MNI Blog  /  4 minute read

What You Need to Know About Credit Card Marketing

We cover how to redefine your credit card marketing strategy amid digitalization to align with the changing needs and habits of your target audience.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, consumer behavior changed. Travel rewards didn't drive signups or usage, and customers needed online access to financial services and products. Credit card marketing strategies played a key role in helping local banks and credit unions stay connected with consumers. 
 
Effective messaging and content also support clients through life-changing events. However, marketing plans should be dynamic. Financial institutions can use data to inform and adjust strategies during disruptive times. Here's how to strengthen processes and existing relationships with customers whilst developing credit card customer acquisition tactics to attract new clients.
 
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What is Financial Services Marketing?

Credit card and financial services marketing target key demographics with relevant content on the right channel. Credit card marketing campaigns may encourage consumers to open a new account, transfer a balance, or take advantage of special offers. Unlike general marketing plans, bank marketing must consider financial risks and regulations, making it critical for institutions to pinpoint and reach the appropriate audience. 
 
Financial marketing professionals can achieve campaign goals by highlighting the right balance of online and in-person products to a segmented audience. Yet, the pandemic upended consumer behavior, requiring marketers to reassess channels and product differentiators.
 
 
The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection stated, "over 175 million Americans hold at least one credit card." However, "revolving consumer credit fell more than $120 billion (11%) in 2020" and nearly 3% more "between December 2020 and April 2021," according to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Several factors affected usage and repayment, including pandemic-related lockdowns and stimulus funds. 
 
Revolving consumer credit began to recover in 2021, but inflation and rising interest rates continue to influence behaviors. Credit card marketing professionals can stay abreast of the latest trends by building strategies on core principles and leveraging technology to connect with current and potential clients.

 

How to Approach Credit Card Marketing 

Your plans will include various goals, from attracting new customers to increasing credit card sales. Indeed, understanding fintech trends and the impact on your target audience are one component of credit card marketing strategies. But, the best credit card campaigns speak to individual consumers. This approach helps ensure the message, content, and timing have a significant impact.
 
Base your marketing strategies for credit cards on these principles:
  • Put relevant content on the right channels: Promote credit card sales and financial products by identifying the appropriate platforms, developing content that resonates with the target audience, and selecting the best timing.  
  • Build flexibility into credit card marketing plans: Changing consumer motivations, expectations, and behaviors can make a credit card campaign ineffective. Collect data and generate insights to overcome economic and generational marketing differences.
  • Highlight key differentiators: The benefits of financial products vary by generation, income level, and more. Create compelling campaigns by personalizing your approach when discussing key differentiators.

 

Credit Card Marketing Strategies 

According to the American Banking Association (ABA), "the credit card market is highly competitive." Consumers have many options and are flooded with offers, making it imperative for local finance companies to lean into what makes their financial services and products different. Moreover, amid stiff competition and economic uncertainty, institutions should leverage big data and data visualization tools to understand and reach their target audiences.
 

Understanding Digital Marketing for Banks 

Community bank marketing relies heavily on a personal approach, which extends to your online offerings. Customer service, paid ads, and self-service tools are part of digital marketing for banks. In each case, the customer experience is paramount. Consumers want easy-to-use solutions and personalized promotions. Therefore, your credit card sales strategy and customer acquisition efforts should focus on a cohesive online experience. 
 
Use digital strategies to market credit cards by:
 
  • GettyImages-1303455694-Cropped-1Developing a social media presence: Globally, there are more than 4.6 billion active social media users, making social media marketing tactics excellent for outreach. Local bank marketing includes using social media for communication, monitoring complaints, and increasing customer engagement.
     
  • Offering self-service options: Consumers want online application and account management tools. These channels add value to your offerings, allowing your clients to simultaneously access information on their cell phones and view timely promotions. 
  • Supporting multiple communication types: Usually, digital marketing for banks relies on cross-device communication and strategies. Diversifying the online channels used for customer support, which includes live website chat, social media messaging, and text services.  
 

Investing in Seasonal Credit Card Campaigns

Credit card marketing campaigns should meet consumers at the moment, including times of the year when spending spikes. Seasonal promotions are most effective when combined with credit card customer segmentation. This combination can connect your credit union or bank with consumers preparing for upcoming purchases, such as summer vacations, back-to-school, and holidays. 
 
 
However, in 2020, more than 40% of holiday shoppers reported shopping "earlier than they normally do," according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). Local banks and credit unions may not reach potential customers in time without behavioral data. Successful credit card marketing strategies help to collect accurate insights, allowing local banks to pivot quickly to meet consumers in the moment. 
 

Leveraging Big Data and Automation

Big data in finance helps local banks and credit unions anticipate consumer preferences and market innovative financial products before the market is saturated with offers. But, these capabilities aren't possible without tools that use automation to gather customer analytics. Financial institutions can use big data solutions to collect information online and offline to develop a complete user profile. From there, automated technologies serve ads to individuals based on their behaviors, such as which devices they use at various times of the day.
 

Using AI-Enabled Marketing as a Strategy

Artificial intelligence (AI) in the credit card industry helps organizations adapt to the swift pace of change in the digital age. It also allows marketers to assess behavioral differences and recalibrate after COVID-19. Indeed, AI-enabled marketing in finance can use transactional data for card-linked promotions and advertisements. 
 
An AI-based credit card marketing strategy increases conversions by analyzing:
  • Time of year
  • Age
  • Geolocational data
  • Gender
  • Types of products purchased
  • Historical purchase behavior 

Credit Card Customer Acquisition

Credit card customer segmentation groups clients according to demographic, behavioral, psychographic, and geographic attributes. It uses AI and machine learning (ML) to identify marketable consumer segments. For instance, the ML clustering method looks at a dataset and may find a correlation between different segments humans may miss. Marketers better understand consumer intent and can create personalized credit card marketing strategies and campaigns. 
 
ML and AI-powered tools also help banks and credit unions build (and sustain) relationships and loyalty. These technologies monitor changes affecting your target audience's behavior and enable financial institutions to provide innovative products and services. Visa Consulting & Analytics suggests that "offers that fit and evolve with the customer's lifestyle maximize return on investment." 
 

Personalize Credit Card Campaigns to Reach Consumers Efficiently

Credit card marketing is necessary to stand out in a crowded market of financial products. Your solutions should enhance your existing practices and uncover potential opportunities. Consider how AI can transform your credit card marketing strategies by creating hyper-targeted audiences with data match. Learn about financial services marketing by contacting MNI for more information.

 

About the Author

@Janine Pollack is the Integrated Marketing Director, and self-appointed Storyteller in Chief at MNI Targeted Media. She leads the brand’s commitment to generating content that informs and inspires. Her scope of work includes strategy and development for Fortune Knowledge Group’s thought leadership programs and launching Fortune’s The Most Powerful Woman podcast. She is proud to have partnered with The Hebrew University on the inaugural Nexus: Israel program, featuring worldwide luminaries. Janine has also written lifetime achievements for Sports Business Journal. She earned her masters from the Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism and B.A. from The American University in Washington D.C.