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To Market, or Not to Market? Marketing During a Pandemic

August 27, 2020 10:30 am View Recording

As banks and communities begin to re-open, discussions around marketing and bank growth are beginning to take place again in the boardrooms. But how does marketing actually look in a pandemic and during an economic crisis? As banks become more concerned with operational impacts due to looming credit quality issues and the shift in consumer behavior, discussions with and around marketing are essential for future bank success.

Join Ben Pankonin and our new Chief Marketing Officer, Jody Guetter, as they discuss:

  • Understanding the importance of marketing roles in strategic conversations
  • How to re-evaluate and adjust priorities
  • Importance of being agile and flexible in volatile times

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Ben Pankonin 0:05
Well, welcome back to a social bank webinar. I am been hanging in and I am joined today with Jody gutter. And we’re going to be talking about to market or not to market marketing during a pandemic. All of us are getting a little bit more used to the pandemic. But, you know, we’re not necessarily getting used to what to do marketing yet in a pandemic. But I’m really excited to introduce Jody gutter. Some of you have met Jody, on our webinar or other bank marketing webinars. But I’ve known Jody for several years. We actually met connecting about social insurance several years ago, and then fortunately got the opportunity to see her, you know, speak and present and things as on behalf of bank marketers. So a lot of you in the bank marketing world know Jody and know how she’s shared a lot of of different things with us. But she’s joined with us today as our cmo. And so it’s fun to, to bring in a big marketing director into our team and Jody, it is absolute pleasure to get to work with you last few weeks and excited to have you join our webinar.

Jody Guetter 1:26
Yeah, this is awesome. It’s been a very warm welcome and a wonderful transition to join the social assurance team. And hopefully I can add some value to our clients experiences and instantly share my thoughts today on where to go from here. There’s a lot ahead of us a lot of unknown and hopefully Ben and I today can give us a little bit of insights of how to kind of move things forward.

Ben Pankonin 1:50
Well, absolutely, you know, we’ve been kind of collaborating about, you know, bank marketing and what 2020s look like. You know, it’s been that dumpster Fire of the year. But you know, for a lot of us, you know, we’ve had to figure out, you know, we scrapped things at the beginning of the year. And now here we are trying to recover things and figure out, okay, when do we mark it? When do we not mark it? What should we say? The response and questions we’ve had over this are tremendous. And I think, as you and I talked about this is, this is going to be a bit of a series for us to understand, what do we do now? And then how do we transition for 2021? So there’s gonna be some things that we, that we do talk about today, and there’s gonna be some things that we might not be ready to talk about yet, but, but hopefully we can, we can really guide through that conversation today. Yeah. So first things first, when we talk about our 2020 marketing plans, yeah, we hit that middle of March. I happen to be at the icba conference and the next week I was supposed to be flying internationally to Europe with my wife and So this is kind of what I thought we were going to be going through. In 2020. I, you know, I had literally planned out my March had only a few days home. And so I thought we were going to spend a lot of time on planes. And what we ended up with was an awkward road trip through our marketing process, as opposed to the sort of elegant, planned out trip. And so I think for a lot of us, we kind of hit this moment in 2020, where we realized we weren’t going to be sort of flying in the same path or itinerary as we thought we were going to go through and navigating that has been a struggle. And I know God, you’ve shared a lot about the planning and things that you put into a 2020 marketing plan. My 2020 marketing plan, sort of dug out and started using it for notes. Yeah, a couple weeks ago. But, but you know, for a lot of us it’s, it really has shifted.

Jody Guetter 4:06
Yeah, absolutely. We were all forced to adapt incredibly quickly. When Carvin really exacerbated, you know, what we were doing. And really, you know, the marketing plans that we had in play, really just went out the window and we had to really shift priorities to you know, what the immediate needs were for both, you know, the bank, the employees, and certainly our customers and primary communication started to really focus around, you know, branch operations, how we going to be interacting and servicing our customers through the pandemic or through branch closures. We were forced to talk about new ways of interacting and educating our clients on with digital delivery. new programs like PPP, they became of the utmost urgency and so everything that we felt was strategic and Marketing driven, really did take a backseat to really address those, you know, immediate needs and the organizational goals just really, really shifted during that time. And, you know, from my thing, I think is, you know, banks and communities start to, you know, reopen discussions around, you know, marketing and bank growth and really kind of like, where do we go from here are really starting to take place in the boardrooms. And it really is an opportune time to, you know, kind of dust off like strategies and pull them out of the drawer and really re evaluate what is going to be the role of financial service providers going forward. Understanding what are the new expectations of the customer, the customers who were forced to adapt and adopt digital services, who may not have been a likely or have a high likelihood to adopt in the past. You know, we also have to talk about our Small business customers and bank operations as well. Small businesses and entrepreneurs have been hit really, really hard, as we’re all familiar with. So what are they going to experience in 612 months from now? And from a marketing perspective, you know, how are we going to service and communicate them? You know, we are going to go through an economic collapse, too. So how do we adjust and revise some marketing strategies and communicate, you know, in a recession? So there’s a lot on Ansan and a lot of potential challenges ahead. But today, I really start to talk about what are some of the things that we can start to do to pivot from being a crisis communicator and thinking very short term and stop kind of going back to, you know, being a strategic marketer.

Ben Pankonin 6:50
Fantastic. So, so this is one of the statements you kind of made the other day which is, you know, don’t wait to sort of like, get back Back to normal. I don’t even know. You know, I mean, I think a lot of us are still communicating about normal really isn’t gonna happen again.

Jody Guetter 7:10
Yeah, exactly. I think that that’s that, you know, kind of million dollar question and I think in every social conversation and even professional conversation where you hear like, what is the new normal. And so I think it’s really up to us now to stop just adapting to what we’re experiencing right now and not waiting for this, you know, silver bullet to come in and everything will be perfect again, and so we’re starting to build a plan around what we’re experiencing today, what we anticipate, you know, the future is going to look live, and being able to, you know, adapt and respond, you know, accordingly.

Ben Pankonin 7:50
Yeah, and really, you know, it’s, it’s time to it’s time to make those changes and really bring that back together. today. We had some questions. And one of our questions surrounded a little bit of how do we mark it right now, with this sort of area of, you know, uncertainty, how do we do this in a way that’s sensitive? Was the word that that was used there was how do we mark it in a way that’s sensitive to this environment?

Jody Guetter 8:25
Yeah, it’s a great question. And I’m hopefully today I’m going to add a little bit more throughout the presentation with you to kind of bring it to life a little bit more. But from my perspective, it’s not about stopping marketing. It’s not about stopping communication, but it’s the way in which we communicate and in a recession and in a pandemic. messaging needs to instill trust and empathy. We need to be able to connect with the consumer and acknowledge what they’re experiencing. And that can be through direct messaging or even shifting, you know, tactics to focus on more, how am I going to help this small business? through what they’re experiencing? What resources can I provide them, to equip them with the knowledge to get through this economic cycle and be able to come out on the other side with a successful business operation? And so those are some of those key areas. We need to really emotionally connect with that customer and help them through these they at the end of the day, they want to know that we care and how we’re going to help them.

Ben Pankonin 9:37
Yeah, I think it’s a fantastic place in posture to start from is that sense of caring? Yeah, I think of it a lot of times I heard a lot of people say, we should stop a bunch of this marketing or a bunch of this sales activity. And I think, you know, if truly what you’re about is building a relationship with those customers and clients. If you thought of it as a family member and said, Hey, they’re really struggling right now, this wouldn’t be the time where you would say, hey, let’s stop calling them or let’s tough in pursuing that relationship, you would find a way to help them. And I think you’re absolutely right in figuring out how do we, how do we start with that caring mentality.

Jody Guetter 10:23
very proactively engaged with them through this time as well and continuing that rapport more touchpoints more than ever.

Ben Pankonin 10:32
So you you referenced this phrase that I really loved the other day, it you just sort of said it, but yeah, you know, I think it’s, it’s fantastic. Or you said, hey, we’ve got to stop being crisis communicators and start being marketers. And I’d love to love for you to walk through with us how that difference really plays out.

Jody Guetter 10:56
Yeah, absolutely. And I first of all want to acknowledge We had to be crisis communicated. That’s what what was needed from all bank marketers. When COVID hit and has really been, you know, since then I think some of the things that we were forced to, you know, adjust was that a crisis communicator really is limited in the scope of work. They’re very focused in on a particular issue for a particular point in time for particular outcome. That’s where their energy, that’s where their resources are going to. But because of that, it unfortunately creates a narrow view. You’re not thinking about all of these other, you know, areas of business that you typically would be as a strategic marketer, you’re not thinking about goals, you’re not thinking about marketing performance, you’re not thinking about growing the business lines or the customer experience in the way of like branch transformation or digital adoption. It very much is serving the immediate needs of the organization. To reduce risk serving the immediate needs of the customer customer to make sure that they’re supported. But we definitely need to be able to kind of take what we’ve learned and still have that in our marketing skill set. But we really need to start evolving back and start thinking, Okay, I can’t be in this immediate, narrow view, for another 12 months, I can’t be in it even for another three months, we really need to start balancing that act a little bit more with becoming back to, you know, a strategic bank marketer who’s just really good at crisis communication is very experienced now in crisis communication and stop thinking about creative flexibility. Stop thinking about the holistic view of how are we going to market going forward, and it’s going to be a challenge about we need to be able to kind of own that and really start proactively shifting things and balancing that differently.

Ben Pankonin 12:58
Yeah, well, I love what you said. Because it’s not that we’re not good crisis communicators, and you know, there’s a time and place for that. But we want to carry this narrative and start writing part of the story, again, rather than, than reacting to it. And I think, I think that’s what starts to put us in that creative driven a proactive approach to marketing. And if we continue sort of like reacting to what the world’s giving us right now, you’re never going to be able to write the story for the brands that were assigned to help market.

Jody Guetter 13:35
One thing I said on a previous webinar, too, it’s like, I don’t want my legacy as a marketer to be COVID. I want my, you know, legacy as a bank marketer to be, you know, building brands and changing the customer experience. So I think thinking through that as well with like, what do you want to be remembered for and how you’re going to make an impact and that really needs to be addressed. driving force for your ambition.

Ben Pankonin 14:02
Yeah, I love that perspective of thinking of what’s the long term legacy people would want to remember about the brands that you’re working with and how you’re creating that. And it, it shouldn’t be just this reaction to, to this pandemic, it should be, how did you transform it to be something better, bigger through this process? I like that. So you’re gonna, we’re going to walk us through a few different steps. The first of that is recovering to be strategic in these conversations, and then how do we, you know, evaluate and prioritize what we have. And then, you know, how do we continue to be agile and, and flexible through this process? So the strategic conversations that we’re having at this time, you know, I think, Jody, you and I have talked about it, and in fact, we even did a live stream not that long ago with with john a little bit on what what’s The role that marketing has really changed in this time. And as you reference the crisis communicators, for marketers, we ended up at the boardroom table, we ended up with all eyes on us in a short amount of time. Because all of a sudden, you know, these financial brands looked to the marketers in the room and said, Hey, what do we do? How do we change? How do we adapt to this thing? You know, put all eyes on us in a short amount of time.

Jody Guetter 15:34
Yeah, absolutely. And that’s why I’m so passionate to about taking that crisis communication head off and getting back to a strategic market up. You’re right. You know, we became this center source for support as it related to customer communications, content and education for our customers as well as our internal stuff. We’re at the epicenter of culture and employee engagement. employees were scared employees were stressed. And so we really did get the light shone on us and marketers for so many years are we’ve always been hearing after webinar after webinar to get that seat at the table. And to your point, you know, we did we were part of that conversation. So how do we stay there now? How do we continue to add value at a strategic level? And this is what I want to talk about kind of facing next steps. Let’s not get pushed back into the ghetto get off the limelight. Like let’s stay there. And I think one of the things that we really need to own and that we’re responsible for as unibank market is is interjecting ourselves to those conversations coming to the table to learn about your business lines, learn about what is working what is not, you know, In my mind, we’re responsible to understand what their business goals and strategies are and how they’ve been impacted by COVID-19. We need to understand and educate ourselves on the current state of affairs and what they’re anticipating on the lending side, the deposit side, the wealth side, you know, and how the customer is going to be kind of impacted to that. We really need to learn and we really need to listen. And the other part to this too, is like, we need to come prepared with good questions. We need to navigate those conversations I don’t know about everyone else on the phone, but you know, I don’t necessarily have the director of commercial banking, like knocking down my door, freely giving up information, right, like it’s something that we have to really extract out of them to be a part of the conversation. So not only kick starting the conversation, but really facilitate The conversation and getting what you need from them the answers you need to be able to act upon, we won’t be able to do an effective job unless we have those types of conversations. And then the second part to that, and it kind of ties in to being agile and being flexible is bank marketers need to set up a communication cadence with these key stakeholders. It can’t be this one and done conversation to help you with strategic planning. The reality is the markets are volatile, we’re going to you know, an election year we’re going into a recession, the pandemic, we really don’t know how long this is going to kind of affect our way of living. And so things can change incredibly quickly. New priorities surface and sort of having continual and consistent conversation with key stakeholders and leadership. So you can respond accordingly. So you can continue to be a part of that conversation. And so I think that’s really going to come from the marketer, managing and facilitating and directing those conversations.

Ben Pankonin 19:12
Yeah, I love what you said there, you know, we’ve sort of earned a seat at the table. But it’s not that everybody’s sort of coming to us all the time. You know, we don’t want to just be putting out fires. so easily. Yeah, I think that’s I think that’s part of what we want to be figuring out is how do we, how do we stop being the one that they just call when there’s a fire and saying, Okay, let’s, let’s start directing that. So one of those, for all of us is to is to dig out that marketing plan from 2020 that I literally found myself writing notes on the back of our 2020 marketing plan and thinking, yeah, this is the most of us this is what this year has been. But but it’s not that great things weren’t written in there. I mean, there there was a lot of thought put into that. It wasn’t all a terrible plan. And quite honestly, we were digging it out and looking at some of the metrics when you came on board, and I was thinking, you know, actually, some of these we really did hit it. And there were even some areas that we totally exceeded this. And I think a lot of banks are in that same boat, where, you know, we we sort of some of the things that we wrote down, we actually blew through, we may not have even realized it.

Jody Guetter 20:30
Yeah, I think about that a lot. As we talk about goals, and we talk about kind of the next steps like I kind of jokingly kind of say semi jokingly, hopefully there’s no C or something on the line, but, um, you know, nobody is putting a C or especially it’s putting like a little asterisks next to the income statement and going oh, well, we did my budget COVID you know, I am calling it a day. You know, the goals or something There, the objectives is still there to run a profitable bank or credit union, a high performing and sound financial organization. And so a lot of the framework that you’ve built out already from a marketing play, wants to help you get to those, you know, objectives and meet those goals. So I think it just really becomes a little bit more of what changes in the path to get there, right. What does it look like to get there now. And so one of the goals is still the same. But just your your way, or your navigation is just going to change, you know, to achieve those goals. You know, and part of that is going to be, you know, asking the appropriate questions to help navigate those conversations, pulling out that strategic plan, saying how does it fit into this new world based on what you’ve learned based on the conversations that you had with key stakeholders, and maybe something still have a place maybe something’s dying? But it really is evaluating the path in which you get to achieve those objectives now,

Ben Pankonin 22:06
I like that. Jennifer Wheeler, a friend of ours, wrote in and said, How do we continue to navigate through the pandemic? And when is it okay to continue the original marketing played?

Jody Guetter 22:22
You know, that’s a great question. I think.

If it fits, if it fits, you’ve got to understand if it fits, and you’re not going to understand until you have those conversations. For example, you may have gone into the year with SBA and CNI lending was your number one focus we had a ton of opportunity for growth, their marketing spend was designated to that creative was designated to that you were writing content to support lines of business you will working with lenders to leverage LinkedIn to be out there. To promote and market SBA lending, you know, so that may have been the original plan. But now with this shift, there may be these massive shifts in credit quality now and credit concerns, you know, maybe the lending stuff is heavily burdened with monitoring credit, walking through PPP with clients. And maybe that focus isn’t there anymore. Maybe that focus is more about customer engagement and customer retention. So it’s not to say that there aren’t things in the original plan that still fit, but I don’t think you can make that determination until you really re evaluate where the organization is going, where the lines of business are going and then to be able to course correct from that.

Ben Pankonin 23:51
Yeah, what I love these questions as you put together because you’re sort of outlining a lot of that, right. Like, what what’s what’s the line between That’s changed. Maybe it shifted. You know, we thought we were going to do some mortgage refinances, but we didn’t know we were going to absolutely hit historic lows, you know, this year and that became a key driver for us. But and maybe our SBA or just you know, some of our small business lending has shifted a little bit. Obviously, PPP has had a big impact on deposits. We don’t know how long those will stay in there. But, you know, maybe we’re moving some of that transition from, from SBA to, you know, how do we get those to be more long term? You know, customers as well.

Jody Guetter 24:42
Yeah, absolutely. there’s a there’s a lot of conversation around you know, what new tools and technology are going to be needed to service the customer. We have seen dramatic increases in digital adoption, obviously. Less branch traffic. So what about the customer experience with that branch traffic? How does that affect personnel levels and operations to start? There’s definitely crucial conversations that are having that are being had and decisions that needs to be made. But it really is critical to be able to then make sure that we’re inserting, what about the growth? What about the customer? Where should I be allocating my marketing dollars to make sure that they align appropriately with these organizational goals and I think it is imperative to that we build throughout these conversations, that marketing business case. The last thing that we want are some of the same mistakes of 2008 where brands completely shut down and did not mark it. We want to make sure that we continue to market and build that brand trust and feel that Empathy to and really capture our share of voice when others maybe aren’t marketing as heavily or as frequent as they really should be in a recession.

Ben Pankonin 26:13
Absolutely. So so how do we, you know, what do we take away from this from the strategic conversations?

Jody Guetter 26:22
Well, I think first of all, you were at the table. Let’s keep you there. keep that momentum. And the other thing I think, is the credibility that market is earned. Throughout the beginning part of the pit pandemic two, we were at peak performance, we were building relationships across the entire organization, we were making an impact. And so keeping that momentum and leveraging that credibility to maintain your voice throughout these conversations. If you have not had these conversations, if you have not sat down individually and as a group critically, that you sit down with the group, sorry, the whole senior leadership aligns with the priorities to but if you have not sat down and had those conversations, that is an immediate need, and you need to stop that now because the reality is they’re having the conversations with or without you. They’re going to be much better conversations with you part of that process. On the other areas, you know, you need to come to the table curious, you need to show your leadership and key stakeholders that you’re willing to learn that you’re willing to adapt, you’re willing to be agile, and you need to come prepared for those conversations. And then again, holding them accountable to have this ongoing communication cadence. Understand that it’s going to be very difficult to build out a 12 month plan and it to be executed as intended. So making sure that they understand your flexibility. And the way that you can be flexible is being more in tune with their business lines and their priorities.

Ben Pankonin 28:13
Yeah, well, I love that. And, you know, I love the way that you’re kind of describing, hey, what we need to do is, is maintain that seat at the table by showing our value in a more long term capacity, which is quite honestly the same posture we want to have with those PPP customers who came to us for the first time SBA loan, we want to illustrate that, hey, they came to the table for this purpose. And, you know, I noticed that Nicole, Nicole almeyda actually showed us a note to say, hey, when we’re setting priorities, you know, how do we set these priorities when everything is on fire, and totally right. totally appreciate it. Question. And it certainly felt that way. You know, maybe you can walk us through a little bit of this. You know, we were we were headed out on this well planned out itinerary, that my wife and I are still trying to get credit back from our United Airlines sites. But, you know, we were headed out on that itinerary. Or we were planning out every day. And now here we are on this weird road trip through the desert, it seems like and, you know, I think the idea there is, is what should we really be changing? And the thing that came to my mind was, you know, at times we need to Marie Kondo that stuff, right, like, like there’s, there’s some times where we need to figure out what should we be changing? And what should we be keeping, whether it brings us joy, or maybe it brings our bottom line joy as marketers, like, what what are those areas That we we know we’re going to need to change. And I think that’s, I think the mentality that, you know, I’m not a very good Marie Kondo follower, but I think the mentality behind that to say, Okay, let’s break it out and say maybe maybe some of the business schools did or do still align. But maybe, maybe the channel right, I think that channel is one of the first things that we’ve got to reevaluate, you know, if people are like selling their mail, maybe I shouldn’t be sending them more mail. Right.

Jody Guetter 30:39
Right. Absolutely. And like, you know, pre harvest, you know, if a bank needed deposits, you know, they would tend to lean on it on a CD campaign and, and leverage traditional marketing tactics designed to convert customers quickly and efficiently. Maybe even throwing a direct mailer in there. If you want to grow SBA loans, you know, banks have money, customer needs money, put together a PPC campaign, get them in their moment of need and drive that conversion. And these tactics, you know, may or may not have a place, you know, in the future. But you know, right now the reality is that customers are struggling, our communities is struggling. And these conversion based tactics may be perceived as insensitive, and maybe out of touch with customers, and our target audience as well. So, we also need to take into consideration what that sales cycle looks like going forward. If we’re not focused in on these very focused, conversion based tactics, that sales cycle is going to look much longer. It’s going to have to have a multitude of touch points. And we still all struggle with budgets, we still know that we don’t have as much have money in our budget since we’d like to as well. And so we’re going to have to be far more savvy with the channels that we use to be able to create those touch points to still drive the conversions. Again, the objectives are still there. It’s just how we getting them to that. And so I think that that sales funnel conversation, too, is a very important conversation to have. As we talk about even goal setting and planning and one of the maybe new metrics that we have going forward to 2021. We’re not going to be able to compare what we did this last year, based on the goals and based on historical performance. So that is going to have to be another really big part of the discussions with planning.

Ben Pankonin 32:50
Yeah, I appreciate that. Yeah, we had another question come in, as you were talking about that was what is What effective low cost marketing effort? Can I focus on that will produce measurable income for the bank? I mean, I think really, the question there that terrorists, the terrorists asking is, is essentially Where’s there a soft spot in advertising and marketing right now?

Jody Guetter 33:23
Yeah, great question. And it’s a question that all of us want all the time is market as measurable results, right. I have to say the biggest thing that we’re seeing is certainly around digital media, from multiple reasons, is the most efficient channels to deploy marketing spend based on you know, reach frequency impressions and other kind of KPIs associated with that. But the other thing that we are seeing with the impact of covert is the available assets or sorry, the available inventory. for marketers to leverage as a lot of brands have pulled back their marketing adjusted their their marketing tactics as well it has made inventory quite available, which then allows marketers to really deploy their budget. figure that and more effectively to and knowing that a lot of our messaging is more likely on the screen here. It is more about branding. It is more about instilling trust. It’s more about confer.

Ben Pankonin 34:37
Yeah, it’s Jody’s frozen too. You know, I think one of the things that I you know, I think about with that with the increase in inventory. Part of the other side of an increase in inventory is when people start using social channels more, right when people spend more time on Facebook, or they spend more time on Instagram. That increases our inventory, right? So it actually lowers the cost for advertising on those channels when people spend more time there because they’re seeing more ads. It’s it’s much cheaper for me to go get an ad on a platform when they have more inventory.

Jody Guetter 35:17
My back on now, or am I still frozen

Ben Pankonin 35:19
yet? Yeah, you’re good. You’re bad.

Jody Guetter 35:26
Every time that happened during pregnancy, right.

Ben Pankonin 35:30
Exactly. Yeah. I like that. I think, you know, probably part of that is, you know, with with school back in session, and a lot more streaming going on, as well, across our country. So when we think about priorities, how are you thinking about those priorities? And, Jody, I’m glad you’re leading this conversation because I know how good you are at planning and, you know, strategic planning. So when we think about that, what what are the priorities you’re considering? As a former bank marketing director a month ago, I guess?

Jody Guetter 36:07
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I think what what you’re seeing on your screen right now is certainly areas that need to be a part of that conversation and, and what we learned from the recession in 2008, as banks and financial service providers, you know, expected a deep recession and a very, very slow recovery. Select organizations that recognize prospecting and gaining new business had minimal opportunity, and that’s what a lot of us are even talking about already now, and I’m so working on freeing up resources and budgets so they could pay to support existing customers with primary focus on customer retention and efforts really focused on high net worth and highly profitable customers to these types of ships. really helps those banks grow post recession in 2008 and really should be reconsidered, in my opinion as a high priority as we move forward. And so, as we talk about to market or not to market like absolutely be marketing to your existing customers be focusing on customer retention. The other part I would also acknowledge to that too is employee retention. Employees are consumers too, and they are going through this experience just like your customers. So what is your role as a marketer to working with human resources working with you know, your culture officer working with your experience officer to ensure that there’s strategic effort and or going into employee retention and employee engagement as well. The other area customer engagement, which really, the more we’re engaged with our customers, it’s going to translate over to retention. And it’s going to translate over, you know, to profitability, too. So as we talk about how we actually get there, it’s not that we’re not going to be marketing again, it’s just the path in which we get there is just looking a little bit differently. And then the other part customer profitability, if we don’t have a lot of opportunity for new customer acquisition or growth in certain verticals of business, how are we deploying marketing spend and marketing resources to enhance customer profitability and make them more profitable, you know, utilizing digital delivery, digital channels to be able to, you know, reduce expenses, you know, revising product lines to be out of at a service those customers in that pandemic, but then there’s potential for income opportunities. So, these are some areas that have been definitely learned from through 2008 and revisited as part of the strategic discussions going Yeah,

Ben Pankonin 39:05
I like that. So, you know, one of the challenges we’re going to have, as well as these, these budget considerations. You know, both for us and and for, you know, for, for a lot of the commercial customers are banks and you know, just the economy as a whole. I think budget considerations are really going to be at the forefront of 2021 especially.

Jody Guetter 39:26
Yeah, absolutely. And this is a great report from you know, marketing charts that we pulled some stats from, but essentially the first part of the slide is pre COVID survey. So in February March, a survey was taken with cmrs with how they were allocating budget and where they were seeing increases in their budget for the 2020 2021 budgeting season, and then post COVID if there is a post COVID but three, four months later, the same survey was completed. As well with even more respondents and so you can really start to see how marketers are thinking about budget shifts, to kind of help with the planning there. I thought what was really interesting, really not a huge surprise. But what was really interesting was the dramatic shift from traditional events and in person events, to virtual events to a 30% increase in respondents that were going to be expanding their budgets for virtual events. And so as we think about things like customer engagement, as we think about being a resource provided for our clients, this is definitely a venue to be able to further brand position but then also even from a lending perspective, business development, customer engagement, another channel that definitely should be explored as you’re planning for the 2021 season. The other area too that I thought was inevitable was around my Tech investments to there were reductions in the CMOS and bank marketers Sorry, I should say marketers that were reducing the focus on Mar tech investments. But what was interesting, the ones that weren’t reducing budgets were actually expediting and escalating their Mar tech investments. And my kind of hypothesis was and even in my experience was Carvin, I think, definitely bought to lie, where there are gaps in marketing technology within financial service providers, we have to get information out very quickly, very efficiently. And then I think that really showcase where a lot of those gaps are. And if we are going to be interacting with our customers in a more digital sphere, those investments are actually being escalated and implemented much sooner to

Ben Pankonin 42:00
Yeah, I mean, I think that’s, it’s kind of eye opening to see this all laid out and the different challenges. I think we’re also seeing that, you know, we’re spending 56% more on virtual events, but not all of those are going great. I think it you know, we’ve all been on some of those virtual events and said, I don’t know, like, I’m not sure if this is ready for primetime yet. And so I think, you know, it’s taking a lot more production value is taking a lot more effort to really develop great virtual events.

Jody Guetter 42:35
Yeah, that’s a really good your observation. And I think that is another part of the conversation too, if not to do it just because it’s trendy or everyone else is doing it really evaluating how does this fit into my strategy, my target audience what I’m trying to accomplish and building the tactics around that

Ben Pankonin 42:59
right And so with that you’ve got some priorities and evaluations of what we can kind of take away through through understanding a better prioritization.

Jody Guetter 43:13
Just to kind of recap, exploring, you know, your new priorities, understanding that it isn’t just about loans and deposits maybe anymore, it maybe is about things more a larger focus on customer retention, customer engagement, customer profitability. So bring those ideas to your stakeholders. How has it looked in the past? Maybe there wasn’t a large enough emphasis and as we adjust marketing, spend, and even sales and service on strategies, how do we do what have a more cognizant focus on on what we’re doing there and provide those recommendations to internal stakeholders. We’ve got an opportunity, even a small amount of data was provided today, to be able to go here some insights, what should we be doing? Doing about this and actually become a problem solver as part of that process. You’re the marketer, you’re, you’re the storyteller, you’re the communicator. So sell people on these ideas, move from conversion based tactics that would maybe be perceived as insensitive or not relevant or kind of tone deaf to what’s going on and really start to appeal to the consumer and show solidarity in your messaging and how you’re trying to support them. The other two components, again, as we go into planning as we go into budgeting for 2021 really important to level set with internal stakeholders. We want to make sure that they’ve got clear expectations around what you will be doing with marketing and marketing performance, agree upon those new marketing, performance metrics. If the goals have changed, the way in which you measure success has to change with That I’m making sure that they’re agreed upon.

Ben Pankonin 45:05
I appreciate that, Jody, and I’ve actually got an interesting follow up question that I hope you’ll appreciate from Michael over at eaglebank. He says, is marketing during a pandemic ethical?

Jody Guetter 45:21
Oh, good question in my craw Ah, I think like bank marketing. There’s always that question right around ethics and being ethical and you start to bring in reg D, D, and all of the associated fair lending rules. There’s always that ethics question. I think the key in here is, what are we communicating to whom and why? We need to again be empathetic and out form. We need to connect we need to acknowledge the consumers struggles. So it definitely is reinforcing kind of the brand message and communicating how we are going to help them. If you start to talk more about like product specific, is it ethical? Or is it right to market mortgage or refinance? You know, promotions in a time of struggle? I think two things, it goes back to how does it fit in with the organizational priorities, but then still, how are you communicating that? are you communicating it in a way that I can help you through this? I acknowledge you’re experiencing it, here’s resources to help you understand it. And again, that sales cycle and those touch points may look much differently than, hey, buy a new house. So I think it definitely just goes back to the tone, the channels and how you distributing the messaging.

Ben Pankonin 46:57
I think you’re absolutely 100 percent spot on Jody and I, you know, there’s another follow up question that kind of dovetails with that from our friend, Steve Mayer and he says, How do I approach and communicate with the client and he’s coming at it as a commercial lender? And I think that’s the other perspective when we think of marketing, right is how do we help empower our commercial lending team and our mortgage lending team to also have that same sensitivity to say, hey, maybe it’s not posting, hey, rates are at all time lows, you better get your refinance done. Maybe it’s saying, Hey, is there a you know, is is there a project or something that you’re, you know, that you’re putting off or, you know, can I be helpful to you? At this time? Are you going to stay in your house? And obviously, we’re seeing huge spike in new home sales as well. So the mortgage business, which I personally actually just finished my refi that I never thought I would refi My current house just completed that this past week and thinking through that saying, hey, how do I, how do they message to me that appropriate nature? And I think it’s a really important time for our marketing department to take that front row seat with our lending teams to say, here’s how we communicate that without being insensitive.

Jody Guetter 48:23
Absolutely, it’s crucial to have those conversations throughout the entire organization. With what does that tone look like at every touch point. And that’s another just, I know I’m drilling at home to everyone another reason why it is so important to be having these conversations with all of the different divisions and having those conversations together and making sure that the entire organization knows what that tone what that stands for, is how we are communicating. So there isn’t this you know? Connect across, you know, marketing versus what the sales team is doing. The other part to it as well is we talked about customer engagement, who touches our customer, you’re more or should be than ever and it’s the frontline stuff. It’s the same thing stop and start working and collaborating on what is the sales and service process look like in a recession and in a pandemic for them. And then what is marketing’s role in that process? And I think a lot about too, let’s not have like insincere, you know, conversations. Let’s not, you know, just pick up the phone to pick up the phone, but can we help them with resources? Can we help them with, you know, financial tools, can we help them understand PPP more, and being able to kind of collaborate on those resources so our lending stuff are considered thought leaders and and a part of the process to in supporting the customers.

Ben Pankonin 50:06
I like it. So as we talk a little bit more about agility and flexibility as we’re no longer on that fixed itinerary rip the Europe trip. Now we’re navigating on the fly right? We have to rely more like you said on digital tools we have to rely more on feedback that helps give us more instantaneous feedback during that process. Are we on Route are we offer out and I think to back to as we we talked to earlier, there’s some things that we can really plan for in 2021 but maybe locking down our entire budget for the year for marketing isn’t really the path forward. And you know, I look at that and use the example sometimes of you know, we don’t want to be going to the CEO To ask for the credit card for marketing, every time we need to do you know, a $50 increase on our, on our social budget, you know, we may want to put things into buckets and leave those a little bit open throughout that year.

Jody Guetter 51:16
Yeah, absolutely. I think as marketers, we’ve kind of it’s been ingrained in us to kind of have this annual marketing plan and have it you know, very granular down to, you know, quarter by quarter what activities are going to take place. We tend to also you know, if we’re working with an agency, they’ve got their typical process and how they manage the media by or if that media by ease, you know, in house as well. You know, you try and stretch your dollars as far as you can. And sometimes that is really placing, you know, a good chunk of your media budget and bye for the entire year, so you can get some added value. You in that and I really don’t think that that is going to be the way to approach things and you know, in 2021, it is going to have to be far more agile and like in Sprint’s you know, what is the next, you know, 90 days look like and really be able to re evaluate, analyze and optimize throughout the entire year. So that’s going to require a different type of management, it’s going to require maybe a different type of how, you know, internal processes, different type of analysis as well to make sure that we are consistently evaluating and adjusting, you know, accordingly to And to your point on budget as well. Um, you know, I would hold that budget real close to you because I think opportunities will come and we’ll need to be able to be super responsive to react to them, and then there’s going to be changes in those conversations to plans. You Where are we going to have to really be able to course correct quickly to?

Ben Pankonin 53:06
Yeah. Well, I love that you’re kind of breaking things out into, you know, how do we, how do we change those things and deliver value, you know, demo, demonstrate how we’re a part of their situation. I think that’s really important. And then how do we have practical ways that we help in that process? I think this is a great, great overview of how we do that. And I know we’ve got some follow ups in the webinar, too, that we’ll be sharing for how to do better planning going forward. And, and this won’t be the end of our planning for 2021. I think we’re gonna end up probably delivering some of our other information too, but I think a great overview for us.

Jody Guetter 53:49
Yeah, you know, you’re right. I really want to view this is just to kickstart up the conversation. I understand. A lot of marketers are struggling with just even like Where do I start with this conversation? So, you know, the goals for today is how can we kind of maybe address some immediate needs kickstart some of those conversations. But, you know, the team and social assurance in the coming months really will be creating a lot of content and supporting materials to kind of help navigate those conversations through webinars, as well as you know, our blog and other supporting materials. But as we think about what marketing, you know, looks like in the pandemic as well, this slide does a good job with just kind of breaking that down to to give you some insight on what does it you know, look like in the wild? You know, I think one of the really big things that has surfaced through this are our storytelling opportunities. You know, I’ve seen them from you know, all of the banks that I follow on social media channels, all of my amazing unibank marketing colleagues across the country as well. You know, we share so much information. Shout out to Nicole at bay coast today. You know, these are great examples on you know, delivering something of value to to your clients and your customers throughout throughout the pandemic in the recession. So, you know, leveraging your helpful content that you have on your website, you know, guys to budgeting, saving in a crisis, how to get that down payment when you know there’s a paid down you know, any of those kind of resources that deliver value to your customers. Demonstrate your identity you identify sorry, with you know, people’s situations as well. So, sourcing authentic, you know, testimonials that can be leveraged across multiple channels, testimonials, you know, marketing 101 like people want to know about people’s stories. So be able to share those stories, through social through collateral through you know, your website are huge ways that can really make a difference. Continue your marketing efforts. The other areas described practical ways you’re helping Troy a colleague of mine at security National Bank, too. He’s done a great job with providing practical ways and applications to support their customers through the pandemic as well. So he did a bang at home kit. I’ve done a lot around online channel delivery as well. So sharing ways that you’re helping your clients through this mobile banking applications, giving tutorials, developing hours of service delivery for vulnerable people, but these are all the things that you should be communicating these basic names on through marketing in a recession

Ben Pankonin 56:47
like it Oh, and a nice one from from Tim at North American banking company to Yes. Yeah, right to show that impact in community. Yeah.

Jody Guetter 57:00
That’s a huge one to been, you know, and again, if we look at the 2008 crisis and how banks were perceived, we’ve had to spend a lot of time building up that reputation again, and especially to a new generation of people. So really demonstrating your community impact and what your team is doing. And your commitment to the community success is another great way to know community banks like live and breathe that already but how are you communicating that to a larger audience and actually making it part of your bank strategy? I had to put Midwest in there and the hard work there too, but these great video testimonials too. They have a lot of life to them. You know, there can be utilized on social the website, even in your paid digital advertising efforts as well. So these are just other ways to tell your brand’s story. tell your story. Customers stories throughout this pandemic and recession.

Ben Pankonin 58:04
And I love the examples that you’ve pulled because there’s there’s so much diversity to that type of content. And we had a couple asking for, you know, what are the ideas and things like that. And I know we’re, we’re going to be sending out some follow up tips and, and strategies as a response to this webinar. But I think part of that is to say, hey, we’ve got a got to kind of lean into this problem, right? We’ve got to, you know, jump in here and recognize that, you know, a lot has changed, even with our audience.

Jody Guetter 58:37
Yeah, absolutely. And these are, the insights as we talk about how to plan and how to strategize going forward is taking in not only your customer data and the insights that you’ve gotten from that, but also you know, what we start marketing charts and how market is readjusting budget but then also these digital assets. Science, how has the consumer changed their behaviors during COVID? As you can see, in these slides to internet usage surged by 60% more people are online, more than ever. 28% of consumers joined a new social platform. So more people are connecting on social networks. Was it Facebook usage up 27%. And what was interesting with this step two is people were actually shifting back to web browsers and moving from you know, applications because of how they’re interacting. They’re not on the car on the commute to work on that the bustle the train, they’re not out and about as much. So that was interesting to see as we take into consideration. You know, how we do out, you know, mobile espin or digital into something else that should be evaluated. video content for a 60% increase in costs. assumption that is huge there ways we plan about what are some of those marketing tactics, having a video strategy, whether that be again utilizing for customer testimonials, tutorials for customers around digital services telling your brand story or community story. Leveraging video is going to be a huge one of the other areas too as it relates to impact, right you know, we don’t want to just be on a channel to be on the channel, we want results we want to make an impact to whatever those objectives are. 54% of marketers indicated that social media provided the largest engagement for them and their content and 49% of marketers anticipate sorry show to produce the most conversions two which is really interesting as well because you know, we still want online account opening we still want leads generated we still want mortgages solved so to still be able to utilize the content Creating for social media channels to still drive conversions is really insightful.

Ben Pankonin 1:01:08
Awesome. So you’re kind of concluding us with with this response, Jody, which is yes, we should keep marketing, I think is the end?

Jody Guetter 1:01:17
Yes. Yeah. I think that’s the biggest question right and why you’re on here today? Yeah, absolutely. I think that’s the key. It’s not a question to market or not to market, it becomes more of how to market and what does that look like? So don’t stop spending your budget or O’Gara job, change how you spent your budget. Consider how customers and consumers are leaning into different digital channels can see that your content, consider your messaging and deploy that budget appropriately. You may need to evaluate your value proposition.

It’s something that we haven’t really talked too much

about, I think would be really great topics going forward to How are you going to speak to your consumer challenges and really evaluate that value proposition going forward so you can craft appropriate brand messaging to support them. show solidarity, empathy, and tell your brand and customer story, do it through testimonials, do it through video content is very, very powerful. And the more that you can tell your customers story through this, the stronger your brain will be, and the stronger your brand will be perceived within the communities you serve. Understand that this is a new journey, as well, I love your analogy and the flights visual, you know, early on bed. This really is a new journey. And so we need to evaluate how we traditionally manage our marketing planning process, manage our media buys, managing our reporting, and I really, really encourage you to have these check ins At bass mile mark is if you will have those conversations with your team, have those continual conversations with the key stakeholders and stay on top of what is going on in your financial institution. But then also be able to identify and learn quickly how your consumers are engaging with, you know, your channels and your new marketing tactics that you’re maybe deploying or shifting more focus to learning is going to be key throughout this.

So analyzing and have a really good process to make sure that that’s happening.

And then lastly, identifying

new opportunities, please, research take these insights, evaluate, have they been in your marketing mix before? How have they performed if they haven’t performed? Why not? So really,

really doing some evaluation of what

you’ve done today and be an optimist. There is a lot of opportunities out there. Whether that be on getting more out of your marketing, spend the able to do video doing more on social media, meeting people where they are, there’s a lot of opportunities to engage. Just ensure your messaging is appropriate based on the current circumstances.

Ben Pankonin 1:04:14
Oh, that’s perfect. Jody, and you know, with that, you know, we’ve got a couple of quick plugs here. One of those is we’ve got our annual marketing and compliance survey, which is open, we’ll send you some links to that, for the marketing and compliance survey, always a lot of good information that we’re able to glean from your feedback and share in some anonymized peer review methods. So that’s been fantastic. Jody, thank you so much for joining with us. And thanks for joining our team. It’s been a pleasure to have you a part of the team and you know, I’m looking forward to a lot more of these especially As we’re we’re figuring out what’s next in this in this whole weird 2020

Jody Guetter 1:05:07
Yeah, absolutely. I heard people garnered some good insights. as Ben mentioned, this is going to be a continual conversation. But know that we’re in together. And there’s a lot to learn together. And as we learn more, we’ll be sharing those insights with you.

Ben Pankonin 1:05:24
Awesome. I just had a shout out from from Kim, who said, this has been a great webinar. Excited to get the recordings and you know, Jody, there’s so much more content that we have left to, to really distribute as we as we navigate all of this new or whatever normal becomes for us. So, thanks for being with us, Jody.

Jody Guetter 1:05:49
Absolutely. Thank you, everyone. Have a lovely day.

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