How Ohio Valley Bank Successfully Leveraged Digital Channels To Manage Customer Communications During Covid-19


Ohio Valley Bank, one of the oldest banks in the state of Ohio, realized they needed a way to enhance their marketing programs and better reach their customers with targeted messages. The Gallipolis, Ohio-based bank learned about DeepTarget through their relationship with Jack Henry, their core banking provider, who integrates directly with DeepTarget’s digital experienceplatform. The bank implemented DeepTarget OLB(Online Banking) which uses customer intelligence to drive new leads and revenue through NetTeller, the online banking solution from Jack Henry.

Ohio Valley Bank has been utilizing DeepTarget to botheffectively and efficientlyengage its customersdigitally for several years. It is used to reach them throughtargeted advertising campaigns, educational materials and personalizedmessages.DeepTarget combined with the digital solutions they had in place has helped the bank weather the Covid-19 pandemic. When the pandemic hit, the bank was able to quickly shift its focus from using DeepTarget for advertising and cross-selling promotions to providing meaningful critical communications, educational resourcesand communityinformation, enabling the bank to serve as a trusted information hubfor its customers in a time of uncertainty.

During the height of the pandemic, the bank needed to quickly get information to customers about waiving of early withdrawal fees, loan payment deferral programs and the SBA Paycheck Protection Program. In addition, they needed to ensure customers were aware of the eServices and digital banking channels available and how they could register and best utilize these services. Education on contact-less banking options such as online bill-pay and mobile deposit became increasingly important. They also had day-to-day operating changes that needed to be communicated such as extendeddrive-through hours and branch and lobby closings. In addition, messages needed to be crafted in a sensitive manner due to the current environment and to further ensure the customer felt the institution understood their current issues and needs.

“With lobbies closed and working hours reduced, digital channels became increasingly important,” said Bryna Butler, vice president, Corporate Communications. “Our messages and ads had to quickly change direction.Traditionally, we focused on promoting products and our bank butin response to Covid-19,we quickly switched focus to talk less about products and more about what we could do right then as a trusted resource to the community.”

Getting these messages out to customers was less daunting for the bank with the help of DeepTarget. In addition, the Critical Community Outreach Package they developed in response to Covid-19 served as a model for appropriate content to be communicated to customers during this unprecedented time.The Critical Community Outreach Package is designed to enable financial institutionsto rapidly communicate using pre-designed campaignswith customizable messaging for highly relevant and useful contentfor customers. It was designed to readily allow financial institutions to serve as a trusted resource and support hubsproviding valuable and timely information to their customers.

“Utilizing digital banking channels has always been a big part of our brand and we had strong usage even before the pandemic hit,” said Butler. “However, with the stimulus checks, increased use of mobile deposit and mobile banking usage, as well as online bill pay, we have seen a notable spike in the number of ourcustomers using digital channels that they hadn’t used before. Because of this, we have changed our messages and the focus of our communications. Gone are the days where we’re just pushing out a fee-based product, nowwe’re talking about free online banking solutions and services, educating users on best practices and announcing changes such as increases in mobile deposit limits. DeepTarget has made that change very easy for us. We were able to quickly change focus and deploy very differentcampaigns designed to focus on useful resources for our customers in the current extraordinarytimes. With DeepTargetwe have the flexibility to quickly change campaigns and messages as new information is available.”

Despite the shelter-in-place orders and mandatory lock downs, the sales department remainedbusy. Loan officers worked diligently to manage the influx of calls, emails and online requests.  However, with the help of DeepTarget, the bank was able to rapidly communicate with customers and answer some of the questions proactively, freeing up personnel to focus on revenue-generating activities.The proactive campaigns helped alleviate the need for manual intervention and equipped the bank with the resources needed to act as a true information hub for customers and the community. During the intense lockdown period from March to May, their influenced conversions grew 200% compared to the previous three months which is significant.

In addition, the bank decided to deploy a unique campaign to serve its customers. The bank offers Christmas Savingsin whichcustomers put aside money throughout the year and then utilize it duringthe holiday season. To help customers meet financial needs and obligations, the bank decided to waive the early close-out fees for those accounts, which don’t mature until October. To notify customers of this option they quickly put together a digital campaign that utilized all their digital channels to target account holders, as well as a social media campaign.

Ohio Valley Bank is also dedicated to educating the community on financial literacy and has a representative on staff whoregularly conducts programs in both localschools and for adults. With schools closed due to the pandemic, a virtual classroom was established where the community can directly access videos and educational materials. To promote this offering, the bank developed a digital campaign through DeepTarget which proved successful as it provided an extra resource for teachers who needed additional content and programs to supplement their existing online curriculum.

“Utilizing DeepTarget enabled us to react quickly and change our communications and adsduringan unprecedented time,” said Butler. “Since things were changing literally by the hourour team would have been overwhelmed quickly with the messaging that needed to go out to our customers without the flexibility DeepTarget provided. Because past campaigns can be stored on DeepTarget and recycled, DeepTarget eliminated the need to create something from scratch, go through a lengthy approval process and ensure all messages met compliance requirements. We found it was better to communicate often to help ease our customers minds and provide a level of reassurance. DeepTarget has served as a true partner to us during our tenure working together, and especially through the challenging landscape of the pandemic.”