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Discussing 2021 Marketing Budgets and Plans

October 29, 2020 2:00 pm View Recording

This year has thrown a lot of curveballs for marketing teams – learn how you can bounce back by listening to our discussion about setting actionable strategies and budgets for 2021! This discussion will go over best practices for your financial brand to use to leave your mark next year. Insights include:

  • Changes to marketing budgets following COVID-19
  • Plans to capitalize on key trends and upcoming banking developments
  • Strategic tips on driving action to corporate budget and marketing plans

Download our handout on building a C.A.S.E. for your marketing budget

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Ben Pankonin 0:09
Welcome to Social assurance, we are going to be talking today about budgeting, marketing, making plans, something that it feels like many of us didn’t get to spend much time doing in 2020. And if we did, your marketing plan ended up like mine, it ended up as a scrap of paper with, with documents with notes on the back that I was using during phone calls, and then realized that that was my 2020 marketing budget. But now we’re going to be talking about 2021. And what does that look like to come back in and start marketing, budgeting, once again, as is the case with many of the things that we’ve done in 2020. plans change, even personnel changes. So for those of you who may have engaged with, with our friend, Shelley, she unfortunately couldn’t make the the webinar today. But we are not taking a step back. today. We are joined with our CEO, Stacy Dudley Stacy, Welcome to Social assurance webinars.

staci dudley 1:26
Hey, thanks for letting me join one sided.

Ben Pankonin 1:30
Well, we’re glad to have you. And you know, I’m glad to have you as we start talking about budgeting one of the things that, you know, you have, for us internally set up a lot of our budgets. But But also, you’ve really been, you know, throughout your career, as the person who’s helped really do a lot of the project management, the planning, a lot of that long term strategy for a number of different companies as we as we talk about formulating budgets, especially in a time like this, where we’ve had a lot to adapt and change to Stacey, I’m really glad we we brought in the 18 year to tackle this together.

staci dudley 2:15
Thanks, Ben.

Ben Pankonin 2:17
Well, you know, as we talk a little bit about what we’re looking at for, for our webinar today, one of the things we need to tackle a little bit is, is how we’re approaching this from kind of our current environment. What does it look like? You know, what did we learn in 2020? How can we avoid some of those mistakes? But also, how can we make sure that, you know, 2020, one’s set up? Well, based on our current environment, so we’re going to talk a little bit of an ad, what’s changed, in particular for financial institutions that have had to adapt a lot of marketing budgets. So we’re going to tackle that we’re going to talk a little bit about some of the trends we’ve seen. Additionally, Stacey, I know you’ve put some significant research. So for those of you who have helped us by filling out marketing, compliance surveys, Stacy’s really been a driving force for a lot of that activity. So that’ll be great to tackle some of that. We’re going to talk about strategic tips, how is it that we are going to get the kind of budget that really sets us up for success in 2021. And then we’ve got some, some great takeaways, including some worksheets and things that you can take back with you so. So we’ve got some things that you’ll want to stay. Stay tuned for in that. Stacy, when we talk about the current environment in 2020, what comes to mind for you, as far as budgeting goes,

staci dudley 3:44
um, it’s out the window, what we’ve seen is that I’m sure what all of these experiences what you started off with in January, once late February hit like, you just kind of work almost working day by day, for a period of time there before we kind of were able to set a little bit of a course for the rest of the year. So I think everyone is feeling the same thing.

Ben Pankonin 4:09
Yeah, I completely agree. You know, we’ve had a lot of those opportunities, where we’ve talked to financial institutions who have said, Hey, we had set out with some some key goals. We had a great plan for 2021. And, you know, really, a lot of it’s changed, right? And yeah, the consumer demands shifted a lot, right. So as we were moving for, towards digital tools in March, and we realized, maybe we didn’t have a, you know, some of our delivery was really stuck in something that still pertains to, to print or in person interactions. We had to make that shift. I think that’s one of those key areas where, where we’ve had to adapt really quickly. Um, you know, I think we’ve started to realize that consumers can move pretty quickly, I think You know, when, when they did change, they changed over to some digital tools. And that was, that was actually a quick process. So we, we kind of learned that maybe some of the rollouts that, you know, we had planned for a two year rollout, all of a sudden, we did it in a month, and it worked. So I think there’s some level of confidence that we have in some of the systems that, you know, when something really is a business driver, it can move us really quickly. So I think that’s, that’s one of the areas I I’ve seen and talked to a lot of bankers, specifically in PPP area or things like that, where, where it’s really been able to move quickly. We also have, you know, really an increase, I think, as you know, as we talked about digital delivery, we talked about, you know, hey, when when things are moving quickly, we need to move to digital, there’s no necessity in place, all of a sudden, we’re able to move that quickly. So the customer communications happened right away, as we talked about, you know, some of that internal communication, we started not overthinking some of that internal communication that oftentimes we have, because we didn’t have time to overthink it. So we dropped to that email and people jumped, I think that’s been a phenomenal way that, you know, really, we’ve we’ve, you know, really been able to move quickly. And then, you know, we’ve had this, and, you know, obviously a dramatic increase in will share some of those stats and online engagement activity. But we’ve also had this role of marketing has really elevated for those of you who may have even attended the ABA s conference a couple of weeks ago, you know, we we had a, there’s a great session about the role of marketing. In fact, our friend Natalie said, you know, it’s no no longer about cookies and punch, right? Like, we’re sort of now looked at, in this different view of seeing the role of marketing really being elevated, we were brought to the table, back in March and April, to really help, right, we were seen as, as really the path forward because we couldn’t meet face to face. So there were a lot of things that really elevated that visibility of marketing during this current environment.

staci dudley 7:29
Oh, man, I was just gonna say with that visibility, and that the responsibility of people are listening more, they’re listening more to their financial institutions. A lot of those, you know, small businesses and medium sized businesses are, you know, with going through the PPP, and individuals kind of, in some tight financial situations, they were listening more than ever to what their bank marketing had to say, and what was being communicated. As well as that just general reinvestment back into the community and supporting the community that the spotlight was on his on those marketing teams more than ever, and to see how those banks have invested in their community and how they really are there for their customers.

Ben Pankonin 8:11
Yeah, you bring up a great point, Stacey, you know, I, it being as a tech founder, we’re kind of unique in that we we started our company with a loan from a community bank, and I can’t even tell you how many entrepreneurs have were reaching out to me during the PPP time periods, saying, How do I do this? Like, I’ve never had a relationship with my local financial institution, because I’m a tech company. And I never thought that was important thing. And obviously, I think that’s speaks to this point that you’re making to that, like, where there’s that crisis, there’s also this great opportunity, right, where, you know, there was a major crisis, people needed help. And so whether that was the the tech company who had never really had a local financial connection, now, now knows they need it. And and that doesn’t go away. We don’t forget that. I think that’s a really important thing as we’re starting to think about 2021 is really, in this crisis, there is an opportunity, there’s an opportunity to think differently about how we go forward. And I think that’s a really important point. I want to address some of these key trends as we as we look at this, you know, there were some some great comments here by Mark Schaefer who did a great job of assembling some of these key trends, you know, 30 to 50%, less branch traffic. You know, when it was migrated or towards a website, right, like we were able to move a lot of that branch traffic very quickly. You know, we have a high trust in In peer recommendations, right, and this is a really important thing as we start looking at, how are we meeting the people from our communities, or might not be meeting them face to face, but they are validating who we are and and who they trust, recommending those, those pure trust, right click. So whether that’s an online review, or interaction like that, and social user generated content is something that’s been a huge trend to increase engagement. Right. And, you know, we talked about some of those where we’ve, where we’ve worked with an influencer in marketing, or we’ve worked with people who have shared their story of their small business during 2020. That’s been a huge source of engagement. You know, we’ve seen a decline in media ad spent during 2020. Right, so our traditional media outlets have been suffering. And so whether that be a newspaper or, you know, TV ads, your inbound marketing efforts are really increasing, we’re seeing a dramatic increase of, you know, 4%, a, you know, is is, is significant on the media ad spend declined, because it’s such a big part of our budget. So seeing an inbound marketing increase on in terms of email, and a lot of those strategies, it’s important. A lot of us were thinking traditionally, in 2020, about how often we send emails, and you know, a lot of those conversations would center around well, are we emailing all of our customers or members too often, if we’re sending them an email once a month, where once we hit March, all the sudden emails were going out, in a lot of cases weekly, to keep updated, because there was so much news. And I think for a lot of us, we started to say, you know, email is less about frequency and more about content. If we have content, if we have news, if it’s very relevant to the people we’re sending it to, that we should probably send it. So we’re seeing a lot of that chat, of course, is on the on the rise, a lot of those digital tools are certainly trending much, much higher. And then of course, we saw the cancellation of in person events. We’ll be talking a little bit about how we adapt and change to that, as well.

staci dudley 12:37
So great creativity on that on that adaption was was amazing. This year, we saw some great examples of that.

Ben Pankonin 12:46
Yeah, absolutely. You know, we saw some really good ideas, right from, from some of our clients who were, you know, doing online zoom sorts of, you know, events where they were doing drive thru types of events, or, or drive past as wave sorts of events, we have a lot of really interesting things, obviously, things, you know, outdoors, there were a lot of really good adaptations, I think over this past year. One of the other things I want to address too, is when we think about where you are at, as we look at the trends, we also when we go into budgeting, obviously there’s a personnel consideration with budgeting as well. And what I mean by that is that some of you have to take into account how your financial institution is making decisions about budgeting, you, you may be one of those financial institutions that has a very strict adherence to budgeting. Or you may be, you know, at a financial institution that has a much more loose trend towards budgeting. And, yeah, that’s something that you’ve got to think about how you know, those people and how you can advocate for those things. And I think it’s really important, even as I’ve talked to, you know, financial marketers who have jumped from, from one institution to another and said, You’re now I’m in a different situation where I have different types of justification for those, we’re going to try to present some frameworks for thinking through that. But I think it is really worthwhile to notice that even though that you have these trends in this data, it may be a situation where you have an individual or a small group of people, that you have to appeal to the their specific interests in that. Obviously, some of those are, you know, listening to maybe a CEO who wants to, to see their ad in the newspaper or they want to see to see themselves as part of that advertisement. Or, you know, maybe it’s that they’ve got some, some other sort of correlation that they’re trying to make, to justify why we would spend on on certain advertising or marketing channels. is Stacey, you pulled together a few examples here. Can you share some with with us some of some of the highlights from these?

staci dudley 15:06
Yeah, these are some kind of examples. If you guys if you watch our Twitter channel, we’ll kind of do some retweet kudoz that we pick from random banks everywhere. A lot of our even our custom majority of them or even our customers, we just like to recognize what people are doing. One thing that we’ve kind of seen is that that influencer marketing is picking up influence influencer marketing is has become significantly important in 2020. So many people are trusting whether it is a mommy blogger or a celebrity like Patrick mahomes, and who they’re supporting and what that they believe in and their experience. You can even take that down to your loan officers, they’re going to be the ones building relationships and connecting and sometimes that individual who’s that influencer carries a lot more weight than the brand itself. Again, we talked about kind of that virtual and distance events. This is a fun one that Ivanka is doing that’s doing a drive thru Trick or treat. So many of the trunk retreats, you know, in person, trick or treating events are really limited this year. And families are flocking to any type of safe event that you can go through, we actually locally had this event this week, at our local museum, it was a drive thru. And people waited three and a half hours to drive through and stop at five tents to take their kids trick or treating. Because just the sheer quantity of trick or treating events and Halloween events really aren’t there, and they’re looking for safe opportunities for their kids. So in looking to be creative, and how you can kind of create those virtual or just safely distance events for your community can have a huge impression. The, again, mobile marketing is is huge. Anything way that you can kind of take your mobile marketing, account opening loan applications, anything like that, what you can take mobile and promote from an advertising perspective on mobile. That’s, that’s where 2020 has taken us. It’s it’s taking people to their couch.

Ben Pankonin 17:19
Yeah, yeah, you’re right. You know, we’re, we’re just seeing a different trend into how how rapidly mobile has been adapting, and how, how confident people are in interesting those sorts of mechanisms as well. I love this quote, you know, the first step of exceeding your customers expectations is to know those expectations, right? We want to understand what their expectations are. And you know, another thing that we’ve we’ve experienced a lot of times is that people will adjust their expectations based on their most recent experience. So one of the things that we start having happen is, we’re just coming out of Amazon Prime Day. And now we’re thinking about what our expectations, right, I now have an expectation, when I get something shipped to me, or when I have an online experience, I expect to be able to accomplish all of the process now online. And that’s one of the things that’s really shifted for a lot of us in the delivery mechanism is, well now I expected that I can sign off on things online, as expected, I can complete the full transaction online without having to, to go into a branch location, for instance. And so I think that’s one of the things that we’re starting to learn. And as we study the other online tools that people are using, we start to realize that their expectations continue to shift based on those experiences that they have most recently. So that becomes really important. When we start thinking of the strategy to those we think of, you know, investing in, you know, in r&d, what is it that we’re doing from a customer experience? that’s positive or negative? What are we learning from that I think is really important. You know, experimenting with marketing, we just last week, held several virtual sessions, if you didn’t get a chance to catch any of those, some absolutely fantastic conversations. But we talked a bunch about experimentation with a group of pink marketers talking about, you know, how is it that, you know, for the rest of 2020, you can take some small experiments, right, maybe that’s in some online advertising. You know, we’re coming up this next week on the finality of this, you know, election season. So a lot of those online ads will then become a little cheaper after Tuesday, because there’s going to be a lot less competition for those ads and with less competition But that might mean that we have a little bit of area to play with us things, right? We can, we can try out, you know, $50 here or you know, a few hundred dollars there to be able to experiment a little bit more with digital behavior and understanding. So that also allows us to check those things like our data and analytics. We’ve been spending a lot of time over the last, actually about three months, with a number of financial institutions, taking a deep dive into Google Analytics, and analyzing what did you see? Does it correspond with the trends we’re seeing across the industry? And how is that affecting the goals and targets that you’ve had? You know, throughout that web traffic, so I think that’s a really important thing to be taking a look at that specific data over this time period.

staci dudley 20:56
In addition to Google Analytics, like what other tools kind of my to recommend or suggest that, you know, that marketers take advantage of look at?

Ben Pankonin 21:06
Yeah, you know, obviously, we do a number of tracking on specific social media interactions, right. So, you know, so how is it that you’re getting that reach and engagement on social channels? I think those are really important. But you know, even as we look at the marketing technology, things like your email marketing, what types of open rates are you having, there’s an amazing amount that you can collect when you start tying those systems together. And I think that’s really a soft spot for a lot of marketers right now. And this is really a great time, a great reminder to start bringing those together. Because if we’re asking for more budget for a certain area, and we can come back in and say, Hey, by the way, we know that we have this many emails opened, and this is where the traffic goes. And by the way, when we send traffic over through this source, you know, sometimes it actually comes out as a leader opportunity in a completely another area. And we can start to point to that real knowledge based on those campaigns. And so I would actually say, Stacey, I don’t know that it’s as much the tools as making sure that their connectivity is really working. Well. I know, you and I have talked about that a lot of times with the different tools and making sure that that those interact correctly.

staci dudley 22:30

Ben Pankonin 22:33
Um, you know, Stacy, you know, you, as our CEO, have spent a lot of time on, on our internal brands, with employees. And definitely something we’ve really pushed for is how we’re investing in employees, so that they really not only know what our vision is, as a company, but also how we can have the right tools so that they can learn and develop. I think I really appreciated that a sense of initiative we’ve kind of put in this year especially.

staci dudley 23:08
Yeah, I think it’s huge to have that that data behind those initiatives, so that everyone can kind of see the results be on board, as mean, even beyond, you know, proving that to your bank board, or, you know, the bank president or whoever that might be, you’re also proving the value to your teams.

Ben Pankonin 23:31
Yeah, yeah, I think, you know, as we look at it, for a lot of our internal employees, part of what we’re looking at, and I think, as we’re having conversations with, you know, financial leaders, is saying, hey, a lot of us in 2020, at some point in the year started thinking about what was really important in our lives. And I think, as we’re thinking about what are those really important moments, you know, our employees or coworkers, they’re all thinking about those things as well. And figuring out how we can help those values that our co workers have that our community financial institutions have, right, but that really do care about the community, the more we can help define that, and help that be something specific that we can latch on to, the better as we start thinking more about that, that planning aspect. Can we talk a little bit about brands here as we think about investing in your brand for 2021? I’ll go back here just briefly, we think about our brand. It’s not just about that external brand, when we think of Coca Cola or someone like that. It’s also about this internal brand of how is it that we’re messaging that with our employees so that they can be great advocates for our brands? That’s definitely something to be thinking about. How We’re investing in that employee engagement. and the value of that experience, how are employees seeing that shaped for them, I think is really critical. And then, you know, obviously, that comes into training and those aspects. So when we then come to more of an external brands, I brought this, I wish I could share the audio with you, I can send share out the link for you. For the YouTube clip for Coca Cola did a great ad with this guy who was known as George the poet. But part of what they really wanted to emphasize and I think is really critical. As we look at financial marketing, we look at a brand like Coca Cola, they’re very aspirational brand, they want to tie in with culture, they want to share with you a little bit more about what it is to truly, you know, be bought into a Coca Cola brand, right? If we think about the things that go into it. Not that long ago, Coca Cola was named as the as the most valuable brands, when we think about what they think about and what they invest in. What they’re really saying is that in 2020, you know, what we’ve all learned collectively, right? The experience that we’ve had, in 2020 is somewhat of a collective experience more so than we’ve experienced in previous years, we have this collective experience. It’s not all a positive experience, but some parts are positive. And I think that’s really what Coca Cola is aiming to do. And so in George, the poet’s sort of text in this, he says, some really provocative statements, that maybe, maybe not everything has to go back to the normal that it was right, maybe this normal that we’re pursuing, is, in some ways better. And, you know, he asked poses questions like this one, what if? What if I’m there when you need a friend, right? Like, what if I’m caring for family in that way? And I’m reaching out to them, and I’m available to them? And he finishes with a statement? What if I’m truly open, right? If I’m open to learn, I’m open to, to these opportunities. And I think it’s a really great reminder, as we’re putting together, whether we’re putting together a video ad campaign, like Coca Cola did, or we’re investing in small micro campaigns where maybe we’re sharing those out onto social media. It’s that analysis that we’re taking of 2020 and saying, what are the best things that we learned during this experience? Certainly, we all experienced some level of pain, some level of challenge and struggle and had to overcome things. But what are the positives that we don’t want to forget? out of? 2020? I think if you’re investing in brands, that is a question that you should be looking to help answer. What is it that my customers members, what is it that my community doesn’t want to forget about 2020. And maybe that is that we had more time in the backyard. Maybe that is that we did have some good quality time. With family. I think those are some great reminders for how we think about investing in brands.

staci dudley 28:33
I think to a lot of wear brands, we’re faced with, like you said there was there was a lot of negativity, but what brands face was bringing positivity

to their customers to their members.

And seeing how they can make how the difference can be made the social good, and the social responsibility level within marketing was significantly elevated in in 2020. And we’ve all kind of known out there that there has the trend to millennials to lean towards products that have a culture towards more of a social responsibility or social good like you think of bomba socks, you know, for every sock you purchase. One One is purchased for you know, someone who’s homeless or veteran, etc. So they impact that social good product has been known for 2020 solid elevated and that that tension is there and it’s getting employees to buy into their company culture as well.

Ben Pankonin 29:36
Yeah, I think that’s a great point. Stacey is thinking about how how social good is a part of all of the things that we’re doing, right? If we are, if we’re a financial institution that cares dramatically about community then we should care dramatically about the social good opportunities in that community. And that’s, that’s really an open door for For how we can continue to have relationship with our community, because when we’re seen as, as not self serving in those ways that social good component like you described, I think that becomes really important. So to that point, right, we, we won’t be the same in 2021. And when we talk about normal, or whatever that looks like, things won’t go back into the same box. For some of us, we were evaluating brand strategies. And obviously, that becomes a hot topic. You know, are we are we operating with less branches? If you’re like, like many organizations are in our community, it could be financial institutions, it could be restaurants, if they have a drive thru, that that is their preferred channel right now. And, you know, regardless of cases, or things like that, that’s definitely a preferred channel, right. So you know, it’s far easier to serve a larger number of customers through a digital channel than it is in person. And we’re starting to realize some of those cost savings. And for many of us, that might not go back to being the same. Yeah, we also know that, you know, we learned from the delivery, we also learned from the marketing of it, we learned that, you know, a lot of our customers started to listen to us online, in new ways, and I think those habits, and preferences just won’t ever go back to quite the way they were pre 2020

staci dudley 31:43
I think definitely, you know, things have become, in some ways easier for some people, you know, like, I am only going to order my groceries from now, I mean, I didn’t really order my groceries that often before but now, like, I don’t know, if I can ever go back, I don’t want to go back into the store. Um, you know, when you even think about, like, how banks have made changes, whether they’ve reduced hours, or they’ve taken taken away Saturdays, you think you think about Saturday morning hours, you know, I know, my local bank has, that I use has removed their Saturday hours. And it’s one of those things like you wonder, you know, 50 years ago, it was, you know, your Monday through Friday, and Saturdays were added for that need. Now with, you know, mobile banking and all the virtual and the customer support hours. You know, banks might be reconsidering is this needed. And like you said earlier, then customers actually, a lot of them adapt pretty quickly. So depending on what you hear, and your local community needs, you know, some of these changes that you’ve made, you might, whether it’s a restaurant or bank, some people might be considering making those permanently.

Ben Pankonin 32:50
Yeah, and I think, you know, as we’re browsing things online, one of the things that we start to realize is that, you know, consumers are sharing more information with us than they were oftentimes when they were in that branch. Now, we had certainly some talent on our front lines, that helps people to understand that, hey, you know, maybe they could share some more information about their financial needs, or are things that they wanted, and those were great opportunities to help them see that we could be a provider of other opportunities. But we’re now seeing those sorts of buying intense or, or needs for products exercise online. And I think the the more that we’re pushing into those online tools, the more we’re seeing that intent surfaced from the way that they browse our website as a financial institution, and the way that they browse the internet, elsewhere, maybe they’re researching something online, since they weren’t able to have that conversation in person in a branch, they’re starting to have more of that conversation on a place like Google. And so we’re seeing some, some clear opportunities on places there where we’re consumers are looking for financial advice they’re looking for, and but what should I be doing? What is a line of credit is, what’s a good rate for a line of credit, all of those types of things. They’re expressing some of that intent online. And that’s certainly a space where through digital marketing, and advertising, we can place ads into those specific places. So I think that’s a really important thing to be thinking about. We’re seeing a significant budget shift, right. So we’re seeing some increases, and we’re seeing some decreases.

staci dudley 34:42
But these these results here are actually from the marketing and compliance survey that we conducted back in September. The full report is coming out next month. But what one of the questions we asked the group of banks was how How to COVID impacts each one of these lines of your marketing area. Which one each one of these mediums. The top three increases were in email paid social and digital. And there was also some dips and dips, significant decreases that we’re seeing, and both print direct mail and radio.

Ben Pankonin 35:20
Yeah, thanks for the Sneak Peek, Stacey. Next Next month, of course, a teaser, we will be talking more about that survey and its impact. But yeah, Stacy, I think this is it’s fascinating to see, obviously, it’s no secret that digital channels are really the primary. And you know, if you’re, you know, if your life selling your mail, then you probably are wanting to spend more in that space. You know, I have been chatting with some, it’s interesting to see radio declining. But I am seeing some financial institutions, we’ve been having a great chat around podcasts in banking, there are still some kind of pursuing that podcast really took a dip at the beginning of this crisis because people weren’t traveling. Right. We weren’t having that commute time to work. And even, you know, our time at work wasn’t necessarily listening to podcasts as much. So we did see a decline there. But we are seeing a resurgence of podcasts, too. So it’ll be interesting to see how that shakes out at the sped as well. trends for 2021. You know, Stacy, what are you seeing as far as virtual budget shift?

staci dudley 36:38
Yeah, that, you know, you see that the call to action, that call to action to, you know, come in branch or, you know, come sign up to receive this free gift is shifting more to kind of that virtual call to action, where you’re going to go to sign up on a landing page, or you’ll receive, you know, a virtual gift for, you know, filling out an application for a new account. And then again, social media. I mean, that’s like Ben said, digital has been huge. That influencer marketing, you know that influencer doesn’t have to be Patrick mahomes. It can be other influential people, even like in your community, if you have local local bloggers, or even local Facebook groups, or mommy groups or things like that the number of times that I’ve seen in my local mom group, hey, I want to switch banks, what does everybody else use, like so these women trust a group of, you know, 7000 other women that they’ve never even seen before, but they’re in a Facebook group, to figure out where they should go and bank. So that influencing is huge on social, digital advertising, again, kind of how Bennett talked about making sure that all of those pieces are working together your Google Analytics and your email marketing. Getting all of that information together for focused retargeting, knowing what your consumers are interested in, if they’re looking for auto, if they’re looking for auto loans, they may need financing to go with that new car looking for financing and go with it. Again, social responsibility, that social good, huge uptick in marketing efforts in 2020, we really don’t see that going away. It’s proven to be a great cultural connection. And reputation management. So again, that sells listings review generation and review response. Some great stats are showing that you know, 92% of people rely on reviews, over 80%, even from a stranger who when you’re looking for, you know, someone to clean your carpet, doing or looking at the reviews to see who had a good experience and who had a bad experience. The more reviews you get, the better your reputation. And the higher the trust level is. Also it kind of if you levels out some of those people who aren’t super happy, so that the more positive reviews you have, it kind of brings up your star rating. A lot of people won’t even look at a business that has less than four stars. So Keeping that review up and doing more efforts to get review generation and encourage customers to leave reviews. And again, instant gratification. So whether someone is receiving real or perceived expedited service, if you’re kind of putting some additional kind of marketing steps in there to help them be like, Oh, this is fast. Again, everyone clicks on when you go to Amazon, you click on this toggle field that has to be on prime because I need it tomorrow. You know, Thanksgiving is not you know, for another month, but I need that Turkey platter tomorrow.

And then

we’re mobile again, optimizing that mobile experience. More browsing is being done on mobile, more activities. Mobile Banking, all of that, you know, making your screen your website, that user experience on mobile, you continue to optimize that.

Ben Pankonin 40:13
You know, as I was thinking, as you were saying some of those, you know, reputation management, we’ve definitely seen a huge strain on that, on that area, in part because, you know, we’re having more changes to each branch location than ever before. So I know for the financial institutions, we’re working with our listings and reviews, we’re having tons of those open and close and somewhere in between. As we’re describing those, those different locations, I definitely perceive that to continue over the next few months, especially. So we’re definitely seeing a lot of the challenges around that. And I think, the clearer you can be, there’s nothing more frustrating than showing up a place. And it’s happened to me a couple times during this era where I’m showing up somewhere, and it’s closed, or they required an appointment. But it wasn’t messaged to me before I got there. And that’s a really frustrating thing. So if you’re looking for how to manage those, first of all being clear, so you can push out that review generation all of those, it’s really important. And then making sure people know if they get there, is there anything that they need to know? Do they need knock three times do they need to call you before anything like that? Those are all really important, as we’re looking at those,

staci dudley 41:36
controlling those listings also really improved your SEO, for example, when you’re controlling your Google My Business listing, you can kind of put in some of your key terms and services, you know, and, and most of the time of consumers journey. It starts online, it starts with a Google search, again, looking for what’s near you and what you can do as well. What other products you might want to purchase as well.

Ben Pankonin 42:01
Yeah, great, great point. When we think about our we investing tours, we’re looking at what’s left in our 2020 budget, how are we investing in ourselves and our people? Are some some great examples here. I think one of the things that we’re finding is that, you know, we can’t do everything, right, as as marketers often say, it’s the most elastic position in a financial institution is this role of marketing, right? Not necessarily the person of marketing, but the role, right? Because we have these extremes of understanding analytics, and understanding, budgeting, all the way over to understanding how a brand makes you feel, and the, you know, the imaging. And so if we look at all of these roles, going into that one area, there are very different skill sets. And there are those unicorns who can span a lot of these areas. But the reality is, you know, oftentimes, we have to evaluate how our team is growing and developing. So whether or not we’re hiring a person to fulfill some of these areas, or we’re, you know, working with a third party to help in some of these areas, we know we need the great analytics to be able to justify this brand. And we know we need a great brand, to be able to make the analytics much more successful, and actionable. So you know, all of this span in between these really leads us to realize that, you know, a lot of times, you know, whether we’re hiring or we’re investing in some training for some additional staff, or working with a third party that can get us answers in some of these areas. I think this is really an area we’re seeing in, you know, an increase in in kind of spending towards the end of 2020. I’m now building your business case. Stacy, I know you have had to do this at some very large companies. And, and also have had to work in you know, it’s small organizations to help justify this. How do you usually think about this process?

staci dudley 44:20
Yeah, and when you’re kind of building that business case, the first thing you want to do is kind of look at your outline. Look at what you setting your goals and your objectives for that year. What do you want to accomplish? What are the what should you look at going forward? And one thing that’s important to think about going into 2021, that what’s worked in your budgets and your business cases before what’s been in those plans, what’s been in each of those buckets for your investments, is like a lot of times he’s kind of copied and pasted over every year. This work. We’re going to do it again. This year. You almost have to wipe that clean and look at it from a totally new perspective. So, you know, in building that business case, looking at each of those things that you’ve done in the past that have been successful for your bank, you know, do you want to do that? Again? Is it feasible in the current environment in the market? And then also, how can you take that and implement the new digital strategies, the new ways that people are doing business, the, you know, new ways to that we’re looking at connecting. So, in building that strategy, and first, you know, doing those, that requirements gathering, as well as kind of that discovery of what have you done in the past, what hasn’t worked, and then integrating in those new initiatives, you know, in the past, you might have a couple of initiatives you’re building in each year, right? So you’re kind of used to work these ones in, but now you’ve got a whole bunch. So 21 2021 kind of takes that strategy to a whole new level. Research and Analysis is huge. So understanding the why. So looking at, there’s a ton of data out there and available, looking at how trends have impacted 2021 or 2020. In you know, to be honest, at least the first, at least the first half of 2021, is going to be kind of similar to where we’re at right now. With the potential it may be the second half of the year might change. But it’s good to kind of have two plans in place the, you know, maintain social distancing plan, and then maybe an additional plan to see things might change a little bit, people might come start coming into branches a little bit more. Again, there’s all those unknowns out there. So with kind of that research and analysis, as well as looking at what has worked in the past, which you wanted to integrate this year, putting the strategies behind each of those initiatives, and putting together how are we going to execute this? How are we going to accomplish these goals that we want to accomplish? And then backing in the budgetary requirements for each of the elements to accomplish, you know, whether it’s those campaigns or events and all those components that go into those. And then taking that step and mapping it out kind of on the roadmap. You know, with a budget, we all know that it’s important to you know, segment that out on a timeline, looking at where all those campaigns are going to fall into place, where all of those elements and the dependencies and roadmapping it out, so that you know, that spend and where you should be at throughout the year on that marketing budget.

Ben Pankonin 47:45
Yeah, I appreciate that. Sorry. No, you’re you’re great. And you know, when I think about it, I think about it in kind of these terms, right? You’re building a case, right? So we have to think of that challenge. This is a way and we’ll send you some worksheets as a follow up to this to help break this down. But the first thing is, what’s that challenge that you’re going to overcome? Right for for 2020? A lot of us went into it saying, Hey, you know, we need more core deposits? You know, we absolutely need more core deposits. Let’s figure out what is that objective. So we’re gonna have to figure out how we, how we gain more core deposits? Well, you know, coming to this point of 2020, most of us don’t core deposits, right. Most of us have a lot of deposits, that are trying to figure out how we develop great long term lending strategies into 2021, knowing that rates will probably be low. But knowing that we want to diversify some of that lending portfolio, and maybe some of its mortgage, maybe some of its small business, we want to maintain some of those PvP relationships that we’ve, we’ve helped along the way. So the way I look at it is if we break it out into these four categories, it helps us to kind of build that case together, right? We want to challenge it first, the sea right? How do we challenge what’s the what’s the thing that we have to overcome? What’s that analysis like? Stacey, like you said, like, what’s, what are the numbers that matter? Is it that we need to get, you know, X number of loans at x, y, size? And how will, how will I know if that’s successful, right? figuring out those numbers. And then, you know, when we’re, when we’re looking at how we present that strategy, at some point, we’re gonna have to present it to a person or a group of people, right? They’re gonna want to know how, and I think sometimes, sometimes we miss that, right? We miss the hate. We’re going to build this and we’re going to do it, you know, by doing this strategy right? What is the strategy that helps us overcome that? And then how is the execution going to work? So, is that with the current team that’s going to develop that? Or do we need, you know, other individuals involved? Right? Whether we’re hiring for that, or we’re outsourcing it, or some combination of it? I think that’s another key area is figuring out, how will we execute on this work? Who are the people responsible for executing?

So then we come to this moment of saying, you know, what, is it that your CEO really wants out of this scenario as well? And and figuring out that, as we’re looking at, yeah, these servers, you know, financial service providers, what is it that they’re seeing for 2021? As far as budget goes, and I think this is going to be an interesting in a developing story over the next coming months, is, are we going to see an increase in budgets for financial institution or a decrease in budgets? And I don’t know that we, we truly know the answer to that question quite yet. But, you know, according to surveys, it’s looking like, you know, some, some, maybe increasing some of their, you know, budgets due to market share.

So, I think this is gonna be an interesting development as we kind of think through the next couple months.

staci dudley 51:43
And then do you do you think some of that shift, you know, and looking at the budgets, you know, with this, you know, going away from print, and you’re moving towards more digital, the average cost per click, you know, versus the price per item, you know, on, you know, a big mailed flyer talking about, you know, and home equity line, versus, you know, more targeted emails, and not necessarily more targeted social or digital marketing, that cost is lower? So do you see some of that, like, with the potential to see things go down, you get rid of some of that more expensive, traditional marketing?

Ben Pankonin 52:25
You know, what, what we’ve seen is, you know, some of the budgets are starting to just be analyzed, like, kind of, like you said, like, it, you know, maybe we’re looking at something like, you know, a large print spend, and saying it, did we did this convert for us, right? And, you know, there’s a reason why, you know, we had a lot of downsizing in, you know, in traditional media, because there wasn’t a significant decrease in spent. But at the same time, as more people are paying attention online, it means that there’s more inventory for advertisement,

right. So if I spend, you

know, an hour online, looking at news there, then that means, like, that’s taking away from the news, I may have read in print. So it also means that if I’m there for an hour, I’ve consumed a lot of ads during that hour. So it’s much easier to interrupt me in the digital space, especially in 2021, than it is the non digital space. Also, additionally, you know, as we think of trends, like driving to work, right, if I’m driving to work less times, that’s less impressions on a billboard, that’s less impressions. You know, at each billboard that I’m passing, if we’ve got, you know, on average people commuting, you know, 35%, less or so, those are all trends that we want to kind of consider. But I think what we’re seeing is that a lot of marketers are saying, hey, how do I make sure I get more bang for the buck during that time period? And, you know, certainly, you know, it’s just more efficient. The more digital we’re, we’re producing, and that spent it’s not to say that billboards are ineffective all the time there. They can be very effective. But it’s just that I think there’s there’s more scrutiny around those types of channels. Now.

staci dudley 54:32
I think just contemplating the overall shifts, you know, the streaming that has made a huge impact, you know, the know people going to Spotify or Pandora, you’re not hearing those radio ads, because you’re listening to uninterrupted music, or the podcast, there are ads in there and you can purchase those but they’re not as numerous and then even like the streaming tell, who’s on Hulu, Netflix, you know, Amazon, all of those different ways to consume content is taking you away. From that local advertising, and even like, if you’re streaming on YouTube TV, or Roku, when they have those local ads on the national channels, you get a picture of birds flying, you know, take a break, because it can’t fill in that local ad time from that streaming service. So you’re also, you know, seeing the loss in those areas, because Digital’s kind of moving into those spaces.

Ben Pankonin 55:27
Yeah, well, and I think a lot of times what we have to challenge as marketers to in this time period, if we look at these three scenarios, are you going to decrease your marketing budget? 2021? Are you going to stay flat? Are you going to increase it? I think to a large degree, we have to say, this is a trans transitional period in 2020, and 2021. Where do you want to be long term, right? If you want your financial institution to continue to grow and be seen as a great source for those deposits, they might not always be as cheap to gain as they were in 2020, it might be harder to gain those deposits in the future. So being positioned as the place where you want to be where you want to store that money, where you also, you know, want to be that trusted advisor and, and community member, I think what we need to do is position some of those what worked in the short term in 2020, we need to figure out what that long term is in 2021 is really that pivotal year for us to set that up for the future. And I think that’s one of the things we need to be presenting to senior management and financial organizations is that, hey, 2021 shapes up to be this first year of what’s coming. Right. What’s coming is more transition. And, and we need to be known as a player who understands that and understands the voice of our customer.

staci dudley 56:57

Ben Pankonin 56:59
So this has been great to to share. Stacey, thank you for joining with us today and sharing a lot of your background and knowledge, do you have any thoughts that you’d love to leave our audience with today?

staci dudley 57:13
You know,

the only thing that I you know, looking back at 20 2021, and looking at the marketing trends, and where kind of our segmented focus has been, you know, to your last point looking at things were moving and had been moving in this direction. 2020 just gave us a really aggressive bump. And a lot of us are doing this and shifting our budgets and our marketing efforts a lot faster than we thought we would. But seeing how nimble and flexible the a lot of these banks have been and adjusting their markets and their marketing in 2020. It’ll be great to see you know how things evolve. And I love data. I love sending all of you report or surveys in the future to kind of see you know, how it’s worked out for you and how things have changed?

Ben Pankonin 58:00
Well, yes, I fully agree with you, Stacy, and the way that you’ve brought this together, obviously you Stacy is our in house Excel expert too. And so I know you’re going to be looking at more and more of that data picture for how we’ve had, you know, different results. And you’ve been communicating some of what we’ve already received back from financial institutions at surveys for 2020. So again, as it’s a really pivotal year for how we think about, you know, where we’re going to be positioned for the next several years, I think it’s going to be a really important aspect. So stick with us for next month’s webinar. We’ll be gearing things up by that Thanksgiving time period. But in the meantime, have a wonderful rest of your October a great Halloween this weekend. And we’ll catch you online soon. Thanks again.

staci dudley 58:58
Thank you

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