Mr. Shalman is a Senior Certified Project Manager professional with extensive experience in the financial services industry. He has proven expertise in developing and managing processes to ensure that products are marketable, profitable, and of superior quality. He has experience leveraging project teams through clear communication of vision and execution of established project management processes and product development strategy.
The Handheld Billboard – Cross Selling with Financial Services Mobile Applications
Jul 27 2012
Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising."
Remember the days when the door to your local branch never stopped revolving? When you knew your customer by name? When you smiled and asked about their weekend? And when the moment was just right, suggested opening a business account, enrolling in bill pay, or adding a Money Market account?
You strategically placed brochures in your branch that spoke to applying for a credit card or requesting a car loan. You were proud when your institution’s ad came on during your favorite TV show, and couldn’t resist clicking on a web banner to see how new financial products were going to be presented to your customers.
The need to cross-sell hasn’t changed – in fact; it’s more relevant than ever due to a constantly evolving, multi-tiered, competitive landscape. The rapid growth of “anywhere, anytime” connectivity has created a new paradigm in financial marketing and advertising and with it comes a tremendous shift in banking behavior. Most banks have made the adjustment and invested both time and resources into moving their marketing strategy to the online space. They have correctly identified that their customers spend more and more time in the digital world and have focused their advertising and sales efforts towards where the audience resides. Yet financial institutions continue to struggle with creating cross-selling opportunities across their mobile channels.
While most discussions around mobile app development boil down to return on investment (ROI), cross selling is often a non-factor in this analysis. Is this story so different from an online website where a significant part of the ROI is the mix of choices, products, and cross selling opportunities? As more and more users migrate from an online platform to a mobile one, should not the focus on cross selling be prevalent as well?
While the entire product offering from the online consumer site could be integrated into a mobile app, most options are not available. While your institution may be at a different mobile maturity stage and the scope of the development may not be identical, most financial technology leaders would not hesitate to place mobile presence “front and center” in your channel integration strategy. And yet, there seems to be very little integrations between the two channels compared above.
Channel Integration speaks to customer expectations of the same experience regardless of the channel. The inability to expand banking relationships through the consumers channel of choice, leads to a non- integrated business model and a challenge to your customer retention strategy. The failure to focus on cross-selling across channels is not only detrimental to your channel integration strategy but ultimately a threat to your bottom line.
There are arguments that can be offered as to why the Mobile Channel is not as focused on cross-selling opportunities. Fortunately, there are also solutions.
- Lack of Mobile
Real Estate – Mobile devices, especially phones, have a lot less “real
estate” to display new product offerings. Eating up the screen space with cross
selling opportunities will result in a cluttered appearance, going against
many of the mobile user interface (UI) best practices, and leading to a detrimental
- Well thought-out user interface design can be creative and overcome real estate issues by inserting a left to right scroll toolbar, or other screen usability strategies
- The growth of the tablet platforms in financial apps resolves the real estate issue
- The scalable solution can be to offer links to the online site, or at least an option to register or call a representative for additional information
Platform Immaturity – Many financial institutions, with little mobile application experience, are
more worried about implementing basic functionality (e.g., bill pay, account
balance) that their users are clamoring for than adding in cross selling
opportunities because they fear they may seem self-interested and result in bad
user feedback. Additionally, a “keeping
up with the Joneses” mentality may result in financial institutions focusing on keeping up with the latest and
greatest functionality that their industry leaders are deploying.
- The cross selling ROI may be easier to quantify and manage than adding another feature to the app
- Making the decision on Remote Deposit Capture to implement cross-selling may position you ahead of the game and provide an immediate payoff
- Code Rigidity
to Incorporate - Many firms have implemented a one-size-fit-all mobile enterprise application platform
(MEAP). This solution doesn’t allow for
a bank’s unique product offering, limiting the options available to the
- These considerations should be part of a financial institution’s mobile platform strategy
- Coding robust, native apps that don’t rely on a MEAP solution can be easier to deploy cross selling opportunities and give banks the speed to market of deploying new products to the mobile platform
Ultimately, it comes down to your institution’s commitment to taking advantage of the fastest growing channel in the marketplace. Analytics clearly illustrate that more and more users are choosing the mobile experience as their preferred method of interaction. The technology continues to impress, phones continue to get “smarter”, and tablets continue to thrill with their interfaces. It seems only logical that your institution’s channel integration strategy and cross-selling effort must evolve with the market.
Don’t leave you customers staring at an empty billboard….