OREANDA-NEWS. November 23, 2015. While the financial services industry has made significant strides with digital banking services, many local and regional banks have yet to deploy effective digital marketing strategies. As a result, they’re missing out on golden opportunities to improve loyalty and extend the value of customer relationships.

To understand why this must change for small and midsize credit unions, community banks, and retail banks, it’s important to recognize why customers choose them over larger institutions. In a nutshell: Customers place a premium on the personalized, 1-to-1 services they receive.

In fact, customers banking with community banks and credit unions routinely give them Net Promoter Scores (NPS) several times higher than regional and national banks. The reason for the disparity is most often attributed to the quality of the customer experience. The ability of smaller banks to meet their individual needs in an easy and enjoyable manner is paramount—even more so than price.

In order to maintain this unique advantage, marketers at small and midsize financial services firms must extend the customer experience to their digital marketing strategies. Let’s take a look at how one is doing just that.

Banking on Digital Experiences

Idaho Central Credit Union (ICCU) is a perfect example of a company that understands the value and impact of customer experiences. Over 200,000 Idaho Central members rely on it for financial services delivered with a personal touch.

In his role as ICCU’s Marketing Data Analyst, Wes Bell is responsible for extending the in-branch experience to digital communications. According to Bell, Marketing Cloud is the backbone of their digital strategy. It enables the Credit Union’s small team of marketers to overcome its biggest challenge: Scale.

With just two team members dedicated to email communications, ICCU averages 20 unique campaigns a month and sends over 1.5 million emails a year. But as Wes is quick to acknowledge, success isn’t measured by volume. Interactions need to drive specific results. That’s where Sales Cloud and Journey Builder come into the picture.

Marketing and CRM Unite

ICCU has integrated Marketing Cloud with Sales Cloud, providing the opportunity to seamlessly access complete customer data. Factors such as whether a member has a checking account, an existing car loan, or a home equity line of credit can be leveraged to enter customers into specific journeys using Journey Builder. A great example is their onboarding campaign.

When a customer first joins the credit union, they are entered into a six-month welcome journey. As you might expect, the drip campaign introduces customers to the range of services available from ICCU—but only services the customer is not currently using, or services complementary to those the customer is currently using.

“The ability to send relevant messages based on every member’s needs and behavior enables ICCU to deliver personalization that could not possibly be attained without automation,” says Bell. “Marketing Cloud is the key to scaling our marketing reach and maintaining our personal touch.”

Personalize Every Experience

Banking customers place a premium on customer experiences. For marketers, it’s a unique opportunity to create differentiation and create more loyal customers. To explore more tips and tactics for delivering 1-to-1 experiences to financial services customers, check out this free ebook: What the Financial Services Industry Can Learn from Retail.