An article from a while back published by The Financial Brand attempted to answer the question “what will the bank branch of the future look like?” While it’s hard to fully anticipate what bank branches will look like in the future, there were many common themes that ran through the article. Featuring interviews with financial industry experts throughout the article, The Financial Brand reported in the opening: with 60% of traditional banking products still being sold in the branch, it’s hard to argue that the brick-and-mortar channel still doesn’t play a significant role in the retail financial industry.
Reading through the article, a few common themes emerged from those interviewed and providing insight. It was widely agreed that branches of the future will contain:
- Technology. Branches will continue to evolve and offer more technology-based solutions to reduce costs to the bank, increase efficiency, and be able to better assist customers seeking service.
- Smaller footprints. Today’s branches are often built larger than they need to be today, much less what will be needed tomorrow. The branch of the future, through technology enhancements and a shift in consumer trends, will likely see shrinking square footage at new locations.
- Increase in service and meaningful conversations. As consumers continue to shift to online and mobile technologies to solve their day-to-day transaction needs, branches become the center of high-level service stations and providing in-depth advice through meaningful conversations.
Your content strategy should also evolve and revolve around your branch channel. Your customers are (or will be in the future) walking into your branch more educated than ever before. Similar to the research that consumers do even before setting foot on a car dealer’s lot, so too will your customers educate themselves on financial decisions before heading to a branch location to finish the business.
As hubs of high-level service and in-depth advisory conversations, your branches also become a primary target for the dissemination of content to assist and advise customers. This will look different for every financial institution. However, it can begin today by providing your staff with the tools they need to properly educate customers and guide them down a path of financial success.
Therefore, your content strategy not only needs to be one of front-end, online distribution (educating customers), but also one that creates back-end, advisory information. As important as channel branches are today – and will continue to be in the future – we cannot ignore this as a primary distribution channel for financial content.
Truebridge specializes in developing content strategies for financial institutions. To learn more about our take on content and the marketing benefits it provides, download one of our white papers here. For more information on how we can help your bank or credit union grow through content, contact us today!