In 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic forced financial institutions to adapt their in-person services to online and virtual platforms. With all the benefits that digitization brings, including accessibility and efficiency, it’s safe to assume that these changes are here to stay. This digital shift has even extended into banking: more people than ever are now choosing digital banking over traditional banking, with 78% of adults in the United States preferring to handle their finances on a mobile app or website (Source: Forbes). With such a drastic reduction in face-to-face experiences, how can financials ensure that their customers still feel connected and confident in the information and advice they give?
This move towards digital banking coincides with a decrease in people’s trust towards banks: the proportion of people who didn’t trust their banks increased from 9% to 14% between 2021 and 2023, and the proportion of people who did trust their banks decreased from 28% to 20% during that same period (Source: Statista). So how do you convince people that you offer value if they distrust you? Well, if you can provide skeptical customers with effective and engaging tools to do their own research and calculations, to the point that they have a clear understanding of their needs and options before even talking to an advisor, you’ll not only have built their confidence, but also gained their trust.
That’s where interactive, customizable digital experiences come in.
Interactive calculators let users learn first-hand what a financial product can do for them. They can put in their own values, experiment to see what a little more investing, or a little less, will do, and see how what’s being offered differs from what they have now. It’s more or less what an advisor would do for them – but without the advisor, without the scheduling hurdle, and without the perceived pressure to buy.
Personalized video works much the same way. If you have a complicated product that requires some explanation, and want to reach customers who aren’t ready to get in touch with an advisor, a video is the standard way to make this information available to them remotely (and make it effective and shareable to boot). With personalized video, you can let users input their own values, and choose the specific products they want to learn more about. They don’t just get static examples: they get their own personal hypothetical, in concrete numbers, explained in the amount of detail that’s right for them.
And, of course, by employing analytics, you can track all of this, and learn a ton about your (potential) customer base.
With well-placed calls to action (CTAs) in interactive tools, you can offer your services at a time when customers are more knowledgeable, more curious, and more willing to listen to what you have to say. Indeed, people who have already reached a certain level of understanding on their own are much more likely to be receptive to a financial advisor’s advice. And because most customers agree that financial products are in their best interest, recommending these products is easy once the hard part of getting customers in the virtual door has been achieved.
These interactive tools amount to a very persuasive “passive” approach to lead generation. When the target audience is distrustful and resistant to active approaches, especially regarding their finances, passive marketing is the best way to go. Of course, you’ll still need to let them know that these tools exist – and that’s where shareable content, banner ads, and all the other marketing tricks come in.
But the most important point is this: give your customers some credit. They know what they want, and they know what they don’t want. The specifics differ from person to person, but most want a friendly, objective way to learn about what’s best for them. If you give them that, even in a digital environment, it builds trust. Not everyone who uses your tools, or watches your videos, will give you their business – but many will.