CUES Podcast
CUES Podcast
Jul 21, 2020
CUES Podcast 95: Move Out of the ‘Circle of Chaos’ to Your Next Great Digital-First Marketing Opportunity—an Interview With James Robert Lay
Play • 25 min

In this episode, James Robert Lay tells the story of how the CEO of Tower Records once said that kids “would always” want to come into the stores and listen to music.

But Tower Records went out of business in 2006.

“Music was digitized,” explains Lay, the author of a new book, Banking on Digital Growth and an instructor for CUES School of Strategic Marketing, slated for September. “We went from the record to the eight-track to the cassette, to the CD, to mp3, but we’re not done yet. Because what is music now? Music is now streaming with Spotify and Pandora.”

Financial institutions are seeing a parallel shift. “What we’re seeing is the explosion of fintech and what fintech is focused on is—like music—micro niche markets, or micro problems and, for credit unions, it’s like death by a thousand cuts,” Lay explains. 

In the show, Lay gives a formal definition for digital growth as “a systematic process centered around the modern consumer journey” and notes that digital growth is built on three goals:

  1. Increasing traffic to a financial brand’s website
  2. Generating leads from the website traffic
  3. Converting those leads into loans and deposits

“The way we have to do this is by positioning the credit union beyond the commoditized great rates and amazing service and look-alike laundry list of amazing features that every other financial brand promotes,” he emphasizes.

Lay explains that digital growth is not about mobile banking, remote deposit capture or social media—those are tactics.

“Digital growth is about acquisition,” he says.

The show also gets into:

  • How the pandemic has impacted digital delivery
  • How the pandemic has impacted credit unions’ digital growth strategies
  • Roadblocks to digital growth
  • Exiting the circle of chaos to move onto your next great opportunity
  • The shift from digital delivery supporting a branch-first strategy to branches supporting a digital-first strategy
  • How training and education build clarity around the digital consumer buying journey
  • An update on the CUES School of Strategic Marketing
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