Marriage - 1Financial institutions are always looking for ways to build and foster relationships with their customers or members. At least they should be doing that. Relationships build loyalty and loyalty builds more business. It’s an important cycle in the life of your financial institution.

Marketing moments are one of those ways to build relationships. By marketing moments, I mean life events – those times in life when consumers are making big purchases or significant life changes in which they may need their financial institution. Your job is to figure out what the life moments are and to maximize your opportunities to serve them.

Take marriage, for example. How can a financial institution assist with this type of life change? It often depends on where the relationship is. If the parents are connected to your financial institution, they may need a loan to help them pay for the wedding. If one of the two future spouses is connected to your financial institution, he or she may want to add a joint owner to the checking account. But those are just basic relationships –valuable nonetheless, but basic. What can your financial institution do to truly maximize marriage as a marketing moment?

Neches Federal Credit Union offers a unique product called MatriMoney, a gift registry that enables the bride and groom to ask for money instead of china and other typical wedding gifts. In a day and age when Millennials are living with their parents longer and marrying later in life, this solution could be the down payment on their house.

Think about the potential this product has to build business. A married couple signs up for this registry and gets enough to make a down payment on a house. What financial institution will they think about for their mortgage loan? They move into their house and start building their family. Now you’re looking at potentially creating baby registries or accounts for people to help those babies start saving for college. Just like these marketing moments build on themselves, so should the relationships with your customers or members.

As these marketing moments happen, you should be doing more than serving their needs now. You should be collecting data that helps build long-term relationships with these families. Sometimes you can predict these events based on age, previous life events or the accounts they already have with you. If someone is about to pay off an auto loan, they may be in the market for a new car. A member or customer turning 18 during the school year is a pretty good indication of high school graduation.

Your front line employees are essential to the data collection process, and so is technology.  These employees are the ones having conversations with the people you serve. Train them to get marketable details. For example, if a pregnant woman comes into the branch, your staff should make conversation and ask questions, like when the baby is due and whether or not this is her first child.

Mortgage lenders should ask why the applicants have decided to upgrade or downsize. Your ability to capture this information and record it in a centralized data base or customer retention system impacts your ability to market to those people effectively. 

Learn about more marketing moments and how your financial institution can capitalize on them in the latest issue of my e-newsletter. You’ll find more real examples that your organization may be able to implement.