The pandemic has had significant impacts on consumer behavior, from more e-commerce purchases to how they bank and invest. With physical branches shut down or at limited capacity for most of 2020, consumers changed their habits. That means financial advertisers need to do so as well. That includes messaging, promotions and channels.

To help your financial advertisers pivot and leverage consumer behavior changes, consider these ideas.

How the Pandemic Changed How People Bank

Consumers using branches was a popular channel before COVID-19. The J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Retail Banking Satisfaction Study revealed that 52% of retail bank customers were branch-dependent. This means they almost exclusively went to banks for transactions and needs.

With that no longer being a viable option to many, consumers went digital. In 2020, 44% of 18- to 34-year-olds enrolled in mobile banking for the first time. Further, usage of mobile app payments increased by 26%. Another critical data point is that 77% of seniors used a digital channel to make a financial transaction or pay a bill.

Adoption of digital channels is unlikely to change. Even with most banks fully operational, consumers now realize the convenience of mobile banking. It’s become a habit, so they are unlikely to revert.

So, what does this mean for your financial advertisers?

Helping Your Advertisers Pivot with Messaging, Promotions and Channels


The first area of concentration should be messaging. While we’ve quoted universal statistics, your banking customers should have data on their customers’ usage of online versus in-person. A few things to ask them:

  • How aware are your customers of your online banking options?
  • Have you witnessed an uptick of adoption of online?
  • Are there types of transactions that were once only available in person that are now permitted online (i.e., wire transfers, credit card applications)?

Based on their answers, you can propose campaigns around:

  • Awareness of mobile banking options and how easy and secure they are to use
  • New features of the app or digital experience
  • In-person banking protocols and procedures to ensure a safe environment




Home iconBanking messaging changes often depending on demand. Right now, the real estate market is still booming, so that could mean increased interest in mortgage and refinancing options.

Consumers may also be more focused on investing and savings after the economic disruptions of 2020. Additionally, customers may need to secure personal loans to consolidate and pay off high-interest debt because of revenue or wage losses.

The key question is this: What products are customers showing more interest in — loans, mortgages, investments, savings, etc.?

Based on that answer and looking at finance industry data, you can work with them to create targeted campaigns around products with the most opportunity right now.


Financial advertisers can use a variety of channels to reach audiences. In most cases, an integrated approach will be vital to ensuring they reach their customer base. Here are the channels to suggest:

  • Display ads: Create targeted display ads that appear on websites that align with financial needs. You can also geotarget so you’re covering the right local areas.
  • Email marketing: Email provides an incredible ROI and is helpful in driving brand messaging and promotions. You can segment email lists by demographics and preferences to deliver relevant content in consumers’ inboxes.
  • Mobile messaging: SMS marketing is an easy way to send short messages to customers that opt in. You can advise them of new features, alerts and more.
  • Social media marketing: Advertisers can target very intentionally by location, demographics and preferences. For example, if you’re running a campaign on savings, you could suggest targeting households with children.
  • Radio: Radio spots complement your efforts in digital channels and can be a way to express an advertiser’s commitment to safety, the portfolio of services they offer or promotion of downloading their app.
  • TV: Having your advertisers on local TV can be a great way to remind viewers to bank local. This works for community banks and credit unions. These ads may focus on brand awareness or special promotions.
  • OTT: With more consumers watching streaming services, OTT is an excellent channel for engagement. Using short video ads that focus on specific challenges of consumers, such as debt, your advertisers can create a narrative that they are a solution.

For further inspiration, check out these financial services creative examples.

Ensure Your Financial Advertisers Stay Top of Mind

The need for financial institutions isn’t going to wane, but people are banking differently and have different needs. Work with your customers to help them understand that and how to pivot to be more meaningful for those they want to serve.