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Banking on Digital Growth

Author: James Robert Lay

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If you’re part of a financial brand marketing, sales, or leadership team, you know the entire industry is in the midst of exponential change fueled by new technologies. Consumers now make purchase decisions long before they walk into a physical branch location, if they walk into a branch at all, while mobile banks, digital lenders, and fintechs have transformed traditional growth models rooted in legacy broadcast marketing and branch sales strategies.Get ready to gain practical insights, proven ideas, and empowering inspiration as financial brand marketing and sales leaders, along with the leading digital marketing and sales technology firms, share their stories to help you maximize your digital growth potential here on Banking on Digital Growth.

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What are you paying attention to? And are you aware of its subconscious influence in shaping your experiences, decisions, and overall quality of life? In this continuation of the Digital Leadership series around TEAM (Time, Energy, Attention, Money) James Robert Lay and Audrey Cannata share practical strategies for individuals and teams to become more aware of their attention patterns and their effects, advocating for a reflective practice to evaluate daily inputs and their alignment with desired outcomes.They’ll also unpack the cultivation of critical thinking skills, the impact of positivity and optimism on financial health, and the strategic allocation of attention to foster personal and professional growthJoin us as we discuss:-The Importance of Mindfulness in the Age of AI (04:14)-The Evolution of Work from the 1800s to AI Era (10:49)-Cultivating a Positive Mindset in the Workplace (28:59)You can find this episode and many more by subscribing to Banking on Digital Growth on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or here. Hosted by Ausha. See ausha.co/privacy-policy for more information.
Drawing parallels between personal and professional metamorphosis and an iOS software upgrade, James Robert Lay and Audrey Cannata discuss the significant energy investment required for change, whether on a biological or cognitive level. Their attention shifts to the recognition of routine energy drains and the necessity of pinpointing their origins. Finally, they’ll evaluate the controllable aspects contributing to energy depletion and how to take proactive measures to thrive in the Age of AI.This episode of the Digital Leadership series sets the groundwork for an exploration of approaches to energy management, emphasizing the interplay between self-awareness, behavioral tendencies, and effective energy conservation strategies.Join us as we discuss:-The Science of Energy and Change (13:50)-Practical Tools for Managing Energy: The Kolbe A Index (19:11) -Creating a Culture of Deep Work and No Meeting Fridays (32:42)You can find this episode and many more by subscribing to Banking on Digital Growth on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or here. Hosted by Ausha. See ausha.co/privacy-policy for more information.
This episode of the Practical Perspectives series introduces a transformative strategic thinking framework called "TEAM," which stands for Time, Energy, Attention, and Money. This framework aims to help financial brand leaders optimize their resources and set healthy boundaries to achieve exponential growth personally and professionally.By addressing these aspects, financial brand teams can better allocate their time, manage their energy levels, focus their attention on critical tasks, and make strategic decisions regarding financial resources. Ultimately, adopting the "TEAM" framework can lead to enhanced productivity, collaboration, and success in the digital age.Join us as we discuss:-Introducing the Transformative Strategic Thinking Framework (00:53) -Investing Time Wisely: A Deep Dive (08:42)-Time Hacking and Moving Forward (32:55)You can find this episode and many more by subscribing to Banking on Digital Growth on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or here. Hosted by Ausha. See ausha.co/privacy-policy for more information.
In today's fast-paced and digitally-driven world, financial brand teams are finding it increasingly difficult to navigate exponential change without experiencing mental exhaustion and burnout. The constant demand to be plugged in 24/7 has created a culture where deep, meaningful work and personal well-being are often sacrificed for the sake of perpetual connectivity and immediate response. The mental toll of being always "on" is akin to running a marathon without ever stopping to rest, reflect, or train properly. That’s why in this episode of the Practical Perspectives series, we’re sharing a structured framework for time management that includes four distinct types of days: Race Days, Rest Days, Pace Days, and Detox Days. By intentionally scheduling these four types of days, financial brand teams can enhance their productivity, foster a culture of growth and well-being, and navigate the complexities of the digital age with confidence and clarity.Join us as we discuss:-Exploring the Four Types of Days for Maximum Growth (07:24)-Generational Perspectives on Work and Productivity (26:36)-The Challenge of Digital Detox and Personal Growth (35:03) You can find this episode and many more by subscribing to Banking on Digital Growth on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or here. Hosted by Ausha. See ausha.co/privacy-policy for more information.
The marketing landscape is continuously evolving, creating uncertainty about the role and perception  of marketing professionals. Recent discussions, particularly on platforms like LinkedIn, highlight the shifting sands of the marketing landscape,  which has led to a declining interest in marketing majors or courses across university campuses. On this episode of the Practical Perspective series, we’ll discuss the future of marketing and how individuals, teams, organizations can redefine marketing in the Age of AI. Join us as we discuss:-The Decline of Marketing in Academia (02:21)-Marketing's Identity Crisis and the Role of AI (04:46)-Embracing AI: Fear, Fight, or Friend? (30:51)You can find this episode and many more by subscribing to Banking on Digital Growth on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or here. Hosted by Ausha. See ausha.co/privacy-policy for more information.
When it comes to secret shopping your financial brand's website, uncertainty exists regarding the ideal number of users needed for testing and whether more users lead to proportionally greater insights.On this episode of the Practical Perspective series, we will share expert data about the relationship between the number of users tested and the insights gained through website secret shopping studies. The results might even surprise you! Join us as we discuss:-The Power of Website Secret Shopping Studies (5:06) -Unveiling the Magic Number for User Testing (11:28) -Optimizing Digital Experiences with Strategic Testing (20:27)You can find this episode and many more by subscribing to Banking on Digital Growth on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or here. Hosted by Ausha. See ausha.co/privacy-policy for more information.
85% of Americans feel anxiety and overwhelming emotions when thinking about their finances, a feeling that affects not only account holders but also those working within financial brands, possibly including the reader or listener themselves. This stress impacts personal health, relationships, and overall well-being, making it a significant issue that needs addressing.In this episode of the Exponential Insights series, Daniel White, author of "The Financial Freedom System: An Uncommon Guide Designed to Help Individuals Master Their Money and Transform Their Lives,” joins the show to discuss how this system can not only alleviate financial stress but also boost financial confidence, build a strong foundation for financial health, and lead to peace and a brighter future.Join us as we discuss:-The psychological impact of money and how to transform it (5:30)-The Foundation Account: A key to financial stability (11:58)-The ripple effect of financial stability on families and communities (23:05)You can find this episode and many more by subscribing to Banking on Digital Growth on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or here. Hosted by Ausha. See ausha.co/privacy-policy for more information.
This episode of the Practical Perspectives series uncovers the critical concept of customer lifetime value (CLV) and how not knowing this key metric can significantly affect a financial brand's success. Discover the intricate relationship between CLV and how understanding this figure can align marketing strategies for an optimized digital experience.Gain valuable insights into the customer journey, acquisition costs, retention strategies, and the influence of engagement on long-term customer value. Uncover the significance of website secret shopping studies in identifying gaps in the buying journey and learn how organizations can harness the power of data-driven analysis to optimize marketing strategies and drive growth in the digital landscape.Join us as we discuss:-The High Cost of Not Knowing Your Customer's Value (6:45)-Exploring the Impact of Website Abandonment Rates (15:03)-Practical Steps to Uncover Financial Losses (26:18)You can find this episode and many more by subscribing to Banking on Digital Growth on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or here. Hosted by Ausha. See ausha.co/privacy-policy for more information.
Navigating change and transformation in the financial industry presents a complex challenge. Leaders and organizations often struggle to adapt, especially with the rapid advancements in AI and technology, risking stagnation and loss of competitive edge. Without effective leadership and a commitment to personal and organizational growth, the gap between current capabilities and the evolving demands of the financial landscape widens.Jared Freeman, President and CEO of OnPath Federal Credit Union, offers a wealth of insights from his personal growth and transformation journey. This episode not only sheds light on the specific challenges and opportunities facing credit unions but also emphasizes the importance of a clear purpose and visionary leadership. Jared’s dedication, as illustrated by OnPath Credit Union's purpose statement 'Redefining what's possible,' showcases a commitment to enhancing employee well-being and serving members efficiently in a rapidly changing financial environment.Join us as we discuss:-Technology's impact on banking and society. (9:39)-Credit union complacency and the need for strategic thinking. (15:31)-Parenting, employee experience, and merger opportunities. (33:35)You can find this episode and many more by subscribing to Banking on Digital Growth on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or here. Hosted by Ausha. See ausha.co/privacy-policy for more information.
Financial brands often face challenges in digital growth due to a lack of awareness about the problems within their websites. Many don't realize they have issues that hinder their digital performance, while others acknowledge these problems but do not feel the urgency to address them. Additionally, some brands feel stuck and unable to make progress, often due to limitations with their tech stack or internal alignment.Unaddressed, these issues can lead to lost opportunities, frustrated customers, and a decline in digital effectiveness. By engaging in website secret shopping studies, financial brands can gain a deep understanding of digital pain points and stop losing millions in loans and deposits.Join us as we discuss:-Financial brands' conversion and lead issues. (6:40)-Website design and user experience. (12:25)-Digital secret shopping studies for financial brands. (20:09)You can find this episode and many more by subscribing to Banking on Digital Growth on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or here. Hosted by Ausha. See ausha.co/privacy-policy for more information.
Many financial brands are navigating the digital landscape with blind spots, as our research indicates that a staggering 85-90% of financial brands have never conducted a website secret shopping study, leaving them in the dark about user experience.Imagine spending countless resources on designing and maintaining a digital platform, only to find out it doesn't resonate with your target audience or fails to convert visitors into account holders.By evaluating your website through the eyes of prospective account holders, financial brands can uncover invaluable insights into user experience, identifying pain points and areas for optimization that were previously invisible. This process does not require a complete overhaul of your website but focuses on strategic micro-optimizations that can lead to significant improvements in customer conversion and satisfaction.Join us as we discuss: -Website secret shopping and for financial brands. (1:45)-Website optimization and user experience. (18:10)-Use cases and practical examples of website secret shopping. (27:33)You can find this episode and many more by subscribing to Banking on Digital Growth on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or here. Hosted by Ausha. See ausha.co/privacy-policy for more information.
The financial landscape is increasingly being influenced by factors such as technology and global economic shifts. Leaders must adapt to these changes to avoid falling behind, especially as traditional models of operation are disrupted.Dan Sullivan, founder of Strategic Coach, joins the show to introduce a framework for understanding these challenges and opportunities for growth. By leveraging insights from his new book, "The Great MELTdown," leaders can identify and act on untapped opportunities for growth. Emphasizing innovation in money, energy, labor, and transportation (MELT factors), financial brands can support entrepreneurs, driving economic expansion and securing their future in the evolving financial ecosystem.Join us as we discuss:-US foreign policy and economic shifts. (8:31)-Entrepreneurial mindset and reducing constraints in business. (21:22)-The impact of technology on business and finance. (27:16)You can find this episode and many more by subscribing to Banking on Digital Growth on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or here. Hosted by Ausha. See ausha.co/privacy-policy for more information.
We're seeing a clear split between those who've grown up with the internet at their fingertips and those for whom digital tech is a learned skill. This divide is particularly noticeable in areas like social media and finance, where traditional approaches clash with digital expectations, leading to a disconnect in communication and service usage.To bridge this gap, it's essential to explore the roots of these differences. Understanding the evolution of technology and its impact on various generations can guide us in developing strategies that resonate across age groups.Join us as we discuss:-Digital banking for Gen Z and millennials (6:38)-Financial brand leadership and digital natives (13:09)-Financial brands' social media presence and marketing strategies (19:48)You can find this episode and many more by subscribing to Banking on Digital Growth on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or here. Hosted by Ausha. See ausha.co/privacy-policy for more information.
Financial brands face a critical issue with account holder retention, struggling to maintain the accounts they work hard to acquire, if they are even aware they have a problem. Banks and credit unions invest heavily in acquisition efforts, only to see their gains erode due to poor retention practices.Kelly Chambers, content strategist and writer, believes that by prioritizing personalized, relevant content and services, financial brands can transform into trusted experts, fostering a sense of loyalty and satisfaction among their customers. This shift towards valuing retention as much as acquisition, coupled with a continuous adaptation to customer feedback, is crucial for cultivating long-term relationships and achieving sustainable growth.Join us as we discuss:-Financial brand expectations and retention strategies (4:55)-Financial brand gaps in digital consumer journeys (19:06)-Optimizing account holder retention strategies through data-driven insights (31:14)You can find this episode and many more by subscribing to Banking on Digital Growth on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or here. Hosted by Ausha. See ausha.co/privacy-policy for more information.
When you think of the term "discipline," what comes to mind? Is it a constraint or a catalyst for growth? Particularly in challenging times, discipline might be the key for financial brand leaders to elevate themselves, their teams, and their organizations.In this episode of the #BehindTheCover series, we Audrey Cannata and I explore "Discipline is Destiny: The Power of Self-Control" by Ryan Holiday, a recommended read for leaders aiming to unlock growth and freedom, not only for themselves but also for those they serve in their financial journeys. Join us as we uncover the pivotal role of discipline in navigating both personal and professional spheres.Join us as we discuss:-Self-control and fulfillment in a distracted world (2:12)-Discipline, attention, and financial freedom (16:43)-Community, accountability, and personal growth (40:29)You can find this episode and many more by subscribing to Banking on Digital Growth on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or here. Hosted by Ausha. See ausha.co/privacy-policy for more information.
Storytelling goes beyond just entertainment; it can truly change people. This power isn't just for leadership and personal growth but also helps motivate teams and bring about change in organizations.Joe Byerly, an active-duty Army lieutenant colonel and the mind behind "From the Green Notebook," discusses how understanding and leveraging the art of storytelling can lead to exponential personal and organizational growth.This episode is a treasure trove for anyone looking to enhance their storytelling skills, understand their personal narrative better, and use it to lead with authenticity and impact. Whether you're leading a team, building your career, or just love a good story, there's something in this episode for you.Join us as we discuss:-Leadership, self-development, and the power of storytelling (7:15)-Bridging logic and emotion in institutional change (17:24)-Prioritizing learning and growth for leaders (42:59)You can find this episode and many more by subscribing to Banking on Digital Growth on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or here. Hosted by Ausha. See ausha.co/privacy-policy for more information.
Facing the challenge of a race, whether in athletics or in the competitive financial industry, requires more than just showing up. Without a solid strategy, you're merely running without direction, risking not achieving your full potential in both physical races and financial growth.Just as athletes wouldn't dream of tackling a marathon without comprehensive training, financial institutions that leap into market battles without a strategic plan are setting themselves up for failure.Bryn Conway, principal at BC Consulting joins the show to help guide you through developing a winning strategy to elevate your financial brand. We'll delve into the importance of aligning your actions with a thoughtful plan, examining the latest growth opportunities, and how to adapt in a transforming market. Join us to discover how to not just run, but to race ahead effectively and efficiently in the financial industry.Join us as we discuss:-Bridging the logical and emotional sides of marketing (10:28)-Empowering women through financial coaching and education (17:19)-Creating a safe space for employees to share their experiences (22:15)You can find this episode and many more by subscribing to Banking on Digital Growth on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or here. Hosted by Ausha. See ausha.co/privacy-policy for more information.
Financial well-being is often compromised due to a lack of personalized guidance and accountability, leaving many feeling overwhelmed and underserved by traditional banking models. The gap between financial institutions and the personal financial health of individuals widens as services remain transactional rather than transformational, ignoring the emotional and practical needs of consumers.This episode with Shannon McLay, founder and CEO of The Financial Gym addresses these challenges, showcasing how integrating financial coaching into banking can bridge this gap. Shannon's journey from traditional finance to founding The Financial Gym highlights the power of empathetic, tailored financial advice in transforming lives, offering a blueprint for banks, credit unions, and FinTechs to follow.Join us as we discuss:-Financial coaching in banking and FinTech (2:43)-Financial coaching vs. financial advisor roles (17:13)-Financial wellness, employee confidence, and coaching (21:16)You can find this episode and many more by subscribing to Banking on Digital Growth on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or here. Hosted by Ausha. See ausha.co/privacy-policy for more information.
In this episode of the Practical Perspectives series, we uncover the challenges faced by a credit union during its online account opening process, where major friction points led to a staggering 60% of users abandoning their applications. The complexity and frustration of the process were pinpointed as the primary issues. We explore the effectiveness of website secret shopping studies and benchmarking against competitors in identifying gaps in the consumer journey, pinpointing where friction occurs, and optimizing the process. These strategies are crucial for preventing the loss of millions in loans and deposits by making the application process more user-friendly and efficient.Join us as we discuss:-Improving online banking application experience (7:19)-The onboarding process and its impact on revenue (14:48)-Optimizing financial services through communication and technology (30:16)You can find this episode and many more by subscribing to Banking on Digital Growth on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or here. Hosted by Ausha. See ausha.co/privacy-policy for more information.
Marketing often finds itself in a tight spot—seen as the event organizers and handling creative materials, but not always recognized for the strategic thinkers they are. This underestimation shadows the true potential of marketing to drive substantial growth and innovation.Martha Bartlett Piland, founder and president at Banktastic and a visionary in bank marketing, joins the show to dive into this pressing issue. Martha shares invaluable insights on transcending traditional roles and proactively bridging the knowledge gap within organizations. The solution? Embrace leadership, regardless of your title. Engage in cross-departmental collaborations, initiate value-creating conversations, and steer these interactions towards measurable objectives aligned with the company’s strategic goals.This proactive approach doesn't just elevate the perception of marketing internally; it redefines it as an essential strategic partner capable of driving significant ROI and fostering a culture of innovation and collaboration.Join us as we discuss:-Marketing's internal challenges and communication with peers (4:39)-Marketing value and collaboration with C-suite (7:36)-Bridging marketing knowledge gap and increasing value (11:51)You can find this episode and many more by subscribing to Banking on Digital Growth on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or here. Hosted by Ausha. See ausha.co/privacy-policy for more information.
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