Perspectives: Marketing Insights You Can Use Right Now

Adopt an employee-first methodology during a bank merger

Posted by Megan Allinson on Jul 25, 2019

Federal regulators are becoming more and more receptive to large bank deals — bank merger approvals have sped up under the Trump administration. As the landscape resets to include larger combinations, the financial rationale is dependent upon combining institutions exploring and addressing the needs of all constituents impacted by these mergers.

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

Before you get to the customer journey, understand the customer experience.

Posted by Rick Hall on Feb 27, 2017

“Customer journey” has already become one of financial marketing’s most popular buzzwords of the year. It seems you can’t have a conversation about banking, read a marketing strategy document or sit through a marketing presentation for senior management without hearing the term…along with disparate views as to what it means.

But here’s the problem with buzzwords: too many people spend more time bandying about a phrase like “customer journey” than doing the hard but fruitful work of actually deploying end-to-end initiatives to deliver the journey your customers desire. To really demonstrate your understanding of the customer journey, you have to dig in and be prepared to make some significant changes to the way your institution engages customers – across every channel they access.

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

Bank Marketing: 5 steps to take now as you prepare for 2017

Posted by Rick Hall on Oct 25, 2016

Those turning leaves mean it’s planning season

On one hand, 2016 has flown by – early signs of leaves changing colors here in New England coupled with debates on the validity of the Farmer’s Almanac forecast for the upcoming winter. On the other hand, it is hard not to feel like the past 10 months have provided a grueling set of body blows to the industry: CFPB, phantom cross-selling, Fintech, tight margins and risk management. These realities paired with other priorities now need to be gathered and organized to make sense of where we go from here.

Welcome to strategic planning season.

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Topics: Bank Marketing, Banking and Financial Services

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

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

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, Bank Merger Communications, Banking and Financial Services

Financial Brand Forum: Top 20 Takeaways

Posted by Rick Hall on May 25, 2016

Don’t distress. It’s apparently worse than it seems...but it’s the same as it has been.

Last week, BKM ventured out to Las Vegas to attend the Financial Brand Forum. It was impossible to miss the underlying passion that the Forum brings to their event; we're already talking about plans to head back next year.    

There is no question that financial marketers today face more headwinds than ever before. Not only are the industry challenges as onerous as ever but now bank marketers must respond to a mobile world that dictates what all customers expect. Aren’t we just talking about only how we compare to the other banks in our market? Nope! And it won’t be that case ever again.

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Topics: Financial Marketing, Banking and Financial Services, Financial Brand

Will you be traveling to The Financial Brand Forum 2016?

Posted by Rick Hall on May 10, 2016

BKM will be there!

Bruce McMeekin and Rick Hall are looking forward to attending the Financial Brand Forum next week in Las Vegas, from May 16th -18th.

If you are also planning to attend, let us know - it would be great to coordinate a time to see you while we're there! Either way, stay tuned - we will be sharing our thoughts and key takeaways through our blog and via twitter (@BKMMarketing) both during and following the Forum. 

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Topics: Banking and Financial Services, Financial Brand

Enhance Your Bank's Sales and Marketing Initiatives: 5 Tips

Posted by Rick Hall on Mar 17, 2016

no-5-1176806.jpgPart three of a three part observation series

In my last post we examined a few ways that banks can elevate the role of data in their marketing programs to begin the process of gaining better alignment to overall strategy. This post will focus on the sales aspect of sales and marketing campaigns – what can be referred to the execution channel. But a word of caution: sales and sales people are no longer synonymous.

As with our data post, you will find five areas of focus for bank marketers to enhance sales activities. Since we emphasized the critical nature of list development driven by strategy, we would be remiss if we now veered back to traditional sales activities to execute the program. Modern marketing programs should create buyers - not just serve as a ‘warm lead sheet’ for field staff.

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Topics: Bank Marketing, Banks, Banking and Financial Services