Business planning functions as a life cycle. Strategy overlies everything, but it’s discovery that informs, leading to tactics and activation. In today’s environment, data begets discovery and, ultimately, marketing strategy. 

Because bankers, as business leaders, focus their marketing efforts to align with business goals. They’re not going to boil the ocean, but rather rely upon an intentional approach to achieve business objectives. Today’s marketing consists of thoughtful, overt, purpose-driven activity brought to the surface by data analytics.

And community banks do not lack data. In fact, you have such a deluge of information in disparate systems that it can be overwhelming. The true challenge lies in finding a way to cull this information and transform it for effective marketing, and community banks have highlighted the need for tools and solutions that can help. 

Today’s solutions should support thoughtful and strategic customer acquisition and retention. They need to allow community banks to answer questions like, “Where do I have deposit leakage?” “Where are my customers moving and sending money?” “What products can I develop to satisfy an articulated or anticipated customer need or want?” Answers to these questions inform product development and marketing. 

Fortunately, ICBA has done some of the legwork, highlighting companies through its innovation arm and noting solutions that simplify the evaluation. Consider Revio, a recent ThinkTECH Accelerator alum, which helps analyze transaction details to uncover deposit growth and revenue generation opportunities for targeted campaigns. Its tools introduce that sense of personal engagement at scale for superior marketing execution.

Or consider KlariVis, a Preferred Service Provider that supports community banks by aggregating high-value, actionable bank data into intuitive, interactive dashboards for more informed decisioning. This offering helps community banks get a handle on their data and structure it in a way that helps them to see the big picture of how their customers are using their products.

And Corporate Member Fintel Connect enables community banks to promote their businesses in a results-based, cost-effective manner. 

These solutions are examples of how community banks can leverage data to support their marketing strategy. After all, what is data-based marketing if not the personalization of customer needs at scale? Community banks have amazing customer relationships and pride themselves on high-tech, high-touch connections, but it’s hard to find ways for that “I know you” feeling to convey across digital platforms. These tools and solutions create that connection. 

By using data to drive marketing, community banks come full circle in their business strategy. They are leveraging actionable outcomes in support of relationship-first banking and strengthening their bank, customer connections, and the community banking industry in the process. From my analysis, that’s an ROI worth pursuing.