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Banks Lag in Social Media, Digital Marketing

A survey of more than 3,000 financial institutions examined banks' digital marketing capabilities.

Social media is not yet a part of mainstream marketing in banking and is still not considered a key customer interaction channel by banks, according to a new survey released this month from IT outsourcer Wipro Technologies and the European Financial Marketing Association (EFMA).

The "Global Retail Banking Digital Marketing Report" examined how well banks are doing at digital marketing using an index based on eight different digital marketing capabilities, including the ability to have a real time single customer view across channels, and the ability to do real time event-driven marketing in digital channels, said the firms.

According to the two firms, the results found that only a small proportion of banks -- between 10 and 15% -- are at a high level of maturity in using digital channels to communicate with customers. According to the survey, one of the weakest areas for banks is the ability to have a real time single customer view of products and transactions integrating all channels, although most banks surveyed expect to have this capability within the next 5 years.

Other areas of weakness the survey found are in the limited use of test and learn processes, and the lack of measurement of return on marketing investment in digital channels. Further, while banks surveyed indicated that they are relatively strong in the use of more advanced analytics, such as predictive analysis, most said they do not have the capability to integrate this in real-time into their marketing efforts on a multichannel basis.

According to the survey, the level of digital marketing capability in developing countries is generally very low, although in the cases of some larger developing economies -- such as India -- the capability is higher.

In developed countries there is also a mixed picture, the report found. For example, in Northern Europe the use of online banking is very high and so typically banks have invested in digital marketing capabilities, according to the firms.

The survey polled more than 3,300 retail financial services companies from over 130 countries.

[See Also: The Compliance Risk of Social Media]

Bryan Yurcan is associate editor for Bank Systems and Technology. He has worked in various editorial capacities for newspapers and magazines for the past 8 years. After beginning his career as a municipal and courts reporter for daily newspapers in upstate New York, Bryan has ... View Full Bio

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