Friday, January 1, 2010

The New Year Brings New Excitement for Bank Marketing

As we turn the calendar on a new year, our industry seems to be both well placed and at the same time under threat from both internal and external forces. How we respond as individuals, organizations and as an industry may well determine our growth opportunities for years to come.

After a year of budget and human resource cuts, bad economic news, retrenchment and lack of true focus, we must relearn how to be nimble, innovative and most importantly focused in the face of drastic change from non-banks, direct offerings, and everyone with a PC, an internet connection or a mobile phone.

My goal for this brand new endeavor into the world of blogging is to try to keep abreast of as many changes and new ideas in our industry as possible and provide a perspective around the opportunities and challenges from a person who has been in the bank marketing industry for over 30 years. Let me know when you or your bank have seen or done something innovative and I can share it on this blog.

As we enter a new decade, I see an exciting time ahead for those organizations who have the following attributes:
  • A focus on the customer experience: A bank I work with used to paraphrase the focus on the customer as, 'know me, look out for me and reward me'. At a time when trust in banks is at one of the lowest points in history, this attention to the customer will be required.
  • Leadership support for innovation: As opposed to simply looking for different flavors of vanilla, innovation that produces new ways of creating revenue, customer relationships and cost reduction will separate the winners from the losers.
  • A movement from product focus to channel focus: It will be more important than ever to focus on integrated and seamless outcomes across all channels. With product commodization still the norm from the customer's perspective, more and more will decide where to bank by the way the service is delivered.
  • Genuine messages and brand articulation: While it will be imperative to focus on the individual customer, your brand, advertising and all communication have still need meaning from the customer's perspective, with an emphasis on financial literacy.
The question is whether you and your bank be a hunter, and aggressively embrace this new way of communicating and doing business, or will it be hunted, and sit back waiting to be consumed?
I am definitely looking forward to this new communication opportunity and welcome any thoughts, insights and suggestions as to how to make this forum more valuable for you.

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