As traditional industries go, the banking sector has been more successful than most in building a hybrid business model that spans its branches’ physical brick-and-mortar environment and the digital realms of the Internet and mobile devices.  

Because launching a new bank in the United States is very difficult, much of this innovation has been driven by customer demand and traditional competition between legacy brands. But that doesn’t mean marketers in the banking sector can afford to be complacent. Thanks to the industry’s digital transition, it’s never been easier for consumers to access competitive banking services. Many banking customers also have their heads turned by alternative fintech products that often operate outside the traditional banking sector, meaning competition isn’t always played out on a level field and can come from previously unknown sources.  

So, what are the biggest challenges marketers face in the banking industry, and how can they resolve them? This blog focuses on the issues that stop banking marketers in their tracks and how marketers can move forward with the confidence and speed the modern industry and consumer demands. 

Digital Marketing Challenges for Banks

Banks must address a number of unique challenges to deliver successful digital marketing campaigns. Here are just a few of the most common challenges banks face and the strategies marketers need to adopt to overcome them: 

Regulatory Compliance

Banks operate in a highly regulated environment, which can limit their marketing output and communication strategies. Fear or poor understanding of the various regulations may also reduce marketers’ creativity and make them much more risk-averse, leading to dull and uninspiring campaign strategies. This may make it difficult for consumers to differentiate between brands and really is the opposite of what successful marketing should look like. To overcome this challenge, marketers must: 

  • Stay informed: By regularly updating your understanding of the relevant regulations (e.g., GDPR, CCPA, and other financial regulations), marketers can move forward with the confidence and speed required to take advantage of modern digital marketing channels. 
  • Establish a “can-do” compliance team: Establishing a dedicated compliance team to review all marketing materials and strategies will remove some of the fear from marketing in a heavily regulated sector. A digital-first compliance team should encourage marketers to focus on what they can do, not what they can’t. 

Data Security and Privacy 

Customer data security and privacy are often all tied up in the aforementioned red tape of regulatory compliance. In the banking industry, your customer’s data and privacy should be as secure as the money locked up in your vaults. There are several strategies banks should look towards to ensure optimum data security and privacy, including: 

  • Employ data anonymization: Banks need to employ anonymization techniques that enable marketers to use customer data for marketing purposes without compromising privacy. Yes, you want to send highly relevant, engaging and timely communications to your customers, but your marketing intern should never know how much money is in a specific customer’s account.  
  • Create clear privacy policies: Communicating data privacy policies to customers and obtaining any necessary consent is all part of building trust and is often part of that regulatory compliance we keep mentioning. 

Customer Trust 

Customer trust is everything in the banking industry. Without it, your coffers will be empty before anyone can even say “bank run”. Alongside all the strategies previously mentioned, marketing departments can further develop customer trust by: 

  • Offer responsive support: Banking can be a complicated business. Offering responsive and helpful customer service to address issues promptly will ensure customers stay with you for the long term. While your customer service team isn’t traditionally considered part of the marketing department, the people in customer services know your customers better than anyone. Therefore, they should always be involved in any conversation about how to address customers’ needs. 
  • Provide value-driven content: By providing valuable and informative content that addresses customer needs and concerns, you will remind customers that your bank is on their side and understands their problems. Remember, successful content marketing is all about solving real-world problems. 

Content Relevance 

Creating relevant and engaging content that resonates with your bank’s diverse customer segments is difficult. However, there are several strategies marketers can deploy to ensure they send the right messages to the right person at the right time. These include:  

  • Build a robust content strategy: Develop a robust strategy that distributes useful and engaging content across multiple channels, including blog posts, videos, infographics, and social media posts. 
  • Create a feedback loop: Establishing a feedback loop allows you to continuously improve your content based on customer engagement and analytics. 


Content relevance starts with personalization. This can be challenging for a bank using incompatible legacy systems and data silos. Breaking down those silos should always be a priority. This process starts by creating: 

  • A unified customer view: You can create a unified view of customer data by integrating various data sources and ensuring you have a single view of the truth, which is available to all departments within your organization. 
  • Customer Segmentation: Use advanced segmentation techniques to tailor marketing efforts to specific customer groups and ensure you only send the right message to the right person at the right time. 

Omnichannel Experience 

This is where it gets complicated. Providing a seamless experience across various digital and physical channels (including your website, mobile apps, branches, etc.) can be complex. It will require fully integrated marketing platforms to manage and streamline your campaigns. You’ll also need to consider the following: 

  • Promote consistent messaging: This means no matter how your customers choose to engage with your service, whether that’s in the branch, in the app, or on the phone, the message will be the same. 
  • Customer journey mapping: By mapping out your customer journeys, you’ll be able to identify and address pain points, guarantee a cohesive experience and ensure your customers don’t get lost. 

Measuring ROI 

The elephant in the room. Tracking and measuring the return on investment (ROI) for digital marketing initiatives can be challenging, especially when customers engage with multiple touchpoints. Having a clear understanding of your ROI begins with: 

  • Clear KPIs: It’s essential to define clear key performance indicators (KPIs) that are aligned with your business objectives. Remember, if you don’t set those objectives, you’ll never know if you’ve been successful, and your campaign strategy will potentially become disjointed. 
  • Advanced analytics and attribution models: Utilizing advanced analytics tools to track campaign performance and customer behavior will enhance your understanding of your campaigns’ impact. Multi-touch attribution models will ensure you accurately measure the impact of various marketing efforts and don’t favor one strategy over another without understanding the whole picture. 

Invest in Quality Technology and Marketing Partnerships

You’d be right if this all sounds like a lot of hard work. But this isn’t a job you have to take on by yourself. The marketing experts at emfluence can help you find the right technology and creative solutions to ensure your bank’s marketing campaigns and strategies meet your team and your customers’ expectations. To learn more, contact us today at

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