If you watch NBC’s “The Office,” you know it’s set in the fictional Dunder Mifflin Paper Company. One real retailer mentioned on the show has generated a marketing idea using the fictional brand. It’s an example of the kind of creative thinking that can help you differentiate your financial institution.
Staples, the office supply company, is the major competitor of Dunder Mifflin on the TV series. The Staples marketing team has licensed the Dunder Mifflin brand from NBC to sell an attention-getting Dunder Mifflin brand of paper with the brand’s slogans on the packaging. The paper is available from Staples online store, Quill.com.
The death of direct mail has been greatly exaggerated!
Every day when the mail arrives, I anxiously sort through the pile hoping to see a mailer from one of the local community banks or credit unions. Day after day the result is the same – NOTHING!
Oh, wait a minute…I forgot about an occasional co-branded package where my local credit union is attempting to sell me life insurance, dental insurance, or some other product that loosely falls into the financial services bucket. These mailers don’t count. I see them as a nuisance – and bad for brand building.
It shouldn’t happen, but I bet there are financial services marketers who never check the results of their marketing campaigns. They don’t compare one campaign to another to see what worked and what could be improved. They don’t test.
They also don’t hold branch managers accountable for the successes of the marketing campaigns.
Thank you for logging on to our blog today. ACTON Marketing is closed for a four-day Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
As your reward for stopping by, here’s an image of a vintage Thanksgiving-themed magazine ad from 1969 for Early California Olives. You were wondering how to use some of your leftovers from yesterday’s meal and now you have a creative idea.
Happy Thanksgiving and safe travels from all of us at ACTON Marketing.
On my drive to work, I saw a hand-lettered sign in the distance and the words “FREE Turkey” stood out. As I got closer, I read the whole sign, which said, “Come to our service and get a FREE Turkey,” and included the name of a local church.
It’s the first time I’ve seen a premium used to promote church attendance, but somebody in the congregation understands the value of a good offer to attract attention and clinch the “sale.”
I often wonder how many of the nation’s community banks and credit unions have forgotten the sage advice that “you must spend money to make money.”
It seems a vast majority of them are hoarding scarce marketing dollars when they should be spending them on some aggressive marketing messages.
After all, because of their callous approach to treating customers, the nation’s largest banks have handed credit unions and community banks a once-in-a-lifetime marketing opportunity.
A few years ago, if I opened my mailbox and found it empty, I seriously wondered if the mail carrier didn’t make deliveries that day. No more than two or three times a year I’d find nothing after the daily delivery.
Now, my mailbox is empty two, three, or more times a month.
During the day-to-day activities, as it’s been for ages, some bank customers and credit union members will close accounts. Reasons vary. Some people move or change jobs, so your financial institution is no longer convenient. There’s nothing you can do when that happens.
But you want to prevent account closings that occur because of problems caused by your system, services, or products. To do that, your financial institution needs to collect data about account closings and look for patterns. But how do you get that information?
Imagine a direct mail program where your ROI is in the 429% to 2,143% range.
Imagine adding a bunch of new, creditworthy customers quickly.
Imagine the thrill of sharing these results with your manager and the CEO.
Imagine getting more marketing dollars to continue mailing.
“I feel like if this could happen with Chase, then this could happen with another bank, too.”
That quote comes from an article in the November 2011 issue of the AARP Bulletin, a tabloid-size newspaper. It’s a summary of the feelings the family featured in the news story has after Chase “accidentally” froze all their bank accounts.
While Chase corrected what it called “confusing communications” and reimbursed the family for overdraft fees, those actions happened only after local media and federal regulators got involved. No formal apology came from the bank in the month after the incident, the time when the story was initially written.
It never ceases to amaze me that when something new and revolutionary comes along it takes the majority of folks a very long time before adopting it.
For some odd reason, the majority prefer to sit back – waiting to see if it actually delivers the results promised.
By the time it becomes overwhelmingly obvious that it does, in fact, work, the early adopters have already grabbed more than their normal share of business.
Do you know what the competitors in your market are offering? How many of them have new fees and restrictions that are driving away their customers? (Customers who could come to your branches.)
Here’s a more important question. How many of those financial institutions are within a mile of your branches’ territories? Two miles?
When you spend your marketing career in one industry, it has a good side and a negative side. Fortunately, you can improve on the good elements and take steps to correct the negative.
Here’s what I mean. Whether your focus is banking, insurance, the food industry, auto sales, or any other, you learn the ins and outs, the elements that count, so you can successfully promote your products and services. You become educated. That’s not only good, but necessary.
Surely the marketing department could have customized its marketing booth for this particular event.
There’s simply no excuse for dragging the same booth from event to event believing it to be appropriate each time.
What brought this up was a large photograph appearing in the Sunday edition of The Sacramento Bee.
Over the past weeks, many of our blog posts have encouraged financial services marketers to take advantage of the turmoil in your markets. It’s an opportune time to attract the larger-than-normal numbers of unsatisfied banking customers ready to move their accounts.
I’ve seen evidence financial institutions have rolled out campaigns, and still are doing so, from one end of the country to the other . But I’ve also seen an important element missing from many of these campaigns. An offer.
And they wonder why so many of us have a strong dislike and distrust of the mega-banks.
How would you feel if a large bank sent you an offer in the mail promising $200 if you opened a checking account and later invited you to its new branch opening promising $125 if you opened the same account?
Apparently somebody in Chase’s marketing department didn’t do his or her homework before approving the checking account offer appearing in this newspaper ad.
Last week, Bank of America became the last of the large banks to retreat from consumer opposition to new debit card fees. In all, five major financial institutions decided to drop the fees because of the adverse publicity and their customers’ negative responses.
The other banks, besides BofA, are Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, SunTrust, and Regions Financial.
The advertising copywriter’s words are always speaking for someone else, like the company that’s paying for the promotion. But recently, I found a promotional package in my mailbox where the copywriter had his own special message for me.
I mention this not only because it’s the first time I’ve seen anything like this message, but also as a chance to review a component of direct mail marketing that you might want to use in one of your promotional packages.
“Why didn’t we think about testing first?”
This must be the question on many peoples’ minds who work at Bank of America, SunTrust, and Regions Bank.
Undoubtedly, they are envious of their banking brethren at JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo who made the wise decision to field test a debit card fee before launching it in one fell swoop across the country.
From a very young age most of us learned to “look before you leap.”
Protecting your customers’ or members’ personal data is one of the most important aspects of your financial institution’s business. When you work with third-party businesses that handle your data (like a direct marketing company), you need assurance the procedures and protections they use for data are the most reliable.
One way you assessed the reliability of another firm’s security was to see if it was SAS 70 compliant.