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Narrowcasting Networks - Dedicated TV Arrays In Financial Institutions Build Customer Loyalty And Sales

May 14, 2008
Financial institutions face many challenges today in an increasingly competitive and innovative marketplace. Offering new or improved financial products and services that distinguish you from your competitor is one means of capturing and holding onto your market share in this hyper-competitive and crowded financial marketplace. Developing loyalty to the products, services and the people that assist consumers of financial products - be it banking, real estate or insurance - is another way of building and retaining market share. In marketing parlance, this is "branding".


- There is stiff and increasing competition for financial products and services, like mortgages, investment advice and financial planning services.

- With the basic products underlying the services being virtually the same everywhere - loans, mortgages, investments, insurance contracts etc. - it is increasingly difficult for banks or other financial institutions to clearly differentiate themselves.

- With Internet banking, there are fewer reasons for clients to visit a branch, making it harder for banks and other financial institutions to market to their customers and build consumer loyalty through branding.

For these and other reasons, financial institutions (perhaps the epitome of the old "bricks and mortar" economy) have started borrowing marketing ideas, techniques and technologies from the retail and online sectors of the "new economy. In an effort to improve their marketing capabilities, many financial institutions have turned to digital signage, in-house narrowcasting TV channels, monitors and large plasma displays that hover overhead delivering marketing and branding messages while the customer waits for the teller on the occasions the customer does ago to his or her local bank branch.

Why Narrowcasting TV is Good for Financial Institutions

Products like loans, mortgages and credit cards do not vary significantly between financial institutions, making it harder for one bank to stand out and differentiate itself form the rest of the pack. For many financial institutions, branding is the only way to set themselves apart and distinguish themselves from their competitors.

Narrowcasting is the act of marketing to a narrow, focused audience through the use of digital signage and integrated arrays of video displays, monitors and plasma displays. It is an eye-catching option for the brand building that financial institutions must do today to remain competitive.

As branding tools, however, digital signs can do more than convey messages about bank services and products. They can enhance the customer experience with "feel-good" images and messages about the effects their products can bring - new parents in a new house, young people graduating from school, retirees traveling the globe etc. These images create a positive brand identity that customers are likely to remember. They also give customers something to do while waiting in line, reducing their perceived wait time and enhancing their customer experience.

Cross-selling is another advantage of digital signs. Consider the typical customer interaction in a bank branch. Customers are in a hurry. They are there for a short time and are thinking only about completing the task at hand, not larger issues of financial planning. In the effort to get their attention, digital signs can be invaluable and the most effective way to address financial concerns and options that customers may have or may not be aware of, but which they are not focused upon at that time.

The compelling images and concise, meaningful messages on digital signs and displays have been proven to engage customers. Seeing a promotion and hearing about the advantage and benefits of a product or service can engage the customer in a way that traditional print marketing cannot - that is, if traditional signs or pamphlets are read. Narrowcasting and video signage can then prompt customers to immediate action, encouraging them to follow up by asking a teller about the message they saw.

The role of the teller is therefore also important. Because they are on the front lines, they need to be informed about promotions and taught how to cross-sell. While the messages on digital signs can serve as reminders to staff about new products, digital media networks are also ideal for training presentations that can occur before or after opening hours. With digital content that is available at multiple locations, there can be good assurance that all employees are receiving the necessary training in new products and service.

How FIs Are Using Narrowcasting TV

Financial institutions have found success with narrowcasting TV by adhering to a few simple ABC's:

A. Make sure the messages that are being broadcast are short, conveying their full meaning in a minute or two. Audience attention wanes over time, even with more visually appealing digital formats.

B. Use creative content that speaks to target markets. Digital media allow for what is called "dayparting" - the ability to switch messages in response to time of day or demographic changes. Banks that take advantage of this capability have more response to their digital messages.

C. Keep content fresh. Make sure content loops are not likely to show the same information too often so customers do not get bored.

With integrated narrowcasting TV networks, arrays of display monitors and digital signage, financial institutions have an effective branding and marketing tool that can help them differentiate themselves from their competition. But remember your ABC's, above. Content, the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and sales pitch, is what drives market revenue and helps a company's branding efforts win customer support and loyalty. The best digital signage suppliers can meet their clients' needs in terms of both hardware - the displays, monitors and narrowcast network itself - but also the digital advertising software, the all-important digital capabilities that make the system run and, most importantly, the digital content of the financial institution's marketing message.
About the Author
EK3 Technologies Inc. is a leader in digital signage, narrowcasting and digital advertising software. Visit EK3's website at www.ek3.com or call 1-866-353-8324 for business solutions and services that capture your audience and deliver your message.
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