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Named as one of "8 Books to Shift Your Entrepreneurial Perspective.”
- Entrepreneur.com


Available on Amazon



Money is more stressful now than ever before.
And consumers have forever changed how they shop for and buy financial products and services.


That's why in this time of chaos and crisis people are looking for someone they can trust to guide them beyond their financial stress towards a bigger, better, and brighter future. 


They are looking for your financial brand.


They are looking for you.


Will you be able to help them in a post-COVID-19 digital-first world?

Download the Introduction of "The Strategic Marketing Manifesto to Transform Financial Brands" and learn how to level up loans and deposits in the Age of AI to maximize your future digital growth potential.

Banking on Digital Growth Book Cover

From the back cover of Banking on Digital Growth


If you’re part of a financial brand marketing, sales, or leadership team, you know the entire industry is in the midst of exponential change fueled by new technologies.  Consumers now make purchase decisions long before they walk into a physical branch location, if they walk into a branch at all, while mobile banks, digital lenders, and fintechs have transformed traditional growth models rooted in legacy broadcast marketing and branch sales strategies.


Up to this point you’ve only dabbled in digital marketing without a formal plan or strategy to guide you. Now you feel frustrated because you’re not getting the results you hoped for. You’re also confused about what you should do next.


In Banking on Digital Growth, James Robert Lay unlocks the secrets of digital growth with a strategic marketing manifesto to transform financial brands. You’ll gain clarity with a strategic blueprint framed around 12 key areas of focus that empower you to confidently generate 10x more loans and deposits while finally proving the value of marketing as a strategic growth leader - not a cost center.



headshot-smallJAMES ROBERT LAY is one of the world’s leading digital marketing authors, speakers, and advisors for financial brands. As the founder and CEO of the Digital Growth Institute, he has guided more than 520 financial brands on a mission to simplify digital marketing strategies that empower banks and credit unions to generate 10x more loans and deposits. His insights have been featured in outlets including US News and World Report, The Financial Brand, American Banker, CU Times, and CU Journal. James Robert has also spoken at 200+ events and leads the CUES School of Strategic Marketing while lecturing at universities throughout the United States.


Early Praise for Banking on Digital Growth 



"In Banking on Digital Growth, James Robert Lay makes the case for a fundamental shift in brand alignment for financial institutions. Calling out the fourth industrial revolution as a revolution in engagement and marketing, he shows that unless you have a digital blueprint for your brand you simply won't be able to scale, respond and get out of the circle of chaos. He's bang on - read the book, build the blueprint, and maybe you'll survive."


-- Brett King --
Bestselling author of Bank 4.0, host of Breaking Banks Radio Show



"Financial marketing continues to be in an ever-changing state of flux. Change is hard for anyone. But over the years I have watched James Robert freely share his digital marketing research and insight with thousands of bank and credit union marketers at multiple Financial Brand Forum. He never holds anything back as I know his passion is to truly help empower financial brand marketing teams with practical and simplified strategies that generate leads. This is exactly what he does in Banking on Digital Growth."


-- Jim Marous --
Co-Publisher of The Financial Brand and Owner and CEO of the Digital Banking Report



"Having spent half my life in FinTech and then years researching the relationship between banks, brands, technology and the poor consumer through the perspective of my concept of 'Emotional Banking™' there is little that I haven't seen debated on the topic but James Robert's perspective is crisp and clear while tackling big topics banks need to focus on if they are to complete their digital journeys and stay in the financial services game."


-- Duena Blomstrom --
Author, Keynote Speaker, Co-Founder and CEO of PeopleNotTech and Emotional Banking



"The banking industry is being disrupted by the changes brought about by modern digital technology. No place is this more evident than in financial marketing. In Banking on Digital Growth, James Robert Lay helps financial executives [marketers] navigate and take advantage of these changes with clarity and purpose."


-- Jeffry Pilcher --
CEO/President & Founder of The Financial Brand



"Digital growth requires so much more than just a focus on technology. In Banking on Digital Growth, James Robert shares exactly how banks and credit unions can transform their marketing and sales by strategically planning, building, an optimizing a unified digital experience built around bringing people together for good. I know the insights he shares will help any financial brand searching for digital growth."


-- Bryan Clagett --
Director, Strategic Initiatives at StrategyCorps



"James Robert Lay shows the strategic urgency for real content value in a banking industry shifting to mobile self-service. Getting beyond the usual fuzziness of experience and brand marketing, Banking on Digital Growth finds Lay exploring the new high-value deposit and loan growth that board rooms must sort out to survive."


-- Sam Kilmer --
Senior Director, Fintech Advisory Practice Leader,
Speaker/Contributor at Cornerstone Advisors & GonzoBanker



"Data is the oil of digital. But to truly have an impact and create value, data needs stories and digital stories need data. Because without an emotional context, both data and story are dead. In Banking on Digital Growth, James Robert breaths new life in financial brand marketing and sales strategies with a blueprint to tell digital stories that sell."


-- Naveen Jain --
President & Founder at CULytics



"In today’s digital world, financial services has become a game of survival of the fittest – and the future will belong to the companies who successfully combine technology and human connection to truly connect and build trust with their customers. James Robert has written a must-read strategic playbook for banks and credit unions to transform their marketing mindsets to not only survive, but thrive."


--  Sue Woodard --
Chief Customer Officer at Total Expert



"I see firsthand the impact money has on relationships with the Honeyfi app. The good. The bad. The ugly. In fact, money and financial stress are at the root of most relationship problems. People don't need another commoditized checking account. And they want so much more than a look-a-like loan. In Banking on Digital Growth, James Robert shares a digital marketing blueprint for financial brands to first gain respect, then build trust, which ultimately leads to consumers falling in love and committing to the financial brand when they tap apply. "


--  Ramy Serageldin --
Co-founder & CEO, Honeyfi



"The speed of consumer and competitor change it outpacing financial brands in exponential ways. And what got us to where we are today will not get us to where we need to go tomorrow. Everything we do must be focused around people with feelings and emotions. Human beings with hopes and dreams. I'm glad James Robert is calling our entire industry to a higher standard of marketing and sales strategy in Banking on Digital Growth because the time is now for the industry to change and adapt to the desires and expectations of the people we serve."


-- Brandon Michaels --
President & CEO at JSC Federal Credit Union



"Data is at the heart of everything we should be doing as a financial industry. James Robert Lay’s Banking on Digital Growth is the blueprint on how we can use that data to not only generate 10x more deposits and growth, but how we can use data to build and maintain more trust and achieve better relationships with people. This is not only a book for marketers. It’s a must-read for all financial strategists and executives as James Robert clearly lays out a better path forward to remain relevant and competitive in a commoditized business."


-- Rodney Showmar  --
President/CEO at Arkansas Federal Credit Union



"James Robert gets it. Banking on Digital Growth has a unique perspective on how to refresh your marketing and digital strategy to truly connect with consumers. James Robert’s approach is exactly what your financial brand and the industry needs to continue growing." 


-- Devon Lyon --
VP, Strategic Research & Risk Management at Direct Federal Credit Union



"As I guide the strategic planning process of financial institutions all over the country, I see stuck in an era that has already passed. And they don’t even know the era has changed. The era of traditional print or broadcast marketing is going, going, gone. I see these teams dabbling in social media and calling it 'digital marketing'. I see them spending hard earned money on antique methods then sifting through disappointing results. What has happened? Well, the good old days of marketing are gone. But how do financial brand marketing, sales, and leadership team even begin to clearly think about how they can emotionally connect with digital consumers? Every day it seems like there are new tools, technologies, and digital channels to choose from. In Banking on Digital Growth, James Robert lays before us the key to the present and the future of marketing. He simplifies digital marketing into a 12 point strategic marketing manifesto that boldly calls financial brand leaders to break free from legacy thinking, systems, and habits that threaten to hold them back." 


-- Tim Harrington, CPA --
President at TEAM Resources




""Being digital requires financial brands to establish trust and create consumer value far more quickly and long before a consumer talks to someone...if they talk to anyone at all. The time frame to create value is shorter than ever! In Banking on Digital Growth, James Robert unlocks the secrets of how trust is built and value is created through digital marketing experiences that are centered around people." 


-- Mark Sievewright --
Founder and CEO of Sievewright & Associates



"James Robert remains one of the top rated speakers at The Financial Brand Forum. We traditionally do not have speakers repeat years back-to-back, but James Robert has remained on our agenda in either a breakout or workshop capacity for years. His expertise is unmatched and he is an attendee favorites year over year. His diversity in presenting on multiple topics impacting financial institutions with professionalism and ease makes him a speaker we know we can turn to anytime for killer content. He continues to forge a path to transform financial marketing by aiding institutions of all sizes in their journey to grow and thrive."


-- Amanda McCoy  --
VP/Events at The Financial Brand



"I consider James Robert Lay to be one of the leading experts in digital marketing and strategy. I have worked with him many times over the years, not only as a subject-expert for presentations but also as a general source of knowledge about current trends in the digital marketing landscape. His new book delivers eye-opening information about shifts in consumer behavior and expectations and provides financial institutions with new understanding, approaches, and strategies to overcome our digital-hesitation and embrace the actions that will help us stay relevant to the new digital-focused consumer. " 


-- Tom McWilliams, CMP, CCUE, CUDE --
Senior Vice President at Mississippi Credit Union Association



"At a time, more than ever, when credit union marketing leaders are seeking support and guidance on how to maximize their digital growth strategy – James Robert Lay has stepped in to inspire and educate our students of the CUES School of Strategic Marketing. I’ve had the pleasure of working with him the last few years. He always receives high reviews from our attendees as it is clear he is on a mission to transform financial marketing and sales beyond promoting commoditized products while truly helping people get beyond their financial stress." 


-- James Lenz --
CUES Professional Development Manager and host/producer of the CUES Podcast



"I've worked with James Robert over the past few years as he continues to educate and inspire our conference and event attendees. He always receives high reviews from our attendees by providing dynamic delivery of robust content focused on his years of experience advancing financial services' marketing strategies."


-- Julie Dienes  --
Senior Program Manager of Conferences at SourceMedia Inc



"It is time for every business to elevate marketing to the strategic level it deserves. James Robert tackles this issue with research, experience and empathy. Marketing (with a capital M) is an investment, not an expense. Moving beyond ‘dabbling in digital’ will help businesses grow and reach consumers as they want to be reached, as well as developing proof of the return on investment. James Robert’s tenure in credit unions and community banks’ digital marketing space provides a broad, yet deep, swath of knowledge of which credit union and community bank leaders should take advantage."


-- Sarah Snell Cooke --
Principal at Cooke Consulting Solutions



"Transformation is driven by courage and commitment in the face of hard truths. In Banking on Digital Growth, James Robert Lay confronts the hard truths facing the banking sector and reveals a path forward for implementing digital marketing and sales strategies that will drive growth. This is a must read, discuss, and act upon book for leaders at all levels in the financial services industry."


-- Dr. Michael Hudson --
Founder and Principal at Big Idea Guru, LLC



"Financial brands struggle with innovation because it's not in their DNA. When I entered the industry 18 years ago, you heard 'if it's not broke don't fix it' 1,000 times more than the words 'let's innovate.' This limiting mindset can still be found across all areas, at all levels - at a time when innovation is the key to future success. James Robert provides solid guidance for financial brand leadership, marketing and customer experience teams with the strategic blueprint he shares in Banking on Digital Growth."


-- Tricia Hrotko --
Regional Executive at Digital Onboarding



"James Robert hits the nail on the head with this one. As someone who has helped a number of financial institutions understand that the Millennial generation doesn't trust "banks" (with over 5 million working millennials who won't even open a checking account), I can tell you that the digital relationship IS the relationship, for them. If we want millennials and Gen Z to walk through our doors, we need to first meet them where they are."


-- Matt Beaudreau --
President, Acton Academy Placer



"James Robert provides a path for financial brands to transform traditional thinking and build digital strategies on purpose, beyond dollars and cents, by putting people first because purpose drives performance and performance drives profits in today's digital economy."


-- Bethany Andell --
Author of Get Your Head Out of Your Bottom Line and Build Your Brand on Purpose