When it comes to awareness most marketing professionals think about brand awareness. How well do consumers know about your financial institution? We conduct focus groups, complete market awareness surveys and study a myriad of other data to better understand if people are aware we even exist.

But when it comes to awareness, there is more than just a brand awareness gap. There often also exists a gap between your existing customers or members and your products and services. In other words, the vast majority of people using your financial institution probably don’t know half of what you offer.

Think about this: what if you didn’t add one single NEW consumer to your bank or credit union this year? But, you got all of your existing members or customers to add just ONE new product or service? What would that do to your bottom line? It would increase significantly.

All simply by closing that awareness gap.

Many financial institutions are obsessed with adding new consumers. While new people are both the “lifeblood” and “fresh blood” for you to mine the reality is you have quite a large pool of existing people to target. From a return on investment (ROI) standpoint, it is also about seven to 10 times cheaper to get one of your existing consumers to add a product or service than it is for you to acquire a new one. Closing that awareness gap internally is a good use of your marketing funds.

Remember this key point: while you know all about all your products your existing consumers do not. Never make the assumption they know all you offer.

So how can you close the awareness gap with your existing members or customers? Here are a few quick and easy steps to take:

  • Teach your staff to close every conversation with “Did you also know we offer ________________? I can tell you how other people just like you are benefiting from it.”
  • Place a marketing message on every single piece of material that leaves your financial institution. Whether it is teller receipts, e-mail footers, statements, letters, etc. have a place to highlight either a product benefit or a testimonial (note: you don’t market product features).
  • Market checking accounts to people who have auto loans with you and promote auto loans to people who have checking accounts with you. Both of those products are “sticky” and if they have one with you they are more inclined to have both of them with you.

Not all of your existing consumers you talk with are going to take you up on your offers. But if five, 10 or even 15 percent did that would boost your bottom line significantly. I have heard many a consumer say, “I had no idea you offered XYZ product.”

The average consumer has 10 financial products and services spread across more than four financial institutions. You need to capture some of that business. And you can do so by closing the awareness gap.

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