What does online shopping have to do with the promotion of your financial institution’s banking products and services?
With all the talk — and barrage of emails — promoting Cyber Monday retail sales, I made a connection with one of the elements online shopping has with banking. Or rather, a marketing technique financial marketers should copy.
Whether you buy an item online or simply research the product before driving to the local store, what does your research include, and in fact, what most likely has a heavy influence on your decision to buy or pass on the product?
What marketing format lets you reach prospects with an obvious message that can easily make an impression, allows you to connect with your best prospects, and gains the prospects’ attention in their own homes?
The answer is obvious because it’s in this post’s headline. The postcard.
Financial services marketers aren’t concerned over the advertising hoopla that goes into Black Friday promotions. After all, you can’t put your banking products on sale. But there are marketing ideas you can take away from some promotions you see.
Here’s an example of a company that, like banks and credit unions, doesn’t have much chance of seeing big crowds Friday. So instead, it’s running a promotion to boost its regular business.
A current campaign by a well-known hotel chain is an example of how businesses, including financial institutions, can reach out to consumers in a variety of ways and get consumers involved in the campaign.
Everyone around my office is scrambling to “use or lose” vacation time before year-end. You probably see the same around your office. It’s a national epidemic.
If you’re a marketing professional, your business is communications. So it’s no surprise the best beginning for a successful marketing campaign is through communications.
Certainly, you need to discuss your project with your peers. Hold quick meetings with everyone involved so you all understand what’s expected of each individual.
Most important of all, you need to talk with the creative team members who will prepare your marketing campaign.
I’ve worked on thousands of projects for financial institutions so I can say, in my experience, if there is a project delay it often falls under the Number One Cause. If you can eliminate or reduce this one factor, you could have your project ready sooner — sometimes weeks sooner.
This factor affects all types of advertising — direct mail, print ads, collateral materials, web pages. Once I tell you what it is, you’ll likely think, “Yeah, I knew that.”
Paid advertising isn’t the only way to promote your bank or credit union. If you’re not incorporating the Five Ws into your marketing tool kit, you’re missing some great opportunities.
Next to finding the correct classroom, the first thing a journalism student discovers are the Five Ws (along with One H). The categories represented by those letters are what you should follow to create your community promotions.
Some marketers and executives get excited about using themes for promotional campaigns. Here’s some advice if you find yourself with that type of project.
There are a few important ideas to keep in mind if you’re planning to use a theme.
- Make it appropriate for your product
- A theme shouldn’t negatively affect your financial institution
- Don’t overdo the theme
- If you choose to use one, stick with only one
Bullet points in your marketing copy can be an advantage. At other times, you should avoid using them. How can you tell the difference? These examples might help you.
It may seem simplistic, but let’s define a bullet point. It’s a dot icon followed by very brief descriptive copy, like this…
- No minimum balance
- No monthly service charge
During a creative call with a young credit union marketer, she forcefully said, “We want to sign up young members. We don’t want any old people to join.”
She didn’t realize the entire project team on our end was years older than her. Might have been awkward if we’d mentioned it.
I read a new report that studied the consumer age group most likely to buy a new car today. That young credit union marketer would be disappointed if she read it. Once again, Generation Y loses out to the Boomer Generation.
A few posts ago, I gave an example of how financial marketers adapted to the all-new banking conditions caused by World War II. Today, I’ll give you a current-day example of adapting to change.
This example isn’t from banking, but it shows the ingenuity of a company that created a simple marketing idea that appeals to today’s lifestyles. This example could activate a brainstorming session — maybe an entirely new approach to marketing — in your own bank or credit union.
The recorded book I’m listening to bothers me the same way as many financial institutions’ marketing promotions I see.
During my drive to and from the office, I sometimes play recorded books in the car. The latest is by an author who wrote a couple of other books I enjoyed.
But not this one. I’m bored with the story. Then I realized why. After over six hours of listening, I couldn’t pick out the main character. Who was the story’s protagonist?
Wonder which financial institutions use the most direct marketing? Wonder which marketing medium gets the best results?
The answers are found within a larger article by Target Marketing magazine based on the resources of the Who’s Mailing What collection of current mail samples, as well as statistics compiled by the Direct Marketing Association.
First, let’s look at Target Marketing’s list of Top 10 Financial Institutions that are using direct mail marketing. You probably won’t be surprised by the list. Read more…
This event marketing example isn’t likely one you want to suggest during your next invitation to the boardroom, but it’s the kind of tactic that can start your own creative ideas flowing.
Event marketing is an effective way to introduce prospective customers to your financial institution. A typical event is a branch grand opening, but, obviously, they don’t come along very often. In past posts, I’ve encouraged financial marketers to create their own events.
My last post covered Deadly Mistakes 21 through 12 from the list of 21 Deadly Mistakes advertisers commit. Today, let’s finish the list.
The list originally appeared in the December 13, 1986 issue of The National Underwriter, an insurance industry publication. Compiled by Andrew Byrne, I rediscovered a photocopy of the article in an old Idea File of mine.
Let’s quickly pick up where we left off. Again, I’ll give you the Deadly Mistake from Byrne’s list, then add a few of my comments to explain how it applies to financial services marketing.
Two days ago, I gave you the number one mistake from this list of 21 Deadly Mistakes advertisers make. Today, let’s look at numbers 21 through 12.
I pulled the photocopy of this magazine article from one of my oldest Idea File folders. It was originally published in The National Underwriter, an insurance industry magazine, in its December 12, 1986 issue. Andrew Byrne, an advertising consultant to insurance companies, was its author.
Each of Byrne’s 21 Deadly Mistakes of advertising included a paragraph or two of explanation. I’ll substitute my own comments so they apply to financial institutions.
Searching through old files is like cleaning out a storage closet you haven’t explored in years. You never know what’s hiding there. I found a list called “The 21 Deadly Mistakes of an Advertiser Cited” in one of my oldest reference files.
The list was published in The National Underwriter close to three decades ago, but much of the advice is as current as headlines in today’s newspaper.
Someone showed me a bank’s loan promotion letter and my first reaction was to score it based on good direct marketing techniques.
When I was a kid, I met a professional hockey player from Canada. Growing up in Quebec, he spoke French. He learned English as an adult, so when he read an English language newspaper he’d translate the words into French in his mind.
Now I can relate, but I do it in reverse. Often when I see advertising, I translate it into good and bad marketing points, my new language, almost before I see the message.
Today is the Labor Day Holiday, so you’re likely reading this post another day. But the holiday theme gives me a chance to point out some important lessons you should remember when planning and managing your marketing projects.
Wednesday afternoon, a few days before today’s holiday, a client contacted one of our account managers to see how her financial institution’s new acquisition project was coming along.
If asked to describe “teaser copy,” you might answer, “The headline on the front of the envelope and on the outside of a self-mailer.” You’d be right, of course, but here’s an example of a specialized type of teaser.
First, let’s review the “teaser.” It’s a headline or other copy intended to get the reader further involved in the promotion. To look inside the envelope or self-mailer, or to read the email.