Forrester Report: 2016 Canadian Bank Digital Sales Functionality Benchmark

Forrester recently released their report "2016 Canadian Bank Digital Functionality Benchmark." In summary, the report goes over the 5 largest retail banks in Canada and provides insights into how digital strategists need to benchmark their sales capabilities. From a content perspective, there is a lot of great insights that Clarke draws upon, and we'd like to go over a few in particular.

Highlights Related to Content:

1. Scotiabank Takes The Top Spot.

Our friends at Scotiabank have been identified as having one of the strongest sales foundations over the past decade.

"The bank excels at providing rich content that customers can get to quickly; helping customers compare accounts and get a personalized recommendation; providing a fast, simple, and completely digital application process that lets customers open an account immediately; and helping customers get the most out of their account with a strong onboarding process." - The Forrester Report

Content is key, and Scotiabank is proving this here. The top dog is equipping customers with content at a fast pace in order to move them forward into signing up for an account. Accessibility of content is vital, and the ability to distribute that content through the appropriate channels ensures that content is being used to its full potential.

2. The Importance of 'The First Interaction'

The Forrester Report looked at the bank's websites, the quality of their content, and whether the bank differentiates itself effectively. Here are the key takeaways they suggested in order to improve in all three aspects:

1. Help prospects get to the content they need - fast

2. Offer guidance based on prospects life events

3. Engage site visitors with rich media

4. Differentiate their firm from its competitors

5. Begin to build the relationship with educational content

6. Prioritize the content that is relevant to prospects

7. Help prospects on mobile devices

In summary, be accessible, personable, and authentic.

Read Page 6 for a deep dive into each point.

3. Focus On What Prospects Need, Not Just Product Features

"Branches still dominate how Canadians discover, explore, and buy bank accounts. Digital business strategy professionals at large banks have mastered the building blocks for digital sales, offering the product information and tools that prospects are looking for. But many digital banking teams can do more to deliver a more cohesive purchase journey and make content more compelling. To move forward and improve the digital purchase experience, digital banking teams should use techniques like personas and customer journey mapping to rethink the experience from the perspective of the customer." - The Forrester Report

In order to improve this process, you need to:

1. Understand prospects' motivation and deliver content with their needs

2. Optimize the journey, not the touchpoint

3. Make it clear why prospects should bank with you

4. Design differently for PCs, smartphones, and tablets

5. Use data to personalize the journey and encourage prospects to purchase

6. Learn from firms beyond your direct peers, such as digital banks and retailers.

The main trend here is to be as personalized as possible. Understand their problems, and provide value through content. Make it as easy as possible for a customer to access, engage, and respond to content so you as the seller can engage in deeper conversations.

I highly recommend you read through this great report. It will allow banks to set the stage for a high-performing digital strategy in 2017.