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July 18, 2023

Becoming an Asset to Financial Clients

# Digital Printing
# Sales and Marketing
# Vertical Markets

Printers targeting the financial market are focused on helping their clients become more efficient and visible

A regional bank headquartered in the Northeast was getting ready to open two new branches in Pennsylvania. It needed more than printed products such as flyers, poster holders, desktop nameplates and window graphics. It needed community attention.

The bank’s marketing team wondered if its printer could help with the promotion, making families and businesses aware of the new branches and their upcoming open-house events. The bank wanted to turn some of that traffic into new accounts.

The printer realized an opportunity to prove its evolution from a print-focused firm to a marketing services provider capable of helping end users make money, not just save it. The company, an HP Indigo user that preferred remaining anonymous due to sensitivity surrounding an upcoming acquisition by the bank, already had proven its value by efficiently managing the bank’s warehousing and distribution of print and promotional items. Could it also manage special events and marketing campaigns?

The printer turned to technology. A few months before the new branches opened, it had learned about an online event management tool that helped coordinate multiple steps in the event-planning process, including Save the Date postcards and mailing lists, registration emails, reminder emails, follow-up surveys and a dashboard that helps users track updated information. “Every marketing channel the bank’s managers use today must achieve the same goal: move them closer to prospects, lock them tighter to their customers and boost results,” says the printer’s president. “As our business relationship moves forward, we view their marketing and operations as cohesive parts of a bigger picture — marketing communications. We believe this approach will empower the bank to improve branding and boost customer engagement. 

When the printer met with bank officials to talk about the event management tool’s capabilities, the conversation expanded into other business challenges for the end user, including maintaining brand control across branches, improving new-client acquisition, revamping the bank’s website, enabling approved personnel to order executive items for top clients and creating digital advertisements in various sizes.

The printer expects to help the bank improve on these financial industry metrics:

  1. Targeted acquisitions: The bank spends significant funds procuring lists of potential customers and distributing marketing materials to these individuals. The bank’s marketing team aims to build a scored list of each prospect based on his or her likelihood to convert, segmented by banking product.
  2. Campaign conversions: The printer has begun arming bank officials with real-time dashboards that show performance data by campaign. This enables the client to review, assess and analyze results quickly from marketing tactics such as postcards with personalized URLs, social media content, digital display ads and more. The printer’s capabilities include the ability to target by user (ones who have demonstrated certain interests and intentions, for example), by websites (content-based targeting related to key areas and campaign topics) and by geography (highly targeted execution by ZIP code or a radius around a specific location).
  3. Customer win-back: Financial clients may leave the bank, but that doesn’t mean they won’t return. The bank is looking for help to build predictive models that identify the likelihood a previous customer will return, segmented by banking product.
  4. Market-basket analysis: The bank wants to know which customers are likely to purchase more than one banking product, and the printer is already helping its client identify prime targets for cross-selling opportunities.

Ideal Market for PageWide

The financial market is ideal for printers using HP PageWide equipment, which is known for fast, high-performing printing — exactly what’s often needed in the financial sector for statements, “transpromo” mailings (which combine transactional printing with customized promotions based on a recipient’s status or history) and other documents.

Unlike traditional printers that pass the paper over movable printheads, HP PageWide printheads are stationary. The paper goes under the actually page-wide, immovable printhead at an incredible speed, while thousands of tiny ink nozzles apply the HP Thermal InkJet color. The ink must be placed at exactly the right point and at the right time to create a proper print. This accuracy is driven by the way the paper is transported through the printer, as well as how individual sensors tell the printer to release each drop of ink.

With only one pass to get it right, these printers are built to be incredibly reliable for financial clients and others. As each page passes through, printers get a complete print job without multiple passes or lengthy “pauses” for projects that require heavy ink, darker shades, or extra-detailed lines.

 In 2022, those benefits convinced Deluxe to add digital and print-on-demand capabilities with the addition of an HP PageWide Web Press T250 HD with HP Brilliant Ink. Deluxe has more than 4,000 financial institution customers. The new press, installed in its Kansas City, MO, facility, extended the firm’s capabilities and enabled new product development, said Garry Capers, President of the Cloud and Promotional Solutions at Deluxe.

DG3 is another example of a printer that’s growing with PageWide technology after recently upgrading to the PageWide T250 HD. The press is designed to deliver on a wide range of applications, including commercial, direct mail, publishing and transactional. Printers whose financial clients require color consistency on different substrates for all branches can use HP Color Management, available on PageWide presses.

Go here for PageWide tips and tricks from PageWide pioneer Adam Avrick, President of Design Distributors.

4 Ways to Serve Financial Firms

The condition of the financial market can’t easily be summarized in a concise statement for printers seeking to analyze the market’s assets and liabilities. Industry mergers certainly present a challenge. Today, there are about 11,000 banks and savings institutions and 12,000 credit unions in the United States, according to the FDIC.

 According to printers who target the niche, here’s the good news: Financial firms tend to buy lots of printed products, they seek to distinguish themselves in their communities and, therefore, need help with creative promotional campaigns, and they pay their bills on time. (More than anyone, they understand the headaches of late payments.)

Here are four tips to follow when seeking to enter (or penetrate) the financial market:

  1. The main thing that turns these keepers of cash into customers is service. That concept — providing excellent customer service that’s consistent and noticeable — is what distinguishes one group of bank tellers from another group down the street. Branch managers notice the same thing from their print and marketing services providers. Become the client’s stress reliever.
  2. Track the industry so you can talk the talk. Doing so might seem like a daunting task, but you don’t have to be an expert on banking regulations and trends — just stay in tune with major news. For example, consider attending seminars given by the American Bankers Association, or create a Google Alert for “bank legislation,” “bank promotion” or “financial industry merger.”
  3. Offer marketing services education. In the same way a financial company might provide a free seminar on college savings or retirement plans, you could hold a series on matching printed items to certain themes. One printer in the Northeast holds monthly training for three credit unions. The sessions, which typically last three hours, mainly cover cross-selling strategies.
  4. Ask big-picture questions to help financial companies define the marketing tactics they need. Rather than leading conversations with samples of print items, address larger business questions such as, “How will you position your business against competitors?” and, “How would you describe your best customers, and what messages do those people need to hear more often?”

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