Perspectives: Marketing Insights You Can Use Right Now

Join us at industry events this Fall

Posted by Laura Costello on Sep 21, 2016

BKM is active in many key industry organizations - we are often speakers, sponsors and attendees at many events. See below for a list of upcoming events that we will be involved with - and join us!

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Topics: NEDMA, NEFMA, HubSpot

How to Improve your Marketing Messages Using Buyer Personas

Posted by Ingrid Gonzalez on Sep 15, 2016

Who visits your website (or doesn’t)? What content should you highlight to get the right people there? Do you really know and understand who your buyers are in order to target them effectively?

These questions and many more can be answered when you establish buyer personas for your business. It’s vital to segment your audience and truly understand their needs, challenges, concerns and goals in order to create more powerful marketing initiatives that drive results.

In order to get started, you need to define and understand your company’s value proposition. What do you offer your customers that others can’t? What challenges do you solve for them? While this isn’t always easy, you may end up learning something about your business that you didn’t realize! And don’t worry - we’ll provide you with some tips and ideas on how to get the process started. But first, let’s take a step back and explain what buyer personas are and why they are so important.

What are buyer personas?

Buyer personas are defined as fictional and generalized representations of your ideal potential customers. The strongest buyer personas are based on data and market research, which has been conducted through insights from your customer base.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, Content Marketing

The newest internet sensation is...a credit card?

Posted by Rick Hall on Sep 14, 2016

During a week where the banking news cycle felt an awful lot like the current presidential campaign - with provocative coverage of items like the a cross-sell fiasco, calls for investigation and questions of who knew what and when did they know it - a really interesting, and potentially foreshadowing event took place in the industry.

It isn’t all that surprising that more negative stories commanded the headlines - as with the campaign - but this one caught our attention (and it wasn’t because of a cool Fintech rollout).


When was the last time a bank product flew off the shelf like the Chase Sapphire Reserve card?

We briefly highlighted the story in our most recent post highlighting the content marketing of 15 banks over a one-week period.  The card's popularity alone is newsworthy...but add to that the fact that Chase hasn't spent a dime on marketing the card. This really is a defining, viral 'gotta have one' moment for a bank product.

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Topics: Banks, Banking and Financial Services

How Banks Can Improve Social and Content Marketing: Part Two

Posted by Rick Hall and Laura Costello on Sep 09, 2016

A one-week snapshot of bank content marketing activity

Last week we posted that we were looking at the actual ‘what’ behind a random sampling of fifteen banks' social marketing efforts, specifically reviewing the industry's top used social media platforms: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

As a refresh, the fifteen banks we observed were evenly divided into three segments:

  • Five traditional national and super regional US banks 
  • Five traditional community and regional US banks (generally under $10 billion in assets); and
  • Five non-traditional banks (virtual banks with no branches)

Again, we know this isn’t a scientific study (by the way, we don’t have dozens of interns around to surf sites and log activity – we did the work ourselves) and that the timing around Labor Day wasn’t picked for its height of social media activity levels. But even so, we found some trends that were at least interesting to us – and hopefully some of you as well.

So what did we observe from the social and content marketing efforts of 15 banks? 

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Topics: Bank Marketing, Banking and Financial Services, Content Marketing, Inbound Marketing, Bank Inbound Marketing

Content Marketing in 2016: How Banks Can Improve Social and Content Marketing Efforts

Posted by Rick Hall and Laura Costello on Aug 31, 2016

You don't need to spend much time on social media these days to realize just how overwhelming it is to process the constant stream of new content. And with research showing the strong correlation between number of posts per month to increased web traffic, this trend is only continuing to grow.   

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Topics: Bank Marketing, Content Marketing, Banking and Financial Services

Can you reach your sales goals without direct mail?

Posted by Ingrid Gonzalez on Aug 25, 2016

Best ways to use direct mail in 2016

Marketing blogs and trade journals create endless gigabytes of content about online marketing techniques, yet many marketers continue to rely on direct mail as a primary tactic for generating sales. In fact, several BKM Marketing clients have dramatically increased their mail volumes this year within their marketing mix because it provides them with the best return on investment compared to other less predictable channels. 

Consider these facts:

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Topics: direct mail, Direct Marketing

Increasing Your Business's B2B Marketing Success Rate in 2016: Part 2

Posted by Grace McMeekin on Aug 17, 2016

BKM Marketing CEO Bruce McMeekin recently presented at the 2016 NEDMA conference to highlight the best approaches that B2B marketers can deploy to improve lead generation and sales.

This is the second post in a series of blogs that incorporate key tips based on business buying behavior.

Post 2: Fine-tuning your B2B Marketing Sucess Definition

Before you jump right in and start creating B2B marketing content, your results will be stronger if you first define the marketing goals that you are trying to achieve.

In this post, we will offer more insight to help effectively develop your own definition of B2B success. This simple four-step process is crucial to setting yourself up for B2B marketing success.

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Topics: NEDMA, B2B Marketing, B2B Presentation Series

Bank mergers: Key activities to make the deal successful.

Posted by Rick Hall on Jul 27, 2016

One of the areas that we noted in our annual outlook in January was the fact that all signs were pointing to an anticipated increase in the number of bank mergers in 2016. While most of the deals announced to date have been relatively small due to increased regulatory scrutiny on readiness in larger institutions, there does seem to be a growing undercurrent of activity. This arguably is driven more on seller motivation than buyer strategy. Regardless of the drivers, it appears to be a good opportunity for smaller buyers to make hay while their much larger competitors deal with meeting the demands of regulators in preparation for their next move.

So the mixed environment (which seems to have a few years of runway left) creates the need for those who are in the position to buy to take stock of some internal factors prior to jumping on the merger bandwagon. Here are a few thoughts to consider going forward.

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Topics: Bank Marketing, Banks, Banking and Financial Services, Bank Merger Communications

I already have a blog. Why should I care about LinkedIn Pulse?

Posted by Laura Costello on Jul 20, 2016

Content marketing: “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience—and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action”  - Content Marketing Institute

As a marketer in 2016, there is no doubt you are aware of the importance of content marketing. A well thought out content marketing strategy allows marketers to hone in on their target audience, define what their needs are, and provide them with relevant insights. In fact, according to the Content Marketing Institute’s B2B Content Marketing 2016 report, 88% of B2B marketers report using content marketing as a component in their marketing plans – making up an average of 28% of their annual marketing spend.

But with all of this adoption, the amount of content available for consumption every day can be overwhelming. Between blog posts, article shares on Twitter and LinkedIn, videos, webinars, infographics, Slideshare, e-newsletters, etc. – it often feels like an insurmountable task to stand out from the crowd and get your message read by the right people.

The good news is that it is not hopeless – with a targeted plan in place, your message can and will be heard. But with the wide range of options for publishing and reaching your audience, how much weight should you give to social media publishing options like LinkedIn Pulse vs. self-publishing on your company website and blog?

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Topics: digital, Content Marketing, Internet Marketing, Inbound Marketing

Increasing Your Business's B2B Marketing Success Rate in 2016: Part 1

Posted by Grace McMeekin on Jul 15, 2016

BKM Marketing CEO Bruce McMeekin recently presented at the 2016 NEDMA conference to highlight the best approaches that B2B marketers can deploy to improve lead generation and sales.

This is the first post in a series of blogs that incorporate key tips based on business buying behavior.

Post 1: Key Trends in Business Purchasing

Before planning your marketing and sales tactics, it is helpful to understand how your audience likes to buy.

A Bredin survey in February, 2016, which includes 314 owners of small-to-medium sized businesses (SMBs), provides insight as to how business owners prefer to engage with sellers.

In this post, we will be discussing the four key takeaways from the Bredin Business Purchase Behavior Study.

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Topics: NEDMA, B2B Marketing, B2B Presentation Series