By Craig Colgan
TThe American Bankers Association honored six banks last week with its annual Brand Slam Awards for Bank Marketing, judged by a panel of 73 certified volunteers from financial marketing professionals.
“These award recipients have led uplifting campaigns that resonated with their clients and communities during a difficult year,” said Jim Edrington, ABA’s member engagement manager.
The winner for Best Website Redesign is Fortifi Bank, based in Berlin, Wisconsin. In 2020, the bank’s management considered that its website, then only a few years old, was starting to show signs of its age. The bank not only wanted to update the appearance and user experience, but also combine and refresh the content it had hosted on a separate site. The bank’s entry noted that because its main site was “dark, slow, heavy with text, and with too many buttons and menu options, it had to catch up with the evolution of the bright and clean Fortifi Bank brand.” .
The result is a site with increased white space, streamlined navigation, quirky captions, inviting accent font, fewer product pages, a blog and resource library, and an interactive account quiz.
Early results include a substantial increase in site speed and more users spending more time on top-tier product pages for an improved and streamlined experience. The first few measures of blog posts, service tutorials and account quizzes showed thousands of pageviews, reports Loni Meiborg, SVP of Fortifi Bank and director of marketing and organizational development.
Meiborg answered a few questions we had about the process:
What reactions and feedback have you had on the site? Customers find the simplicity of the site to be an advantage: they can access their favorite pages more easily. Our team also directs customers and prospects much more often to the resources on the site. When our content was hosted separately, this site was an afterthought. A more engaging homepage has resulted in a 5% drop in bounce rate over the past 12 months.
What did you learn during the process? Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Create an experience that talks and solves their problems rather than just listing products and services. Consider reviewing heat maps and analytics for your current website to identify weaknesses and opportunities for improvement.
Also bring in subject matter experts from across your organization. Your team can be invaluable when it comes to writing content and testing features, but remember that you, as a marketing manager, have to make the final decisions about the user experience. Each department cannot have real estate on the home page.
Any advice for banks working with a supplier for such a project? It is imperative to partner with a supplier who understands your vision. As with any project, set expectations up front about how and how often you will communicate. Everyone should know the timeline and deliverables.
Also look for inspiration outside of your industry, this is how you can set yourself apart from the competition.