CMO Insights: Brennan Andrews, Marketing Director, Dart Bank

CMO Insights

May 28, 2019

This week’s guest on CMO Insights is Brennan Andrews, Marketing Director, Dart Bank.

In this video, Brennan talks about:

  • The different ways you can use technology to reach your customers.
  • Succeeding in the marketing world while having a small team and limited resources.
  • The importance of training your team and empowering them to make decisions.

Learn more about Brennan from his LinkedIn profile and follow Dart Bank on Twitter.

For more great CMO interviews like this one, please check out our other CMO Insights Videos or our YouTube channel.

Full Transcript

Jeff Pedowitz:

Hi, welcome to revenue marketing television, the CFO insight series. I’m your host, Jeff Pedowitz, president and CEO of the Pedowitz group. Today’s our guests. We have Brennan Andrews, who is marketing director at dart bank in Michigan. Brennan, welcome to the show.

Brennan Andrews:

Thanks for having me. I appreciate it.

Jeff Pedowitz:

You bet. So we had a chance to meet a couple of weeks back at the financial brand forum. And one of the things that really captivated me about you is you’re talking about how small your team is and how much you’ve been able to accomplish. You’re probably a the hero in the eyes of many, I would think.

Brennan Andrews:

Yeah, I’d like to think so.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Or maybe you don’t feel that way. Maybe you feel completely overworked, but you know, I’m just curious how you’ve approached the job. Cause you know, you, you, you’ve been able to accomplish a lot with very few resources. And so I think that’s a struggle that almost every marketing executive have. Or at least most, the ones that don’t have the massive global teams anyway, but you know, walk us through a little bit about, you know, how you prioritize, how you focus, what do you delegate, what do you do yourself?

Brennan Andrews:

Absolutely. So the main thing that I like to think is that, you know, you have a limited amount of resources in terms of not only money but time. And so what we try to do is insource everything. So with my team, I have a, a great marketing assistant and he sorta handles a lot of the creative aspects like video flyers, whatever it may be, Facebook posts, social media, and then I try to handle sort of the data and then the strategy as well. So basically I look at it as I have a certain amount of time in the day relatively, you know, 12 hours or eight or whatever the day more than the rest of us then. Yeah. Unfortunately, no 48 hour days for me, but yeah. So he’ll work really hard on a, a video that would cost us, you know, upwards of $40,000.

And we do it for, for free essentially just as time. And then I look at creative ways to get that in front of the market that we want to approach, such as we have a mortgage video that just went out and we spent 400 some dollars and we had over 400,000 people that we reached. Wow. So to me, that limited spend for what you’re getting is worth it. But then there’s other things like SEO other aspects where I really, I tried to learn as much as I can, but at the end of the day it’s probably better to outsource that because I could spend all day, you know, manipulating it and not really getting much better results. So it’s really optimizing what we can do and be effective at and then outsourcing what we think other people can do.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Yeah, no, that makes a lot of sense. So, so being in banking, I, you know, every industry is being disrupted by just changing buying patterns, customers, technology, but not banking is one I think of a lot. I mean, people don’t even go to branches anymore practically, right? They’re doing mobile banking. So how’s that impacting you? This is the marketer cause you’re still trying to attract customers, right? And then get them to buy or invest in additional products. How do you do that in today’s environment?

Brennan Andrews:

Yeah, of course. So basically, you know, we have all the technology that a massive bank would have so you can reach the customers when they’re not in the banking office. So, you know, we send out insightful emails. We don’t really product push. It’s more of trying to be that resource. And then, you know, banking’s a big part of people’s lives, some of the most important decisions, your money obviously, which everyone cares about.

So they kind of rely on us to provide them insightful answers to tough questions. So whether they come into a physical office, it doesn’t really matter because they can reach us through email chat, whatever that may be to help them and they’re still getting the service that we want to provide them. So, you know, it, it really doesn’t benefit me a ton for you to walk into our office if you can call me and get that same level of service and the products you want at that time through the phone.

Jeff Pedowitz:

How are you doing that though, from an operations perspective? Cause I mean, I, I think that’s everyone’s goal, right? Everyone wants to deliver a cohesive customer experience, but for a lot of times it’s a lot harder than that because maybe they haven’t designed their systems and processes specifically around the customer. So they’re always playing catch up, I guess a little bit. And I think maybe there’s a difference between delivering good customer service and delivering a good customer experience.

Brennan Andrews:

Right? And I think it’s both. A lot of it goes to training. So we do a good job of, you know, those people that will face the customer and then also speak with a customer, are very well educated on, you know, making, empowering them to make those decisions and recommendations. So if you have a person that has, you know, a checking account and our banker realizes, you know, there’s something better, even though it might cost the bank a little bit more for them, they’re empowered to say, Hey, I’ve looked at your account, I’ve noticed that, you know, we have more beneficial products for you. And sort of just empowering them to help them with their personal lives in that way. So that is kind of the personal level. The technology, obviously we actually installed interactive teller machines so they can go and speak to their personal banker through the ATM, which has been really interesting because they’re getting that same service and instead of it being just a, Oh, I’m withdrawing cash or making a deposit, they’re having a financial discussion.

Jeff Pedowitz:

It’s an interesting dynamic is, you know, it’s the ATM machine. No one ever taught us this. But there’s that respectful, right? If someone’s in front of you, you kind of stand about six feet back now. That’s, so we were all quiet. You don’t, so now someone’s having a conversation, they still stands six feet back, just stand 12 feet back. Like do you feel like you’re somehow used dropping on the person that they’re having a conversation with the ATM?

Brennan Andrews:

Yeah, I really don’t find that we have problems with it at all. We also have a chat feature. So if it is something extremely confidential they do have that feature and then they can also use headphones that we have so that that circumvents it a bit. But yeah, we really, you know, people are less worried about their privacy nowadays because they kind of assume that everyone has access to their data. So I think that’s helped a little bit with, you know, the customer worry about, you know, someone hearing that they have a checking account. So

Jeff Pedowitz:

It’s an interesting phenomenon though. What I think, you know, cause then people talk a lot about privacy, but I’m finding that, I don’t know, we just talk about it, but we’re really willing to give up a lot if we get something of value in return.

Brennan Andrews:

Right. yeah, it’s, it’s been really interesting for me just because, you know, I live through data, so when I’m looking at you should have a customer’s account or a group of customers, I said, I live through data. Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. Honestly, it’s extremely helpful for us to provide a better service. So I think more and more and more people with, you know, their Alexis or their Google homes, they’re giving them data and in the back of their mind, they know it, but I don’t think they actually care because they want that, that experience. They want a good customer experience for themselves. So,

Jeff Pedowitz:

Yeah, I think we all have gotten spoiled by Amazon and Netflix and now we expect that everywhere within any industry. So really it really is just putting amazing. The other, the other trend I’ve noticed too is basically the rise of AI, voice bots, chat assistants within financial services. So I know several of the banks that we use on our mobile phone, you can add, just basically talk to the phone and say, Hey, I want to pay a bill where I want to, you know, I pay my mortgage or I want to open up a credit card app.

Brennan Andrews:

I just realized I hadn’t done it. Yeah. Yeah. It’s really interesting to see where that’s going to go. I think, you know, with sort of voice technology and banking it might be a little tricky other than basic transactions such as transferring money or asking hours or location of the branches. But doing complex banking think there’d be no five to 10 years before you have something that is full service. So that’ll be interesting to see kind of who does it first and does it completely.

Jeff Pedowitz:

It’s amazing the advances in voice technology though one can only hope that the fast food restaurants get the same capability cause they still can’t seem to hear you when you put your order. And I know I said that was the large fries. Alright. What so what are some of the, I mean obviously resource, you have a couple people, but what are some of the challenges though that you face with on an ongoing basis?

Brennan Andrews:

Honestly, it’s collecting all of the data in a complete scope so, and, and finishing the process. So one thing I find as a community bank is, you know, there’s certain nuances of finishing the product completely. So I can tell if a customer comes to our website where they came from, but if there’s no online or conversion, it’s hard to know where they ended up completely. So that’s something that you know, is one of my main focuses for the year is to try to complete that process. Whether it’s buying new technology like an online account opening or it’s, you know, getting them to fill out a form at the end. That’s even just two entry points, just so I know, okay. They ended up getting alone. So then I can track it through analytics and tag manager and all that stuff to know, okay, I served this group and ad out of that percentage, 4% converted, this is where they ended up. And then showing the different departments, this is why I’m doing it, or Hey, we need to adjust. So I think it’s really getting all that data, putting it in a way that is easy for people that don’t work in marketing to understand and then adjusting.

Jeff Pedowitz:

On the back end, are your databases unified? Like you’re, you’re checking your loan application, mortgage, like all those, do you have them connected or are they desperate?

Brennan Andrews:

Yeah, so most of them are through just our core provider. So that makes it a little easier. But then also if the core providers late on getting a technology, you also have to deal with that

Jeff Pedowitz:

As well. So. Interesting. So as you start to develop your team, you know, cause it sounds like you’ve, you had a couple people that a really strong what do you look for? Do you look for a generalist? Do you look for someone that, or someone that’s really deep in some certain area?

Brennan Andrews:

Yeah, I try to get someone that’s willing to learn. So, you know, you might not be a specialist in this or graphic design, but if show ’em that you’re willing to learn Photoshop and you’re watching videos at home or you’re really putting in the effort to try to impress us, that’s what we’re really looking for. People that can learn, they go out of their way, you know, asking questions that are beneficial for both of us.

So on a talent level, you know, we’re lucky we have some of the best universities in the country and our state and so we can pull from there or if, you know, we have a lot of banking specialists as well that we can pull from, from Michigan. So I, it’s sort of a, a mix between eagerness to learn and then you know, if you’re looking for a credit person and we have, you know, experts in that field and then they hire another person they either know or we’re impressed with with who they met. So

Jeff Pedowitz:

Yeah, I think for all of us that probably applies, right? Because things keep changing so fast. You’re constantly learning and educating. So it seems like we’re all trying to relearn and get, get educated. Cause there’s every year there’s something new that we’re trying to get up to speed on.

Brennan Andrews:

Yeah, it’s pretty amazing to me with Google and Facebook and all the algorithms and you know, even Adobe changed a lot of their products and how they work and you could almost spend weeks just trying to learn the updates. So just kind of adjusting on the fly. And then again, the marketing specialist is amazing. He really works hard to keep up with all the updates and any new features. I know personally with Adobe XD that came out and dated a bunch of changes and I was really interested in that. So just spending the extra time to, you know, instead of watching a Netflix episode, you watch a 40 minute tutorial video and take notes at home because that’s what you need to do to be an elite marketer. You have to spend time outside of your job because you get bogged down by a thousand requests. And so it’s sort of just changing the mentality of, you know, work doesn’t stop at five necessarily. You’re, you’re making yourself a better person if you challenged yourself to learn outside.

Jeff Pedowitz:

So yes, that’d be pretty sobering to tell the recent college graduate who thinks they’re done. Right? Like now you’re going to, you got to keep going. Yeah. Yeah. So I’m looking forward, do you see any major trends that are going to impact banking from a technology perspective or just an industry trend overall?

Brennan Andrews:

I think it’ll be interesting to see, you know, the coined term millennial, but I’m thinking even more of gen Z, just how, you know, with Venmo and other, you know, acorns, whatever it may be, those FinTech companies and how that changes their perspective on banking. You know, obviously I grew up with all that technology and I have bank accounts at different institutions. And so it’s interesting to see, you know, we’ve combated, you know, Venmo and payment technologies. Obviously Zelle recently came out with our own P2P that we do through our core.

So it’s just sort of adjusting and keeping those customers activated. So as a 22 year old or 20 year old in college you know, if your bank is like, okay, we’re going to make the effort to make this easier for you, you’re more likely to retain that customer. So it might be a little catchup because you know, a lot of the fintechs are ahead of their time. But again, you know, the banking industry is willing to either buy that technology or adapt and you know, make it themselves. So it will be interesting though. Time will tell, I mean, even voice will be interesting. I know I read a Deloitte article, they have an insight article that comes out and I guess voices up 140% from your, your over a year. And it’ll see, when that actually impacts…

Jeff Pedowitz:

We’ll see when that actually impacts more than 50% of all search. The any platform will be voice by next year. So it’s, it is rapidly changing. It’s right. I actually, I, I envision within a couple of years just websites that are completely white because you’re there, you don’t even interface if everything is voice and conversational driving. And if you’re just talking to be a voice, what do you need an interface for? Right. Cause you’re not, there’s no, there’s nothing to display and there’s no contact. We actually have to do it through a conversation.

Brennan Andrews:

Yeah, it’ll be interesting to see just because again, you know, I don’t have any voice in my home. I don’t use Siri. It’s not something I can type quicker than the message can actually record my voice. So we’ll see how many people eventually adapt. Cause I think there still will be, you know, their traditional, well modern traditional forms of websites and stuff like that. But I think there will be gradual adaption as well.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Fascinating times for sure.

Brennan Andrews:

Oh yeah, definitely.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Well, Hey, thanks a lot for being on the program today. Great insights, great to see how successful you are.

Brennan Andrews:

Thank you.

Jeff Pedowitz:

I’m honored to have you back again.

Brennan Andrews:

Of course. Thank you.

Jeff Pedowitz:

You bet.

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