What does online shopping have to do with the promotion of your financial institution’s banking products and services?
With all the talk — and barrage of emails — promoting Cyber Monday retail sales, I made a connection with one of the elements online shopping has with banking. Or rather, a marketing technique financial marketers should copy.
Whether you buy an item online or simply research the product before driving to the local store, what does your research include, and in fact, what most likely has a heavy influence on your decision to buy or pass on the product?
What marketing format lets you reach prospects with an obvious message that can easily make an impression, allows you to connect with your best prospects, and gains the prospects’ attention in their own homes?
The answer is obvious because it’s in this post’s headline. The postcard.
Financial services marketers aren’t concerned over the advertising hoopla that goes into Black Friday promotions. After all, you can’t put your banking products on sale. But there are marketing ideas you can take away from some promotions you see.
Here’s an example of a company that, like banks and credit unions, doesn’t have much chance of seeing big crowds Friday. So instead, it’s running a promotion to boost its regular business.
A current campaign by a well-known hotel chain is an example of how businesses, including financial institutions, can reach out to consumers in a variety of ways and get consumers involved in the campaign.
Everyone around my office is scrambling to “use or lose” vacation time before year-end. You probably see the same around your office. It’s a national epidemic.
If you’re a marketing professional, your business is communications. So it’s no surprise the best beginning for a successful marketing campaign is through communications.
Certainly, you need to discuss your project with your peers. Hold quick meetings with everyone involved so you all understand what’s expected of each individual.
Most important of all, you need to talk with the creative team members who will prepare your marketing campaign.
I’ve worked on thousands of projects for financial institutions so I can say, in my experience, if there is a project delay it often falls under the Number One Cause. If you can eliminate or reduce this one factor, you could have your project ready sooner — sometimes weeks sooner.
This factor affects all types of advertising — direct mail, print ads, collateral materials, web pages. Once I tell you what it is, you’ll likely think, “Yeah, I knew that.”
There’s no shortage of “best of” lists in America so we shouldn’t be shocked to discover that there is a Best Banks in America list.
The Best Banks list is compiled by Money Magazine which is owned by CNN Money. It recently announced its third annual list of the Best Banks in America.
In the case of Money Magazine, the banks making the list were the “best” at one particular thing – be it the best savings account, the best customer service, the best CD, or the best checking account. Fortunately for some banks, they made the list in more than one category.
Paid advertising isn’t the only way to promote your bank or credit union. If you’re not incorporating the Five Ws into your marketing tool kit, you’re missing some great opportunities.
Next to finding the correct classroom, the first thing a journalism student discovers are the Five Ws (along with One H). The categories represented by those letters are what you should follow to create your community promotions.
The bold headline above an article in the September 9, 2014 issue of The Wall Street Journal caught my attention.
I hadn’t thought much about the ubiquitous bank-issued credit card for a very long time although I use my USAA-issued card every month. It’s a plain-vanilla card which is perfect for my needs.
As far as I knew, with few exceptions most banks and credit unions issued one or more credit cards either in-house or by partnering with a third-party issuer.
Customer attrition is inevitable. After all, people move and go through life changes. Your financial institution is no longer conveniently located or doesn’t serve their needs. But customer attrition has other causes. What does your financial institution do to prevent, or at least slow, those losses?
Recently, I read an article about e-commerce companies and the large customer turnover many experience. I thought of a small popcorn sales website where I was once a regular customer. It offered many varieties of gourmet popping corn, along with extras like specialty popping oils, flavored salts, popcorn bowls, and other accessories. I ordered regularly. Once a delivery driver nearly injured himself carrying a 50-pound box to my door. I gave unpopped gourmet popcorn as gifts to family and friends.
This may shock you but as a long-time bank marketing person I’m not a fan of customer satisfaction surveys.
In fact, I feel the majority of them are downright worthless.
Yet company after company cranks them out year after year.
Most of them are way too long, ask too many confusing questions, and ultimately provide little, or no, actionable data.
Like Santa, you need to check your list twice. Your list of marketing promotions, I mean.
It’s no revelation that we’re moving into a busy time of year when holiday events and activities fill and affect our personal lives. Those same holiday proceedings can affect your marketing schedule, too.
Here are a few factors to consider and suggestions to help.
Anyone who believes traditional direct mail is obsolete either isn’t on many mailing lists or hasn’t been paying attention to what arrives in the daily mail.
Part of the problem today is that so many marketers are busy fawning over social media channels and email that they fail to consider the power of the direct mail channel.
What is this power?
Some marketers and executives get excited about using themes for promotional campaigns. Here’s some advice if you find yourself with that type of project.
There are a few important ideas to keep in mind if you’re planning to use a theme.
- Make it appropriate for your product
- A theme shouldn’t negatively affect your financial institution
- Don’t overdo the theme
- If you choose to use one, stick with only one
Normally when you think about creating a CD ladder it means putting your money into a number of CDs with different terms.
As a consumer, you get to choose the terms and the amount of money placed into each CD. In other words, you are in control of making these decisions.
As a rule of thumb, if rates are low, a shorter CD ladder would be better. And today’s rates are wretchedly low.
If you work on a project long enough, you can overlook the obvious. As a copywriter, I know when I come back to my copy after a break I can better spot errors or omissions that I overlooked during initial read-throughs.
I’ll give you an example I found that should have been noticed by those who worked on the project, but it made it to print anyway. It’s an example that tells you to be vigilant.
Sometimes people say things that make you wonder which planet they’re from.
The other day I was rereading my favorite book about the recent housing bubble crash caused by toxic mortgages and the folks behind them.
It’s Michael Lewis’ 2010 classic, The Big Short: Inside The Doomsday Machine. If you haven’t read it, you should consider doing so if you are at all curious about the truth behind the crisis that nearly brought down the U.S. economy and many other countries as well.
Two farmers are standing in a cranberry bog…
Sounds like the start of a joke, but it’s an example of how a consistent message wins over consumers and boosts brand recognition.
I see marketers abandon new advertising without knowing whether or not it’s effective. If it is, why would you throw away a successful campaign for something unknown?
Well, actually, I know the reason. You or your company’s executives are tired of seeing it. What you don’t realize — you’ve seen the campaign materials far longer than any of your prospects.
With rare exception, it’s extremely important to show the rate when promoting savings accounts and CDs.
In fact, you might say it’s mandatory as the rate is usually the offer…as it should be.
Of course, when using rate as your offer, it had better be a market-leading rate to give your bank or credit union a differential advantage or its unique selling proposition.
Bullet points in your marketing copy can be an advantage. At other times, you should avoid using them. How can you tell the difference? These examples might help you.
It may seem simplistic, but let’s define a bullet point. It’s a dot icon followed by very brief descriptive copy, like this…
- No minimum balance
- No monthly service charge