around that, just enough to make sure that we don't look silly and we don't do things that we're not supposed to be doing. But the rest is go, go do it. Everyone follow. Let's go. There's a lot of mess, and it's interesting It's interesting because the more that we Kobe financial brand leaders, the more we're discovering. They're the exact inverse of this, meaning they're super high. Fact finder. Super high follow through much lower on the quick start. But if you flip that once again to the Fintech model, Fintech is going to be probably more...

...along the lines of higher Quick Start. So it's a really great model, and you talked about like, Let's just jump in, Let's dive in. Let's do this. Let's talk about banks dot com. It's an amazing domain Number one. It's an an even better media property number two. That, once again, is democratizing access to information for financial brands and those that financial brands educating and empowering the community communities that they serve. What's the story that got you to this point today with banks dot com? Can you unpack that? Well, yeah, I'll follow up with the Kobe model. It was opportunistic. My wife and I are running a digital advertising agency. I'm in New York at a client site. They happen to invite me to a Christmas party, which I don't usually attend, but I'm like, What the heck? I meet the chief revenue officer from a publicly held company who loves that I love data and loves that were performance and loves that. We know a lot of this stuff about Internet marketing. We didn't do any traditional and still don't and he's like, maybe you can help us out. And so they had this portfolio of brands, and I wound up saying, What are you doing with this one? And it happened to be banks dot com and he said, I don't We're not doing anything with this thing and I go Well, I have a lot of ideas around that There was no deal in place. I was not going to be paid for this. This wasn't this was one of those moments where I saw an opportunity. I didn't exactly know where it was going to go, and I said I worked at experience. I worked at lower my bills. I've been in Financial Brand Legion. I saw the problems there. I couldn't stand some of the things that were going on at some of these companies, and I still can't and I saw the opportunity. Instead of complaining about it, I saw the opportunity right there to own that property and fix it. And I immediately created a deck, took me two or three weeks. I got in an airplane, flew out, presented it, they said, You're in and we started working on it and I've used on my own money to do this. So going back to the Kobe thing, that's how it happened. In a nutshell. There's there's a little bit more to it, but we saw the opportunity. We jumped on it. I like that and talking about the opportunity, looking out at the landscape today, there are so many different things financial brands could do to maximize their digital growth potential. And you've been in this vertical you've been in this space. What is one thing that you would recommend that where they should start? I would say Just focusing because, you know, try to do too much all at one time is is a is a path towards destruction. Let's bring this back down. What is one thing that they could maybe just focus on when it comes to this idea of, like digital legion digital growth? Yeah, well, it's a shiny object kind of industry changes constantly, and years ago not today. But years ago, I, too, have been guilty of trying to do too many things without the right people without the right culture. You get this information asymmetry, which means that if you sit at a bank and forget a bank, this could be any organization. Wherever you're sitting, you can be sitting at an e commerce brand, and if you're really good at making garments in fashion and style, you probably don't know a lot about code. You probably don't know how Google works, so that immediately puts you in a situation where it's going to be a symmetric as it relates to what you know and what someone says they know about Google, Facebook, hubspot, marketing automation, the long laundry list, no pun intended of things that you don't know. So my advice, my number...

...one advice to a lot of these brands, and it's some sun su advice. Don't go where everybody else is going to be competing in a battlefield where you're gonna get slaughtered, which means don't go and think that you're going to spend two or three or four or $500,000 a month on Google ads and compete with capital one on small business lending. That is a terrible idea just because it seems sexy and it seems like everybody else is doing it. Don't do that. So that's one example of something not to do what I'm challenging my clients to do and why we built banks dot com. This is not a sales pitch for banks dot com. You can do this yourself or find another platform that will help you do this. Figure out creative ways that you can focus on yourself and build sustainable content that best represents your brand. I didn't say product. I said Your brand and double down on sustainability move into more of a performance mindset instead of a results mindset because the results will follow the performance. That's such a great perspective because you mentioned Cap one. I mean Chase. JP Morgan Chase. Just their marketing budget in 2019 was $2.5 billion.2.5 billion dollars. That is a larger than the assets of the vast majority of financial brands stateside here in the US, and when you try to go head to head with a giant, unless you have a rock in your sling to take down the giant. You're probably going to your point, get slaughtered, and it's not going to be pretty. So that's where this perspective of focus of building sustainable content that's measuring progress, like the progress that you're making along this journey. Then let's talk about this idea of, of of legion because I I see that I see that as one of the biggest opportunities here. Because you run an ad or you place a piece of content, you send someone to a website, and only 2% are going to be ready to convert on that first visit. So therefore, you're gonna Well, we have a 98% abandonment rate. No, that's just That's not how people by financial services. It's a long buying journey. And so there's a vast opportunity and not necessarily at the top of the funnel, not even at the bottom of the funnel of the bottom of the funnel In the conversion. We can have a whole conversation about that, but it's the middle of the funnel. That's where I'm looking at the Blue Ocean because out of all the institutions that we've ever have diagnosed and have advised, no one is working in the middle of the funnel right now for lead, gen Lead capture and lead nurture from your perspective. Why is that? Why are we so focused? Top of funnel bottom of the funnel? But there's just such a gap in the middle of the funnel, which we have to come back from the lens of of the of the consumer and the in their own buying journey. Well, I don't know why I've never thought of it that way, but I'll tell you why. I think that because it's boring. Uh, it's boring. Look at the big, sexy ad agencies in those brilliant commercials and how funny they are. That's at the top. Anyone exciting wants to do that, skip the middle for a second and go right into tech Web Dev Mobile Apps, All that crazy stuff right now Look at the middle. The middle is landing page optimization. The middle is forms the middle is a little bit of bio psychology to go step by step. The middle is male chimp, bro. That's the...

...middle. So is it the most important thing? Yes, you're right. Probably because we spend so much money on the top. However, much money you're paying per click 235 $20 per click. You've got these abysmal conversion rates, which means you're paying 100 203 $100 for a lead or 50 or whatever the number is, right. Get out your calculator. But at the end of the day, if you don't take care of that, the stuff you're doing to build great product, which is the Web Dev stuff or the stuff you're doing to be super sexy at the top and you don't converge those and you don't figure out a way to nurture and build and grow and get feedback and iterate and tie this all together. You're not going to win. You're just not going to win at that point. It's the boring work because the top of the funnel, whether it's the branding perspective, the ad placement, it's the creative. It's the tangible. It's what people can touch, they can see they can feel, and we're already fighting a battle of overcoming the intangible nous of digital. So well, at least I can see what's going on up here at the top of the funnel because it makes me feel good. The bottom of the funnel to your point of, like Web Dev, et cetera. A lot of financial brands, their hands are tied right now because, particularly at the most important part of the journey being that point of conversion for the loan app for the deposit app, they're being held captive and held hostage by these third party firms that go off site. So there's a whole conversion tracking issue in and of itself there. But it's boring in the middle. Do the hard work today that no one is willing to do right there and you're you're planting seeds that literally. It's almost like like farming. You're planting seeds that can be literally nurtured through content through guidance, providing help and hope to lead them down that path towards conversion. That may or may not be the best experience what you're working within the limitations that you have to maximize. Maximize your digital growth. And so there are three ways to drive traffic into this funnel. You get paid, you get earned, you get owned. Can you briefly compare and contrast these three? And what might be the best option for a financial brand to consider down this path? Yeah, it depends. And I want to make a comment about the last comments that you made. Sure lot of folks get tied up on the lagging metrics instead of the leading metrics. So someone might come to me and say, Chris, we need this many leads or we need this many leads at this average cost per loan with those are lagging metrics. You know what I would just say back to them? Well, I want my business to grow 100% month over month. So now what? I mean, I mean, come on. Like so you know, part of what we need to have folks understand is it's not as binary as you get the sailor you don't or you get the leader, you don't. You need to figure out other ways rather than just the bottom row as number, which is important. It's super important, but you need to figure out other ways to measure progress rather than just unit economics. You have to figure that out and get people positioned around. That technology has transformed our world, and digital has changed the way consumers shop for and buy financial services forever. Now, consumers make purchase decisions long before they walk into a branch if they walk into a branch at all. But your financial brand still wants to grow loans and deposits, we get it. Digital growth can feel confusing, frustrating and overwhelming for any financial brand marketing and sales leader. But it doesn't have to because James Robert wrote the book that guides you every step of the way along your digital growth journey. Visit www dot digital growth dot com to get a preview of his...

...best selling 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 manifesto that was written to transform financial brands, and it is packed full of practical and proven insights you can start using today to confidently generate 10 times more loans and deposits. Now back to the show. What are those other ways to measure progress beyond just a converted loan or deposit at? Because even then, that's not the gold standard, because then we have to look at well, is that loan funded? Because you could be running all this traffic. You're getting all this conversion for loans or for deposits and they're not getting funded or those deposit accounts. They're they're not prime accounts and they might be putting the minimum deposit, and they're actually costing more money in the long run. So what are some of the other ways to measure the progress along these journeys of growth? Yeah, you could ask survey questions to better understand what kind of product features or how these people view your brand as it relates to, like trust pilot Web presence. How was the process? Did you enjoy the process? I know you didn't convert, but we walked you into this room. We showed you all these wonderful things. You're not going to buy anything today because it's a highly considered purchase. Were people nice to you? Are there some things we can do better? So there. I think there's some some qualitative Now look, trust pilots, very quantitative. You can get a trust pilot review and improve your Web presence, Web reputation and Web present scores, which improves your Google search ranking, which can be a byproduct of lower CPCS. Higher click through rates and being more competitive and making customers more delighted. So there's more than one thing you can do, rather than trying to squeeze someone through a funnel in making sure it's mobile optimized. Yeah, And that's and that's why I like this idea of C R O Secret shopping. Digital secret shopping is so critical, even when we run digital secret shopping studies, the very first two questions that we ask when someone hits that pages, Do you feel like you can trust this institution based upon what you're seeing and then, more important, go psychological? And how does what you see even make you feel to begin with in the first place? And it's very interesting when you benchmark this against the fintech. The fintech typically get the positive feelings and emotion scores where the traditional financial brand Credit Union Community Bank? Yeah, I feel a little bit confused. I don't know that. A little overwhelmed, maybe some complexity tie. I don't Why is there so much copy here? And so what you're talking about is these soft metrics. But they actually have massive and major implementations on the things that are already being measured today at the bottom line. You're making the investment anyway, and I'm not suggesting again that you don't measure performance. I'm just saying, Please, if you're going to make the effort to go create an ad, whether it be a copy at on Google Search or PPC, or whether it be a handful of Facebook ads that might include video and content and yada yada. Would you please just think outside the box a little bit and understand some of the edges around this and not just focus on conversion? There are analysts. There are quants. There are computer scientists. There are a lot of people that can give you multi variant models, A B models and all that other stuff where I think the gap is going to be in the future. Is this critical and strategic thinking around what you and I are talking about right now, the behavioral and the psychology side of that, And you can measure that, but the creative, behavioral and psychology side of how...

...you develop products that actually meet people's needs. But you're not focused on product. You're focused on meeting the needs. That's human centered design in and of itself, and you're you're you're spot on with that because at the end of the day, even Alex Sion has said we can't really transform the products that much more. We can transform either the the experience or we just play a a first principles game and look at if we're just to start over. What are the possibilities to create a new product? That and I'm looking at this from the lens of connecting financial well being and mental well being financial well being and physical well being. Because if you can transform a person's wallet, you really can transform their life and all of these other different aspects and areas. What are some of those opportunities that you're seeing from your worldview? So I'll get back to I'll translate that question into the paid, earned and owned. I'll add another bubble and we'll call it shared. Okay, And so my world view of this based on what I've seen, and I've been in digital advertising since 2000 and five, and enterprise sales since the mid nineties in tech companies like Gateway computers and stuff like that. But what I see is it's the age of the Creator. So if I have a worldview that says information, asymmetry is going down. So look at what happened with the Robin Hood crowd right in the game Stop crowd that could have never happened. Had there not been a distribution channel to increase the amount of information in the distribution of information that allowed people to go and do something bigger against the larger firm or a larger group or a larger organization. So I think that the age of the creator will distribute content. It will bring the information asymmetry down. It will allow these brands to create more content, which in turn, I believe, means they should focus on this notion of owned first. I'm not saying that you shouldn't have a portfolio, and I'm not saying you shouldn't do paid. That's not what I'm saying. What I'm saying, though, is with the amount of tools that are available to creators in the distribution channels within. I'll give you an example. 20 years ago, I couldn't distribute anything on LinkedIn because it didn't exist. 20 years ago, I couldn't distribute anything on Facebook organically because it didn't exist. With a little bit of elbow grease and some good strategic thinking about your mission in your vision, in your value system, the people you want to co mingle with you can go do anything, write anything, create anything and distribute anything for free for free. If you have the desire. So my worldview is if you can do that as a single brand, everybody else can do that, too. It's basically an arms race to the smart content, critical thinking around how you want to represent yourself as a brand so you can own your little tiny sliver piece like Aspiration Bank. I know you and I have talked about this before. They're not gonna. They're not ever going to be as big as Capital One, never. And hey, I apologize if they think they are. They're not because they have a very specific thing that they're providing. You know, there's another bank, lily bank there only for freelancers. That's all they do. They're not gonna do anything else. See, now you're starting to connect some dots that I've had with other conversations on this podcast, and it's all coming back to two things. Niche banking, niche, perspective, niche financial, brand number one and empowering people. And to your point about the age of creators. There's a great article by Ri Intel that in the title of this article to serve next Gen...

...clients. Advisors must embrace the age of creator, and the byline is this. People follow people, not brands, and they give an example of Charles Swab. For example, Charles Swab. Their brand has 100 and 3000 followers on Twitter, but Liz Anderson Saunders, there chief investment strategist, has 143,000 followers so that one individual has the potential to reach even more than the corporate brand. That's where, like we're looking at this, this idea of micro micro influencers, you know, and it can be even at a community level. But it's about to your point building that audience of that's something that's an asset that you own. Or you can probably assign some monetary value against that asset if I'm not mistaken. Yeah, so to your point, where is the future headed? I think we have to look at the past a little bit and try to deconstruct it. I'm 45 years, 45 years old, and I say I can't remember the woman's name who you used, but I can assure you her name would not have been in the newspaper. 25 30 40 years ago, there were these fiefdoms or these conglomerates or these corporate It's There was only a few people in the boardroom and a few people at the top and a few people that anybody got to know and the rest was represented through the brand. Now decentralized. It's everything is democratized. Everything is decentralized. You cannot put that genie back in the bottle. Remember listening to a podcast about linked in and there was some firm. When LinkedIn first started, they were super afraid that their employees are going to get poached, so they forbade their employees to put themselves on LinkedIn. Well, how do you think that went for them? But it's the same thing. So where's the future headed? Everything is open, its creator economy. Anyone can create anything they want, including their own bank if they want to. And we're seeing that right now. You can go get an A P I from Silla money, and you can create your own bank, right? You can go green dot You can do this. You don't even have to go through the governance of the regulation. So where's the future headed? Better get super clear about who you want to be as a person, your mission, your vision, your values. Perfect. Other people are that you want to be around. Align yourself around that, align yourself around them and you can provide the same kinds of products that everybody else provides. Because again, there's no asymmetry anymore to your prior point. I believe there's no asymmetry in product, right. There might be a symmetry in scale, but there is no longer a symmetry and products. So go create a vision in a mission and a value system that gets you up in the morning, sit in that chair and love your life. Doing that. You don't have to create a multibillion dollar company, and it all starts. It all comes back. And this is the action that I'm hearing from you, Chris. It all starts with identifying a purpose yes, purpose that transcends the traditional promotion of commoditized products, but one that puts the transformation of people over the transaction of dollars. And since Chris, this has been a fantastic conversation. I thank you for your perspective and your insight. If anyone is listening wants to continue this conversation, what's the best way for them to reach out and say hello to you? Well, you could just email me. See Snyder at banks dot com. You could use info at banks dot com. I still check a lot of my own stuff so you can find me on LinkedIn as well. But I'm available. Connect with Chris. Learn from Chris Chris. Once again, thanks for joining...

...me on another episode of banking on Digital growth. Thank you, sir, as always, in until next time 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 podcasts or Spotify and subscribe while you're there. To get even more practical improvement insights, visit www dot digital growth dot com to grab a preview of James Roberts. Best selling book Banking on Digital Growth or order a copy right now for you and your team from Amazon. Inside, you'll find a strategic marketing and sales blueprint framed around 12 key areas of focus that empower you to confidently generate 10 times more loans and deposits until next time, be well and do good.

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