Table of Contents

  1. Bridging the Past, Present, and Future
  2. Take Action: Look Back to Look Ahead (Strategic Thinking Exercise)
  3. Celebrate Your Biggest Wins and Gain Inspiration from Others Like You
  4. Review the Top 10 Mid-Year Digital Growth Resources of 2019
  5. Attend Upcoming Events to Educate, Empower, and Elevate Your Team
  6. Eliminate the Biggest Digital Growth Roadblocks That Hold You Back

1. Bridging the Past, Present, and Future

You're standing in the middle of a bridge.

Behind you is your past filled with experience and learning.

Ahead of you is a future that has yet to be written.

When it comes to future digital growth, some financial brand marketing and leadership teams see the future as bright while many others are not exactly sure what to expect next on their Digital Growth Journey. 

They might have spent the first half of the year "dabbling in digital." For example, they may have built a new, mobile responsive and ADA compliant websites. Maybe they've placed some digital ads or posted some content on social media. 

However, more times than not, they are frustrated because they have yet to gain traction with all of this digital activity.

It is easy to confuse activity and action with progress and results. 

I'm very empathetic to this fact and truly understand where the frustration lies for financial brands as digital growth can feel confusing, complicated, and overwhelming.

This leads to financial brand marketing and leadership teams to operate in what we call a "Circle of Conflict."

And as you can imagine, this is not a good place to be. 

The good news is that it doesn't have to be this way.

2. Take Action: Look Back to Look Ahead (Strategic Thinking Exercise)

As of July 1, there are only 183 days left in 2019. 

The year has flown by.

This is why July is one of my favorite months of the year.

It is a bridge for you to connect your past, present, and future together.

That's why I invite you to take a moment to escape "doing digital" as you reflect and review the progress you've made to start the year.

For even greater value, commit to doing this exercise with your marketing, sales, and leadership teams.

Step 1 (Begin in Gratitude): We have a lot to be thankful for as we reflect on the progress we’ve made together throughout to begin 2019. What three things are you most grateful and thankful for, and why, as we stop, pause, and think about the progress you have made over the first six months of the year?

Step 2 (Your Past): Looking back over the last two quarters, what are the biggest wins you’ve achieved and lessons you have learned?

Step 3 (Your Present): When you look at everything around you today, what are you most confident about right now as you continue to grow?

Step 4 (Your Future): As you look ahead towards the second half of 2019, what opportunities are you most excited about that will create a bigger and better future for you and those around you?

Step 5 (Maximize Growth): Reflecting on where you’ve been, where you’re at right now, and where you need to go next, what are the top three things you will focus on over the next 90 days that will maximize your future growth potential? 

3. Celebrate Your Biggest Wins and Gain Inspiration from Others Like You

It is so easy to get wrapped up in "doing digital" that we don't take time to stop, pause, and think about where we've been and all the good we've done. 

That's why if you have not completed the exercise above, don't read any further until you complete steps 1 - 5. 

As I look back on the first six months of 2019, I am proud of the progress that financial brands have made in the Digital Growth Accelerator Program. Some of these financial brands have been in this program for four years while others are just starting their Digital Growth Journey. 

Regardless, they have all made progress and are in a much better place than when they started in January.  Some of the biggest wins others have gained to inspire you include: 

  • Adding an additional $2.2 million in NII from converted digital leads.
  • Turning their website into the number one source of growth while outperforming over a dozen physical branches. Previously the website was ranked second to last.
  • Increasing website leads by 1,500% that were passed off to a digital sales team.
  • Increasing digital loan applications for home equity loans by 28%.
  • Increasing digital deposits by 400% using behavioral economics.
  • Doubled deposits from $6.2 million to  $12 million in deposits in six month period.
  • Generating more than $250,000 in NII opportunity from marketing qualified leads and $50,000 in confirmed NII opportunities for mortgages in six weeks.
  • Gaining 900+ digital leads for holiday loans resulting in $160,000 of NII.
  • Turning a $300 Facebook ad spend into $28,000 in NII (7969% ROI). 
  • Realizing landing page conversions up to 25%.
  • Generating 300% more digital leads YoY.
  • Increasing financial workshop leads by 63%.
  • Attributing social media’s impact to 15% - 20% of loan and deposit campaign leads.
  • Eliminating digital ad waste and stopping underperforming ads to save over $150,000.
  • Saving over $30,000 annually by consolidating digital technologies.

4. Review the Top 10 Mid-Year Digital Growth Resources of 2019 

In addition to guiding financial brands through our Digital Growth Accelerator Program, I have also enjoyed speaking and sharing insights to more than 5,000 financial brand leaders around the country at different conferences and events over the first half of 2019, including:

  1. CU Lytics Summit
  2. American Banker Growth Stories Conference
  3. NAFCU's Growth Conference
  4. Financial Brand Forum
  5. NAFCU's Annual Meeting

Furthermore, more than 1,000 financial brand leaders registered to watch this webinar and I recommend you do the same as you look ahead to 2020: Overcoming The 7 Deadliest Digital Marketing Mistakes

Finally, I've been very active at sharing our latest research and insight with different industry publications. And as you look ahead towards 2020, I've pulled the top 10 resources to guide you along your Digital Growth Journey.

  1. How Financial Marketers Can Bridge the ‘Digital Trust Gap’
  2. 4 Toughest Digital Marketing Challenges Financial Brands Face Today
  3. CUES Podcast: Marketing Tactics and Strategies
  4. Marketing Lessons From Chase Bank’s Twitter Blowup
  5. Dabbling in digital? Good luck growing (CU Journal Account Required)
  6. 5 Ways Personalization Boosts Customer Acquisition for Banking Brands
  7. Truist Bank: Colossal Rebranding Misstep? Or Long-Term Winner?
  8. Embrace digital or 'die a very slow death' (CU Journal Account Required)
  9. Recruiting for Digital Growth (CU Journal Account Required)
  10. Podcast: Dare to Differentiate (Reflections on my personal journey)

5. Upcoming Events to Educate, Empower, and Elevate Financial Brand Marketing and Leadership Teams

Over the next few months I look forward to continuing to share our latest research and insights through the Digital Growth Accelerator Program in addition to speaking at different events including:

  1. CUES School of Strategic Marketing
  2. CU Leadership Conference
  3. CUNA Mutual Discovery Conference
  4. Mississippi Credit Union Association CEO Roundtable

6. Eliminate the Roadblocks That Keep Your Financial Brand From Maximizing Your Digital Growth Potential

The future is bright for financial brands that are committed to maximizing their digital growth potential as they look ahead to 2020. 

As you think about your own Digital Growth Journey, what roadblocks are standing in the way of your progress? What challenges must you eliminate to ensure you keep moving forward?

Over the last almost 20 years, we've identified a dozen roadblocks and challenges almost every financial brand marketing and leadership team must overcome, including:

  1. We do not have a well defined digital growth strategy that provides clarity and focus.
  2. Our marketing team lacks buy-in, support, and budget from other internal key stakeholders to maximize our digital growth potential.
  3. Our marketing team is overwhelmed with day-to-day task and/or lacks the time, training, or expertise needed to maximize our digital growth potential.
  4. Our website is a glorified online brochure lacking personalized content, offers, and lead generation capabilities.
  5. Our website has never been secretly shopped like our physical branch locations have.
  6. We are not sure how many people abandon our online applications or what happens to them when they do.
  7. We do not have or underutilize a marketing automation platform to nurture and convert website leads for our sales team.
  8. We do not use data, or rarely use data, to inform our marketing campaign strategies, targeting, and messaging.
  9. Our email marketing, digital ads, and website content primarily promote great rates, amazing service, and commoditized list of features.
  10. We struggle to consistently produce and distribute content marketing and social media assets (blog articles, ebooks, videos, etc) that generate quantifiable new leads.
  11. Our content marketing and social media efforts have produced little, if any, proven results.
  12. We lack analytical and reporting capabilities to prove what works and what doesn't with digital marketing.

How many of these roadblocks and challenges can you relate to?

If it is more than 2 or 3, there is a strong possibility you are a good fit to apply to join the next Digital Growth Accelerator Program scheduled to begin on October 1, 2019.

The July and August Digital Growth Accelerator Programs sold out and we only have a few seats left open for October.