Picture of Clara Hori Written by Clara Hori
on October 26, 2021

We recently sponsored the American Banking Association (ABA) 2021 Bank Marketing Conference (BMC), which took place virtually Sept 27 and 28, 2021.
Though we were disappointed we couldn't attend in person, there were some remarkable moments that made us appreciate all that virtual events have to offer.

Here are four of these highlights.

When a virtual presentation is better than a live one

Some presenters leveraged technology so well, they arguably produced a better experience than an equivalent live presentation.
That was the case with Andrew Davis' general session on The Loyalty Loop. Davis's speaking skills and content already make him a top attraction. However, when you include beautiful and engaging visuals, the result is even more impressive. For those unfamiliar, The Loyalty Loop suggests the buying process is not a linear funnel, but instead a series of interactions that resemble the following diagram:

The Loyalty Loop by Andrew Davis

With each interaction there's an emotion associated with it that can bring the consumer closer to your brand - or not. The sum of these interactions is the experience that people desire. One in which the product is just a small part.
To break the ice, Andrew had us all laughing when he discussed how our "Marketing Pizz" pie isn’t getting any bigger, it’s just getting sliced more. We continue to make room to fit a growing number of tactics within our limited marketing budget. Such a relatable moment!

The Marketing Pizza pie isn't getting any bigger, it's just getting sliced more

When a presentation has so much frontline insights that it shines without any production value

Some presentations were just an individual talking over a powerpoint, but their story was so good it didn't need anything else to shine. In that category, our favorite was ​​Amanda Martland's "Marketing Automation Beyond Onboarding".
For those new to marketing automation, wouldn't you like to know what it is like to have been on that journey for 7 years, reaching more than 70+ automated campaigns? Amanda’s presentation answered exactly that. Here are the points we found most impactful:

  1. If you start with email only, you won't get enough ROI to keep your CFO onboard. Multi-channel integration is key. Digital generates leads that outbound sales associates or branch staff can close.
  2. There are things that are nice to have but can wait, like householding, real-time data or 3rd party data and machine learning. Don't delay because these won’t impact performance or customer experience.
  3. Automation is not set and forget it. You need to invest time to maintain it, update it, and create fail safe mechanisms.

We have so many notes we want to write a dedicated post. Stay tuned! If you can't wait, contact us and we'll share our notes.

When a presentation helps you navigate a challenge you had not realized you had

You know a presentation is good when you find yourself nodding, taking screenshots of it and sharing it with people who don't work in your industry. Erica Dhawan's presentation on The Power of Connectional Intelligence put into words things we weren't even close to conceptualizing previously. Erica talked about how the pandemic and working from home have urgently prompted us to refine the way we collaborate. How? By learning the equivalent of body language in the digital world, especially when we communicate by email and text. We need to learn how to read the new cues and signals that comprise the subtext of our messages. While she didn't say it explicitly, it definitely feels like we are undergoing a paradigm shift. Here are a few points we’re definitely taking to heart:

  • We no longer walk the talk anymore, we write the talk. So reading with attention is the new listening and writing carefully is the new empathy. Brevity creates confusion. We are rewarding the fastest response, not the more thoughtful one.
  • We need to figure out who's a digital native and who’s a digital adapter to understand their communication tendencies. Clue: the first ones are "serial texters" and have "voicemail phobia". The second ones use text like it's email and will actually call you without scheduling or letting you know first.
  • Everything that was implicit in the office should be made explicit now. That made us laugh because we have someone in our team who loves taking calls first thing in the morning in his pajamas, and unless we let him know in advance, we can't expect him to turn his camera on. Clearly this wasn’t a consideration in the old office days.
  • There are introverts and extroverts, and general culture has a bias towards extroverts. Creating the conditions for introverts to participate is critical to encourage diverse perspectives and improve the quality of collaboration.

It’s worth checking out Erika's talks online. We bet you’ll be taking screenshots and sharing them with your friends, as well!

Communicate Carefully. Highlights from Erica Dhawan's presentation at ABA Conference

When you find creative ways to make virtual less virtual

Ok, so we weren’t traveling to Austin, and we weren’t going to see new and familiar faces. Instead, we would have 8 hours of zoom each day. There were two obvious choices: do all these hours with no interruptions and distractions, or cave and multitask; answering the emails and text that keep coming in.
To avoid both these unappealing scenarios we decided we would all meet at the office to view the presentations together as a team.. We watched the sessions, took turns manning our booth, and ate good food. All throughout we commented on what we liked and what we didn't, and reminded each other to stand up and stretch. Trust me, it makes a difference!

Lessons from the 2021 Bank Marketing Conference

The lessons above are just a few of the many we absorbed throughout the conference.
As much as we enjoyed the virtual conference, we can’t wait to interact in person with our customers again.
And let’s be honest, Florida is a great place to visit as well. Fingers crossed, we’ll see you at the coffee station next year!


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Image credit: American Bankers Association, Prisma Campaigns