Marake Marketing, Inc.
contact us at:
Marake Marketing, Inc.In the NewsAbout UsContact Us

In the News

Create A Solid Marketing Program For Your Bank
Community Bank Supplement
Pittsburgh Business Times
April 16th, 1999

By Maria T Bernardo Brady

What is the exponential power of a solid marketing communications program? How do you know your marketing efforts are effective? How can a community bank compete against the "big buck" splash of larger financial institutions? Thought provoking questions with answers that could fill pages of this supplement. However, let's focus on some basic principles that will allow a community bank to initiate an effective marketing strategy.

Never underestimate the value good marketing can add to your bottom line. View marketing as an ongoing effort, not a reactive measure to raise deposits or loans.

Develop a plan. A fundamental approach, yet difficult to implement given the many hats worn by community bank personnel. However, be disciplined and establish a framework for bank profitability - how you expect to achieve your goals and how marketing will contribute to increased market share.

Marketing is a combination of message delivery vehicles - external print and broadcast advertising, in-branch signage, direct mail, statement stuffers, ad specialties, employee incentives and other creative mediums. Advertising is only one component of marketing. Sporadically placing ads in the newspaper does not provide enough frequency for customer/prospect recognition or top of the mind awareness. A well-planned media-buying schedule can save you money and result in better public awareness of your Bank.

Marketing vehicles should communicate a consistent message. Continuity is key in selling your product or service. Select one theme, one image and consistently use them in your ads, flyers, signs and statement stuffers promoting that specific product or service. Mixing messages con fuses your customer and leaves them wandering 'Who are you?" and 'Just what are you trying to sell me?"

Professionally-designed materials can be affordable and tailored to your bank's philosophies. Purchasing materials from stock catalogs can be useful in certain situations. However, name personalization and creating a marketing "personality" for your bank will help establish a positive, progressive image.

Educate your front line staff on the bank's corporate goals and marketing objectives. Quick staff meetings, along with a newsletter or Information bulletin, are very effective in fostering communication. Your front line staff should be aware of any marketing efforts, advertising schedule, rate changes or special offers. Keeping them informed boosts morale and contributes to a better sales effort.

Track your response rate. Tracking marketing efforts does not require custom software or hours of time. Simply ask your receptionist, customer service representative, teller or loan officer to ask their customer! prospect how they heard about your home equity offer, business product, etc. Was it a statement stuffer, exist ing customer, newspaper ad, etc.? On a weekly basis collect your responses. Answers could be logged in Microsoft Access Database or Excel Spreadsheet, found on most operating systems. Reports will allow you to evaluate your program and track trends.

Invite your staff to offer suggestions. What's working? What ideas do they have for a promotion? Encouraging ideas will spark creativity and helps them take ownership of the bank's goals.

You don't need flash or glitz to compete with the "big boys" just begin with a cohesive marketing pro gram supported by management and staff. Take advantage of your internal structure as a community bank, which allows you to quickly respond to market conditions, personally know your customers and work as a team to drive your Bank to success. Your rewards can be exponential in terms of profitability and public image.

By Maria T. Bernardo Brady is owner of The Marketing Edge in North Huntingdon, PA. She can be reached at 724-863-3105.


© 2004 Marakae Marketing, Inc.