Why your best financial cross-sell opportunities are digital

According to PwC, customers who use just one product at a financial institution are less profitable than those who use multiple products.

On the flip side, multiple-line-of-business customers generate 2.5 times the amount of pretax income than their single-line counterparts. Multi-line customers also spend two times more on credit cards than single-line.

Many financial brands know that the more products a customer has with them, the more profitable they will be in the long run. But how are you using marketing to build those relationships to move a customer from one product to multiple products? And are you successful in that effort?  

After acquiring, onboarding and growing your relationships with each individual, to cross-sell them successfully, you need to truly understand them as an individual. You need to market to them based on the financial lifecycle and tailor your communications to each person’s life stage.

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Deeper relationships with digital

Unfortunately for us creatures of habit, traditional marketing doesn’t increase engagement across the entrenched product silos that are prevalent in so many financial institutions. The PwC study also found that traditional product-based acquisition strategies often lead to single-product relationships.

While traditional marketing alone isn’t likely to drive your cross-sell success, you can rely on digital—digitally-engaged customers are two times more likely to be multi-line customers than offline ones. Data-driven, digital relationships are the most logical path to cross-sell success.

But what do we mean by “data-driven, digital relationships”? First, you must get to know each individual customer and understand their life events. Then you need to communicate highly relevant offers to each person, when and where they prefer to engage.

Know each customer and their life events

The average U.S. adult spends more than six hours a day on digital media. All these online interactions leave digital signals that marketers can use to understand people, like their channel preferences, purchase habits, wants, needs, life events and more.

To stay top-of-mind, your financial brand needs to understand this information to know what’s relevant for each customer—then use that information to create highly relevant cross-sell offers. Weaving your products in with their lives will help you build a long-term relationship.

Perhaps your customer is researching a dream vacation. Or getting ready to have a baby. Looking to buy a bigger home. Figuring out how to pay for college. Approaching retirement.

These life events all indicate a potential need for a financial solution. If you can identify and understand these triggers, you can tailor your cross-sell offers with messaging that’s most likely to resonate with each individual customer—and build their trust.

Engage on their terms

You’ve spent the time and effort to create relevant offers. Now, you want to make they hit the mark.

You will be most likely to reach your customers if you place your offers when and where they prefer to interact—and that won’t always be at their mailbox as they grab the mail in the evening. You need to engage in the digital channels your customers prefer.

One customer may check his email first thing every day, frequent parenting blogs in the evenings and browse his travel booking app on Saturdays. Another may read investor news daily and rely heavily on her weather app. With these insights in hand, you can deliver your offers in the places that each person is most likely to engage.

Digital cross-sell in action

Let’s take a look at how this digital cross-sell could unfold.

Meet Rich. He’s 59 years old, married with grown kids and lives in Atlanta. He already has deposit and checking accounts, a platinum credit card and a mortgage with his bank, and he has been a loyal customer for years.

As Rich approaches retirement, the bank wants to discuss longer-term financial planning with him through owned communication channels. But it’s a long decision-making process.

The bank sends him a variety of consistent digital marketing messages through the channels and apps he uses most, reminding him of the benefits of bringing his retirement savings to the same institution as his deposit and checking accounts.

After seeing several of the messages, Rich requests a meeting with the bank’s wealth management team to discuss bringing his retirement savings to the bank.

Develop deeper, longer-lasting connections

Many financial brands still resort to spray-and-pray marketing, using broad segments and minimal contextualizing for the individual. This strategy is ineffective and outdated. It wastes ad spend and creates negative perceptions in lots of different ways, such as:

  • Promoting a financial product that’s irrelevant to the customer or prospect
  • Featuring a financial product that someone already has
  • Treating existing customers like new prospects
  • Tailoring messages to the wrong person (e.g., a spouse) who shares the device

Instead, you have the opportunity to get to know your customers. Serve them relevant, personalized offers that they’re more likely to value—and take advantage of. You’ll benefit from the immediate business, as well as from the deeper, longer-lasting connections you build for your brand.

Interested in learning more about how you can manage the full financial customer lifecycle through creating the right digital connections? Download our guide: How to build a lifetime of financial loyalty.