Every good marketer knows that return on investment (ROI) is what truly determines success. How each campaign and strategy affects the institution’s bottom line influences where future money is spent – cutting out advertising that fails to perform and setting a standard for performance to meet or exceed for campaigns that make the cut.
Yet some advertising platforms have yet to present a true test of performance, relying instead on generic statistics and word of mouth to justify their continued use. Billboards, for instance, tout their visibility. Sales of these advertising attractions typically rely on reported traffic numbers for the highways and/or intersections in which they reside to calculate a standard impression rate. Television and radio are similarly billed – providing viewer and listener ratings for specific time-slots in order to generate advertising dollars. In all of these cases it is up to the advertiser to insert a form of tracking into their campaigns, utilizing tracked phone numbers, QR codes, and specialty URLs to help redirect and flag responses. The process is often cumbersome and relatively inaccurate.
The same can be said for “traditional” ATM branding. Billed as cheaper and more effective than direct mail, the standard of ATM advertising has been a combination of topper signage, welcome display screens, branded screen headers, transaction processing screens, and the occasional branded machine wrap. These branding packages are typically billed as a vehicle for raising brand awareness as well as generating additional awareness and convenience for those ATM users not currently a part of the branding institution. But, while an ATM operator can provide transactional statistics, determining an appropriate avenue for tracking advertising effectiveness is on the shoulders of the financial institution.
A New Way to Brand the ATM
Despite its downsides, the ATM is still an important interface for financial institutions (FI). According to the 2016 Consumers and Mobile Financial Services report from the Federal Reserve, the second most common means of account access for U.S. consumers is the ATM. Similarly, consumer preference for self-service continues to grow. A recent article from Harvard Business Review reports eighty-one (81%) of consumers turning to self-service before considering reaching out to a live representative. With so much hinging on a convenient and valuable self-service experience, it is becoming even more important for financial institution (FI) marketers to be able to fully utilize the ATM as an integrated part of their communication strategy.
Fortunately, some ATM manufacturers and providers are working to develop better ATM options – to benefit FIs and their cardholders. Three of the top ATM manufacturers, NCR, Triton, and Diebold Nixdorf have recently released software platforms designed to allow ATM operators the opportunity of developing and implementing robust a range of robust and integrated applications and tools. Used properly, these platforms provide the tools innovative businesses need to create new functionality and unique, personalized cardholder experiences such as:
- Update personal information
- Communications opt-ins
- Opportunity opt-ins
- Contact/Information requests
- Customized advertising by cardholder
These marketing opportunities can be fully integrated with web-based applications capable of monitoring ATM use and response rates as well as remote upload capabilities. FIs can fully test and control their ATM messages with the same or more control than other digital channels.
Thanks to these new platforms and software developments, ATMs no longer need to be relegated to invisible benefits. FI marketing teams can utilize advanced ATM technologies to facilitate integration with their ongoing strategies – tracking cardholder views and response rates to make more informed decisions to maximize real ROI at the ATM.