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Hosted by top 5 banking and fintech influencer, Jim Marous, Banking Transformed highlights the challenges facing the banking industry. Featuring some of the top minds in business, this podcast explores how financial institutions can prepare for the future of banking.

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Simplifying Bank Marketing in the Age of Complexity

Financial marketing has become increasingly complex as data and technology provides the opportunity for instant, personalized engagement. As consumer attention spans shorten, and the world becomes cluttered with noise, bank marketing must adjust accordingly.

Choice proliferation and the exponential pace of change creates a combustible combination of complexity. Opportunities for simple banking experiences resonate, with greater loyalty and revenues being the reward.

I am excited to have James Robert Lay, founder and CEO of the Digital Growth Institute on the show today. James Robert shares how banks and credit unions can simplify the marketing process with market-leading results.

This episode of Banking Transformed is sponsored by Microsoft:

See how Microsoft can help to unlock new opportunities at speed through innovative business models, deliver differentiated customer experiences across channels, products and services, and redefine new ways of working.

More at Microsoft.com/financialservices


This episode of Banking Transformed is sponsored by mParticle.

mParticle believes that better decisions start with better data. Cleanse, visualize, and connect your customer data from any source or system to any API. Better data, better decisions, better outcomes. Visit mparticle.com for more.

Jim Marous:
Hello, and welcome to Banking Transformed, the number one banking podcast. I'm your host, Jim Marous, founder and CEO of the Digital Banking Report and co-publisher of The Financial Brand. Financial marketing is becoming increasingly complex as data and technology provides the opportunity for instant personalized engagement. As consumer attention span shorten, and the world becomes cluttered with noise, bank marketing must adjust accordingly. Choice proliferation and the exponential pace of change creates a combustible combination of complexity. Opportunities for simple banking experiences resonate with greater loyalty and revenues being the reward. I'm excited to have James Robert Lay, founder and CEO of the Digital Growth Institute, on today's podcast for a second time. James Robert shares how banks and credit unions can simplify the marketing process with market leading results.

Jim Marous:
Welcome to the show again, James Robert. It's been a while since we've met. I'm not saying we solved all the problems from the last time we met, there's quite a few still out there, but I think there's a new dimension about what we're going to talk about. Many financial marketing organizations are overseeing and paying for a large volume of, what I'll call low quality content. Not that it's not good content, but we're trying to get the most from every dollar. It's a different game, simply because most marketers feel they need to be on every platform and every channel. With all the opportunities to use data, analytics, modern technology, it's easy to get lost in the complexity of the situation. James Robert, can today's abundance of data, analytics, technology be matched with simplicity and creativity? Can it go hand in hand?

James Robert Lay:
It has to go hand in hand. We have to figure out a way to, we'll say calm the chaos. We need to steer the ship in the right direction, because otherwise we're going to continuously get tossed and turned. It's a matter of distilling down what are the few things that we can focus on that will create the greatest amount of value, not just for ourselves as financial brands, but more importantly for the people in the communities, quote unquote, that we're serving. The reasons I put communities in quotes, is because community is no longer a place defined by physical borders or boundaries or zip codes like we've traditionally thought about it in banking. Community is now something that I would say is rooted deeper within the minds of each of us as individuals.

Jim Marous:
It's interesting when you look at marketing, marketing many times had been positioned in a way to sell to the customer. We got our budgets approved based on how much we would sell. It's pretty much product driven. Now more than ever, it's got to be customer driven. I know you agree with that, but how can a bank and credit union become the customer's partner in the quest for simplicity of choice and a seamless customer experience?

James Robert Lay:
COVID gave us time to pause. It gave us time to think about the existential question, "Why are we here as individuals, then also as organizations?" It's my hope that as organizations, we're able to take some of that thinking further because people are in control, we know that. They're more in control now than ever before, of what they consume, the media that they consume. It's the media, it's the content that they consume, that will help them get beyond the pain that they're feeling in the present moment, to get to the future that they are wanting to create. There's this idea of really community, and I would say collaboration because a lot of innovation, we'll call it product innovation or marketing innovation, content innovation, a lot of that has been driven internally from the lens of what a bank or a financial brand needs.

James Robert Lay:
Going forward though, if we can build communities of like minds, we can begin to solve the, what I call the common people problems causing common people pain. It's these big problems that we have repeated patterns around. For example, we know financial wellbeing, that's an obvious, it's a given, but it's really the implementations of financial wellbeing that takes on a person's physical wellbeing and how that manifests. Then also mental wellbeing as well, even relational wellbeing, environmental wellbeing, all of these points are going hand in hand together now. HoneyFi, FinTech HoneyFi, did a study a while back around the relational wellbeing and how that is impacted financially. They found that couples who improve their financial situation, actually have better sex.

Jim Marous:
Oh, there's a good sound bite.

James Robert Lay:
Yeah, I know. I think this is a thing. The point is, it's not just about dollars and cents anymore. It's about putting the transformation of people beyond the commoditization of just the product. It's really getting deeper into humanities, if you will, of money and how that impacts all these different areas of a person's life. If you could put the transformation of people first, and if you can transform a person's wallet, their financial wellbeing, all of these other areas in their life will begin to improve as a result of this. Dr. Joyce Marter, she wrote about this in her book called, The Financial Mindset Fix. She's a clinical psychologist out of Chicago. One of the things that she found through her own work, with her own practice, with her own people she was helping, is once they begin to fix their financial life, all these other areas, wellbeing, mental, physical, relational, they all begin to improve and open up.

Jim Marous:
Now what's interesting though, is that makes it so that not only does a financial marketer have to understand the new tools they have, but you're now putting another layer of what the responsibility is going to be about how to communicate and what to communicate to the customer member. How do they get there? We talk about trying to simplify the complexities of the world, but really are we not making even more complex for the financial marketer, or is there a way to slice and dice this in such a way that a financial market can actually make that impact with maybe less effort or lower levels of effort?

James Robert Lay:
If you asked me, "Where would we start on this," a few years ago, I would've said strategy. That's the default answer, but I want to roll this back a little bit because you're touching into complexity. I'm now making an argument to really begin any type of transformational initiative, whether that be marketing or technology, don't start with strategy or the thinking. Begin that transformational initiative with training and education. Here's why, I call these the three Ts for transformation. Number one, we have to tell the true to ourselves where we have been, where we're at, and where we can grow next. It's that where we can grow next, that's the ambiguity, that's the complexity because I'm not exactly sure what that could be, what that might look like.

James Robert Lay:
I'm hearing a lot of different things from a lot of different people, so therefore I'm feeling overwhelmed. That's where the training, the second T, the training, the education. What that does, is it helps to provide some context, a framework, a common language within an organization, marketing team, sales team, leadership team, models, methodologies that takes some of these pie-in-the-sky ideas, and begins to simplify them down into tools that we can communicate around. That's number two.

James Robert Lay:
Number three, that's where we can begin to take time to think about our next best steps going forward, as we're now speaking a common language. One of the best models that I've been able to help communicate and bring alignment, is what I call The BANCER's Strategy Circle. This is a model framed around the consumer journey, that has been historically thought about in banking as two points. We drive some type of awareness at the top of the funnel, and then we drive some type of conversion, but we're missing something in the middle. That's the gap I feel that we need to begin to close, so that we can help figure out what are the few things, once again, that we can focus on to create the greatest value going forward.

Jim Marous:
That being said, when you look at financial institutions today, with all the tools a marketer in an organization has, what do you see as a major challenge faced by financial institutions, in delivering a powerful marketing message at scale?

James Robert Lay:
I would say it's the automation piece of it. Even now, we're working way harder than we have to. If we think about experience, Issy Sharp, founder of the Four Seasons Hotel, had a great line on this to where we look for opportunities to systemize the predictable so that we can human the exceptional. On that note around automation, it gives us the ability to take data from a lot of different areas of a consumer's journey. Let's come back to The BANCER's Strategy Circle. What does that mean? Well, it's an acronym. The B, build an audience with data to where we can move to the A, so we can attract the right people with personalized offers to then N, nurture those relationships with content through automation, to take them to the C, convert them for loans and deposits to then the E, expand the real relationship by delighting accounts to then the R, repeat the process with ratings, with reviews, and ultimately with referrals. Then we create this virtuous cycle that drives someone else through the same type of a process.

James Robert Lay:
Now, I think the challenge comes from the fact of, well, "Where do I begin? That's a lot. Do I do it all at one time?" Absolutely not. Let's simplify this down. I would say start at the top, to where we need to figure out are we capturing as much opportunity as we think we are digitally with conversions? Through our studies, you know this, I know this, a lot of us know, the abandonment rate is just exponentially high. Well, what can we do to take a 85%, 95% abandonment rate on applications? We begin to either A, we shrink that down by improved user experiences on the most important part of the buying journey, which is conversion or B, we put systems and processes into play to where we're now following up with abandoned applications. For the financial brands that we have coached, that we have guided who have done this, have actually increased-

Jim Marous:
Yeah.

James Robert Lay:
... their conversion rates by 15% to 20%, by just sending a follow up email for people who have started the application and have abandoned, or they get an outbound call from a human being saying, "Hey, we saw you started this. We saw you got confused. What can we do to help?" It's just a simple outreach, to where we're not having to do anything more complex at the top of the funnel, no new ads or channels, we're really focused on what we're losing today.

Jim Marous:
It's interesting. We interviewed Citibank, gosh, it's about four months ago. They said exactly that. They said, "We have not been able yet, to master the shortened application process. We haven't been able to make the new account opening or the application process short, but what we did, we put in this after the effect thing, where we said everybody who starts to abandon, we immediately contact them." They said, "Actually, our results were better than they were before when the process wasn't that involved." It's one of those things saying, "Let's not overthink the process, what we have to fix. Maybe initially, we've got to fix just the experience," as you mentioned. It's interesting because you bring up these examples and the same for big and small organizations. You're the head of the Digital Marketing Institute. When you look at marketing today, how does digital marketing differ, or does it differ, from the way marketing has been done in the past, besides the tools?

James Robert Lay:
Yeah. If we look at how marketing was done historically, it was done from a broad brush, one to many messaging. That type of thing was initially deployed into digital marketing strategies and tactics. The opportunity going forward however, the gold standard would be that one to one messaging. That's what everyone is looking for. Let's simplify this again with a practical example, marketing automation once again. We tie a marketing automation platform into a website that sells, whose primary job is to generate leads at different stages of the buying funnel. The more leads that we generate at different stages, the more we collect this first party data, which that first party data is going to be even more important knowing that third party data, third party cookies for example, are going away. Now I'm tracking all of this activity of prospects and customers and account holders alike on our website. Now I can take a proactive stance and send them a one to one communication, based upon activities that they are taking.

James Robert Lay:
We must market and provide a path forward when they have a need, not when we, the organization have a need. For example, if someone is browsing the mortgage page on the website, and then they're looking at mortgage rates and mortgage calculators, all of that information can be collected and we can provide a couple of things. We can provide a personalized ad on the homepage. More importantly, we can probably provide a personalized ad on a, I would call it a segmented login page, that then also translates back into online banking. Now we have cross platform dissemination of data. We can send a proactive email. We can use the email now, as a unique identifier which we're then connecting into these third party accounts to remarket and provide messaging across multiple channels. None of that really matters, if we're not capturing all of the information or all of the leads that are coming in organically. I like to recommend solving the problem from working from the bottom to top, instead of the top to the bottom.

Jim Marous:
Right.

James Robert Lay:
That framework is TLC, traffic, leads, conversion. We fix the conversion challenges, and then we can move up to the lead capturing challenges and opportunities. Once all of those are solid, now we can begin to start pouring fuel on the fire, pouring fuel into the engine, to really rev the engine up and start driving traffic then leads and ultimately conversions. I think a lot of times we want to do all of this top of the funnel, traffic drive more traffic, but in essence, that drives more complexity.

Jim Marous:
Again, what you're really talking about is, it's a relatively complex program made simple through automation. I've said it many times before, there's never been a more important time to partner with third party organizations that have gotten it right in the past and continue to get it right for a number of different organizations, so at least you get those early wins. You're able to leverage their experience and put your time and effort into branding and into what makes your organization different from the one down the street. The people down the street can be partnering with the exact same organization to implement the program, but it really is going to be the differentiation comes in the branding and how well you execute in the back end, isn't it?

James Robert Lay:
It really is. It's that execution. This is the interesting thing. This is one of the reasons why, let's roll this back to where do you begin? Do you begin with strategy or do you begin with training and education? What I have found over the years, is you can go into an organization and we'll just say we have 10 organizations and provide similar, but still bespoke recommendations. Why is it that one, maybe two, apply those recommendations to the fullest extent, and then the other eight are floundering? They're struggling. From multiple conversations, it comes back from a lack of knowledge or a lack of awareness or a lack of a common language, even. It's the strategies that I don't fully understand, now I might understand them in marketing, but that's not getting translated over into the sales team or into the service team-

Jim Marous:
Right.

James Robert Lay:
... or into leadership team. What happens when we don't understand something, we typically don't want to do it, and furthermore, that gets amplified and multiplied. I don't want to admit that I don't know something. If we can say, just take a step back and we can create a safe space to have open, honest dialogue discussion to tell the truth, that's where I see some of the greatest opportunities come to remove the complexity. Once again, focus on the few things that are going to really move the needle, get those quick wins.

Jim Marous:
Right.

James Robert Lay:
If you can put this into a process, clarity first, and that comes through training, education, courage and commitment comes through the strategic thinking. The confidence comes from continuously doing, reviewing, and optimizing and having that ability to change direction based upon new data, based upon new insight.

Jim Marous:
You're talking about that new data, new insight. I was fortunate enough to have Raja Rajamannar, the CMO of MasterCard, on the podcast a while back. He discussed the importance of letting customers have a voice in how the enterprise actually implements their marketing. How can a bank or credit union do this?

James Robert Lay:
Let's get back to the idea of community, right? A digital community that I own, Mark Zuckerberg doesn't own it, LinkedIn doesn't own it. This is a platform that I own. I'm collecting all of this customer data. On top of that, I'm bringing customers together to help one another out, because here's the thing. If we know that 85% of people are struggling financially, and we've been providing all of this financial literacy and all this financial education, but we're still kind of in the same exact place that we were five, 10 years ago, well, something has to change. That's insanity if we're going to keep repeating the same thing-

Jim Marous:
Yeah.

James Robert Lay:
... expecting a different result. My thing is, really a few things, number one, curriculum, which is that financial education, but that's only one part of the equation when it comes to building a community. Community also provides the potential for coaching. I think it's that coaching aspect that has the potential to release the break to propel people forward. It also opens up the potential for new revenue opportunity as well. Financial coaching, and I think we have to be very careful with this, there's financial coaching, but then there's also this, more of what I would call a greater aspect of helping people just become clear of what they want to achieve in their own futures. It's almost like we have to give people the permission to create their future self. I know this is getting into a deeper level, psychological conversation, but the more that I keep studying this, the more that I'm like, "This makes a ton of sense."

James Robert Lay:
I'm going to give you a story around this idea of community and coaching and curriculum and content. They're about a billion and a half dollar institution out on the east coast. They launched a program called Get Beyond Money. This is Tropical Financial, and they were hosting a virtual community meetup, getting people to start having these conversations about just money and financial stress. Once again, people find it easier to talk about sex, than they do to talk about money. I think the more that we can facilitate these dialogues and discussions, the more that we can learn what's really hurting them, what's really causing them problems.

James Robert Lay:
The VP of marketing, Amy McGraw, she had the courage to share her own financial struggle story with a group of a couple hundred people. What happened after that was really just magical. She said, "People begin to open up and really share what was bothering them, what their pains were." This is this idea of co-creating, co-collaboration, to where we're tapping into a group. We're really learning from them out of ways that it's not a survey. It's more, what I would say, is qualitative by listening, by going all in, we ask, we listen, and then we learn.

Jim Marous:
James Robert, there's a lot of talk about the potential of AI. Most banks, as we know, are not nearly as adept to this as they'd like to be. In fact, even the biggest financial institutions admit, we aren't really there yet when it comes to improving the customer experience. How can banks and credit unions get up to speed quickly on AI, or maybe put it another way, do they even need to?

James Robert Lay:
I would say definitely they need to. Once again, it comes back to what we were talking about in the first half around this idea of just training, education, learning what are the possibilities to begin with and focusing on the positives. I think when you mention AI, when you mention automation, in the back of people's minds, they're like, "Well, what about me? Does that mean that my job is going to be replaced by a robot or a computer?" I don't think that's the case. I mean, I think Brett King says it best at about this, it's about augmentation. It's about taking something and making it even that much better. This is where, once again, I think AI will allow us to make proactive recommendations, far beyond when a human being would even have the ability to say, "Hey, there's a problem. We have the potential for someone leaving our bank. We have the potential for default on a loan."

James Robert Lay:
We're going to be able to get beyond, because this is about pattern recognition, number one, but then number two, it's about taking those patterns and then informing a human being within side of financial brand, to get involved when they need to get involved. I believe that banking is still going to be a human-centric experience when needed. All of the transactional stuff, that's the idea for AI for automation, but then whenever we need to get people involved, because money is a very emotional subject matter. From an AI and an automation, it's that human element that will make it even that much better. If you think about a lot of financial brands, they're in a very reactive state, but through AI, we can now take a proactive stance in a person's financial life.

Jim Marous:
Staying on that subject to a degree. We've talked about how we deliver marketing, but how is it changing in the way consumers are now consuming marketing? In other words, what do we have to do differently? You mentioned some of the stuff is just going to be intuitive. It's going to be ingrained. It's going to be embedded, whatever way you want to look at it. How do we have to adjust from a marketing perspective, based on how you think the consumer's going to change their consumption of what we give them?

James Robert Lay:
Well, content, I think is going to be the fuel of all of this. We're starting to see this in other verticals. We're starting to see this in other industries. We've been talking about this for a very long time, through the lens of financial services. It's this idea of helping first and selling second. That's a mindset transformation, in and of its own, but let's talk about the practical of why this is important. Number one, if we're seeing the demise of third party cookies, digital advertising is not going to get any easier going forward. We're probably going to see a clamp down of data, data being the oil of the digital economy. I'm really interested to see how that plays out over the next five to 10 years. I know a lot of marketers are lamenting that fact. Really, this begin to be a big issue with the Facebook Cambridge Analytica debacle a couple of years ago, that then led the way to where we're also seeing, for example, ad blockers. We're seeing the rise of ad blockers being naturally installed into web browsers, both on a desktop, as well as mobile devices.

James Robert Lay:
I think the one that really caught me by surprise, was the iOS 15 update impacting Apple's mailbox and limiting marketers to the ability to track open rates and click rates and all of that good AB testing data. If we look at what has happened on the digital ad side, we're probably going to see the same exact thing happen in the inbox. Apple led the way, Google go followed. Imagine all of your Gmail data, and maybe even your Microsoft inbox data, being gone one day. Well, so what are we really left with? It's almost like we're seeing what is old, is now new again.

James Robert Lay:
Search, SEO, all of that is going to continue to have a growing importance. That's where content is going to come into play. I want to give a framework that I would love to see financial brands implement. It starts with kind of what we're doing right here today. This is all about the conversation. Imagine I'm a financial brand and I have these different business lines, and each business line has a podcast, and that podcast-

Jim Marous:
Right.

James Robert Lay:
... then invites their ideal client. Maybe they invite a previous customer, and we have a conversation. What happens? That podcast has the ability to be turned into multiple forms of content following this discussion. There's a networking component. There's a community component. There's a market research and insight component. There's the whole marketing aspect of this to where we can create an article. That's good SEO juice. We can transform this into social media content.

James Robert Lay:
I think it's on the social media side too, where micro has the potential to beat the macro. What I mean by that is, employee advocacy, turning our key stakeholders internally, our lenders, our leaders, our branch managers into micro influencers within a local community, to share and disseminate all of the content that we're producing as an organization, to help first to sell second. It's also about offering hope, to give people hope that when they have a question, when they have a problem, I now have a human being that I can turn to. I still see people do business with people, people still bank with people, but we need to empower our internal people to build the personal brands and the confidence to do exactly what they've been doing in the real world for the last 50 years, to do that in the digital world, through the lens of digital community.

Jim Marous:
On the same wavelength here, the pandemic gave consumers a heavy dose in the importance of social awareness, sustainability, and a sense of community. How important are these elements in the future of marketing? How does a marketer portray this, when they're also trying to support the products and services they're trying to promote?

James Robert Lay:
Oh, this is probably one of the greatest sources of conflict, but it's also one of the greatest sources of opportunity as well. Purpose I see is the path forward to really create a bigger future beyond the present moment. Purpose is what brings people together. Purpose is an opportunity, once again, to solve what I mentioned before, to solve these common people problems, causing common people pain. Financial wellbeing is there, mental wellbeing, physical wellbeing, environmental wellbeing. On the environmental side, you see that with aspiration. That is a big part of their positioning, this idea of the environment. They're wrapping all of their product positioning around it. They're wrapping all of their marketing around it. When you think about purpose, it gives rise to the potential to tap into niche market opportunities. In the future, is it possible to see more of a portfolio play for financial brands to where there's a corporate brand, but underneath that corporate umbrella, there are niche micro brands that are kind of a part of a cross sectional portfolio play?

Jim Marous:
This is more possible than ever with digital banking. You can do scale across the country, where maybe in a certain market, a niche marketplace may not have generated the right amount of revenue or right amount of emphasis. We're seeing KeyBank do this on the medical and technology communities. We're seeing other banks build these segments that they can scale globally.

James Robert Lay:
KeyBank on the medical side, and once again, Community Bank out of San Antonio, Texas launched Bank MD to tap into the same idea.

Jim Marous:
Yeah.

James Robert Lay:
There's another community institution that is in our program out of the Northwest, and they're looking at tapping into nationwide solar. It's these niche markets that go beyond the physical boundaries once again, and tap into maybe it's a social cause, or maybe it's a small business play. If you think small business, well, what's underneath a small business? You've got restaurants, you've got health and fitness centers. I mean, this is where I just-

Jim Marous:
Yeah.

James Robert Lay:
... get so excited because it's tapping in, but it comes down to, "Why are we existing in the first place?" It's that great COVID pause question that we had a couple of years to think about, "Why? Why am I here? Why is our organization here," and then more important, "Who can we create value for?" I think so many times as an organization, particularly within the lens of marketing, we think, "Well, this is what we do. We think this is how we do it." The what being the product, the how being the experience. If we can ascend that and think about more importantly, "Who can we do this for and do it really, really well," and then look for scale, not just at a local market level, but at a national level, maybe even an-

Jim Marous:
Yeah.

James Robert Lay:
... international level, then it's, "Okay, great. We got the who. What's the why?" Why do we do what we do, because the why is what people really buy in the end.

Jim Marous:
For banks and credit unions looking to simplify this massive complexity at our fingertips, where should they start?

James Robert Lay:
I want to give a framework for this. I call this the four environments for exponential growth. Step number one, we got to create space and time to continuously learn, to continuously understand what's coming down the pipe. COVID has just been a preview of all of the exponential changes that we are going to experience over the next decade. Some are going to be extremely exciting. Some might be a little frightening. I think if we can just look at this through the eyes of a curious kindergartner, leave no stone unturned. If you think of yourself as a kindergartner, you pick up those stones, you don't know what's going to be underneath that stone. Always look for the opportunity, learning. Number one, learning provides clarity.

James Robert Lay:
Number two, taking time to really think about what you've learned and how it is applied to the context of not what you do or how you do it, but more importantly, why you do it and who you do it for. That's what I called knowing, learning and thinking, but knowing is not going to move the needle. We have to apply that and to apply that, to grow, to go from knowing to growing, we need to do, but we must be careful to not just continuously get stuck in the doing of digital or the doing of whatever. I see that people get stuck on autopilot. We need a forcing function then, to pause what we're doing to review and reflect what we've done, to then take it back to that step number one, which is to learn then to think then to do then to review.

James Robert Lay:
If we could do this on a 90 day rolling model, we will be able to adapt and adjust way more quickly than we were operating before. I think it takes some time. It takes some habit. It takes some intention, but operating on a 90 day growth cycle is something that I'm very hopeful for financial brands going forward into the future.

Jim Marous:
It brings back home the whole concept of speed, speed in finding the partner, speed in implementing things that are going to get view quick and easy results, speed in deploying communication based on customer activities and behaviors, and then speed of continuously evolving and learning in the process. It couldn't be said any better. Finally, James Robert, who will be the winners in the future? Will they be big banks and tech firms, major tech companies, whether it be a bank, whether it be credit unions, or will it be some identifier that you're going to be able to say, "This was the kind of organization that almost always won?"

James Robert Lay:
It's going to be the people. It's going to be the brands that are able to understand and get close to the people. That comes down to two things. It comes down to, we'll call it community, which is typically what I have called audience up to this point. I'm very careful with these words, because I was really big on audience building up until about the time of the pandemic. Then what I noticed was, it's not about building audiences anymore. The problem with that word, audience is, it's still one way communication.

Jim Marous:
Yep. Yep.

James Robert Lay:
I'm speaking out to the masses and no, this has to be a dialogue, a discourse, a discussion, that's the community. It's community when combined with the technology, that's the exponential multiplier and then to bring in the coaching aspect of this, is a way to accelerate that transformation. I'm very interested in placing human transformation above the idea of digital transformation. At the end of the day, I think that's what we're all really working toward, human transformation for ourselves, for our teams, for our organizations, and ultimately for people in the communities that we're serving.

Jim Marous:
James Robert is always, I feel like sometimes my head's ready to explode because you have so much insight into what's going on in the marketplace. It's interesting that last point you made about the culture, about the community, about the employees, all that, I'm going to go one step further as far as the winners. I think one thing I found, I know you have found, with regards to who you work with on a daily basis, it takes leadership. It is so easy to stay in place when financially we're all doing well. It is extraordinarily difficult to send a person to a class, to send a person to learn more, to take the time to learn more as an individual, and those organizations are going to do it well. Those who have the, what I call the challenger mindset, are those that embrace the learning opportunity, embrace the sharing opportunity, and embrace the community as you said.

Jim Marous:
James Robert, one thing before we get off the podcast today, can you share with our audience, number one, how to get ahold of you, number two, how to buy your book, which is imperative upon anybody who wants to do any financial marketing? His book and the upcoming book are both going to be excellent to read and our good learning starting points, and the, how somebody can even do a deeper dive with you?

James Robert Lay:
Well, Jim, I appreciate just the time, the dialogue, it's always a pleasure. It's always fun because I mean, literally I've come away and I'm already thinking of, well maybe there are three things that we can expand further on this thinking here. The best way to continue the conversation with me, just Google me, James Robert Lay. LinkedIn me is probably the best way to make a connection, reach out, say hello. I always reply. You can send me a text message, 415-579-3004 as well. Send a question if you're listening and like, "Hey, I got a question about this," please send it my way. I'll definitely respond with some thinking for you. You mentioned the book, Jim, Amazon, Banking on Digital Growth, you can grab a copy there. Also, the podcast, Banking on Digital Growth, as well. All great resources to just continuously educate, empower, and elevate yourself, your team, your financial brand, your FinTech.

Jim Marous:
James Robert, thank you again as always, appreciate your time.

James Robert Lay:
Thank you, Jim. Be well, do good buddy.

Jim Marous:
Thanks for listening to, Banking Transformed, winner of three international awards for podcast excellence. If you enjoy today's interview, please give our show a five star rating on your favorite podcast platform. Also, be sure to catch my recent articles on The Financial Brand and check out our research for the Digital Banking Report. This has been a production of Evergreen Podcasts. A special thank you to my producer, Leah Longbrake, audio engineer, Sean Rule-Hoffman, and video producer, Will Pritts. I'm your host, Jim Marous, until next time, remember that making the simple complicated, is commonplace. Making the complicated simple, is the key to success.

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