From the very beginning, he’d been hovering in her line of sight. At the EFTPOS machine. The closest ATM. On her favourite team’s merch. When he started following her around and popping up online, it got a little weird. But now that she knew what he was all about, she couldn’t be more in love.
Today was no different.
She needed love and security. The kind of security that could only come with owning her own home. So when she turned the corner on the high street and saw him there on bended knee, offering her a 3.85% comparison rate on a first home buyers’ mortgage, she said ‘Yes! Yes of course I’ll be your customer!’
If you’re in a role where you work with marketing, on any level, chances are you hear the word ‘engagement’ a hundred times a day. It’s used in a variety of contexts, from brand perception to the customer’s ongoing relationship with their bank or financial services provider. Engagement may seem like a bit of a buzzword; it can mean a lot of different things. But at a very general level, it describes the back-and-forth, connected nature of the business between a financial institution and an individual customer.
This ongoing relationship is sometimes described as the ‘customer engagement journey’. It’s a process that begins before the person is even aware that the business exists, let alone what it does or why they should choose it. Depending on what industry in, how complex your marketing infrastructure is, and the frequency of purchase of your product, the way the journey is mapped out can look very different.
There’s one thing they all have in common: there’s a space for education. In fact, it’s often the missing link between awareness and engagement. Yet too many financial services providers aren’t providing any form of education to their potential clientele.
Even organisations that think they’re providing education aren’t going about it in the best possible way. The first important distinction is that information and education are two very different things. It’s one thing to have product disclosure information, a landing page for a particular product, or a self-service FAQ page where users can click through a series of glossary definitions or product explainer videos. It’s another thing entirely to offer a customer-centred learning experience that helps them put your products in the context of their broader needs, whilst developing an actionable understanding of what you have to offer. To boil it down to a very simple example: you can advertise that aforementioned awesome interest rate, but if your potential customer isn’t already aware of things like what a comparison rate is, how mortgage offset accounts work or how compounding affects the total repayments, they won’t find it as compelling.
Sealing the deal – the role of education in the engagement journey
Providing an education offering is a way to strengthen ties with your potential customer at that stage when they’re in between being aware of what you do or offer, and being compelled to make a transaction. There are a number of working theories as to how this happens. For some, it’s a value-add that simply happens to come before the product itself. For others, it’s a way to build enthusiasm and excitement for the offer that’s yet to come in their engagement journey. Some use it the way they use client communications – to establish themselves as thought leaders and demonstrate their expertise.
That said, the solution you offer has to be good – a genuine value add. After all, your customer is likely to be comfortable doing their own general research. What you need to offer is something that they couldn’t get to grips with just by doing their own reading.
Say yes to Money101
Money101 has over a decade of active experience in creating engaging, effective online financial education for clients, customers and fund members. We know how to turn intimidatingly complex information in to engaging interactive learning experiences. Our team includes subject matter experts, instructional designers, programmers, multimedia developers and writers. Together, we’ve created some pretty impressive branded and bespoke units for our clients, covering topics ranging from basic household budgeting to buying a first home.
To get an idea of how we could help you engage your customers, take a look at our off-the-shelf units and case studies. When you’re ready to discuss your organisation’s needs, get in touch with our Melbourne office.