WASHINGTON, D.C. — Start with the right question. That was a large piece of advice for financial institution marketers at the morning BAI Retail Delivery keynote on Wednesday.
Jonathan Salem Baskin, a marketing strategist and the opening speaker, offered the insight that most institutions need "to flip the telescope," that is, most start with the wrong question when the topic switches to engagement.
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What they ask is: how do we get our customers to engage with us?
The right question, per Baskin, is: how do we engage with our customers? Do that – hunt for real ways to touch lives – and, said Baskin, financial institutions would find themselves on a very fast track to success in engagement.
He added, "What really matters in engagement is purpose. Purpose is a big idea for this decade." Saying that, he mocked gimmicky, cute "engagement campaigns" – and he flashed slides showing Gillette and Kleenex campaigns that, he suggested, did nothing more than make us smile, briefly.
"Help your customers do stuff and they will engage with you," said Baskin, who pointed to an Allstate insurance campaign, its Digital Locker, that lets anybody – customer or not – build an online record of personal household possessions.
That's invaluable when insuring household goods but, said Baskin, many of us just don't do it and of course some of us do the inventory in the house that burns down. The Allstate inventory, by contrast, is cloud based so it has more accessibility from anywhere and won't be impacted by local storms or home fires.
Does this engagement bring revenues to the company? Data are sketchy, admitted Baskin, but he said whispers are that it is a very successful campaign.
Either way, said Baskin, it proves the point: bring value to consumers and they will indeed engage. And, he insisted, financial institutions are ideally positioned to bring meaningful contacts to consumers.
Baskin's takeaway: "Customers are more engaged with the brand when the brand is more engaged with them