With so many changes and challenges in banking this year, and so many questions asked of bank marketers working through it all, it was no surprise that the American Bankers Association (ABA) Bank Marketing Conference 2022 was well attended, well-produced and well-received. My colleagues and I fielded smart questions, offered what we felt were solid solutions, and shared many candid discussions. Here, then, a quick summary of observations and the opportunities they present.
First, a nod to all of the ABA leadership and behind-the-scenes event planners whose hard work delivered on the promotional promise to offer a range of expertise and industry perspective. These are tough times, no doubt. So it was not lost on the audience that many of the keynote speakers were there to offer a supportive rallying cry to hard-working bank marketers whose days are spent juggling high-level, high-pressure priorities.
The list of marketing musts is daunting but doable. Chief among them, necessarily, is compliance. That’s definitely an area where Naehas brings a range of powerful solutions. Purposely-built platform technology that automates offer management, disclosures, intelligent reviews, fulfillment and content management is in high demand for the many ways it delivers for bank marketers with compliance at the core.
As my days are spent working on partnerships that help banks coordinate a range of compliance, disclosure, regulated content reviews and fulfillment programs, I listen and learn about what is causing the greatest problems. Common pain points emerge. The multiple rate changes by the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee, the changing needs of a digitally-focused customer base, and an increasingly challenging regulatory environment all combine to confound even the most savvy bank marketers in business today.
All of these factors helped us make the decision to have a booth at the Conference. One-on-one exchanges, open and often surprisingly frank discussions, and our team’s ability to break down the technology platform solutions available for those in need offered support and strategy where it was most needed. I was fortunate to be flanked by two colleagues, Rod Harris and Chad Go, who helped tend to the interactive display, while also taking in so many of the extremely valuable sessions on specific topics and trends.
What an impressive range of presentations there were. Data analytics, how to best use data, optimizing automation, doing disclosures better (Disclosure Management) customer segmentation, expediting review processes (Intelligent Review), handling digital asset management (DAM) programs, keeping up with Fed Rate changes – all of these bring problems and solutions to the fore.
Education is fundamental. We know that our clients, mid-size and top tier banks, are time-challenged when it comes to seeking and finding solutions specific to their needs. So I’m always eager to start with a basic overview of precisely how automation, platform technology and cloud-based solutions can help, not hinder, their work. Getting to that “Aha!” moment is magical for those marketers who have struggled with so much for so long. Allowing them an opportunity to see how the process improvements create measurable solutions – dramatically cutting cycle time, leveraging a Digital Asset Management program, improving the customer experience, all while focusing on stronger compliance, is clutch.
Here’s what’s clear: As the silos within the financial institutions continue to degrade, the collaboration between compliance and marketing is reinforced. This is a good thing.
I definitely observed a strong level of interest in streamlining processes. And for good reason. The increased demand on marketing teams – brought on largely by the increasing demands of customers whose needs have changed in just the past two years – demands a new way of doing business. Long cycle times, error-prone manual processes, these simply cannot stand. With fintech firms looming large, competition fierce and revenue on the line, the call for better, faster and more impactful solutions is loud and clear.
As we head into Q4, banks will likely continue to face ongoing complexities, this much is certain. Certain, too, is the need for marketers, segment managers and compliance teams to learn about and leverage the existing potential of platform technology. From more Federal Reserve interest rate changes to help curb inflation, to customer expectations that banks meet them when and where they need, changes will be constant. In the face of increasing and complex regulations, the time is now for teams to embrace change, and do so in a way that allows tech solutions created specifically for banks to help them succeed.
Industry events like ABA’s Bank Marketing Conference bring experts and answers together. It’s an all-in, win-win sentiment that left me, and I’m pretty sure thousands of others, with a fresh look at opportunities ahead. Whether you missed it or made it, be sure to continue in the spirit of asking questions, getting answers and being motivated to thrive and not just survive in the year ahead. The sooner banks see the marketing force multiplier that automation and technology deliver, the more they, and their customers, gain. It’s game time, and the right teams with the right solutions always come out stronger.