This week we sit down with Dan Novalis, founder of a digital marketing agency called 2Novas. He helps community banks create marketing strategies that drive new revenue and he’s passionate about all things marketing technology. We discuss the 5 key area of marketing technology that every banks needs to consider in 2022.

The views, information, or opinions expressed during this show are solely those of the participants involved and do not necessarily represent those of SouthState Bank and its employees. 

SouthState Bank, N.A. – Member FDIC

Intro: Helping community bankers grow themselves, their team, and their profits. This is The Community Bank Podcast.

Caleb Stevens: Well, Hey everybody and welcome back to The Community Bank podcast. I’m Caleb Stevens, and I hope everyone’s New Year off to a great start, and I hope our time together today helps you grow yourself, your team, and your profits. Well, today’s discussion is all about marketing it’s with Dan Novalis. He’s the founder of a digital marketing agency in St. Louis called Tu Novis. They work exclusively with community banks, and we talk about the five pieces of market technology that every community bank needs to be investing in today, whether you’re a large bank, small bank, regardless of your asset size, every bank needs to be thinking about these key five pieces of marketing technology, and I think you’ll benefit from this discussion. What, before we get started, you might know that there are up to three rate increases projected this year, and how is your bank preparing to take advantage of it?

Well, one of the ways we’re helping leading teams like yours do this is through the Arc program. The Arc program allows your bank to offer up to a 20-year fixed rate loan to your borrower, allowing them to lock in before rates rise while your bank gets the benefit of booking a floating rate on your balance sheet. The best part, this is not your typical interest rate swap program. There’s no derivative on your books, there’s no hedge accounting, there’s no doubt Frank reporting. All you have is a floating rate while your customer gets to lock in their fixed rate. So, we’d love to show you how we can help and all you’ve got to do is go to that to learn more and to get started. Well, we sincerely appreciate everyone who listens to this show on a weekly basis. I hope you enjoy my discussion with Dan Novalis. We did have some slight issues with my studio, Mike, here. So, this recording is actually from my MacBook computer. So, part in the slightly diminished audio quality, but nonetheless, I hope you enjoy.

Well, Dan, it’s good to be talking with you today on The Community Bank Podcast. How are you?

Dan Novalis: Good! Thanks for having me. It’s good to be here.

Caleb Stevens: You’re coming to us from St. Louis, Missouri. You said it’s like eight degrees there right now. Is that right?

Dan Novalis: I think it’s, let see. I think it’s eight. Yes. It went up to eight.

Caleb Stevens: Well, I told you before we were started recording. We’re recording this on a Friday and on Monday, I’ve got the opportunity to go to the national championship game in Indianapolis if we can make it there, because we’re driving from Atlanta to Indy, through Tennessee and Kentucky, and I think all of the roads are shut down with ice and snow. So, we’ll see if we make it, but it’s a good day to be indoors on a Friday morning.

Dan Novalis: For sure. I’ve got all the hot coffee I can drink this morning.

Caleb Stevens: So, yeah. Well, you’re really passionate about marketing technology, the role that plays in helping community banks, you run a digital marketing agency in St. Louis called Tu Novis. Tell us a little bit about your agency and what you do? And then secondly, tell us why is investing in marketing technology specifically essential for community banks today?

Dan Novalis: So, Tu Novas, I started in 2018 and, and we focus on a lot of different aspects of bank marketing, but my backgrounds in marketing technology and ad technology. And so, I’ve got a, you know, my passions around how do we use technology to be better marketers, to do more interesting things. And we found ourselves in the bank niche and one of the reasons I like to work with banks is because all banks are essentially selling similar things, right? And the way you differentiate is through, branding and marketing and as your bank gets bigger is you have thousands and tens of thousands or more of customers. You need tech know to help you understand that. So, you not too, no, as we help run marketing campaigns, but I also, work a lot with our clients on just understanding those customers and trying to deploy the right types of technology to solve problems, not just throwing tech at it or going after the lay and greatest tech, it’s really, we’ve got to understand customers first understand our goals, you know, the goals of the bank and who they want to reach and then deploy the right tech at the right time to do that. Because I think it’s important. Oh, sorry, go ahead.

Caleb Stevens: No, go ahead.

Dan Novalis: You asked, you know, why is it important for banks to invest in tech? And I think virtually all the banks we talk with want to become customer-first, right? Understand their customer better. But what’s been happening for a few years and especially through COVID is like the customers that come into the branch are not necessarily like the customers you are trying to reach with digital marketing like the younger millennial and gen Z customers don’t come in. They do all their banking online; they don’t want to come in if they’re calling or they’re coming in it’s because they have a big need. So, really the way you need to understand them and connect with them is through digital channels.

But the way digital advertising works today, everybody’s to a thousand different ads a day or more. And in fact, if you take Facebook, for example, if you have a really great Facebook ad and you start getting people to click on it or interact with it. Facebook says, oh, this person’s really interested in bank products and they start showing you lots of other competing bank ads. So, your ability to, convert that customer actually gets more difficult in some respect. So, all that kind of boils down to the way I think about it is your ads really need to connect and land with the customer you want. Right. It, we can’t, if we start trying to market to everybody, we market to no one basically because the ads just sound generic and they sound like a lot of other banks and I think technology’s really the way we can start thinking about customers, on a more personal level. So, there’s an adage of like one-to-one marketing and that’s, that’s really where technology will help you come in. So, that’s why I’m so interested in it.

Caleb Stevens: Well, you wrote a great article and I think it was the Financial Brand Publication. Is that right?

Dan Novalis: We have some coming out in the financial brand that article was on business journal.

Caleb Stevens: Business journal. Okay. That’s right. And you make the case that every bank needs to consider five kinds of key pieces of technology as they think about their marketing. I’d love to kind of just walk through each of those five kind of at a high level and maybe you can break it down and kind of tell us why it’s essential and why banks need to be thinking about it here in 2022. The first one is Customer Data Management and you make a case that that’s actually a little bit different than just having a CRM. What do you mean by customer data management?

Dan Novalis: Yeah, so really that term, I just use as a term for kind of a general marketing database, right? As a bank, you’ve got your core system, you might have a CRM system, you might have a couple other things that, you know, credit card type of thing that’s stores customer information, but to market effectively you need all that data in one place, specifically for the purposes of marketing. So, customer data management, 10 or so years ago the term M C I F came up and so a lot of banks have this have an M C I F system, and that’s kind of getting along the lines here, but I think that’s starting to become an outdated technology right today you might have your sales team working with a CRM system that helps you understand like the last physical touchpoint you had with the customer, the last phone call you made, or one to one contact.

But there’s also other tools. There’s a set of technology called customer data platform that you can kind of think about as a CRM for, for online, where you can take the data, you have on your customers and bring it online in an anonymous way so that you can reach customers, customize ads to them, personalize their website experiences, deliver more relevant, you know, say a popup banner when they login to online banking, those types of things. So, you’re not just sending the same message to everybody. So, these tools can really help you start to start to personalize also layer analytics on top of it to really better understand your concept of customer segments.

Caleb Stevens: Number two is reputation management, and I’ve got a kind of a story, here that maybe can connect the dots for some folks. I, a couple of years ago, a customer of ours, a bank customer made a very slight change to their minimum balance requirements, very minimal change, and it set off a firestorm on social media man, just a firestorm and it was very subtle, probably because this bank is in a smaller town and the community really loves this bank and embraces this bank. Maybe that’s why it created a Firestone where if it was in a bigger metropolitan area, maybe folks wouldn’t notice as much because it’s not as such a cornerstone of the community, but this piece right here got me thinking about that story of reputation management. What does that mean for a bank in terms of social media, Google reviews, just in general, what does it look like for a bank to manage reputation well, and how does technology, play into that?

Dan Novalis: Yeah, So, especially on with the younger end of consumers, everybody Google everything, right. There’s stats out there, 90% of, you know, people will Google a solution before they make a purchase decision. And I think that’s obviously true in banking too. So, people are out there Googling things like banks near me, or best checking accounts or, you know, rates and those types of things. And a key part of the Google ranking. I mean, we could talk about a SEO is a whole other topic, but key part of the Google ranking is your reviews and the way customers talk about you online, and reputation management software help you be alerted when new reviews come in on any platform. It’s not just Google, it’s Yelp and being, and 20 other places where customers can leave reviews.

So, that, so a tool could help you process those reviews as they come in, they have tools for generating asking customers for more reviews, but really analyzing consumer sentiment. Right. I think that the key thing in your story was you can’t avoid bad reviews, you can’t avoid bad sentiment out there, you have to manage it, right. So, if your bank’s avoiding being on social media, because you’re worried about bad reviews or bad comments coming in, you’re missing a key part of your marketing, just being on social media. So, it’s, you’re going to be more successful if you are there, but you manage that reputation better. I like to use the example of the Grand Canyon has several one-star reviews. right.

You think like we go to the Grand Canyon and your takeaway is one star was too much walking, and that’s, it’s, you’re going to get those no matter what you are. So, being able to manage it and a reputation management tool will let you respond to reviews, very quickly and post a comment saying, hey, we reached out to you to solve your problem or things like that. So, and they’re pretty easy, most of them are pretty inexpensive. So, they’re pretty kind of no brainer type of tool that we always recommend

Caleb Stevens: Any advice on how to really cultivate positive reviews in the sense of like example as I shop for a lot of books on Amazon, I love reading and I’m always, you know, trying to find the next great book to read, and I often go on Amazon and it’s sometimes pretty clear when the positive reviews, the five-star reviews are sort of manufactured. So, maybe a hundred people got a free copy of the book and exchange for a favorable review and so you can tell the author or the publishing company is really trying manufacturer and gen up reviews that maybe aren’t as genuine as they, as they could be. Meanwhile, the negative reviews are almost always genuine and to your point, you can’t always avoid bad reviews. That’s maybe just part of how it goes, but you certainly want to mitigate them and when they arise, you certainly want to do your best to mitigate those and serve your customers well.

Any thoughts on how to cultivate genuine positive reviews? Because it seems to me that anybody can get fired up about something that they didn’t like or had a bad experience, and they’ll be happy to write something on Google positive reviews. They may have an awesome experience, but it’s simply just another thing they have to check off on their list to go on Google and type in a review, and maybe it’s just harder to come by in terms of folks actually taking the time to do it. So, how do you help banks think through cultivating genuine positive reviews?

Dan Novalis: Yeah. I usually say two things and one is you have to ask and two is better to ask at the right time. So, you know, people are, like I said, very motivated when something bad happens, but it’s, you know, and they’re usually very willing to write a positive review when something good happens, but they have to reminded to go do it. So, with most banks that the best way to do it you’re not going for a thousand good reviews in a month. Right. That also looks fishy when you’re reading through like, all these reviews came within the same two days, look strange, but you want to create a process of continually kind of asking, right? So, maybe it’s once a month, you send an email out saying, Hey, please leave us a review or better yet do it at particular touchpoints, right?

So, somebody closes a loan and had a great experience, have the loan officer, hand them a little business card with a, you know, the thing that we see works really well is get some business cards printed with a QR code that links directly to your review link, super simple thing you can do, but then that person leaves with a physical reminder. And in that day, when they have a really good experience that day, they’re a lot more motivated to say, yeah, my loan officer was great. Like I want to do something to help them out. So, that’s when it’s making that part of your sales or account opening or teller process to remind people, and then you start to kind of cultivate, a situation where you’re getting several reviews a week or more over time. And that helps with your Google rankings too, is Google sees continuous good reviews coming in. They’ll help rank you better. So, it’s not a one-shot thing. It’s something you have to come, going to cultivate, over times. And if you ask in those moments, when somebody’s just had a good experience, you’re a lot more likely to get the good review.

Caleb Stevens: Yeah. Well, I mean that’s convicting for us because I don’t think we’ve done a good enough job of asking folks to review this podcast. So, hey right now, if you’re listening and you’ve enjoyed this podcast and you’ve benefited from it, we would love for you to leave us a review on iTunes, Spotify, Google, wherever you get your podcast. Cause like Dan said you got to ask if it’s going to happen. So, we appreciate everyone who listens. okay. Number three, automation platform. What do you mean by automation platform and is that different than the customer data management piece that you mentioned earlier?

Dan Novalis: Yeah. So, automation platform is a different piece of technology that basically takes your data and lets you apply rules to it, to give a customer the right offer, basically the right offer right at the right time. So, most typically there’s a lot of different types of automation platforms, everything from email to website personalization most typically you see if when you hear automation platform, you think about an email automation platform where you can load in a list of emails. Ideally, at that point, you’ve sort of segmented your customers and saying, hey, here’s the millennials that might be ready to buy their first home in the next couple years. So, we’re going to send them an email campaign over a few months that educates on boosting their credit, saving up for a down payment, those types of things. You might have four or five different drip campaigns like that for your different customer segments.

Small business customers will need something totally different and so on, and the email automation, platform’s really the easiest way to get started because you can typically just take a list of emails, low, load it in. You don’t need to really do any technical integrations, you don’t need to go through a big data unification process, across your whole bank. Like you might with the customer data platform. So, email’s probably where I’d start first. If you have an email system, you’re used to that and your data’s, you have a customer data platform, you have your data kind of more unified, you can start looking into like website personalization tools, some core systems, some online banking systems have something like this built-in where you’re showing banner ads and you might be able to differentiate that based on the customer, right?

When was the customer’s last login? Do they have paper or statements or E-statements, show them something that’s, what’s most important to your bank for them to do next and show them that message and keep be able to keep hammering that message on them until they switch to E-statements and then you can move on to something else. So, that you’re not kind of wasting that ad space or time with somebody that’s already signed up for that. So, there’s a lot of different versions of it, but that’s really, the idea is how do you, these automation platforms help starting help you to start to differentiate the messages. You show to people based on their history with you and what you kind of want them to do next.

Caleb Stevens: So, I mean, let’s get practical on that. Like we use Salesforce marketing cloud, that’s sort of how we run our email campaigns, our drip campaigns, our journeys, you know, so to speak, you see an ad for something with SouthState on LinkedIn and you sign up for it and we take you down a journey and we try to get to know you and great value for you. And hopefully serve you with our products, for banks out there listening who are trying to think through maybe getting an automation platform for the first time. What are some entry-level sort of systems that you might recommend they take a look at?

Dan Novalis: Yeah, I mean, from the email standpoint, it can get really simple. So, one we use a lot is active campaign. They’ve got a really good way of very visual map of this email gets sent, then we wait two days and if they open it, you do this, if they don’t open it, you do this, you can create maps like that. There’s several tools like that. I like active campaigns. A lot of banks use seem to use custom or constant contact, which has some of those tools. So, you can really, constant contact is, can be an email automation platform in and of itself. And if you’re already on that it’s a great way to kind of get started. Because you can sequence out a few emails.

It just, if you start getting more complex, you have lots of email chains going at once. A tool active campaign might, might, um, be better and then when you get to be bigger, you know when you’re are several billion-dollar banking up and you have lots of data in lots of different places and when you start to have a customer data platform or you’re on Salesforce like Salesforce has a ton of tools like that are on the much farther end of sophistication, that can take a while to implement. But ultimately if you have hundreds of thousands of cost customers like you need, you’ll need something like that so.

Caleb Stevens: But it sounds like either way the point here is not so much which exact system you’re using, but it’s are you trying to categorize your data? Do you have a good handle on who your customers are? And to your point, maybe there’s a list of millennials that are reaching home-buying age that don’t have a mortgage with your buy bank that have a checking account. Well, there you go. There’s a great opportunity there to create a drip campaign and to start reaching folks depending on their needs, their demographics but to make it easier and to make it less manual, you do need some kind of automation platform. That kinda what you’re saying.

Dan Novalis: Exactly. Yeah. Like I think the banks that are just getting started with this, it is really that situation take, you know, run a report from your core and say, give me all the millennials with this amount of balance or that are preapproved for a loan pull that list in create an automated campaign that sends them emails over a couple weeks. And that’s it bigger banks, you’re talking more about a daily or even near real-time feed of data from your core to the automation platform that many times throughout the day is running models and executing against rules that you’ve input say like when a customer reaches this or does this activity send them this message and it’s, continually, executing on that. And that takes a lot of planning and a lot of kind of strategy around it. But to get started, it’s, it’s actually pretty, pretty simple.

Caleb Stevens: So, the fourth thing you talk about is Tag Management. What do you mean by tag management?

Dan Novalis: Yeah, so ultimately a lot of banks, most banks that we work with are already doing some level of this. So, most places already have Google tag manager installed. Tag management is really just a term. That means you put one piece of code on your site, and then you can put all kinds of other pieces code on your site within that tag. So, you install Google tag manager, you touch your website once and then marketers or non-tech people can put the Facebook pixel or put the Google analytics tag into the website from the tag manager interface and not from the website itself. So, these are, are pretty commonly used. You might have some, you know, most places you see already have some, some level of this implemented.

What we don’t see a lot is, like we work with one bank, that’s got their main website, on one place and they’ve got a landing page on a third-party landing page development site. And they didn’t have the tag, the same tag implemented on the landing pages and so we’re missing a key part of that kind of customer journey of people come to the landing pages first and then go to the online account opening system or go to the main website. And we couldn’t see that whole journey until we got the tags on all the places. So, there’s tag management tool, but really, it’s more about the practice. The tools are really simple, the tag is just like one line of code that goes on your website but making sure that it’s everywhere and making sure that it’s set up everywhere is what’s important. So, in fact, that bank, uses there’s tools like mantle blend and others that help with the account opening and application processing. And we can even get, look at all the steps through that and get that data, mixed in with the ad data and really start to develop a picture of ROI from a click on a Google ad all the way through a real open account.

Caleb Stevens: Cause if you don’t know, Hey, this same person, we was just over here last week, and now they’re over here and you’re not connecting the dots, I guess, to your point, you’re not really getting a complete picture of their journey from a prospect to a customer. Is that kind of what you’re saying?

Dan Novalis: Yeah, yeah, exactly. How is, you know, we can tell it’s really easy to tell, hey, we ran this ad, it showed the ad, showed a million times. We got, you know, a thousand clicks. That’s great, but those clicks don’t necessarily turn into real accounts. So, if you can continue that path and say those thousand clicks turned into 500, applications submitted and 350 open accounts, then you can really go from the amount you spent on those million ads to the 350 accounts that were truly opened and really connect the ROI.

Caleb Stevens: Yeah. And you can see the whole, you see the whole funnel at that point, instead of just the top couple layers of the funnel, to your point, the impressions or the clicks on the Facebook ad or the LinkedIn, then you can actually see it all the way down to who the account openers are. Yeah.

Dan Novalis: Yep. And the tag and tag the tag management tools enable that flow to be seen so.

Caleb Stevens: Gotcha. All right. Well, the last thing that you say every bank needs to consider is they invest in their marketing technology is analytics and reporting. So, I think that’s sounds kind of come sense, you know, analytics, I’ve got my, perhaps my website analytics, I’ve got analytics probably about the social media things that I run. What are some of the key analytics and reporting, technology, and more importantly, how should banks be thinking about their analytics and reporting from a marketing standpoint?

Dan Novalis: Yeah, so there’s, you know, I think of analytics in two kinds of two realms, they’re all interconnected, but one is that what we’re just talking about of figuring out ROI from the ad spend all the way through real open accounts and that’s where like layering, Google analytics is another tool at most, most have installed but it comes with a learning curve. It collects a lot of data, but it’s you kind of have to know what you’re looking for and know how to set it up to get the most out of it. But that’s the start that’s where most banks get started is just looking at the website traffic. But if you’ve got your tags implemented in all the places, you can start to develop reports that show you that full funnel.

Google has got a great tool called data studio. That’s free that you can create dashboards, with, and you can do some pretty sophisticated things just in that to get started. There’s also other tools like tap clicks that start to get more expensive, but it makes it easier to bring in data from Facebook ads and other platforms. So, there’s lots of different, you know, options there, but the real goal is to just develop that practice, right? So, the one realm on the, on the marketing side of, you know, getting that full ROI picture is where those tools can come in. The other side of it is analytic customer analytics on top of your data platform on top of your CRM system and just understanding, understanding customer data and how to use it to segment, right?

So, every bank kind of talks about, hey, we want to attract millennials, but what does that really mean? There’s lots of different kinds of millennials, and you’re going to end up in the same situation. If you try to just say, Hey, millennials, we’re a bank for you. Like it, it falls flat. You really want to understand what, what are the struggles of the millennials in your geography? What are the struggles like? Are they, you know, are you in a place like New York City, which it’s impossible to buy a home, and maybe they’re not concerned with that? Are you in a place like St. Louis where it’s cost of living’s cheaper and it’s easier to do that and so they buy homes earlier? There’s a lot of differences in that market and so customer analytics will help you start to understand that, like, look at average balances, look at transaction volume, looking at those types of things and help you really understand who you’re trying to reach, instead of just thinking about broad, you know, demographic.

Caleb Stevens: I think that’s a good kind of jumping-off point to transition a little bit and kind of go up the you know, climb the airplane a little bit up to the 30,000 foot level, kind of above technology into strategy as you work with banks, what are some of the most effective banks doing in their marketing from a strategic standpoint? I would say a couple of things I’ve seen is that they’re very clear on their goals, and their marketing is aligned with their sales. So, their commercial lenders and their marketing team, they’re all aligned and rowing in the same direction and there’s clarity around the goals for the year, but as you kind of work with other bank, what are you seeing from a marketing standpoint that’s really working for banks right now, especially community banks.

Dan Novalis: Yeah. So, the interesting answer, the interesting part of the answer to that is that, um, I’m going to answer with a totally non-technology related thing, which is the banks that are most successful in using, in developing a marketing strategy. We, are ones that start early, like start with the customer in mind, start with what their goals are like you said. Um, but you really need to start with truly understanding your customers first. So, that’s developing customer personas, right? That what are their, not just millennial, not just their 32 and looking to buy a home, but like, what are their challenges in life, right? Not necessarily just banking ones, but what are they worried about in life and look for opportunities. You know, you kind of got to go broad and think about that.

And we do a brainstorming exercise for the clients where we think about that in general, what are all their life challenges? And then we can kind of identify things the bank might be able to help with, or at least message about and say, well, with these life challenges, like having this in place, having trust services, having insurance is important and you can look for solutions for whatever services you offer. Thinking about what kind of time they have in life, thinking about what their frustrations are with their current bank, right? Getting people to switch or apply for a loan is a super long process. It’s not, we’re not trying to sell like a $20 t-shirt that people can buy an impulse. It’s a long thing. And in the, you know, so let’s call it six months, right. In those six months, you’re hit with thousands of other bank ads.

And you’re a lot goes into that decision. So, how does your bank stay top of mind and be there when they’re ready or try to incite action, um, with that person. And that’s where like the personas real and a customer journey map really comes into play. You’ve really got to understand that stuff first. Right. And so, you’re, I think there’s kind of a hierarchy there where the top is the bank’s goals. Like, what does the bank want to do in the next 3, 5, 10 years? That layers down to like, okay, what are the customer personas that we need to help us meet those goals? Like what customers does that involve the journey is with those customer personas, what are all the steps they take to becoming a customer? Or if you’re thinking about a cross-sell type of thing, what are all the steps they take as a current customer to like become a better customer, bigger customer, um, with the goals, the personas, and the journey then like only then do we really start thinking about, okay what’s the technology we need to help that happen?

We’ve designed this ideal customer journey. Like what types of automation, personalization, you know, analytics, tech, do we need to make sure that journey’s happening, to optimize that journey over time? So, that’s where the you know to your initial question, but strategy, like it’s really that’s the strategy piece you’ve got to really understand, those personas and journeys before you get down, you know, the tech and the campaign level stuff.

Caleb Stevens: Yeah. Chris Nichols, who works in our capital markets division, he’s actually created a list of buyer personas and he speaks all the time at different, banking, conventions, and seminars and things. And I would say the most requested piece of content or slide that folk ask him for after he speaks is this whole list of buyer personas that he’s created for our bank, and it’s relative to all the different markets that we serve. We kind of know who is in those markets and who the profitable customers are. And so, folks, if you’re listening and you want that, we’d be happy to offer that to you. It’s something Chris Nichols puts out for free and been really helpful. I would think too, Dan, it’s a mix of automated technology like you’re talking about, but also a remarkable in person experience when they do finally come into the branch, you know, me and you millennials, we probably don’t go into the branch as much as other folks might, but there still is a place for that. And I would think, and tell me if I’m wrong, but I think it’s not just in person experiences, but it’s not just straight technology automation. It’s, got to be a blend and they got to be sort of working in tandem.

Dan Novalis: You’re the brand promise that you develop in all of your marketing has to stay true when they walk in or pick up the phone, right. Or even go through an online application process, even if they’re never going to talk to somebody in person if you hook them in with a great message and then they get to the online account opening page and it’s terrible, or it doesn’t work on a phone, you’ve lost them. So, it could all go quickly when we do workshops to develop personas and customer journeys with our clients and so we ask a lot of the standard stuff, like, what are their challenges? What are they worried about? But we always ask how can we bow this customer at onboarding? Right. Which I always get that question of like, well, that doesn’t sound like marketing, that has nothing to do with a Facebook ad. Like it doesn’t, but it’s kind of like following through on a baseball swing. You can’t just stop when you make contact, you’ve got to be your intention has to be to follow through if you’re going to get the home run. So, you’ve got to think through the rest of that process, because if it drops off, that’s where you get the bad reviews. That’s where you get customers leaving. After a few months

Caleb Stevens: I heard, Moar Kent, who’s the former CEO of Coca-Cola. I heard him say one time that a brand is a promise and a good brand is a promise that you keep. And so I think that kind of hits on what you’re talking about there with following through because if you have great marketing, but if you don’t when push comes a shove if you’re not living it out and how your folks interact with your customers is probably, a waste of time I would think.

Dan Novalis: Yeah, yeah, absolutely.

Caleb Stevens: Well for a community bank who is listening to this and maybe they’ve got a website, maybe they’ve got, you know, somewhat of a CRM or a customer kind of database, but maybe they haven’t really thought through reputation management tool. So, they haven’t thought through an automation platform for email campaigns and drip campaigns, or maybe they’re not great with their tag management. What’s like an easy first step for a bank to take. If they’re trying to get more automated with how they think about doing their marketing. Like when you meet with banks, if in their listening and it’s like, hey guys, if you don’t do anything else, what’s like one thing or one takeaway that they need to take away from this discussion. Yeah.

Dan Novalis: I mean, I would go back to the kind of goals, persona journey hierarchy, right? If you don’t have that, you’re probably just throwing money at tech that might not give you the ROI. You’re thinking you’ve really got to, you know, if you really want to be customer-first or data-driven, you’ve really got to go back to that and understand, Chris’s, list of personas, maybe there’s 20 personas on there. You, don’t need to start with all 20 pick the two or three that are most important to your bank, but that gets back to goals that gets back to having your exec team aligned on what those goals are and sharing information across the enter prize. So, first step is make sure you have the personas and the journeys ironed out, and then you can think about tech, right?

And I think earlier we went through there’s easy ways to get started with all those pieces of tack, right? So, there’s some real low hanging fruit of get Google tag manager installed, get analytics running, you know, create a dashboard, that’s easy to understand and simple, for non-marketing folks to understand, start tinkering with an email automation tool, and then you start getting into the database building and the unifying all of your customer data from across the bank. So, it’s really like, a lot of banks want to kind of get rolling on it and there’s some things you can do immediately with like we talk about, you can load an email list into an automation platform and it’s, it’s pretty simple, but you really got to think about, building a tech stack over a longer period of time. A lot of banks take even a couple years. So, the first steps are just getting that persona house in order seeing where you can do some simple things that are tied to your goals but then starting to think long term. So, you’re not just subject to the shiny object syndrome. You really have a plan and you can evaluate each thing, very intentionally as you go.

Caleb Stevens: And that’s, I mean, that’s easy to do too. The shiny object syndrome with so many to of front platforms out there. So, many bells and whistles I told you before we started recording this, we just signed up for this new, business intelligence service basically and it’s super cool but if we don’t have a plan, a clear plan to use it, and clear goals and metrics that we’re going to tie to it, it’s like, you know, we’re spending thousands, thousands of dollars a year on it, but you really want to make sure you go into it with a plan and not get, sidetracked by how fancy, you know, if something is so yeah.

Dan Novalis: I mean that incidentally is going to make your next investment that much harder to gets approved. Right. If you can’t show the ROI from it, later on, you get your next shiny object and you can’t do anything with it.

Caleb Stevens: Exactly! That’s good. Well, if folks want to, learn more about what you do, how can they get touch with you?

Dan Novalis: Yes, I’d go to our website first, Number two N O V A S. We’ve got a lot of blog posts on these topics. A lot of information on, how you can kind of get started with technology. We have an email series you can sign up for that’s, kind of gives you tips on based on where your bank is and kind of how to get to the next steps, you on, on our site. Incidentally, I’m also happy to answer any questions folks have or chat with anybody. You can book a 15-minute meeting with me on the site as well.

Caleb Stevens: Great. Well, we appreciate your time, and stay warm in St. Louis.


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