The products are out there. Lower your cost of funds they say. Increase commercial deposits and fee income they promise. But if you buy it, will your business banking prospects also?
The Cash Management Challenge
Banks in search of commercial deposit and lending relationships are afforded many opportunities to expand their product mix to include a menagerie of cash or treasury management solutions. These turnkey treasury systems and solutions unfortunately do not often sell themselves in our experience. While there’s no disputing the value of these solutions for small businesses, it’s often the case that your ideal prospects are fairly busy people. They aren’t actively searching online for cash management solutions. In fact, according to SEMrush, the keyword “cash management solutions” is only searched for 170 times each month across the entire United States!
So how can we help small businesses better manage their cash flow (with our shiny cash management products)?
Positioning Cash Management Products
Considering the fact that many small businesses who might benefit from your bank’s treasury solutions aren’t actively searching for your solutions, what messaging would pique their interest?
We’d suggest aligning jargon and branded product names with actual business needs. Here’s a few examples from various services that might fall under the cash management umbrella:
- merchant services = accept payments from your customers however they want to pay
- positive pay = protect your business from fraudulent checks and electronic payments
- remote deposit / merchant capture = avoid trips to the bank by depositing checks digitally using a provided scanner or mobile app
- sweep accounts / investment sweeps = earn more interest automatically by letting the bank move your money between accounts
- health savings accounts = reduce healthcare costs for your business and employees
- business mobile banking / online banking / online bill-pay / funds transfer = monitor and transfer your money online
- payroll processing solutions = simplify how you pay employees and tax payments
- ACH = collect payments and pay employees electronically
- escrow sub-accounts = simplify how you manage client funds
You get the idea! Simplify your fancy commercial banking product names and features into something relevant to your ideal business prospects (your marketing team would likely benefit from talking through this language with the business banking team).
Marketing Cash Management Products
With marketing language in hand, it’s time to reach your ideal prospects to let them know (according to Wikipedia) you can help optimize their liquidity while “mitigating its operational, financial and reputational risk.”
Except don’t say that. Refer to the section above for better marketing messaging!
With [non-jargon language] in hand, you’re now ready to do marketing! Here’s an example marketing plan to help you sell more cash management prospects:
1. Build Content – This is often the hardest part, but it’s essential to ensure the success of all subsequent efforts. Why would any small business waste their precious time on a shiny new product if they don’t see relevant testimonials, case studies, Q&A content from business bankers, and useful guides that help them improve their business? This content needs to be captured, then converted into digital assets (blog posts, videos, graphics, ads) to feed your marketing campaigns.
2. Cross-Sell Customers – Your bank or credit union likely already has relationships with local businesses that would benefit from your treasury solutions, so don’t forget about this low-hanging fruit! To reach existing customers (beyond manual outreach), leverage your email marketing platform (which hopefully includes automation) to communicate the content assets you’ve built in order to initiate new conversations. Outside of email campaigns and email automation, platforms like LinkedIn Ads offer advertisers the ability to cost-effectively target existing customers with relevant ads.
3. Engage New Prospects – Relevant prospects are not hard to find using pay per click ads on advertising platforms like Google Ads, Microsoft/Bing Ads, and LinkedIn Ads. To ensure your advertising efforts demonstrate a positive ROI, the positioning of your cash management solutions and various content assets (from step #1) will be crucial.
Keep in mind, there are always a certain number of people using search engines like Google and Bing to find solutions for their urgent cash management problems. It’s important to engage as many of these highly-qualified prospects as possible with search engine (SEM) ads, but there are many more businesses not actively searching for products who are active on social media platforms like LinkedIn.
Ads are a cost-effective strategy for engaging cash management prospects quickly, although search engine optimization (SEO) is also worth investing in to ensure your website enjoys prominent visibility in local markets when prospects do search for your products and solutions online. While optimized product pages are important for SEO, it’s more likely that prospects will find your website in search engine results if you consistently create relevant educational content in your blog. Educational blog content (or inbound content) should address a relevant problem or share best practices while naturally introducing related product offerings.
Cash Management Marketing Examples
It’s not always necessary to reinvent the wheel. Many financial institutions have already worked through simplifying cash management messaging and aligning their products to the needs of prospective businesses. Here are a few examples of banks that we think communicate treasury services effectively:
- Popular Bank
- Merchants Bank
- First Horizon
- SouthState Bank
- Cadence Bank
- Community Bank of the Bay
- F&M Bank
- Know of another? Let us know and we’ll add it!
Want Help Growing Business Banking Relationships?
At BankBound, we’re financial marketing nerds. We focus exclusively on growing local banks and are always happy to talk marketing. If you’d like to start a conversation about cash management marketing, we invite you to contact us so we can talk through challenges and ideas. Unfortunately, cash management products are not likely going to sell themselves, so don’t neglect the importance of marketing your solutions!