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When marketing mortgages and consumer loans, is it business as usual and the same-old-same-old for your community bank or credit union? Sure, certain marketing strategies will remain timeless — addressing customers by name when they interact with branch staff comes to mind. But successfully building loan portfolios in these changing times requires financial institutions to adopt some new approaches and develop new competencies.

That’s the key message Ron Shevlin, director of research with Cornerstone Advisors, shares in Deluxe’s webinar “New Marketing Competencies for Mortgage and Consumer Lending.” You can watch the webinar for free online, but for the time-pressed among you, here’s a recap of Shevlin’s insights, and the five new competencies he says financial institutions must develop in order to build their consumer loan business:

1. Journey mapping

Every loan purchase is a journey for the borrower. It’s critical to map that journey and understand when the moments of opportunity occur for your financial institution to open a dialogue about products. For example, in both auto lending and the mortgage business, the moments of opportunity occur much earlier in the process than they used to.

Activity-based marketing approaches allow financial institutions to capture borrowers’ attention in those earliest stages. These strategies allow you to capture new types of data in new ways, all so you can better know your customers, understand what they’re looking for and deliver timely and relevant offers.

2. Activity-based marketing

When your financial institution markets a product or service to a prospect in response to an activity performed by that individual, you’re engaging in activity-based marketing.

It may be home-buying, auto-shopping, wedding planning or even shopping for products and services. This approach allows you to become involved with prospects when they make decisions that will lead to a borrowing need. Not only does this allow you to enter their decision-making process at an earlier stage, it can also help your financial institution gather better information about prospects/customers but it also makes you more relevant to them.

3. Customer data acquisition

In order to know what activities prospects and customers are participating in — and when they’re doing them — financial institutions need to improve their methods of acquiring customer data. Monitoring some or all of your account holders can help you identify which ones are actively shopping for lending products. This intelligence allows you to make relevant offers.

For example, you could find account holders with existing auto loans with your institution and invite them to refinance at a lower rate. Prescreened credit data allows you to pinpoint the total amount a consumer could save per month with this approach.

Another option is to monitor a geographical area targeted for developing new relationships. Send daily notifications to consumers in the program when they apply for loan products with competitors. This opens the opportunity to extend the right offer at the right time to qualified individuals.

4. Improve marketing analytics

Outdated marketing analytics undermine the value of updated marketing approaches. How can you know if you’ve achieved these new competencies if your analytics are ineffective? Are your models out of date or up to date? Are your marketing managers aware of marketing models? How good is your financial institution at identifying marketing analytics models that could work, and how efficient are they at developing and implementing them? Are you using a wide range of data types such as demographic, attitudinal, channel and others?

5. Improve frontlining

In any campaign, the people on the front line of the initiative need to be armed with the right tools and information. It’s difficult to expect them to do an adequate job selling your products and services if you don’t equip them with the right tools and knowledge to be successful. So you should ask yourself, how good is your financial institution at frontlining the team members who close lending deals?

To answer this, you need to ask:

  1. What data does your front line really need to have access to, in order to increase the chance that they will make the sale?
  2.  When and where does that data need to be delivered (in other words, where is the front line)?
  3. How should the data be used in the course of the interaction to make the sale or influence the prospect?

This was covered in a little more detail in a report we worked on with CEB earlier this year. They argued that branches need to be armed with the same kind technology and tools at the front line that consumers use at home. This technology will help the consumer get the information they are looking for so the deal closes more quickly.

The competitive edge big banks and alternative lenders have make it imperative for community bank and credit union marketers to develop these new competencies. Targeted, multi-channel campaigns can help you expand your portfolio in the coming year. To learn how to better target and build your portfolios, download our lending solutions eBook or call 877.214.2513 to learn how Deluxe can help.

This content is accurate at the time of publication and may not be updated.