Once upon a time, many companies would take a traditional route with focus groups and ad placements in publications and radio/TV. And much of it is still effective, depending on your audience and your budget. But current marketing practices have become exceedingly complicated and interactive all thanks to that little thing called the Internet, which has greatly influenced the changing behaviors of younger consumers coming into their prime home-buying years.
Let’s look at a few ways marketing has changed the game today:
The Internet has been a massive game changer for marketers. It has added an entirely new dimension to marketing – most notably in tracking consumer behavior with paid and/or earned media placements. Just about every action online is “trackable,” whether a consumer clicks on a banner ad or a link placed in an article online. Thanks to unique URLs, marketers can see exactly what consumers are clicking on, allowing them to track what messages work and what messages don’t work.
Tracking is just one aspect of how the Internet has revolutionized marketing. Interactive capability is another big change. Today, with social media dominating online usage, retailers can actually hold a real-time conversation with consumers who comment on blog posts, product launches, or major announcements. Marketers can gain valuable feedback on their actions immediately – and make appropriate changes if necessary.
Today, most direct marketing consists of strategic email campaigns, sending targeted messages via email based on data they have gathered through online tracking mechanisms. With data analytics dominating now, these messages can get increasingly individualized, disseminating who may be in the market for a refinance, equity loan, reverse mortgage, etc. – vastly increasing your campaign’s success rate.
There are so many innovative aspects to today’s marketing practices – and it’s changing all the time. But, what does it all mean for mortgage lending?
Better products, better business
It means better products and processes because of better information – many times directly from the consumer. Consumers have the power to compare rates at various financial institutions. They can now look for a new home online, see the schools in the area, satellite view of the neighborhood, and all the other area amenities without leaving their couch. They can even obtain a ballpark monthly payment, providing them with immediate information to see if the home in question is worth pursuing based on their budget. They can even get pre-qualified for a loan online and start the loan process while sitting on that couch or even while physically looking at the home in person.
All these new tools, allow consumers to make a better-informed decisions. And when it comes to purchasing a home, the more information the better, as it’s one of the biggest investments of a lifetime. They can feel more in control of their destiny.
For the credit union marketer, applying these new tools has never been more important to gain the consumer’s business. Yes, it’s more complicated, but this complexity has actually made it easier to successfully market to the consumer to get their business and create a 30-year relationship that will inevitably parlay into more business opportunities down the road.