December 21, 2011

Banks are missing opportunities to assuage customer anxiety, fear and misunderstanding caused by turmoil in the financial industry, according to a new report released by The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council and sponsored by True North Custom Media. That's partly because when it comes to communicating with their customers, banks aren't taking full advantage of digital media channels.

The report, titled "Delivering Positive Impressions During Market Depressions," is the result of a year-end survey of 120 bank marketers. While 89 percent of those surveyed said that they believe their customers have growing, moderate or high levels of anxiety about finances, only 19 percent of them believe they're effectively leveraging digital media to communicate with and engage their customers.

Less than half of the respondents said that they have formal strategies for handling customer concerns and increased information demands during times of uncertainty or turmoil in the financial industry. In addition, 87 percent of the bank marketers surveyed acknowledge that recent turmoil in the financial industry is making it more challenging for them to effectively communicate with customers and ease their anxieties.

These numbers will likely change over the next year, though, since 82 percent of those surveyed said they intend to ramp up their use of digital media, including web content, social media sites and mobile messaging, for content delivery and customer interaction.

"Bank marketers, while highly sensitized to risk and regulatory considerations, are looking to improve their game when it comes to personalized, real-time interaction with critical audiences," notes Donovan Neale-May, executive director of the CMO Council. "However, this needs to be emphasized during uncertain times, as well as part of a continuous communications program that maximizes the lifetime value and profitability of customer relationships."

The full report is available for download at the CMO Council's website.

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