A bank's banner ads typically appear on the landing page-the place where old and new customers alike begin their online interaction. The trouble with this marketing strategy is that most current customers immediately login to their account, leaving the landing page and all those banner ads behind. "Poof, they're gone," says Peter Glyman, president and co-founder of Geezeo. His Tolland, CT-based firm, as well as a handful of other technology companies, aim to change that by combining personal financial management with online marketing tools so banks can design individual ad campaigns and place those ads behind the login.
Brett King, a consultant and author of Bank 2.0, says that targeted advertising behind the login is the way of the future and requires banks to develop so-called "offer management capabilities." Most banks don't have these capabilities and thus can't make "the right offer at the right time," he says. "It's not just about banner ads in the portal. To cross-sell and upsell ads must be highly targeted and banks must understand the total relationship."
While King argues that no banks are doing a great job of this today some executives clearly see the value in this approach. A half dozen financial institutions have already signed on with Geezeo, including 1st Mariner Bank in Baltimore, MD, and Stanford Federal Credit Union in Palo Alto, CA. Executives at both institutions highlight several aspects of the Geezeo solution. First, with the personal financial management solution (PFM) users provide a great deal of information about the accounts and loans they have-checking, savings, auto loans, mortgages. Additionally, Geezeo prompts them to share financial goals.
Knowing where a customer is financially today and where he or she wants to be tomorrow helps institutions better target marketing efforts. "There's an increased appetite at different times for different information," says Mark Schwanhausser, senior analyst, multichannel financial services, at Javelin Strategy & Research.
This strategy positions the institution as a financial advisor that can help customers achieve goals. Besides Geezeo, others vendors that offer similar solutions include Jwaala, Segmint, Wesabe, and Yodlee, according to Schwanhausser.
Kevin Lynch, svp, e-commerce at 1st Mariner Bank, says his bank has done banner ads for years now-the "product of the month" or the "product of the quarter" for instance. But given stiff competition from the likes of Bank of America and M&T Bank in the Baltimore area, executives decided they needed to step up their game. The bank was in beta with the Geezeo solution in late spring and planned to go live in July with Mariner 360, which will give customers and the bank a 360 degree view of the clients' money and goals.
Margaret Wold, vp of marketing and business development at Stanford Federal Credit Union, says the credit union has been marketing behind the login for several years, but the offers were divorced from any understanding of whether the customers wanted the product or not. For instance, certain customers would see a message saying they were preapproved for an auto loan or credit card. But the bank had no way of knowing if the customers wanted a car or hated credit cards. But the Geezeo application is "changing the way we target. It's more honed to member activity," Wold says. Now, by combining the credit union's data and the data provided by Geezeo, the credit union not only knows if a customer qualifies for an auto loan; they know if the customer is saving for a car. She says the potential is huge because fully 80 percent of members use online banking and more than 40 percent are classified as frequent users. "Now I can drive my messages based on the members' goals." Wold is also enthused by the possibility of using Geezeo for mobile ads.
Critically, designing these ad campaigns through Geezeo is simple and fast. A bank employee can select criteria for an ad campaign, run a report, and then launch a campaign. For instance, a bank employee could select all female customers with investment accounts in excess of $60,000 within a certain geography and then choose to create a two-day ad campaign for a low-interest credit card. After running the report and generating a list of names, the employee can download pre-designed creative and then turn on the campaign. "You could launch a campaign in three minutes," says Glyman of Geezeo. "It's very cost effective for small institutions."