Name one general topic that’s most often in the news. After government ineptness, that topic is disasters. Yes, I realize both those topics are the same, but “disasters” includes a wider definition outside of politics.
Thanks to the Corps of Engineers (government ineptness), the states along the Missouri River are seeing the highest flood crests since the early 1950s, and maybe ever.
Sometimes people say things that initially shock you. Then, after thinking about it for a while, you begin to wonder what motivated them to make the statement. Was there some ulterior motive? Or was it simply something said “off the cuff” that he or she later regretted making? Or, God forbid, did he or she actually mean it?
Such is the case with the comment made on Thursday, July 21, by the CEO of BB&T Corp during a second-quarter earnings call. Speaking about debit cards, the CEO commented, “U.S. banks should begin imposing annual fees for customers who use their debit cards. If a customer wants to use their debit cards to make a purchase, there should be an annual fee – found with many credit cards – of roughly $25.”
You advertise to convince customers to come to your bank or credit union instead of going to your competitors. So it’s not “unfair” when you take advantage of a situation that causes a competitor to lose customers.
A disruption of everyday banking in the local marketplace can be caused by factors you’re familiar with…an out-of-town bank buys up one of your competitors, a competitor alienates customers by dropping free checking or adding unpopular restrictions, and so on.
Friday, May 15, 2009, may one day be known in bank marketing circles as the day rebranding history was made. This was the day troubled GMAC Bank became officially known as Ally Bank. What wasn’t obvious on this fateful day is the ultimate success of the rebranding effort.
Fortunately for everyone involved, this rebranding effort went way beyond a simple name change. Basically, the senior executives in charge – particularly the bank’s CMO, Sanjay Gupta – decided to start over with Ally Bank.
There’s a new marketing technology you should be aware of so you can decide if it offers you another marketing tool.
You’ve seen QR Codes, or Quick Response Codes, popping up everywhere. Have you tried to use them yet? They’re those square patterns made up of black modules on a white background. You scan or photograph them with a camera phone or smart phone.
I’ve heard the excuses before: I don’t have time to sell, I don’t know what to sell, or I don’t want to sell. Those may be the excuses that are said, but what I hear is: I don’t know how to sell. Selling can be challenging, especially if you don’t have proper training.
Dennis Flack, ACTON Marketing’s training director, and I love a good challenge. Maybe it’s because we’ve coached athletes and have turned the underdogs into the champions, or maybe it’s because we’re lefties, trying to make it through a right-handed world. Or maybe, it’s because we’ve see what a good sales program can do. Tellers CAN sell once they understand the benefits: it’s easy, fun and rewarding. It’s simply a matter of recognizing needs, making recommendations and having a good coach.
Consumers threaten to return to writing checks.
Frequently in life, upon making a decision, we don’t get what we want. We get something else – usually something undesirable. Some say we get what we deserve. It’s the result of failing to consider the law of unintended consequences.
For example, in late June, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a bill forcing Amazon to start collecting sales tax on all sales made to California residents. The goal was to raise approximately $317 million a year in new sales taxes to help the struggling state.
Of our five senses, sight may be the one we rely on most. It’s certainly true for advertising.
That’s why it bothers me when someone makes a copy change that obviously lessens the visual impact of the ad copy.
As today’s example, I’ll explain how the em dash affects the way we read the words, how we see the text, and how those aspects change the way we comprehend the message.
While appearing down for the count these past few years, old-fashioned snail mail is back on its feet and throwing a few well-placed punches.
Busy bobbing and weaving, the much-younger fighter that goes by the name of email is discovering the tenacity of his much older opponent.
Having abandoned its aged fighter when the recession hit in 2007, many of its ardent supporters are back ringside providing badly needed financial support in the form of mass mailings.
If you’d like to improve the response rates you get from customer mail requests and promotions, try this idea.
In some of my recent posts I’ve written about interactive devices and briefly mentioned surveys. Retailers often ask for customer opinions through surveys so they can improve service and sales.
But you can use a survey for another purpose.
My headline turns out to be a rhetorical question because from what I see, there’s no doubt financial institutions are vigorously pursuing auto loan customers.
In one day, I saw two credit union newsletters. One had an auto loan promotion as it’s front-page article. The second devoted nearly all of page two to car buying and a loan offer. The same day, the daily newspaper ran a half-page ad for auto loans from another credit union (repeated as a smaller ad days later). Regularly, a fourth credit union and a large bank run newsprint ads for auto loans.
Front page of newsletter with auto loan offer.
Here’s a very important question that needs more objective pondering: Will brick and mortar branches play a role in the future of consumer banking?
Right now it seems people are dug in on two opposing fronts. One group believes branches are slowly becoming obsolete and should be downsized and the number reduced during this transition.
The other group firmly believes the future of consumer banking still depends on the branch and that branches must simply be reinvented.
Give people something to do, to engage their attention, and they’ll spend more time looking at and considering your product and offer.
I’ve written about involvement devices before. Now, let’s examine one found in the Archaeology Magazine subscription envelope package I’ve discussed in recent posts.
Over the past four years a growing number of consumers have lost confidence in banks in general, and their bank in particular. This does not bode well for the future of consumer banking.
The extent of the problem can be found in Better Business Bureau statistics and customer service surveys from MSN Money dating back to 2007 when the financial crisis and resulting economic downturn began.
Let’s examine a marketing package component, the lift letter, and see how you can prepare one for your own marketing promotions.
A few days ago, I wrote about the two distinct versions of a subscription solicitation envelope package mailed by Archaeology Magazine. The overall design and copy are much different and both packages use different components. The original envelope package is the one with a lift letter.
Testing is an important aspect of marketing. You want to be certain you’re using the most influential message to attract prospects.
Over the years, I’ve seen a creative envelope package used to solicit subscriptions for Archaeology Magazine. The packages had eye-appeal and used storytelling to excite the prospect.
Apparently, that interesting package has been replaced by a drab envelope package like those typically used for magazine solicitations.
Is it a waste of marketing dollars or a savvy marketing move?
I’m not sure what to say about a bank that spends money on only one newspaper ad during the year in the local Sacramento newspaper. And it’s not even a full-page ad.
In previous years, the single ad would arrive near the end of July bearing a headline about the bank’s annual “summer swarm” taking place during the hot month of August. Present was the familiar buzzing bee image along with copy about some special promotion taking place.
I don’t envy copywriters who seem to have a tough job promoting something new or improved that really isn’t new or improved.
Here’s today’s example. A financial institution installed an updated version of its online banking and bill pay system. Performing due diligence, they announced the change early and often. One communication tried to point out the great new benefits of the switch…but probably didn’t impress those consumers who are familiar with the online system.
One way “to enhance your BillPay experience,” the communication said, is to pay bills without being charged monthly fees. Well, I’ve been doing that since I enrolled. The free benefit is welcome, but doesn’t change or improve my experience.
I can’t be sure but it’s possible that Ally Bank’s new ad agency has either introduced a new magazine ad format or is simply running a new format up the flag pole to get consumer reaction.
Either way, I’m down with the new ad format I discovered the other day on page 43 in my July 4, 2011 issue of Fortune.
Enjoy the holiday and your time away from the office.
It was actually July 2, 1776, when the Continental Congress voted for independence of the colonies. The members adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 4.
The 1,337 words of the Declaration were transcribed onto a parchment to be signed by the Congress. It’s likely only Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin signed the Declaration on the Fourth. The signing wasn’t complete until August. Then in November, Matthew Thornton, who was recently appointed to the Continental Congress, was allowed to add his penmanship. See the signatures here.