It’s that time of year again. When I find myself either sleeping alone in my bedroom or relegated to the living room because some illness is going around the house and either my wife or I have caught something. This means that I gain some extra time to watch television shows that my wife refuses to watch with me.

This year, I was persuaded to check out a show that’s been running for a few seasons now (so don’t hate on me, I know I’m late to the game). That show? None other than Showtime’s Ray Donovan.

So, one evening before falling asleep, I find the show on my Amazon Fire TV and queue up the first episode. And I have to say. I was hooked! The character of Ray Donovan is exactly what I look for in a fast-paced thriller show! But I digress.

The next evening, I got to watch the next episode of Ray Donovan, only to find out – GASP – that the series is not FREE on Amazon! What?! I know I didn’t pay for the first episode. So, thinking I was in the wrong place, I go back to the first episode…which starts playing…for free. I flip back to the menu and go to the second episode. Which gave me two options: pay $9.99 for Season 1 or subscribe to Showtime’s streaming platform for $11.99/month.

Now, let me say, I’m not above paying for content. But I try and avoid the “extras” on services like Amazon since we’re already paying for Prime, Hulu +, Disney +, and Netflix.

But I was HOOKED on this show. Which left me with a choice. Pay something to get more of the show or be left in the dust of Ray Donovan.

I paid up.

The next day, thinking about the little trick Showtime pulled on me, I went from ticked off to accepting and finally to a realization. Showtime created the perfect hook. They know that many people won’t pay upfront to watch a season of a show they’ve never seen or that someone has recommended. The perfect solution is to dangle an episode out there for free and force the conversion later.

What does this have to do with banking? Everything.

We rely on new customers and members coming to us from recommendations, referrals and the marketing we put out into the universe. But getting the average person to consider a new banking relationship takes more than marketing and nice words. It’s the entire experience they have when they are checking out the bank or credit union.

Which leads to our question of the week: what’s your hook? What piece of your branding, service culture, digital experience or convenience is going to “force” the conversion to turn a consumer into a customer?

Every organization has strengths. Things that your team executes incredibly well. My advice is to start there. Showtime knew that their content was strong and that it would lead to purchases. Find out what your organization’s strength is and create the hook!