How to Establish a Marketing Plan in the Bank Industry

Have you ever wondered how certain banks have become so successful? Perhaps you may have taken a moment to consider how you could enter the industry or even create a business that is just as prosperous. In any case, you can thank the marketers who established that bank’s marketing plan for their prosperity.

There are more than 8,000 financial institutions in the United States alone. These institutions offer similar services like checking and savings accounts, loans, ATM cards, etc. To separate themselves from competitor branches, each bank has developed a strategic marketing plan to target ideal customers and attainable KPIs. These plans include traditional marketing techniques such as print advertising and cold-calling, but they also heavily rely on digital marketing for banks. Examples of digital marketing for banks may involve content marketing, local SEO, email marketing campaigns, PPC advertising, and analytics. With so many financial institution marketing strategies to choose from, novices to marketing for the bank industry may become overwhelmed and waste resources trying all techniques at once.

This article will simplify the process of establishing a marketing plan for your bank or credit union by reviewing the values of banks, competitor analysis, execution, and developing omnichannel marketing approaches. The best way to create a digital marketing strategy for a financial institution is to work with financial marketers, like the ones at SEO Design Chicago.

bank marketing plan

Align Marketing Goals and Competitor Analysis

How does your bank currently meet customers’ expectations? Does your bank’s mission statement immediately set the exact expectations you described? If not, you must first prioritize modifying your business’s branding when creating your bank marketing strategy.

Common overused phrases in bank advertising include “exceeding your expectations” and “meeting your financial needs.” The goal of your mission statement and branding should be to align your bank’s values with what your bank will actually provide. Even if your core value is to “exceed expectations,” you should be concrete about what expectation your bank aims to exceed; for example, your bank strives to “exceed expectations for innovative yet steady financial growth.” Distinguishing brand voice this way diversifies your voice from competitors, enabling clients to clearly differentiate your unique services from other banks.

While developing your bank marketing strategy, perform competitor and SWOT analyses during or before forming your mission statement. A successful marketing plan depends on having a competitive edge in bank advertising. Therefore, conduct a competitive analysis of your competitors, reviewing how you can also target provided services for niche groups of customers. To further examine your bank’s current advantages and disadvantages, perform a SWOT analysis. A SWOT or strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats analysis will provide further insight into how you may revamp your projected goals and KPIs.

Target Audience

Once you have established an authentic brand identity, you must develop and refine your target clientele. Every customer has inherent needs and wants, with some being economically driven and others as part of the social sphere. Regardless, divide potential customers based on their needs and wants in your marketing plan. This strategy will aid in curating bank advertising and brand development to target customers based on current socio-economic desires.

bank marketing strategy

Consider Costs and Stages of Execution

When crafting a bank marketing strategy, you might be so enthused about your plan and its potential successes that you forget about the limitations attached to it and every business in existence. To many, a bank marketing plan is only as successful as its key performance indicators (KPIs). This means that your plan must work with the financial constraints provided. While considering which KPIs to reach, you will organize your plan according to your bank’s branch, product type, and demographics.

The budget becomes the next step after planning KPIs. When forming a budget, determine how much of it you would like to, or need to, spend on digital marketing. To provide an estimate: about 30% of financial institutions spend at least 20% of their annual revenue on digital marketing, with the typical budget averaging around 10% of their yearly gross revenue. This estimate will likely continue to increase as the demand for PPC advertising and the cost of producing these digital ads increases. High-performing banks use automated tools such as email campaigns and customer service sequences as extra advertising endeavors.

In addition to digital advertising, marketing budgets should reflect upon other pertinent categories like marketing research software, advertisement spending, social media tools, employee salaries, and platforms for marketing training. As a note of caution, you should ensure you invest in analytics software so that you can measure the results of your marketing strategy.

Once you have formed a clear bank marketing strategy and budget, there are three key factors to consider for the execution stage of your process.

KPIs and Teamwork

To ensure your team meets its targeted goals, divide the labor. Assign each team member a section of the marketing plan. Delegating these tasks enables your bank to set and achieve attainable KPI goals.

Skills-Based Delegation

Depending on the tasks you have created for your team, it might be preferable to outsource some of the work to a reliable marketing agency experienced in designing and executing digital marketing for banks. However, before doing so, determine if your bank has the resources to perform all types of marketing needed and if your employees can effectively accomplish this in-house.

Perform Analysis on Third-Party Marketers

Before deciding whether to outsource your advertising needs, always research potential candidates. A credible marketing firm such as SEO Design Chicago will provide trustworthy information on their platforms meant to educate companies such as yours so that you can make a well-informed decision when outsourcing work.

marketing for banks

Develop an Omnichannel Bank Marketing Strategy

To establish and execute a strong bank marketing plan, implement an omnichannel approach during the strategic planning process. Omnichannel approaches bridge the divide between advertising for online and offline target audiences. Providing a seamless experience across all marketing channels is key to reaching your KPIs. To create an omnichannel approach, you will ideally use a mixed media approach. It will integrate advertising from traditional methods with rapidly changing digital marketing techniques. Some of the best practices include the following:

Social Media

Implementing a social strategy into your bank marketing plan allows you to gather quick information concerning your bank’s performance. Given that today’s society relies on news and information spread via social media, you will receive rapid analysis and feedback on your bank’s stance in the economic and social spheres. Social media grants the ability to deliver timely analytics via the apps and reveals the current relationship between your business and clientele. Engaging in social media marketing enhances the credibility of your bank, as marketing through apps enhances the user experience. Whether through Instagram or Facebook Stories, short Tik Tok clips posting educational financial content, or highlighting customer testimonials, social media has unlimited potential for meeting and exceeding your marketing objectives.


Similar to social media use, blogging will have a surprising but advantageous effect on your business. There are many reasons why banks should incorporate blogging in their planning. For example, when using proper SEO and targeted keywords, blogs can increase traffic to your bank’s website. Similar to social media, blogs exist as a crossover form of advertising. Through blogging, you can create original content to engage viewers of your social media pages. You can also increase your brand’s visibility and establish credibility relationships with potential clients by providing educational content that develops transparency regarding intent between you and your clients.

Local SEO

Clients need banks accessible to their area. Due to this, local SEO has become a standard tool in bank advertising. With the increase of “near me” searches and the possibility of extending services offered from one bank to another branch through mail, email, etc., local SEO can improve your bank’s visibility among competitors appearing in the higher search rankings. To attain the highest local SEO results, SEO Design Chicago recommends partnering with a marketing firm that is familiar with the banking industry and generating customized bank marketing plans.

bank industry marketing

Personalized User Experiences (UX)

Providing a personalized customer experience has always been a priority for many financial institutions. As cultivating the B2C relationship remains the focal point when crafting marketing strategies, banks must adapt their strategy per the advertisement channel (online vs. offline) and customer demographic. To maintain an optimal bank-to-customer relationship, you must consider factors like voice, conversation, technology, and data analysis. These factors emphasize the importance of preserving objective and subjective perspectives when tailoring bank marketing strategies. The strategies are customized for each consumer type based on targeted marketing with these factors. This enables banks to tailor each marketing channel for different customer audiences.

Email Marketing

Email marketing for banks is an important park of any comprehensive digital marketing strategy. You can utilize email marketing to get your existing customers informed and excited about other services you provide. We create excellent digital marketing campaigns for financial services companies.

Mixed Marketing Strategies

Implementing various marketing methods across digital channels increases your business’s visibility and potential to reach different consumer audiences. The best way to increase visibility is through using organic, print, event-based, and paid marketing strategies. Facebook and PPC ads, search engine optimization, influencer partnerships, print newsletters, and content marketing or blogging are just a few options.

Streamlining Your Bank’s Marketing Strategy 

Planning a marketing campaign and enacting it are two very different tasks. However, they do not necessarily have to be independent. If curated thoughtfully while considering all potential avenues for success, your marketing plan should streamline the execution process, not hinder it or add additional steps. A successfully designed digital marketing campaign for banks will include omnichannel approaches, achievable goals, and prompt a favorable brand image benefiting the bank-to-customer relationship. When partnering with experts like the digital markeitng agency SEO Design Chicago, who specialize in crafting effective bank advertisements, your mission will align completely with your goals and client expectations. SEO Design Chicago offers financial marketing services for your bank or credit union. We are expert financial marketers who know the best digital marketing strategies for customer engagement for your financial institution. Get the best financial services email marketing, social media management, and more marketing content across various digital channels.


  • Why is marketing important for banks?
  • Why should I complete a SWOT analysis?
  • How much money do banks put toward digital marketing?
  • Why should banks create a blog?
  • How do I provide a positive user experience?

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