It’s ironic. A bank releases a video promo about a bomb plot and the campaign blows up in the marketer’s face.
You may already have heard or read about Commonwealth Bank’s YouTube video where one of its marketing campaign mascots in the story tries to smuggle a bomb into an Olympic venue.
Let’s all say it. “What were they thinking?”
More and more I see financial marketing professionals omit a premium offer from their promotions. I think it happens for a few common reasons.
- They think they’re saving money
- They don’t understand the positive reaction a premium generates
- They don’t know how a premium offer works
While saving money is at the top of the list, by addressing the second point I think I can show the fallacy of the first.
At the end of his post yesterday, Steve Topper asked, “Do you agree?” He was talking about the much stronger headline on a credit union newspaper ad compared to the same FI’s ad that ran earlier.
Yes, I agreed. Then a thought flashed through my mind.
When something works, it might change its appearance to keep up with the times, but the idea will continue to be used. That’s true of an old standby, the advertising envelope.
If you’re a philatelist, you call them advertising covers or illustrated covers.
How much does it cost your financial institution to open one new account?
Last week, I wrote about the Tell A Friend program. It wasn’t my first post on the topic. It seems a TAF program is an inexpensive way to open accounts and get new customers/members. But I’ve heard banking executives, even some marketers, disagree.
The big mental block they all seem to have is the premium. Yes, you give TWO gifts for one account opening. Somehow, these program opponents equate that idea with flushing away money.
Experimenting and testing your advertising is laudable and practical, but whatever you try you’ll find the best success if you focus on your product and offer. Here’s an example where a change in focus hasn’t connected with consumers.
When new CEO Ron Johnson came to JCPenny, he changed the way the retailer priced its merchandise and the ways it promoted that merchandise. The changes haven’t helped. JCPenny lost $163 million the first quarter of 2012.
You probably try to cross-sell your financial products and services to your customers or members. (If not, why not?) Simply making them aware of what you offer can significantly boost your business.
Typically, a cross-sell message arrives in a #10 envelope. Not unusual. I’ve written plenty myself for ACTON Marketing clients. But after you’ve used the same format for a while, you might want to introduce something new to generate more attention. Today, I’ll give you some ideas and show you an example.
A teaser or teaser copy is typically the headline you see on direct mail envelopes, postcard fronts, or self-mailer outer panels. The teaser has a vitally important role. It convinces the prospect to read the information in the mail package.
A few of my colleagues had a conversation with some marketers who wanted to eliminate the teaser on an envelope package project. So today, I’ll give you the rationale those people believe and then tell you why you should run in the opposite direction.
Marketers are sometimes too impatient. I don’t mean they’re impatient to make a sale. That’s the reason for the job — selling. Or in the case of financial services marketers, it’s about opening accounts.
I mean they’re impatient with their advertising. Too quick to toss aside good advertising without a good reason.
Among the many things I find aggravating about bank and credit union advertising is inconsistency in the marketing message.
In the case of FREE Checking it’s either FREE or it’s not FREE and this message should be consistent across all marketing channels.
A classic example begins with the newspaper ad below. Read more…
Mission statements are the opposite of good advertising. I see them when I explore financial institution websites and wonder what purpose they serve. You might wonder what this has to do with marketing.
Businesses in all industries use mission statements. The insurance industry, where I worked for years, is much like the banking industry in many ways. Insurance companies like mission statements, too.
Chipotle, a Mexican style restaurant chain, is using obsolete marketing materials for a positive promotion tied to Earth Day. Your bank or credit union can generate marketing ideas along this same line.
Using a firm that recycles old billboards into consumer products, Chipotle is selling reusable lunch bags that incorporate pieces of the restaurant’s billboard advertising into the bags’ side panels.
Over the years, I’ve written for just about every major type of advertising format. Can’t think of any I’ve missed. That includes electronic media promotions like email blasts, promotional landing pages, and Web ads. Once, I wrote a series of scripts for animated ads that ran on arena scoreboards.
So, I have nothing against the new media, but if you read this blog you know direct mail marketing is my favorite advertising medium.
Remember the early video game, Pac Man? The round yellow video creature traveled through the mazes and chomped up everything in its path.
Disclaimer copy is like that, except not as cute and it certainly eats more of your precious ad space. Here’s a prime example in a recent newspaper ad. (Click on the image for a larger view.)
If you regularly read this blog, you might have seen references to an idea file in some of my posts. I usually include a link to the original idea file post I wrote in July 2009. The post is old enough that if it were a cell phone it would qualify as an antique.
My original post was short and the idea of an idea file is important, so I decided to write a new, more practical post on this topic.
Windshield wipers are good for more than creating a clear view of the roadway. A restaurant in Colorado found a way to use wipers for its advertising and for public service.
Hapa Sushi restaurant chain used cardstock covers that slipped over a windshield wiper blade. The cover was in the shape of a hand with instructions for the driver printed on the palm. A driver who sat behind the wheel after drinking at a bar or restaurant was instructed by the “hand” to turn the wipers on slow speed. If the driver could no longer read the copy on the moving hand, he or she was expected to call a cab. (Assuming the driver wasn’t too bleary-eyed to read the instructions to begin.)
Hapa Sushi's windshield wiper slip-on.
Recently, I wrote a series of product promotion posts for the ACTON Marketing Twitter site. These will be posted over a period of time and interspersed with information other members of our staff gather, write and post.
A few days earlier, I talked with clients who are updating their company’s website. The company has Facebook and Twitter accounts, but those fell into disuse. After changes in the staff, the responsibility for updating the social media sites hadn’t been reassigned to anyone.
What could a brewery and a bank or credit union advertising campaign have in common? Certainly not their products. But here’s an idea I’ll pass along. It came about after I read a description of the marketing theme a craft brewery in Colorado uses to compete against big brewers.
Sound familiar? A community institution versus mega companies.
Last week, I wrote about the car dealership that claimed it had leftover advertising money so it was giving away the cash to get rid of it.
Now, there’s a news story about a company whose advertising is too successful, so it killed off its popular spokesman.
Don’t you wish you had problems like these?
How important is language to your marketing promotions? I think you agree your promotions need language, written or recorded, to make the point, to attract the prospect, to highlight your offer.
That’s all true, but most marketers use language to put the focus in the wrong place.