It often seems that financial institutions and the banking industry itself are unchanging monoliths that either have a hard time or refuse to adapt. However, and as is true with all industries, banks and other financial institutions need to adjust to stay competitive in the 21st century.
Unfortunately, this marketing truth was made clearer than ever at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the coronavirus is the definition of uncertain times to the extreme, it also brought to light how vital it is for banking businesses to start creating serious new strategies for the 21st century’s digital reality.
Here are four business strategy considerations for banking industry leaders to consider.
1. Broaden your bank’s reach with marketing cooperation
It’s no secret that banking is competitive, so you need to get creative with your marketing strategy. In that vein, it’s important to establish your bank as a committed partner of the community, serving as a tool to make improvements for everyone. In other words, start searching for partners in your community to help reinforce and reflect that focus.
Work with local or regional businesses that include hospitals, real estate agencies or fire departments to find common ground that serves the people in your area in a unique way. Indeed, cross-marketing, or cross-promotion, serves both you and your marketing partner in helping to showcase your community involvement and attract new business in a concerted effort. Experts recommend partnering with a non-competitive organization, such as a nonprofit, influencer or another non-competing business.
2. Develop or update your business continuity plan
Prior to 2020, most businesses didn’t realize how essential a business continuity plan that included a response to a public health crisis was for their organization’s health and vitality. Everyone understands this now, and many businesses in various industries are now exploring this previously uncharted territory.
While emergency contingencies were added at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s no doubt that many banking businesses might have fared better when the events unfolded. Many of the updates weren’t substantive and instead focused more on ways to mitigate disruption and damage in order to survive. The core ideas found in the business continuity guidance focused on minimizing contact, encouraging remote work, and directing customers to use electronic banking services.
3. Embrace digital transformation
Chances are your organization already faces a strong drive toward digital transformation. Plus, while your customers were likely demanding it prior to March 2020, the pandemic made it unavoidably clear that technology is the way forward, forevermore. If you feel any resistance to adopting the latest technology, you might feel some serious resistance from all fronts. Transformative technologies that banks have and will continue to adapt into their business model include AI, automation, cloud services and core modernization.
4. Plot each merger from start to finish
Before setting out on a merger, it’s important to consider every step of the process before putting the wheels in motion. In fact, keying in on thought leadership on mergers and acquisitions is indispensable when considering a merger. Thought leadership will help to ensure your bank focuses as much on clear and consistent customer, vendor and stakeholder communication as your system conversion to avoid costly information omission and other misunderstandings.
Robust business strategy considerations will strengthen your organization’s position
Like most industries, banking is in the midst of various transformations moving deeper into the 21st century — and you can guide your banking business to ensure it thrives in these rapidly evolving and uncertain times. By revamping the focus of your marketing, technology, business continuity, and mergers and acquisitions thought leadership, you’ll enjoy greater banking industry success with less worry.