FCTI - Blog

The 8 Second Catch - Improving Marketing Communications

Posted by Rebecca Hellmann on Jun 14, 2018 6:22:00 AM

Money is boring. But your marketing doesn't have to be.

You have approximately 8 seconds to influence anyone to make the snap decision to pay attention to your message, according to Debra Jasper, Founder & CEO of Mindset Digital. In her presentation at The Financial Brand Forum 2018, Jasper made an important point abundantly clear – we are all flooded with digital communication and it is up to us marketers to find ways to break through.

How NOT to be Boring

But how does one avoid being tedious, dull, stuffy, and uninteresting…especially when it comes to savings, loans, credit cards, and other things that require our brains to logically analyze needs and think about the future? The essential element? Keep it short.

No, seriously. Three syllable words or shorter. Use pictures. Illustrate with video. Highlight actions with colors and icons. Answer the three basic (BIG THREE) questions:

  • What?
  • So what?
  • Now what?

For example, ABC Bank is making plans to push their five-year CDs to a specific list of account holders. Looking at the account activity and demographic data ABC determines the age range falls between 30 and 45 and all of the accounts are within a specific city/county area.

Based on this information, ABC has decided to generate email banners for their monthly newsletter, mobile application, and estatements as well as create a special email blast and interactive ATM campaign to help drive awareness.


However, to appeal to their audience, they must determine the answers to the BIG THREE.

  • What? Sign up for a 5-year CD at 2% interest. This is what ABC Bank wants their account holders to accomplish.
  • So What? For every $500 placed in the CD, $25 will be donated to the community zoo in your name. This is the incentive. Anyone who signs up earns social currency by making a fiscally sound financial decision AND donating to a popular area charity. As those 30 to 45 likely have kids, the zoo donation is a double benefit…plus, you know, animals. They’re going to tell their friends (the account holders, not the animals).
  • Now What? Sign up here! Big, bold, easy to accomplish.

Add in a boat load of cute pictures, videos, and icons and suddenly this BORING campaign for CDs becomes engaging, social, and fun!

Three Digital Mandates

But improving communications is more than just capturing attention in the moment. It is all about the overarching experience. Because losing someone’s concentration is much easier than attracting it. Fortunately, Jasper has some advice on this front as well in the form of three general mandates to handling digital communication/presence.

  1. 404-error examplesEvery touch point counts. That 404 redirect? That “oops” moment in your last email? Service update announcements? They ALL matter. That’s why many companies are taking the extra time and effort to inject a little pizzazz into every corner of their interactive spaces. The attention to detail does not go unnoticed.
  2. Connections, not commercials. While many large institutions may say otherwise, the truth is the logo and slogan are not what make a brand. It’s the people. Which is why it is important to make “friendly and professional” an integral part of culture throughout the business – including digital communications.
  3. Adopt a digital mindset. You may have noticed chatbots and automated online communications are becoming a thing. Technology is gradually making them more personable and user-friendly – allowing consumers to get answers to urgent questions without the delay of waiting for standard business hours. What other digital innovations could your bank or credit union use to interact with account holders when they need it? The ATM? Mobile alerts? Automated SMS response? The options are quickly growing. Keep an open mind and eye!

You have 8 seconds to grab attention and try to keep it. Thankfully, there are many ways to make even savings and loans exciting, fun, and inspiring by appropriately targeting your audience and answering the BIG THREE questions. Once captured, holding that attention can be equally difficult but keeping an open and digital-focused mind, concentrating on connections, and evaluating touch points can give a leg up when it comes to generating effective marketing communications.

Discover how you can use these marketing tactics where cardholders least expect it - at the ATM! Click here to request a demo.

Topics: atm marketing, digital marketing, financial brand forum, credit union marketing, bank marketing


Written by Rebecca Hellmann

Rebecca Hellmann has been researching and writing in the payments technology industry for over six years. Prior to the payments industry, Rebecca developed marketing, branding, and content for businesses such as Bil-Jac, Benjamin Franklin Plumbing, and Homestead Furniture. She currently works as Director of Marketing for FCTI, Inc.
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