Let’s say you were interested in assisting your business customers in getting more clients, more sales, how would you go about achieving that? Consider that you have a significant online community, individuals and businesses that are connecting to your online banking platforms. While they are online, there are opportunities to make an appeal to them on behalf of existing business customers. Let me give you an example. Say you have a local insurance company AllStar Insurance, as a business customer. AllStar creates a profile of individual or business customers that they would like to pitch a new service that insures against online fraud. Based on the information that you have access to, you can identify those online users that meet the profile and present an online banner ad to the customer. Should the online user click on the ad, they would be presented with a notice that they were leaving the bank’s secure online session and then the information from a landing page specific to the online fraud insurance service would be displayed.

Before you offer up a “no way” !, know that these banner ads are being presented to your customers in every facet of their online search, surf and social activity. If done correctly, there is an opportunity for you, and your business customers, to benefit from engaging in this digital marketing. Firstly, you know a lot about your online users and can use that information to serve up banner ads to only those that might truly be prospects for the targeted service. Secondly, you have numerous options to ensure that the banner ads are served up at appropriate times. For example, you might see that in the morning and late afternoons, the user’s login is extremely focused on specific tasks, like cash management or sweep management. But in the middle of the day, their online access is more leisurely. So, you can direct banner ads not just in a place, but at a time more conducive to the targeted user. Or you can target ad to the interstitial page that is served up after logout.

You will need to make sure that you can track the number of clicks and conversions, so you can properly charge AllStar for the service. Of course it’s not free! Trust me, they will gladly pay and as you bring them more prospects that convert into customers, you will become extremely strategic.

I know this issue is scary for some bankers, but you must start realizing that your competition is not from other FIs but all of the other online experiences that your customers have. So, stop worrying about how you might offend and instead, come up with a well thought out and strategic way to offer this service to your business customers. And focus on how your institution will become more strategic as a result.