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How to ask for more social media budget for personalization

It should be an easy sell: Personalization enhances the customer experience and also helps marketing teams use their budgets more efficiently.

Feb 27, 2023 / Marketing & Sales

Personalization isn’t new to marketing. The process of connecting with customers has been moving in that direction for years, and for good reason. One survey found that 80% of respondents would be more likely to do business with companies that offered personalized experiences. But it seems many financial institutions haven’t yet gotten the news.

If you dig through the numbers, you’ll find that personalization applies to the financial industry. In fact, 72% of consumers rate personalization as highly important in finance. They value text alerts, customized tasks and opportunities to transact more efficiently. They also want digitally driven features that save them time with routine tasks and the ability to track multiple accounts using a single dashboard.

Financial marketers’ job is figuring out how to use personalization to gain (and retain) customers — and how to get leadership to buy in. It’s an easy sell: Personalization enhances the customer experience and also helps teams use social media marketing budgets more efficiently.

But financial marketers are often up against a knowledge gap. Senior management doesn’t always understand a digital-first strategy focused on personalization. Financial institutions historically aren’t known to be early adopters or quick to change, which can leave marketers spending years advocating for updates.

The question is, how exactly do you get buy-in from leadership to start personalizing and investing more money for social media marketing. The following strategies can help you get started:

Target the right people: Social media marketing is about identifying target audiences and catering strategies accordingly. The same applies when securing your social media marketing budget. When looking for buy-in, target those on the leadership team who are likely to understand what excellence in personalization looks like.

Great personalization is omnichannel; it engages consumers on the channels of their choice and it’s deeply human. To humanize marketing beyond the brand level, financial institutions need to reach out to leaders who would be open to highly personalized tactics such as social selling, which puts employees and producers on the frontlines to build relationships for the brand.

Craft the right message: Messaging is critical in marketing — and that goes double for selling the idea of a more personalized social strategy. Your message needs to resonate with your audience, even if your audience is one decision-maker. Link everything back to ROI by explaining that customers weigh bank reputation and online presence when deciding among financial institutions.

Be prepared to explain how you’ll track and increase customer conversion metrics through your campaigns. When arguing for more money toward paid social media advertising, for example, you’ll want to explain how it can boost conversion rates, meaning more customers (and revenue) coming in from your ads. Framing your message in business terms will help you advocate for funds to support personalization at scale.

Present the right data: Use compelling data to bring your message home. With 75% of B2B buyers using social media to make buying decisions, social selling is powerful for attracting new customers. But it’s important to understand whether your customers want to talk to your brand. Your audience is likely more comfortable engaging with brand intermediaries instead; people buy from other people.

That’s why so many financial institutions find it valuable to launch social selling programs that position agents, advisors and loan officers to build customer relationships. Social media is thick with prospects, as 54% today use social networks to conduct product research. Your team can capture prospects where they are with the right strategies, processes and technology.

Decide the right timing: The time to start advocating for personalization is now. Approach leadership about earmarking money for personalization in the budget for social media marketing.

Remember that most financial institutions establish their fiscal budgets for the year and often don’t revisit those budgets for another year. 41% of marketing budgets are based on the previous year, with only 10% revisited quarterly, meaning you should plan ahead for social initiatives that might take more money down the line. You likely won’t get another chance to advocate for that money once the budget is set.

Personalized relationships matter, and it’s time to make the case for an expanded marketing budget to support better personalization. With any marketing strategy, you want to approach the right audience with the right message at the right time. Then, with funds secured, your team can get to the exciting part: attracting prospects with education, keeping customers engaged with personalized messaging, and driving bottom-line impacts.

Doug Wilber is the CEO of Denim Social.