It takes nine months to birth a baby (a human one, that is). It shouldn’t take that long to hatch an idea, but I’ve been working on this one for about nine months.
Here’s the idea: Financial institutions (banks and credit unions, particularly) need a way to assess their online marketing capabilities, in order to know if they’re any good at it, and for creating a roadmap of investments they need to make in order to improve their online marketing ability.
I’ve been working on that “way” for the past few months, and I call it the Online Marketing Maturity model for financial institutions.
There are two key premises to the model:
1. There are three core processes to online marketing: Demand generation, demand conversion, and account creation. FIs use the online channel (through search, email, their own site, social media, etc.) to generate demand for their products and services, then convert that demand into sales (through microsites, comparison tools, product configurators, etc.), and finally create accounts online.
2. There are three stages of maturity: Performed, integrated, and optimized. In the first stage, a firm performs activities that correspond to one or more of the three processes, but measurement is typically lacking, and there is often a lack of integration of those activities across products or channels. In the second stage, firms begin to close the integration gap. In the third stage, firms deploy quantitative marketing methods to optimize spending and the allocation of resources within and across processes.
Based on their answers to the criteria that I’ve put together, a bank or credit union would be assigned to one stage per process. Knowing one’s online marketing maturity will help FIs: 1) Develop a roadmap for improvement and development opportunities; 2) Resolve prioritization disagreements; and 3) Benchmark internal progress over time.
I’m looking for volunteers to be lab rats: Complete the assessment (it’s an online survey), give me feedback on the criteria. When I get a decent sample of respondents, I’ll be able to let you know how you compare. If you’re willing, please email me at ron dot shevlin at gmail dot com and we can talk logistics.
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