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Sunday, October 7, 2007

Mobile Banking - Product Marketing

I have recently noticed that there’s subject that has not received adequate attention – product marketing. To date everyone in the industry has been trying to figure out how to design the perfect solution. The discussions all revolve around SMS vs. Browser-Based vs. Rich UX (Downloadable); however, we must keep in mind that this is not a “build it and they will come” product. Yes - there are a handful or early adopters that will seek out the product, but a far greater number of clients will need to be actively engaged.

To compound the problem, marketing requires money and as we all know the business case for mobile banking is already a little fuzzy. For more on this topic I’d recommend reading Mobile Banking: Where's the Business Case? by Karen Epper Hoffman.

So, the question is, “how do you market mobile banking with limited funds?” The answer is – with a fully integrated guerilla campaign. Here are a few ideas to jump-start your right-brain creative juices.

1) Begin with internal marketing. The other day I read the article Mobile Banking – Driving Adoption by Julie Ask and I was reminded how critical the front line employees are in the adoption of a new product or service. So, my advice is to start with internal marketing. Write an article for the intranet, run an internal promotion to get employees using the service, offer to speak and give a demo at regional sales meetings. The list of possibilities is nearly endless and very inexpensive.
* Note: mobile banking will also facilitate a “stickier” client so be sure to work with retail management to ensure employees are paid incentive compensation for each client they enroll.

2) In branch marketing. I would begin with posters, tent cards, and a stack of simple “take-ones” at each teller station. This is extremely cost effective because once the printer is running the incremental cost is fairly negligible. Plus, if you were successful with your internal marketing program (see above) the tellers are now mobile evangelists capable of answering any questions the clients may have. Finally, this will also help you avoid the truly expense components of marketing such as postage and the expenses related to newspaper, radio and television advertising.

3) Take your message to the homepage. Create a banner image promoting the benefits of mobile banking for your homepage with an associated “landing page” including a strong “enroll now” call to action. Within the last few years many banks have begun to realize the importance of web analytics; and as such, they have developed a keen appreciation for how valuable the marketing areas of their homepage can be.

4) Piggy-back on existing marketing initiatives. If you have a friend in the marketing department this can be a very simple and free solution. Simply add a “snipe” to the corner of a newspaper ad, a line to the bottom of a direct mail piece, or a link to an existing email campaign. Again the possibilities are endless and as long as the message is simple and non-intrusive you will likely not receive much resistance.

For more ideas I’d recommend conducting a brain-storming session with the marketing team or reading Jay Conrad Levinson’s book - Guerilla Marketing.

2 comments:

Andrew Slocum said...

I've been following the mobile banking and payments space for some time now and after the Finovate conference I am concerned about a couple aspects of what is happening in the U.S. marketplace. In particular, the AT&T/Firethorn offering seems to be opening up the door for the Patriot Act police to come crashing through. If I understand their model correctly, they would like the consumer to rely on a Carrier and/or a startup to manage their id and sign on credentials. While this single sign on approach may seem convenient to a consumer, having followed the evolution of Yodlee-like offerings, I can tell you there are a number of hurdles here that could cause this market unnecessary pain:
1) Single Sign On offerings both online and mobile always seem great in theory, but when the customer is asked to trust someone other than their bank or brokerage with their credentials (especially a non-financial services provider) everything screeches to a halt
2) In this mobile version of single sign on it appears AT&T/Firethorn want to own not only your bank info, but also your credit card data for mobile payments...that seems safe :)
3) By ATT/Firethorn owning the key to unlock this door, aren't they in fact on the hook for the transaction is something goes awry re: the Patriot Act?

This latter issue seems to be the biggest one that no one is talking about...perception alone would seem to dictate that AT&T/Firethorn want to be seen as the "parent" to the transaction and that any violation of the Patriot Act would then in deed be on their watch. Am I missing something? Why would I want AT&T to run my accounts when I've been working with BofA for 17 years and never had an issue? Why are banks fighting this more? Would seem they have the most to win & loose here...

Andrew

Appachoo said...

Nice article.

Another add on to the already mentioned 4 points would be to market the mobile banking solution to the customer whenever he uses any other banking channel.

e.g. 1) When he walks into a branch to inquire his balance, the bank teller could tell him to use mobile banking instead.
2) When the customer calls up the contact center of the branch for information, he could be prompted by the executive to use mobile banking.
3) ATMs could have prominent advertisements in between transactions highlighting mobile banking.

Any help on business/revenue models of companies involved in mobile banking application development would be helpful!

~Appachoo.