Rates are high, housing inventory is down, and competition for new originations is fierce. Leaders across mortgage and banking are turning to their marketing partners with some variation of the same ask: “We need to improve the effectiveness and profitability of our campaigns, increase originations, and oh, by the way, budgets have been slashed — so any ideas better be cost-effective.” Easy, right?
Sure, multi-million-dollar ad campaigns and exciting new lead sources would be great, but often lenders can find opportunities more efficiently by referring to the data and resources they already have. Many lenders have access to a large amount of consumer data, namely their customers and prospects, and the attributes they know about them.
Here’s how to turn those existing data assets into origination opportunities, all while creating a better experience for customers.
Get your data in shape.
For example, Americans move on average 11.4 times in their lifetime and alerting their bank to a change of address is not always a priority, especially for those who interact with their financial institutions digitally. So, until the consumer volunteers that new address, direct mail offers are likely piling up at their old one. At scale, this can generate enormous marketing waste.
If you’re relying on consumer information collected years ago, it’s good to score it for accuracy and update it regularly. Refreshing your data avoids the risk of misplaced marketing expenses and missed opportunities to engage with customers and prospects. This goes for phone, email and digital identifiers as well. To market effectively it is crucial to have accurate consumer information.
Taking it a step further, consider whether data is being collected accurately to begin with, especially on lead submissions. Many consumers are, rightfully, hesitant to submit a correct phone number on a lead form. This hesitation not only hinders lenders from reaching them, but also poses a compliance risk to the business if incorrect numbers are dialed.
Expand on what you know.
Even if you have the right information and tools to engage customers and prospects, you likely can’t engage with all customers at all times, nor should you want to.
This is where expanding what you know about the consumer comes into play. Demographic, financial, and psychographic attributes can all help in segmenting target audiences for more effective engagement and deliver a more meaningful experience for the consumer. Consider developing an “ideal customer profile” that correlates with a higher conversion rate, then find and prioritize these “ICPs” within your database. This will be significantly more effective than “one size fits all” campaigns.
You can also use these insights to build out digital audiences for acquisition. It’s remarkable how many financial institutions deploy a universal model when there will be significant variation across how their prospects and customers respond to their marketing. By understanding and leveraging this variation, lenders can cut wasted spend and improve profitability. As with getting data in shape, these insights can also be leveraged at the point of lead submission to inform things like scoring, routing, and messaging from the first consumer interaction onwards.
Remember that great marketing requires great timing.
Most lenders leverage credit triggers to try to prevent competitive fallout, and it’s often considered table stakes for any retention strategy.
However, consider this: a credit trigger means a consumer is likely applying elsewhere and solely relying on that insight is akin to showing up to the game in the fourth quarter. And because other lenders are also getting that trigger, it’s like showing up to play against five other teams. Not surprisingly, there’s even a legislative proposal to ban credit triggers entirely in the name of consumer experience. Delivering an effective and relevant consumer experience requires engaging with consumers earlier in their homebuying journey.
We’ve historically seen consumers first start shopping online for a new mortgage or home around 100 days before a credit trigger, a timeline that’s expanded even further with the current rate environment and limited housing inventory.
Evaluate internal and external resources that can help you determine who might be at the beginning of that shopping process. It’s going to be a long process, so create touch points to offer the consumer resources that will keep them engaged with your brand throughout their homebuying journey.
Galen Foot is an enterprise account executive at Verisk Marketing Solutions.