Are you under pressure to produce quick results--while keeping costs under control? If you are like most bank marketers today, the answer is "Yes, and how!"
I understand the challenge. In fact, to help you I have assembled a collection of 30 simple, creative marketing ideas--many of which can be implemented at low cost--that have been used at smaller community banks in many parts of the country. Some of these ideas were originated by my company and employed by our client banks. Others were gathered from financial institutions that wanted to share promotion ideas that worked for them. All these concepts have been tested and have proven effective again and again.
Before we provide the details, let's review the basics about how to create a fruitful campaign--one that doesn't chew up a lot of unnecessary money.
Martin Baird, author of "Guaranteed Results" once said, "Most people receive 4,000 messages per day, so a lot of creative thinking is needed if you're going to get noticed. I think most marketing efforts aren't nearly innovative enough." Before you start working on your next campaign, ask yourself: How creative is my thinking? How strategic are my marketing solutions? Providing strategic direction for your marketing efforts will ensure that you are investing your dollars in the right resources--and improving your effectiveness.
Marketing ideas that produce results typically meet four simple requirements.
First, these ideas are memorable. Not just different ... but memorable.
Second, your marketing offer and communications are easy-to-understand and deliver. This standard is important for both customers and employees. The marketing ideas with the greatest potential are those that are easily understood and supported by your staff. Also, most consumers realize that nothing in small type is ever good news. If you plan to advertise an offer, keep it simple enough to avoid lengthy disclosures and confusing "mice" type.
Third, really great marketing ideas have a foundation in value--the kind of value that connects quickly with your target audience. It doesn't matter if your marketing offer and communications are directed at retail households or business decision-makers, you need to provide value that the end-user perceives as important. And, you need to do it quickly or risk losing your prospect. Marketing promotions that lack a clear value proposition for your target market require wider dissemination--and thus more spending--in order to connect with potential customers.
An example of a "value" offer that connects product and decision-maker: Free checking from a bank with convenient locations, plenty of ATMs and highly rated online banking targeted to young families with busy schedules.
Finally, fourth: focus, focus, focus. The best marketing ideas create a connection with a targeted audience that generates a response, interaction or purchase intent. In his book, "Tested Advertising Methods," John Caples shares three steps to improving creativity applied to print advertising. The steps include: (1) Capture the prospect's attention; (2) Maintain the prospect's interest; and (3) Move the prospect to a favorable action. The use of the word "prospect" assumes we have a target audience identified and worth pursuing. "Moving to a favorable action" implies our offer and communication will connect with the potential client. Targeted connections, whether applied to direct marketing or mass media, will help control your marketing expense.
To repeat, your best marketing ideas will meet four simple standards:
* Has value directed to the target audience.
* Creates a connection that generates a response.
The following list of bank marketing programs, community events and promotions provides …