What can credit union and bank marketers learn from a toy company? How to turn an unexpected event into a marketing advantage.
A few weeks ago, a Mitt Romney senior campaign aide made a comment that was picked up by the national media. Eric Fehrnstrom said, “Well, I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign. Everything changes. It’s almost like an Etch A Sketch. You kind of shake it up and restart it all over again.”
Opponents and political wits jumped on the statement and it made news across the country.
Recently, I read a blog post written by a social media promoter where he bashed direct mail marketing and the USPS. The backlash to his post was impressive. Many, many comments from marketers and business owners alike criticized the writer. They said they know direct mail marketing works and they gave reasons why.
One business owner raised the 40-40-20 Rule as evidence of the importance of list work to counter the blogger’s contention that mail doesn’t produce results.
Hey, let’s drag out a hackneyed cliche and call it news. No, that’s not what I intend to do with this post. I’m reacting to an article you may have read in USA Today.
The article alternates between waxing nostalgic about personal letters, postcards and greeting cards, and falling back on the cliche that all advertising mail is “junk.”
When I joined ACTON Marketing many years ago, I was told junk mail is direct mail sent to the wrong person.
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.
People need motivation to do most anything. When it comes to marketing, your promotions must motivate people to act. Not only must you nudge them into action, you also need to motivate them specifically to come to your financial institution.
Many marketers I talk with, and many executives, don’t understand the value of incenting a prospect or customer. They’re so proud of their products that they believe it’s all they need to entice people through their doors. (Or, some don’t want to spend money on an incentive offer.)
You know how great it smells when you walk into a home where there’s a meal in the oven or the smell of freshly baked cookies. Then there are the pleasant aromas of newly cut lawns, the freshness after a spring rain, a rose.
Have you ever thought you could use scents to market your products and services?
How powerful and effective is direct mail marketing? Consider that the leading name in social media uses direct mail to promote itself.
This miniature postcard, 4.25 x 6 inches, arrived in the ACTON Marketing office on November 30.
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.
Disruptor marketing is used effectively by companies outside of banking and I have an example that shows the strategy can be so effective that the targeted company will backtrack on the decisions that generated customer anger and the competitors’ disruptor campaigns.
One of the hottest topics in the financial services industry, a topic that’s reached mainstream awareness, is the market disruptions caused by big banks’ addition of debit card fees.
I bet a lot of financial services marketers are sitting on their hands and missing an amazing opportunity to open more accounts and increase their customer/member bases.
Are you one of them?
I heard news of a 21-branch credit union in Arizona that reported a 20% increase in account openings after news came out that Bank of America is initiating a $5 monthly debit card fee. A credit union official said one branch saw a 50% spike.
Last week, I wrote about two groups that pay attention to the good deeds (corporate halo) businesses do and how these deeds help influence where consumers take their business.
We encourage our clients to include a corporate halo story, especially on their prospecting mail pieces. You can also use posters, print ads, and other media.
Last Thursday’s blog was about choice – how the growing number of marketing channels invokes the paradox of choice.
While sensing it intuitively for a number of years – especially when shopping for toothpaste – my first intellectual encounter with the paradox of choice occurred while reading Malcolm Gladwell’s 2005 book blink. In it he tells the exciting story about a shopping experiment conducted by Columbia University psychologist Sheena Iyengar.
While a graduate student in social psychology at California’s Stanford University in the mid-1990s, Sheena Iyengar loved shopping at Draeger’s Market, her favorite grocery store in nearby Menlo Park.
An AdWeek article says ING Direct, the online bank, has a promotion that tempts teenagers with cash, MacBooks and iPods.
These items are called offers.
I don’t mean to sound like I’m talking down to you. Many readers understand the value and importance of an offer when they prepare a promotion. I’ve met other financial services marketers who either don’t understand or don’t care.
If you don’t understand, don’t worry. I’ll explain it. If you don’t care, you’re making a big mistake.
When more than one group of marketers or departments are involved in a promotion, there can be a joust over how the promotional space of a mail piece or print ad is used.
One ACTON Marketing client is running a promotion to get more Facebook followers. A contingent in the company wanted to replace the corporate halo story in the mail promotion with an ad for the institution’s Facebook page.
I thought the answer I wrote as an email response might help you if you have a similar situation with two sides tugging on you for limited ad space. It can apply to all sorts of product promotions, not just the Facebook issue mentioned here.
Do you use QR Codes on your mail promotions? If so, you have until the end of the month to get a 3% rate discount from the U.S. Postal Service.
(Don’t know what a QR Code is? Read this.)
The Postal Service wants marketers to see the value of using QR Codes for their campaigns, which is the reason for the discount. The discount began in July and runs through August 31, 2011.
A blog reader asked some interesting questions about one of my past posts. I feel the answers deserve a post of their own.
My original post said free checking was introduced to the public through community banks and credit unions in the 1980s. Eventually, free checking spread everywhere. I suggested, now that the larger banks are dropping free checking and it’s once again becoming the domain of community institutions, that we might be repeating the cycle.
Susan, our reader, commented, “This is definitely interesting. But to what extent are non-free checking banks losing customers? With banks offering qualifying activities to continue to receive free checking, aren’t they simply losing the customers that don’t qualify and are therefore unprofitable?”
A few days ago, I wrote about advertising that appeals to all age groups, including those ages 50 and up. Today, I’ll show you some insightful comments and practical ideas how your advertising can reach that important goal.
In 2005, I wrote a white paper, Marketing to Age 50-Plus Consumers, to explain how important it is for financial institutions to reach out to this segment of the population and how to do it correctly. The entire paper is too long for this blog post, so I’ll give a few highlights — some of which are tips for advertising best practices.
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.
“Thank You for Suing Us,” blares the headline on full-page national newspaper ads. It’s a counter response from a national chain that attempts to turn the proverbial lemons into lemonade. Or maybe that should be lemons into tacos.
Earlier this year, a lawsuit filed by an Alabama law firm accused Taco Bell of using something less than beef filling in its recipes.
Isn’t social media for businesses fun? Just ask Chrysler executives and the execs at New Media Strategies, Chrysler’s former social media agency. If you haven’t already heard, an agency staffer posted an embarrassing entry on the Chrysler Twitter site.
Here’s a summary of the faux pas. The agency employee thought he was signed on to his own Twitter account when he was actually using @ChryslerAutos. He made a disparaging comment about Detroit and used a key phrase from the automaker’s new promotions that spotlight the Motor City. That would have been bad enough, but his tweet also included the f-word. (Not “fired,” but that was the result.)