financial institutions can hit the mark with targeted messaging at the ATMAmerican consumers want marketing and brand messages that are relevant – to their interests, preferences, and daily lives. This preference has become so pronounced that, despite an ever-growing use of ad blocker technologies, ninety percent of consumers actually enjoy receiving personalized offers. 

Consumers say more general brand messaging can often feel off-the-mark and unappealing. The majority of Millennials (70%) admit being frustrated when brands send them messages that seem irrelevant. However, eight out of ten people are more likely to make a purchase from a company that provides a tailored experience. Nearly three-quarters (72%) of consumers say they will only engage with personalized messaging from a brand. Another seventy percent of customers say their loyalty depends on whether they feel the company understands their needs.

Is it any wonder over half of marketers (51%) consider personalization to be a priority in their brand strategy? Because marketers recognize that customized experiences engender brand loyalty and improve customer experience.

So, how can financial institutions and their brands provide more personalized, targeted messaging?

Leverage your account holder data with mobile banking

The most obvious way bank and credit union marketers are expanding personalization is through mobile banking applications. With the rush in mobile banking adoption since March of 2020, financial institutions are almost unilaterally prioritizing their mobile presence. A large part of that investment is ensuring account holders get the services and experiences they want.

According to recent research, those account holder demands can be pretty in-depth and specific, too. For instance, most Gen Z (80%) want to see their digital banking channels solve more complex financial tasks. Over half (63%) of account holders want proactive help with managing their finances. And ninety-three percent of consumers say they want to see personalized financial assessments.

All of these services are excellent ways to leverage the knowledge a financial institution brand has of their account holders in a safe space and a positive way. They also all require in-depth and long-term strategy, expensive technological development, and additional training for staff.

There are easier ways to create personalization on mobile banking apps. High-level options such as demographic targeting, location-based home screens, and time-sensitive push alert notifications are all opportunities with shorter development cycles. And if these mobile banking app solutions don’t fully meet the financial brand’s needs, there are other ways to generate personalized messaging.

Social media advertising to the rescue?

Financial institution account holders will hardly be surprised to see their bank or credit union targeting them in their favorite social feeds. Most financial institutions already have some sort of social media presence. Creating more targeted messaging for those channels is only one step further.

Over the years, social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok have developed their targeted messaging capabilities to surprising levels. Their systems utilize the already existing algorithms to allow marketers to drive specific messages to individuals based on their self-proclaimed demographics and interaction history. And their platforms let you pay based on the intended objective – such as impressions for brand awareness or conversions for more targeted product sales.

Sadly, there really isn’t a way to use the data the financial institution already has to target account holders further. In most cases, it’s not even possible to differentiate between current or potential account holders. So, while there are certainly opportunities to provide messages based on interests, hobbies, location, age, and other factors, there is still key information missing for the best financial institution targeting.

Advanced ATMs offer new targeted messaging solutions

When it comes to targeting current and potential account holders, today’s advanced ATMs are a surprisingly underutilized medium. Even the most basic cash dispensers now provide high-definition screens and custom receipts, which have proven to help improve increase brand exposure and improve loyalty.

More advanced machines can break down messaging based on the BIN (the first six digits on the card) of the inserted debit or credit card, opening up a range of new opportunities. Rather than a blanket brand advertisement, BIN recognition can differentiate between debit and credit card or account holder or non-account holder. It is even possible to flag the system for competitor cards. Financial institution marketers are then able to craft specific messaging based on each ATM user’s account status with the advertising bank or credit union.

But, with the right ATM partner and technology, targeted messaging at the ATM can get even more granular. Moving from BIN only to full  PAN (card number) analysis for inserted cards creates the ability to target individual account holders with fully personalized experiences and messaging

Some financial institution brands are already doing this to some extent – with preferred “fast cash” amounts, language selections, and preferred withdrawal accounts. Targeted messaging at the ATM can take that even further, using each account holder’s purchase preferences, demographics, and other personal information to provide them with programs, events, services, and alerts that are specific to their individual interests and needs.

US consumers will continue to crave more personalized messaging. Fortunately for banks and credit unions, there are already several options available to help them meet those growing needs. Whether it is to entice new account holders or improve retention rates, mobile banking, social media, and, yes, ATMs are three essential tools in the financial institution marketer’s toolbox for real targeted messaging.