Sales & Marketing - Banking Industry

Sun 7th, Nov 2021 @ 04:49pm

Considerations for Positioning & Marketing Banking Services 

i) Positioning

Individual Bankers and Brokers alike need to understand their own profile and tendencies, so too does the Business have to establish its own. Many people call this “Positioning” and it is a great way to reference your business/service. 

Positioning is defined as “shaping how individuals perceive your organisation or service”. 

Whether deliberately managed or not, your business or your services will have an identity and be positioned in the mind of your target audience and stakeholders, relative to competitors. 

Indeed, the position your services takes in the mind of your target audience may be the only means of differentiating it from competitors. 

Without clarification of Positioning, you cannot have the other building blocks of your services/business existing in harmony.  

For example, can you imagine a successful business such as McDonalds, if dine in tables are covered with silk tablecloths and offering complimentary French Champagne to all customers?

As a customer, you might be pleasantly surprised, but there will be conflict running in your mind as it would not be the experience you are expecting to receive.

Ok, crazy example. Though in this case the elements of Positioning are not clearly aligned, and this would not be a sustainable business model for McDonalds. 

There are many relatable examples in banking that centre around the nature of the services offered and who they are offered to.  

What if I am an established service provider but do not know my Positioning? 

Some starting points to consider: 

Go back to your “Why” and define or refine your purpose;

Ask, who is your target customer and define their characteristics;

Consider your core values and see what makes you different from the rest of your market; and

Audit your value proposition and your current messages.

ii) Sales & Marketing Process

Did you know there is a difference between Sales and Marketing?  In fact, we should never use them together in the same sentence. 

We have seen so many businesses that are great at making some Sales, but terrible at Marketing.  And of course, vice-versa.  So, let’s define and distinguish between them and then piece them back together and add them together with Customer Management. 

a) Marketing

Marketing is the long term need to develop strategies to understand customer needs, influence customer perceptions, and position itself for that. 

Marketing techniques and strategies are based on what it takes to identify the right product mix, pricing, target customers and how it is communicated to the market. 

A good marketing process should make sales easier. Though many efforts in Marketing are haphazard and disjointed.  Every business/service provider needs to think about its broad strategy and connecting all the individual activities and efforts, so they are relevant for the positioning of the business. 

In the modern marketing era, experts now talk about the customer experience or journey.  It sounds a little fancy perhaps, though it is acknowledging that your customers don’t always take a direct and simple route to your business.  More and more, you can’t send them down a path or process that doesn’t suit their needs or preferences. 

So, you need to be prepared to understand and respond to that. There are lots of great resources on marketing, including some great innovation companies that are making the process of marketing a little easier to understand. Most in the banking industry (outisde the broad corporate messages of banks) underspend on marketing.  

Don’t know where to start?  Go back to your Positioning and think about what message you want to provide to your customer.  You will need some help with that so be prepared to seek out advice. 

The opportunity that most miss is the one to connect their marketing, sales and customer management activity with a good CRM which will touch on further. 

b) Sales

Sales is the short term need to complete what needs to be done to sell your product or service. Sales strategies and activities are typically based on what it takes to 'close a deal'.   

Obviously, this is crucial to any business of any size or industry.  There is a sales function in every business even if it is sometimes not discernable or have a structured process.  A key plank of the Marketing, Sales and Customer Management function is a well-maintained CRM.   

We often hear experts refer to it as “the single source of truth”. We never actually really understood what they meant by that but seeing how many brokers/bankers struggle with coordinating data I get it now. 

CRM’s are more than a collection of names and contact information.  It should be at the centre of all your marketing efforts and: 

Segment your Customers by key criteria such as geography, size, industry etc.

Connected across your business so all information is centralized and up to date

Customise messages to each of the segments you have created

Measure the performance of your outbound messages and campaigns

Help ensure compliance with all relevant Privacy Laws etc.

This need not be a complex process, but take the time to step away from the pressures of the day-to-day to consider it can pay huge dividends in the long term.