How to Use Legos to Help Build Your Financial Digital Marketing and Sales Engine

by James Lay
How to Use Legos to Help Build Your Financial Digital Marketing and Sales Engine

As a child, I would sit for hours on the floor with a freshly emptied box of Legos. Sometimes, I would start by sorting out all the pieces and flipping through the instruction manual to gain an understanding of the plans and steps I was going to take. Other times, I would take more of a free flow approach and just start building whatever I wanted. When this happened, I would often feel overwhelmed and become frustrated when the end product did not turn out as I had envisioned it in my mind’s eye.

Now as a father, I am guiding my kids to build structures greater than I ever did. And like me, they experience higher levels of success and feelings of gratitude when they have a guide to help them along the way.

The same is true for financial digital marketing. You too are giving two paths. You can take the first path and have a blueprint to help guide you along the way. Or alternatively, you can take the free flow approach. Up to this point, many financial institutions have chosen the second path and just start building without having an understanding of where they are headed.

This is evident as many financial institutions adopt different digital marketing technologies after an executive attends a conference and learns about the latest shiny object. But when this happens, financial institutions quickly find they are missing many pieces because they don’t have a plan that shows them how to put everything together. And because they don’t have a plan, they feel overwhelmed and become frustrated when the end product does not turn out as they had envisioned their mind’s eye.

For the past three years, we have repeatedly found in our primary research that 70% – 80% of banks and credit unions do NOT have a defined digital marketing strategy. This is the reason the average bank and credit union Digital Marketing Score is hovering around 22/100. Lacking a plan and strategy is also the reason many financial executives fear the unknown and change brought about by digital marketing.

But it does not have to be this way for you.

We’re on a mission to simplify digital marketing. And just like a box of Legos comes with an instruction manual to guide you through the building process, we provide guidance and insight with a Digital Marketing Blueprint.  The Digital Marketing Blueprint provides a proven framework for financial institutions in need of building a digital marketing and sales engine to propel future growth as consumer shopping behavior continues to evolve.

For example, according to Google’s Zero Moment of Truth study, consumers on average take 30-45 days, if not longer, to make a purchase decision when shopping for a new account or loan. And during this time, they utilize nearly nine different resources throughout their decision-making process. The majority of these resources are online as consumers use a search engine at least twice during their buying process. In fact, according to Google, mobile searches for financial terms related to mortgage, credit cards, loans, and life insurance are growing 48% YoY. Our primary research has also discovered 40% – 60% of financial services search terms are from a mobile device.

In the past, financial institutions used blueprints to build physical assets in the form of brick and mortar branches. And as financial executives transform their traditional marketing and sales models beyond branches and broadcast to be optimized for digital and mobile channels, a blueprint should be used to build digital assets.

We understand digital marketing can feel overwhelming and frustrating. It’s like trying to build something out of Legos but without the manual. However, like the manual in the box of Legos, the Digital Marketing Blueprint provides clarity and insight into the nine key areas most critical to a financial institution’s future growth including:

  • Purpose, Goals, and Budget: Do you have the vision and budget required to achieve your digital marketing goals?
  • Consumer Segments: How do your consumer personas and market segments go beyond basic demographic data?
  • Product Positioning: How do you differentiate yourself from others who promote “great rates and services?”
  • Staffing and Processes: What staff and processes are needed for you to achieve your goals for growth?
  • Consumer Journeys: What digital journeys have you documented to guide consumers through their buying cycle?
  • Technology Platforms: What marketing technology platforms do you need to achieve your goals for growth?
  • StorySelling: What process do you use to produce digital stories that emotionally connect with consumers?
  • Distribution Channels: What distribution channels do you need to communicate with your key consumer segments?
  • Key Performance Metrics: How do you quantify digital marketing success with KPIs tied back to your goals for growth?

I will provide insight into each one of these nine different areas at CU Direct’s DRIVE ’16. Attendees will walk away with the clarity and confidence needed to courageously commit to building a digital marketing and sales engine that will propel their future growth. You too can register to attend this event scheduled for May 17-18 in San Diego, CA.


About the author:

James Robert Lay is the CEO of CU Grow, and since 2002 he has helped guide over 450 financial institutions around the world that are on a mission to simplify digital marketing, so they will grow through training, planning, and implementation.  James has spoken at more than 120 industry events and is often quoted in many industry publications including US News and World Report, The Financial Brand, American Banker, CU Times, CU Journal, NerdWallet, Credit Union Magazine, CUES Magazine, and Independent Banker Magazine.




About the Author

James Lay
James Robert Lay is the CEO of CU Grow. He is on a mission to simplify digital marketing to help financial institutions grow from good to great by building marketing systems that guide people toward a brighter financial future. Of his many honors to date, James Robert has been named one of Financial Brand's "Top Global Financial Services Influencers to Follow” and a CUNA "Credit Union Rock Star." He often speaks at financial services events around the world and is quoted in leading publications such as US News and World Report, The Financial Brand, American Banker, and CU Times among many others.