Steve Topper has both a B.S. and MBA degree in Marketing from Indiana University. Steve began his career working for Continental Illinois National Bank in Chicago. During his 13 years at Continental, he rose from the Consumer Lending marketing manager to become the head of Retail Marketing.
Early on he developed and managed several multi-million piece, nationwide, pre-approved credit card mailings. Working with his premium vendor, he created a “points” program that later was offered to Citibank and became their famous “Citidollars” program. While a member of Continental’s marketing department, he also served as the marketing manager for a new, shared ATM network with several area banks. As the sixth-largest bank in the country at the time, Steve was involved in all aspects of bank marketing activities, including media advertising, trade shows, premiums, point of sale materials and direct mail.
Steve then spent a little less than two years working on the agency side for Frankel & Company in Chicago as the account manager on their new Citibank business. For Citibank, New York, Steve worked on their new Citibank Financial Account launch in Atlanta, Tampa, Omaha and Minneapolis and the development and launch of their Pocket Terminal remote banking program. Assisting the Citibank savings marketing team, he developed and printed millions of statement inserts for their credit card statements. At the same time, he was assisting the marketing folks at Citicorp Savings in Chicago on several marketing programs.
Leaving Chicago for a new bank marketing opportunity in California, Steve rejoined some of his Continental Bank co-workers at Valley National Bank, Salinas. Steve became director of marketing for the credit card spin-off known as Household Card Services, a nationwide marketer of credit cards. For the next three years Steve built and managed a marketing team engaged in massive credit card marketing efforts throughout the United States.
Next stop for Steve was 1st Nationwide Bank in San Francisco, where he spent the next 14 years as Vice President, Direct Mailing Marketing Manager. Establishing the bank's first direct mail department, Steve's first major marketing effort was partnering with ACTON Marketing to introduce the bank's Free Checking and Free Gift program. It wasn't long before 1st Nationwide Bank became ACTON's largest client, having expanded the relationship to include the marketing of equity lines and loans, unsecured credit, and the CD maturity notice program. While at 1st Nationwide Bank, later renamed California Federal Bank, Steve also managed both the bank’s CD Maturity Notice and customer statement insert and message programs. He was also responsible for developing and managing the customer communications packages that were mailed to newly acquired customers as a result of the bank’s very aggressive bank acquisition program.
During his 30 years in bank marketing, Steve has developed and implemented marketing campaigns for almost every bank product and service imaginable. Steve left the bank after it was acquired by Citibank in 2002, and immediately went to work for ACTON Marketing as a contract employee working closely with ACTON's creative team for the past seven years.
Articles by Steve Topper: