COMMENTARY: Why lenders should leverage the power of multi-channel digital communications
Digital marketing of lending products is an area that not only has bigger regulatory compliance — CFPB, FCC, states, you name it — but also bigger scrutiny from companies like Google and Facebook. (They even have a unique set of rules for lending).
Just two weeks ago, I helped a client who had a marketer without much knowledge in the industry do some campaigns in social media that got my client’s Meta account restricted. Fortunately, I was able to bring their account back to life with a warning that a similar mistake can get the account eventually blocked.
The lending industry has done a great job in optimizing the customer experience from credit application to loan fulfillment; we have seen amazing innovations with partnerships between loan originations systems (LOS), credit bureaus, providers of alternative data, identity and income verification solutions, and AI powered credit decision providers so consumer can get not only fast decisions and also fast funding.
But unfortunately, the journey from lead to application has not seen the same evolution.
Until now, most lenders have relied on a combination of traditional and printed advertisements, lead aggregators and branch/office personnel to handle lead generation and customer acquisition efforts and follow ups with prospects; unfortunately, branch managers, assistant branch managers, loan officers, branch specialists and other income generating positions are left ill-equipped, only to rely on phone calls/emails — even their own phones — and other traditional B2B tools to connect with prospects.
The current lending environment has forced many small and mid-size lending institutions (finance companies, credit unions and small community banks), to review not only their originations procedures but also to take a deeper look their customer acquisition initiatives, finding out that some of their methods that worked five years ago are not very effective today.
In today’s digital age, lenders will need to integrate both the traditional and the digital approach and provide their associates with sophisticated yet simple to use tools like a CRM so they can connect, communicate and establish a relationship with their prospects using their preferred channel (Text, Email, WhatsApp, GMB, FB/IG Messenger, Chatbot, LinkedIn) and convert prospects into applications more efficiently.
Deploying a centralized multi-channel communication tool allows lenders to implement controls, guidelines, record interactions, track follow ups, track campaign performance, have scripting and logic programmed, but most important comply with all federal, state and local regulations.
When marketing initiatives are deployed using the right channel, the right message and complemented with the right tools, lenders can create not only very long-lasting customer relationships but also gain a huge edge in their markets, saving money in customer acquisition costs, compliance.
Not all the channels work the same everywhere; if you are a credit union in South Florida or Southern California, even Chicago, I bet your team members are already getting referrals via WhatsApp (referrals that are invisible to your institution in a portion of the acquisition journey) so having a multi-channel approach will help you to improve response and account conversion.
With the right partnerships you can be both creative and compliant while using your company’s unique voice to convert prospects more efficiently in the digital age. Your prospects must know what is your differentiator and they only way they hear it is through the channel they use to communicate.
This is the best time to consider optimizing your marketing initiatives, reviewing the integrating your traditional and digital marketing campaigns, while providing your team the right tools to convert more prospects.
If you need more information, feel free to send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will gladly contact you.
Andres Huertas is CEO of Conecta Marketing Group, which provides marketing consulting services and SaaS multi-channel digital communication platform designed for lenders to help them maximize conversions.