At the end of 2019, marketing teams planned for the New Year made their predictions for the coming year. What’s clear at this point is that they’re all wrong. No one could have predicted a global pandemic, forcing nearly everything to shut down and throwing commerce into turmoil. With this sudden change to the way consumers are living, marketing trends had to change.
Digitization and cleaning up consumers’ digital experience has been one of the biggest trends to come out of the coronavirus pandemic. According to a survey from Fiserv in 2019, around two-thirds or 65% of people go online to apply for loans, which is up from 56% in 2018. Bank and credit union branches won’t be having many visitors anytime soon due to stay-at-home orders, so demand for online banking – and, consequently, marketing – has accelerated tremendously this year. Of course, credit unions and banks have rushed to greatly improve their online presence. Letting consumers know your digital doors are still open, even if the physical ones are not, is important to providing much-needed services so they know where to go to get loans from the safety of their homes.
Messaging, artificial intelligence and chatbots and skyrocketed in popularity. With more people on mobile apps and social media more than ever before, that is where the loan leads are going to be found. Consumers have more questions about their finances than possibly ever before in their lifetimes, so implementing user-friendly, easily accessible digital assistants online, such as The Loan Lead Generator, are must-haves for financial institutions as we dig through the uncertainty. Digital assistants allow your credit union or bank to be open when and where consumers are without vacation days or taking sick leave; they supplement your team, allowing your people to build stronger relationships with your members or customers.
While digital transformation has rapidly accelerated during the pandemic, consumers have seen less of a need to return to physical branches after the pandemic ends. Consumers are beginning to expect to be able to find and handle most, if not all, of their banking needs through a digital platform. For example, according to an article from PayNearMe, 72% of consumers prefer to apply for mortgages online. Depending on how the next few months play out, banks and credit unions must prepare to market even more online services.
No one has a crystal ball for what the world will look like over the next several months or years, but one thing is certain: The coronavirus has completely changed the trajectory of 2020 and the way consumers bank forever. The future of financial institutions will depend on how marketing teams adjust their mediums and messaging to bring in new leads for your loan officers and provide services for the future.