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How Marketing Automation Can Help Your Bank Succeed In 2022

Digital Marketing

How Marketing Automation Can Help Your Bank Succeed In 2022

Eric Cook by Eric Cook

Chief Digital Strategist

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Full biography

Eric considers himself a “recovering banker” of 15 years, who for the past eleven years has focused his efforts as a digital strategist, helping his clients (mostly community banks) better understand and leverage the power of the Internet as a strategic business tool. An award-winning web designer with WSI, the world’s largest digital agency network, Eric is a two-time contributing author to the best-selling book Digital Minds – 12 Things Every Business Needs to Know About Digital Marketing. Consistently rated in the top five digital marketing books on Amazon, the book is in its second edition and available in three languages.

A sought-after, nationally-recognized speaker in the financial services industry, Eric is a member of the National Speakers Association and loves sharing his knowledge to help educate and inspire others. He is the co-creator of a weekly webinar show called Free Webinar Wednesdays, founder of the Banker Education Series webinar series, and serves as a faculty member at several banking schools around the country where he teaches bankers about digital strategy, online marketing and social media. He is a WSI Certified LinkedIn Professional and holds undergraduate degrees in business administration and psychology. While working full-time as a community banker, Eric earned his MBA and completed the three-year Graduate School of Banking program in Madison, WI in 2003.

Professionally, Eric helps his clients in all areas of digital marketing, which includes mobile-responsive web development, search engine marketing and optimization, social media strategies, e-mail communication, and “big-picture” digital strategic planning. He’s the co-founder of, a service created to help businesses understand their risk when it comes to operating in today’s digital world. When he’s not helping his clients succeed online, he can typically be found on one of his many bicycles training for his next mountain bike/triathlon race or spending time with his wife and two (very spoiled) golden retrievers.



Marketing technologies and strategies have come a long way over the years. In fact, it seems like just yesterday when I wrote one of our most popular blog posts, How Marketing Automation Can Help Your Bank Tackle the Top 10 Strategic Prirorities for Banking in 2017. Wow, has it really been five years?! Yet, when looking at all of the ways marketing has evolved since then, we still believe marketing automation to be on of the best solutions for the marketing needs of any bank.

That’s why today I thought it would be good to share some thoughts on just how far marketing automation has come - and how it continues to offer the best solution for the modern marketing problems facing financial institutions.


First, What Is Marketing Automation?

While the term has received a lot more attention in the past five years, it’s still important to ensure we’re starting from ghe same page - so let’s start with a definition. Marketing automation is a type of software solution (typically a SaaS - software as a solution) that provides the ability to effectively target customers and prospects with automated marketing messages across multiple channels. These can include email, your bank’s website, chatbots, social media, paid advertising, and even text messages to generate leads (and help produce sales).

In essence, it’s a set of digital tools that streamline modern marketing and sales roles. By the use of automation, it helps to ensure consistency in the quality of the message and timing of the delivery to decrease the odds that something slips through the cracks - all while providing tremendous data and tracking functionality to help measure ROI.

According to HubSpot, thoughtful integration of marketing automation solutions “creates a fertile ground for healthy, long-term relationships with your customers.” Which is certainly what we all want from our marketing solutions.

This is why marketing automation for banks has become such an asset. The relationship with customers is the lifeblood of a community bank. Nourishing bank-customer relationships ensures the long-term health of the bank itself. 

How Has Marketing Automation Changed?

Marketing automation has experienced some radical changes over the last few years. At the forefront of those changes is the use of increasingly advanced AI to save time and resources while optimizing marketing campaigns.

Machine learning has created new marketing solutions that can predict customer behavior rather than react to it. Predictive analytics has allowed marketers to not only forecast customer behavior, but also help solve the challenge of creating personalized customer experiences. Once again, a new asset for nourishing that bank-customer relationship.

Improved chatbot functionality is another AI-based marketing solution that has come a long way over the last few years. These AI assistants have the ability to automate a number of customer communications, freeing customer service staff from low priority inquiries. Usage of these AI assistants has risen dramatically over the last few years.

This new wave of chatbots is capable of real-time conversations with customers and can address requests quickly and effectively. Plus, the best part is if the visior needs help from a real person, the ability to easily take over during business hours is an easy process and allows for that personal touch to be delivered when needed.

Top Strategic Priorities for Financial Institutions in 2022

1. Personalized Customer Experiences

Modern customers are growing to expect more and more personalization. This does not exclude financial institutions. Customers want and expect services tailored to their individual needs, and any organizations that fail to provide this may find their customers looking elsewhere.

Thankfully, due to the advances in marketing automation, it’s becoming easier to provide personalized customer experiences. For example, most marketing automation platforms provide the ability to create specially-designed landing pages that are able to recognize known visitors. This allows the page to provide a personalized message for that specific person to help with specific conversion goals and adapt to customer needs in real-time.

2. Maintaining Customer Loyalty And Trust

Another challenge for financial institutions is maintaining the loyalty of their customers. From 2018 to 2020, the number of consumers who said they trusted their bank to safeguard their long-term financial well-being dropped from 43% to 29%.

The proper application of marketing automation can help financial institutions to run low-cost campaigns and combat this decline in trust. Customer segmentation can help identify customers by their unique needs and behaviors. This allows marketing to target segments with personalized campaigns to improve loyalty.

3. Utilizing Data

“Data-driven solutions” has become a common phrase in 2022 - for a good reason. Advances in technology have allowed marketing solutions unthought-of only a few years ago. These include analyzing customer behavior and data to better prepare your financial institution for the future or adapt to changes in real-time.

This type of data can help banks fine-tune email marketing campaigns by gathering deeper details on open rates and click activity, track engagement activity for visitors who engage with on-site content, even leverage lead scoring functionality to help more easily identify those who are the most likely to become a customer.

4. Attracting Talent In An Employee Market

As technology advances, so does the need for skilled employees. However, as we well know, those employees are becoming scarce  The new employee market has forced employers in the banking industry, and all other industries, to double down their efforts to attract talent. Automated marketing solutions can and will help ease the process.

While most of the time we think of using this type of technology to attract new customers, effective recruitment using market automation allows employers to run recruitment campaigns across multiple platforms and save time from focusing on manual recruitment tasks. Interested applicants can receive a stream of relevant information about the job, plus their experience with your bank online is improved, thus making a great impression (and growing the desirability of working there).

5. Maintaining Privacy Compliance

Over the last few years, privacy has become a major concern for consumers. They expect to know how and when their data is being used or collected. In response to these concerns the US, China, and the European Union have all introduced data privacy laws. By leveraging a marketing automation platform as your central communication tool, managing your data privacy is simplified.

Now more than ever, it is important to be conscious of how data is being used in your marketing solutions. Falling out of compliance with these regulations can lead to disastrous consequences both legally, and in the court of public opinion. Modern marketing automation solutions take this concern into account and ensure data is being used ethically and legally.

The Ideal Marketing Automation Solution

Here at WSI, we understand the importance of using the right technology when it comes to marketing automation. That’s why we’ve established corporate partnerships with both HubSpot and SharpSpring, two of the world’s the best marketing automation platforms. If you’re thinking about implementing marketing automation at your bank, let’s talk! We’ll be happy to chat and help put together a plan to put the power of this amazing technology to work for you and your customers.

To learn more about the automated marketing solutions we offer, contact us today.


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