As I was performing my daily ritual of surfing the latest news and scrolling through my social media feeds one morning, I saw a post on LinkedIn that made me chuckle. The author was explaining a conversation between himself and a sales rep for a fintech company at a recent conference. The fintech rep was spouting the benefits of being able to geo-fence and target customers for products, such as auto loans, based on when your customers go to a car dealership. To which the author countered with “what if my customer is there for an oil change?”

The exchange itself is enough to cause a smile, but it points out a larger problem that continues to plague financials. We like to fin-splain our offers to our consumers. That is, we like to dictate where the conversation starts and where it goes.

It’s no secret that, as a whole, consumers have become accustomed to being able to drive conversations with their brands, convey needs and wants, all while being listened to. Amazon’s algorithms track your site behavior, cart placements and purchases. So when offers land in your inbox or shows up while browsing the internet, they seem a lot less like offers and more of a completion of thought.

Financials, on the other hand, have had trouble holding onto this concept while advertising in a digital world. Offers from banks and credit unions come across as offers because we’re so routinely terrible about listening to the right now, relevant, needs of our consumers. Instead, most financials are insistent about pushing our messages on people because we think it’s the right time to do it.

In honor of strategic planning sessions being right around the corner, here are three things to stop, start and continue when it comes to your digital advertising strategy that will help you stop fin-splaining your offers to your target market.

  • Stop: Meet your customers or members where their needs are. Stop dictating when offers go out to them. Just because it’s spring time doesn’t mean that everyone is looking for a new car. It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t run an auto loan rate promotion, but it does mean that it’s an opportunity to measure interest and remarket accordingly, without feeling like your entire customer base needs to be a part of that conversation.
  • Start: Develop “always on” direct marketing campaigns to your customers or members that greet them when their needs dictate. Start providing them with personalized messaging and offers to put them in the driver’s seat.
  • Continue: Creating branded messaging that resonates with your customers or members. Remember, they’re choosing to do business with you over all of the other financials in your market because they find something valuable and worthy in your brand. Expand on that and continue to message appropriately.

Do you think your bank or credit union fin-splains to your consumers? How would you do it differently if you could? Leave a comment and share!