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5 In 5: Digital Marketing Red Flags for Banks

5 In 5: Digital Marketing Red Flags for Banks

Let’s face it: you don’t always have time to read every interesting blog post or article you see. Certainly not you, the bank marketer/multiple hat wearer with a schedule that’s generally full from day to day. That’s where our “5 In 5” monthly blog post comes in handy.

These monthly articles are meant to cater to bank marketers just like you: dedicated to their work, but with limited time to digest information. Here’s the gist: we offer five tidbits of information around a given topic that can be read in five minutes or less.

You get the information you need in a timely manner, while we get the satisfaction of knowing we helped expand some aspect of your knowledge.

With that out of the way, let’s jump into our first 5 In 5 topic of 2017.


Red Flags to Watch for with Online Services

There are plenty of companies out there providing online services, from websites to digital marketing services like search engine optimization, paid advertising and content marketing. There are fewer companies that do these services well and with your institution’s best interests in mind. Here are five red flags to watch out for if you get a cold call, email or interact face to face with digital marketing agencies.

  1. Starting with price. Online marketing, like all strategic operations, has to have some planning and discovery time done beforehand to know what the real costs will be. Dozens of times our clients have been approached by another agency offering Service A for x-number of dollars. Where did that number come from? There’s been no discussion of your needs, which leads to the next red flag…
  2. Offering a price tag without knowing your needs. No joke: we recently had a conversation with a client that was approached by another agency for an online ad campaign for $400 a month. The only targeting: a 40-mile radius around the bank. What product or service is targeted? Who is the target audience? What are the goals of the bank? Any vendor throwing out a price without a discussion about your goals and without doing a comprehensive analysis doesn’t have your best interests in mind.
  3. Dropping prices for the sake of the sale. This is a favorite move of larger companies because they can afford it. But if they drop the price only to undercut a competitor and make the sale, what motivation do they have to provide the product or service at any level of quality? Similarly, there are times when you’ll ask a vendor if they can cut the price by a certain amount. If they believe in their product/service they’re quoting, they most likely won’t automatically say “yes.”
  4. Upcharges for things that should be standard. Beware of upcharges or separate contract terms for things like mobile responsive technology or SEO best practices as part of website. These are things that should be standard at this point. You shouldn’t have to pay for them.
  5. Website providers who don’t know what “WCAG 2.0” is. WCAG 2.0 are guidelines regarding website accessibility for people with physical, auditory, visual or cognitive impairments. They’ve gotten a fair amount of press in the past months as the Department of Justice continues to work toward establishing the exact guidelines that will turn into law. Additionally, a small number of law firms have taken it upon themselves to start sending demand letters to business, including community banks, threatening action (even though no legal guidelines exist for website accessibility). If a website provider doesn’t know about WCAG 2.0, send them on their way.

We hope the above red flags help you make the most informed choice for your institution.

Check back next month for our next 5 In 5 post to expand your knowledge in a timely manner!