Unhappy about the overwhelming success of PayPal and prepaid debit cards, three of the four too-big-to-fail mega-banks recently announced a joint venture. It’s a new payment service called clearXchange.
Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and JPMorgan Chase will own and run the exchange from its new headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina – home to Bank of America by the way.
ACTON Marketing, like financial institutions, is closed for the Memorial Day holiday.
The celebrations and activities of our holidays sometime overshadow the reasons for the holidays. Here’s an official Web page that tells you a little about what was once called Decoration Day and why we should celebrate.
Have a safe and memorable day.
Happy birthday to us! Today is the second anniversary of the beginning of this ACTON Marketing financial services marketing blog.
If you’ve been a reader since the middle of 2009, thank you for sticking with us. If you’ve become a reader recently, thanks, and stay around. You’ll find more industry news, marketing tips, ideas, and information to help you with your job and to improve your bank’s or credit union’s marketing successes.
On Friday, May 6, an oversized window envelope package promoting a 2-Year CD arrived in my mailbox. The familiar design on the double-window outer envelope immediately told me it was from Ally Bank.
Now, if there’s one offer that lends itself to a less costly oversized postcard it’s a simple CD rate offer.
Recently, some major ad agencies began recommending their clients try to appeal to the age 55 and up consumers. This is supposed to be a huge strategic eye-opener, but it seems more like those agencies are finally facing reality.
The article in The New York Times includes statistics that most advertisers should have intuitively known. Bureau of Labor Statistics data quoted in the article show the average weekly earnings for age groups… Read more…
What’s the most effective marketing approach?
Focus on a single product or multiple products? Focus on a single message or multiple messages?
After viewing the billboards, not one message stuck with me. I see this as a major problem for the credit union.
Last Friday morning I was driving across town in my truck loaded with assorted junk to be dropped off at our city recycling center. Along the way I encountered several billboards promoting a local credit union – not the one where I bank.
Take a marketing element that financial institutions have used for decades and combine it with current technology trends and you get exactly what the title of this post says.
I read in a news report that PepsiCo introduced what it calls a “social vending machine” that lets you buy a soft drink for a friend. Use the machine’s touchscreen to enter your friend’s name, mobile phone number, and a personal message or video. Your friend gets the message with a code and instructions that explain how to redeem the code at any similar Pepsi machine.
A magazine article carried an interview with a business owner who uses direct mail marketing to promote his company’s services. One point he made about his envelope package is worth repeating.
He said he uses a colored closed-face outer envelope. He believes the envelope is responsible for an extremely high open rate.
I’ve come to the conclusion that almost every reporter in America has become an instant expert on the future of free checking. What most of them have in common is selecting a wildly speculative headline to get people to read their articles and the use of a handful of other questionable “experts” to provide consistent predictions about the pending demise of free checking.
Collectively, they all believe that the four mega-banks somehow ultimately determine the product and pricing decisions that will be made by senior management of the other 17,240+ banks and credit unions in the country. A tad of common sense would tell you this isn’t going to happen.
Last week there was an excellent article published on www.banktech.com called “Banks Mining Social Networks with Analytics Tools.” In addition to many thought-provoking insights, the article contained this quote:
“Dan Marks, chief marketing officer at First Tennessee in Memphis, views social media as a big cocktail party. You want to go and listen, find out what people are saying, maybe jump in with a comment or a witty quip once in a while — but you don’t get to control the conversation or pitch products, he says.”
The numbers are eye-opening:
- The median number of pages in a checking account disclosure is 111.
- Checking account disclosures are generally twice as long as a copy of Romeo and Juliet.
- Big banks use 7 different names for the overdraft penalty fee.
- The median number of fees a checking customer could be charged for using her checking account is 49.
- If an overdraft was treated like a short-term loan with a repayment period of 7 days, the APR for a typical overdraft would exceed 5,000%.
By now you’ve surely encountered one or more of these numbers in articles appearing online or in your local newspaper.
It’s very likely you weren’t working in the financial industry in the early 1980s when free checking accounts started popping up at community financial institutions around the country.
At the time, mostly community banks and a few credit unions offered free checking. I can imagine the Wall Street bankers laughing about free checking back then.
Fans. It’s a problem all marketers would like to have. Consumers who are avid about the product. These fans not only buy the merchandise, they advocate for it. They wear logo apparel and buy logo collectibles and doodads. They follow companies and brands on sites like Facebook and Twitter.
A recent survey shows luxury brands reward this fan loyalty by ignoring their followers. Yet an Adweek article based on the report says the top 100 luxury brands still have an average of 1.5 million online fans compared to popular brand companies that average 365,000.
Joe’s excellent blog yesterday about the client debate over the cost of a postcard versus that of a self-mailer brought to mind the old British saying about being “penny-wise and pound-foolish.”
Years ago I lost track of the number of marketing meetings where the discussion focused on the upfront cost of one particular mail format over another while the cost that really matters was totally ignored.
During a meeting with a client group, they debated among themselves the value of using a postcard or a self-mailer. Most of the discussion centered on the cost of the two formats.
There’s a misconception that a postcard format saves a huge amount of money because it’s smaller. There’s usually little or no difference in postage and pricing because a large postcard needs heavier paper stock (cardstock) to conform to the postal requirements.
But that’s entirely the wrong argument anyway.
What are your plans to replace the handful of checking accounts that were closed last week at each of your branches?
If you work at a typical bank or credit union, every year you struggle in your ongoing efforts to replace the approximately 20% of checking customers who close their accounts. If your goal is to grow your checking base, the struggle is even more difficult.
The new Hertz campaign idea might not work for your financial institution, but here’s something you can learn from it.
The Hertz rental car company introduced a new animated mascot ad campaign to tell people it’s cool to rent a vehicle from Hertz.
Last month the new J.D. Power and Associates Report (Full report here: http://prn.to/dZQ08U) came out and reported that customer satisfaction at retail banks is up from 2010. This was despite a decline in satisfaction with fees…and a small note about banks unresponsiveness to complaints that were delivered via social media. You might have missed it so here it is again:
“One in eight customers who indicate they use social media say that they have used it to contact their bank for service-related issues. However, only 20 percent of these customers report receiving a response from their bank.”
One of the fastest ways to waste marketing dollars is to send direct mail to customers who already have what you are selling.
I’m not sure what’s going on with my local credit union. But there are at least four possibilities:
1. They are failing to purge their mailing list before sending me the offer.
Monday, I wrote about a purchase anniversary email sent by a car dealership. I recommended financial organizations consider using a similar retention email or mail program.
Now I have an example of just such a program.