Chief Marketing Officer

Eastern Bank Executive Discusses How to Drive Ongoing Customer Engagement

Sharifah Niles-Lane, Vice President of Digital Marketing and Social Media Manager at Eastern Bank, explored “hyper connectivity” and its impact on today’s marketers during her keynote presentation at the 2018 Marketing & Technology Innovation in Financial Services Forum in Boston on September 27. In her presentation, “Keeping Today’s Hyper Connected Customer Engaged,” Niles-Lane provided tips to help marketers engage with customers across a variety of platforms and drive ongoing connectivity.

Hyper connectivity is a key tenet of a content marketing strategy. As marketers strive to produce content that educates and informs consumers, they must align their content marketing strategies to a company’s goals. Otherwise, they may struggle to deliver content that helps a company consistently accelerate its revenue growth and connect with its target audience.

Marketers are responsible for finding innovative ways to connect with customers. Yet there is no one-size-fits-all solution to ensure that marketers can foster long-lasting customer partnerships. If marketers devote time and resources to learn about a company’s target audience, however, they may be better equipped than ever before to drive hyper connectivity.

At Eastern Bank, the organization prioritized authenticity. The bank sought ways to share its commitment to serving the community with its target audience and developed marketing campaigns designed to highlight its authenticity.

“Our purpose is to do good things to help people prosper,” Niles-Lane stated. “We’re on a mission to serve our customers, our colleagues and our community, and we want them to ultimately join us in a self-sustainable movement of good.”

Eastern Bank also explored ways to engage with Millennials. The organization created marketing campaigns that showed its devotion to the community and how it supports human rights causes. By doing so, Eastern Bank bolstered its Millennial partnerships.

“[Most] Millennials will switch to a brand that is associated with a cause,” Niles-Lane said. “And they are more than twice as likely to donate to a human rights cause.”

Eastern Bank encouraged its customers to become difference-makers within their respective communities, too. The organization strived to show its customers that it was more than just an ordinary bank. To do so, Eastern Bank produced content designed to drive its customers to take action, along with stir up interest in the organization’s products and services.

“Our journey is twofold … we want people to join us to make a difference and become a customer,” Niles-Lane pointed out. “Because, at the end of the day, we are a business.”

Eastern Bank’s marketing team was unafraid to produce content that would illicit customer reactions. The bank’s marketing team wanted customers to understand assorted problems, along with find the best ways to address these issues. That way, Eastern Bank delivered content that simultaneously engaged and informed its target audience.

“In order to mobilize people, you have to strike a nerve,” Niles-Lane indicated. “You need to harness anger, and you need to feel hope. Those two things have to be married in order to push people to action.”

Using a combination of short- and long-form content plays a crucial role in Eastern Bank’s content marketing strategy going forward. The bank produces a broad array of content across myriad platforms and frequently explores ways to enhance its content.

Eastern Bank is devoted to tracking its content marketing successes and failures as well. The bank regularly monitors content marketing key performance indicators (KPIs) to ensure that its content meets customer expectations and helps the organization achieve its long-term goals.

Eastern Bank continues to produce timely, relevant content across a variety of platforms. The bank creates content for social media, mobile devices and much more, and all of its content contains a call to action.

“Everything that we do has a very clear call to action,” Niles-Lane said. “And that’s how we’re measuring success.”

Furthermore, Eastern Bank shares employee and customer stories as part of its marketing campaigns. These stories help the bank add a human element to its marketing efforts. They also help the bank differentiate itself from its competitors.

“We have some great stories, and anyone that joins Eastern Bank … shares our values,” Niles-Lane pointed out. “We’re starting to look at why and mining those stories.”

Eastern Bank constantly updates its content based on current events and the state of the banking industry. The bank uses its content to educate and inform its customers, and by doing so, continues to provide authentic content that hits the mark with its target audience.

“Our brand is our key differentiator,” Niles-Lane stated. “Courageous social content wins for us. It’s courageous social content coupled with our DNA, the values of our audience and timely and relevant social interactions that are happening in the world.”

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