Is it possible that in today’s economy, banks and credit unions are making a trade-off between branches and the rates of interest paid on deposit products?
It’s possible but not conclusive.
I do believe that one of the ways today’s financial institutions are supporting their expensive branches is by minimizing the amount of money paid savers at all levels from the basic regular savings account to the high-balance Certificates of Deposit.
Today’s blog topic is about direct mail – the tangible paper marketing messages that continue arriving in your home mail box six days a week.
In spite of the rapid growth of email marketing and problems with the U.S. Postal Service, direct mail remains an extremely attractive and productive consumer marketing channel.
According to the Direct Marketing Association’s 2012 Response Rate Report, 4.4% is the average direct mail response rate versus a 0.12% rate for email marketing.
Have you ever given serious consideration about the need for cross-selling?
What does it really accomplish…if anything?
I suspect most bank and credit union customer-contact employees engage in cross-selling only after being urged or forced to do so by their managers.
Most people dislike selling or cross-selling. They hate the ongoing rejection that comes with selling. It’s tough to do well.
Have you ever thought about the answer to this question: Is there a perfect time to spend marketing dollars to grow your checking account base?
Or conversely, is there a perfect time when you shouldn’t spend marketing dollars trying to get more new checking account customers?
Apparently, most bankers have decided that now is the perfect time to avoid checking account campaigns. I’ve come to this conclusion because it’s been quite some time since I’ve encountered any meaningful marketing efforts focusing on attracting new checking customers. No newspaper ads, no billboards, no direct mail, no radio spots, no TV spots…nothing!
I think we can all agree up front that today consumer banking finds itself in the midst of a rapidly changing banking environment. I believe it is safe to say we are in the midst of historic changes…changes that will ultimately alter the face of consumer banking.
In fact, the survival of many community banks and credit unions is at stake as the industry moves towards consolidation.
We’ve gone ranking and rating mad in this country.
On any given day you are likely to encounter some media story – most likely online – where companies have been rated and ranked by some criteria.
If you really want to be confused, spend some time doing online searches for the best banks, the best customer service, and the best places to work. Most likely you’ll come away with a mild headache while being uncertain as to which company is the best at what.
Being a long-time marketing person, I’m drawn to billboard messages as I drive around the city. Like most things, billboard improvements have occurred over the years – and not always for the better.
For example, I’m not a fan of the giant electronic billboards with their fancy graphics and rotating messages. Not only are they gaudy, they are a distraction to drivers. And I remain a skeptic when told that these boards can be “effectively” programmed to deliver targeted messages based on the radio stations being listened to by passing drivers. Even if this is possible, who cares? It doesn’t guarantee that the messages, themselves, are relevant.
How often have you heard the thought-provoking comment – all that glitters is not gold? It’s offered as a reminder – or warning – that things aren’t always what they appear to be.
Unfortunately, the competitive environment is rigged against community banks and credit unions. Forget about a level playing field – they are forced to compete on a very steep playing field. And I mean very, very steep.
The odds for long-term success grow smaller by the day.
Where’d they hide the new CO-OP network ATM?
I searched the entire store and couldn’t find it.
While consumer banking is largely boring, there is the occasional bit of good news that makes your day. To me, a welcome good news item is learning that I can now use my Golden1 ATM card at locations even closer to my house.
Such good news arrived last week via an email from Golden1. It was the October 2012 issue of the credit union’s newsletter. Quickly scanning it, one bold headline caught my eye, causing me to immediately read the copy. The headline reads: Visit Walgreens to Access Surcharge-Free ATMs.
Remember the good old days when banks and credit unions constantly reminded consumers about convenience – specifically the number of branches available to serve their banking needs?
In an effort to grow their branch network, a number of these banks and credit unions opted to open smaller branches in grocery stores and large discount stores across the nation.
Here’s a puzzle for you – why would Chase Bank offer a $200 cash bonus for opening a new savings account where you must deposit a minimum of $10,000 and not touch it for 90 days?
Our household received such an offer in the mail a few days ago. Here’s the outer envelope – notice the faux check creative approach through the window.
Reducing attrition, attracting new customers, while serving the underbanked are three hot topics in banking today.
All three of these goals share two words in common – FREE CHECKING.
Yes, FREE CHECKING.
Today’s young adults don’t realize that there was a time when going to the local bank branch was fun. It was an adventure – especially for kids.
In some respects, technology has changed consumer banking for the worst.
It’s now mostly a very impersonal activity experienced primarily online and via mobile phones.
I have a strong dislike for these ads. I find them duplicitous.
For the past several months one bank has been running expensive newspaper ads that, on the surface, seem focused on helping customers in need. Dominated by imagery, they convey the impression that the bank is very concerned about the welfare of a large number of its customers.
I view them much differently – I see them as pure image ads. Ads that are attempting to change the way consumers think about this bank.
One of the many things I enjoy about direct mail is the occasional surprise found in my mail box.
Two weeks ago we had the seven fruit trees in our side yard trimmed by a nationwide tree company with an office in Sacramento. My spouse had been hounding me about getting them trimmed for over 15 years. Yes, they were quite tall and bushy.
I finally gave in.
“Replace Fee Income with Free Checking. Really”
I had to read the above headline several times to ensure I wasn’t misreading it.
As a long-time advocate for free checking I was initially stunned by this headline. Even more shocking is that it appears atop a June 22 article on the American Banker website. It was written by John Rountree and Scott Kluge – principals at the Cambridge Group, a growth strategy consulting firm.
Just when I thought the much aligned free checking account was on the ropes, it finds its way back into the ring to go another round.
Finally, in Sunday’s newspaper I encountered a credit union ad where the headline offers not one, but two, major benefits.
For the past couple of years, my local credit union has been aggressively marketing its low rate auto loans via several marketing channels including newspaper ads and billboards.
Here’s a typical newspaper ad with a rate-only headline. Read more…
This could be a typical comment made during the weekly marketing meeting at your local community bank or credit union.
“Hey, we’ve tried everything to get more of our customers to use our online bill pay service. We’re currently at 37% penetration and would like to hit the 50% mark by the end of the year. Does anyone have any fresh ideas how we can accomplish this?”
It’s at a time like this when someone in the marketing department gets the courage to offer the ultimate solution – “Hey, let’s try a sweepstakes. Nothing else seems to work.”
Needless to say I was shocked to learn that America’s third-largest advertiser is dropping all of its paid advertising being done on Facebook.
First reported on Tuesday by the folks at The Wall Street Journal, we’re told that the company’s executives determined their paid ads had little impact on consumers’ purchases of the company’s products.