Gary McRae made a telling remark in his blog, saying that he was old enough to remember those times when he needed to go to a bank to update a passbook, but at the same time he was young enough to have forgotten the last time he walked into a bank. Indeed, times have changed dramatically fast and reasons for visiting a bank have rapidly reduced.
So now typically banks interact with clients mostly by sending them text messages. But does that mean all the SMS marketing possibilities for banks have been discovered and there is nothing left to improve? Absolutely not!
Commonly, banks send clients critical information about their accounts via SMS in order to prevent unpleasant surprises about low balances or unauthorized withdrawals and to keep them up to date about time sensitive offers. That definitely makes people feel safe and confident about their funds.
But nowadays almost everyone has more than one bank accounts, so imagine how many SMS these people may receive from different banks per week! This means keeping your clients loyal and satisfied is a good question to explore.
According to some local research in USA, people do find SMS marketing a convenient way to stay informed, but they are still not familiar with all the banking products which they are really interested in, such as:
- tax planning
- equity shares/debentures
What’s more, most respondents prefer an interactive two-way SMS technique (people are social creatures and always look for communication!) and want promotions to meet their needs.
Of course, it's hard to claim that the situation in other countries is the same as in America. However the results of this research should be taken into account to measure the strong and weak points of your own service.
Especially now, when, as has been reported by PwC, the biggest challenge for banks is that competitive reach is going toward technology and customer-centric business models. So, perfecting SMS marketing campaigns is even more important than ever, because this medium is the place where innovation and a great user experience get together.
At the same time, you already have the biggest resource for customized text messages. This is big data, or customer data - vast amounts of information about your clients that you’d better to analyze and use to accurately determine clients’ needs and even go above and beyond them.
A truly inventive example of embedding big data in SMS marketing is Australian bank Westpac’s use of geofencing at airports in it location-based app to send the client text messages with the coordinates of the nearest ATMs and offers to block cards while the client is away.
So, increasingly, the usage of big data may help to create the feeling of your presence and care when your clients are in need of your help or would like a little guidance.
Whether it is messages welcoming your clients once they enter the bank, with surveys about your service, or containing customized offers, big data will strengthen your SMS marketing strategy, allowing you to gain a competitive edge.