Thursday, January 26, 2012

Banks and Credit Union Marketers Taking Different Paths in 2012

According to a Rand Corporation research study, consumers usually select a financial institution based on convenience of branches, convenience of ATMs and bank fees. While bank users were more likely to select based on convenience, credit union users more likely chose with a desire to avoid fees. Consumers also cite personalized service when selecting a credit union.

With this as a backdrop, it is interesting to study the divergence of opinions expressed by more than 300 financial marketers from larger banks, credit unions and community banks as part of the 2012 Bank and Credit Union Marketing Survey covered on January 17 on both The Bank Marketing Strategy blog and on The Financial Brand

Faced with many of the same environmental challenges of increased availability of data, a proliferation of delivery options, imminent changes in how payments are processed, new marketing communication channels and consumer sentiment that has at times been polarizing, there are significant differences in how bank and credit union marketers view their roles, challenges and opportunities. There are also differences in the channels different types of organizations will use to communicate in the next 12 months.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

State of Bank and Credit Union Marketing 2012

Today's bank and credit union marketers are facing a period of big data, increasing devices and more communication channels than ever before. In addition, consumers are challenging the pricing and service levels they receive from their financial institution, and are willing to speak their mind using lightning fast social media channels.

To better understand what bank and credit union marketers are thinking and doing during this period of unprecedented change and opportunity, I partnered with Jeffry Pilcher from The Financial Brand to develop the 2012 Bank and Credit Union Financial Marketing Survey. More than 300 bankers responded from banks and credit unions of all sizes thanks in no small measure to our many friends on Twitter who helped distribute the links to the survey and to ACTON Marketing, who recruited many of their clients and friends.

The results of the survey underscore the primary challenges facing financial institution marketers today:
      • The need for better measurement of marketing results during a time of constrained budgets and limited human resources.
      • The importance of expanding share of wallet through cross-selling, especially with credit products
      • Changing the media mix used for integrated customer communication - with a greater emphasis on less familiar online and social media channels
    View Entire Survey Results   

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

10 Resolutions Bank Marketers Can't Ignore in 2012

2011 was year that many bankers, and especially bank marketers would love to forget. Not only was focus diverted by the need to respond to new regulations for the second consecutive year (this time it was the Durbin Amendment), but the image of our entire industry was challenged as foreclosures and bank failures continued to be in the news. 

The biggest impact of all of this noise was that attention was diverted from what should have been accomplished in 2011. As I reviewed my post from last year, Ten Bank Marketer Resolutions for 2011, it is clear that most bank marketers lacked the time/focus to make much progress on any of last year's goals. 

So, in writing this year's Bank Marketer Resolution post, I could have simply posted the same resolutions from last year (similar to what I do with some of my personal resolutions). Instead, I reached out to bank industry leaders from across the globe for their ideas. There was surprising uniformity in their suggestions, and a sense of urgency around the need to achieve much more than last year.

So here are the resolutions bank marketers should not ignore in 2012 according to industry leaders:

1. Validate The Value of Marketing Through Measurement: As highlighted in my recent post 100 Years Later, Marketers Still Have Difficulty Measuring Upthere is still a tremendous gap between what bank marketers implement and what is measured. Not only are there almost 20% of marketers who don't find measurement of results imperative according to recent research by Ifbyphone, but less that 50% of any channel is measured. Dan Marks from First Tennessee says, "Bank marketers should resolve to measure and optimize true marketing ROI – having the courage to seek out the unproductive part of the marketing mix and replace it with other activities that generate real shareholder returns." Serge Milman, CEO of Optirate states, "In 2012, bank marketers should resolve to have a more diligent focus placed on business drivers that can help manage and grow the bank," while Bradley Leimer, vice president of online/mobile strategy at Mechanics Bank said that,  "The number one resolution for bank marketers in 2012 must be to 'put data first,' since the proof of any program resides in the measurement of results." 

Jeffry Pilcher from The Financial Brand added a common sense resolution that is not always followed . . . "stop doing things that don't work." It is clear that if only one resolution can be accomplished in 2012, the measurement of attribution and program results is the most important.