By John Flynn, Open Lending President & CEO
The National Automobile Dealers Association expects new auto sales to fall by approximately 1.2% in 2020. While this decline isn’t overwhelming, it still does highlight the need to make sure you’re capturing as many auto loans as possible as the competition stiffens. How do you approach this market, and what’s the best way to target your marketing under these conditions? It all starts with understanding your customers. Where are they? What services are they using outside of financial, and what are their life’s challenges and goals?
Many lenders are targeting younger audiences (millennials and Gen Z) to build life-long relationships. Ensure your offers meet their needs, support their goals, and truly help them rather than pushing a product. Personalize your offers to reach these groups, but don’t neglect other potential borrowers. Make sure you understand your borrower’s journey and build marketing around your solutions to their life-stage problems.
MarTech (marketing technology) has been garnering attention in recent years and for good reason. Investing in MarTech can help you attract targeted attention to your loan programs. A good place to start is social media, but you can’t just dip your toes in. More than 70% of the American public is on social media, according to DataReportal, and penetration is growing. Making sure information is available where your potential customers live is paramount, and online is a large portion of it. A truly dynamic community can be built over social platforms, allowing consumers to not only ingest content, but also to interact with your financial institution and each other.
Leveraging AI and machine learning solutions can increase your reach plus save resources within your marketing department. Not only can it be used to develop chatbots for support, but it also can provide significant muscle to your marketing as well. Examples of this include dynamic content creation, chatbots to poll your audience to provide better insights and modeling to better understand customer behaviors (i.e. purchasing likelihood, churn rates, and purchasing behaviors based on demographics, etc.). Furthermore, some AI solutions can even be leveraged to better utilize your advertising budget. Ads can be better placed based on customer profiles, demographics and target markets to obtain the best bang for your buck.
Move beyond basic content in the coming year. Interactive services and video content are growing across all marketing campaigns, for all age groups. As of 2019, people were watching videos for an average of 84 minutes per day, and it’s expected to grow to 100 minutes/day by 2021, according to SmartInsights.
And while you’re thinking about all this technology, don’t forget about the basics. Make sure your message is delivered in a way that consumers can easily understand. Details like readability, simple to understand language and active language will better engage customers, as The Financial Brand summarized a report highlighting these challenges in the banking industry. So, while you use technology to draw in consumers, don’t forget to take the time to craft your messages in ways consumers will understand. And they understand savings; Open Lending can help.