Hanis, Monique, Independent Banker
If you haven't already, plan to buy and install a database marketing system in 1998. You may also need to train a staff person to run it. Also referred to as a Marketing Customer Information File, this could be the most important investment for your future growth and survival.
Database marketing systems allow you to compile data about your customers from various electronic sources (in-house, vendor or processor) and analyze this data at the account level, by household, by product line and by branch. The results give you the objective information you need for pricing, product development, cross-selling and employee incentive decisions. Such a system also keeps you informed about which accounts and product lines are driving your revenue and net income.
REALLY KNOW YOUR CUSTOMERS
As a community banker, you nurture and maintain personal relationships with your customers. Often you have other social ties with these folks through church, civic associations, community development projects and family members. You are accessible to customers who come into the bank, and you are "out there" at local events.
But do you really know which customers contribute most to your bottom line? Do you really know the financial situation of customers who do not come into your branches, or noncustomers who represent good opportunities for your bank? Do you know what other financial services your customers use, possibly from other suppliers?
An MCIF system allows you to objectively analyze your customer base and determine answer to these questions. The answers may confirm what you already sense-but you're likely to be surprised by some of the results. In addition, such a system distills and reports the profitability of relationships, households and products as discussed in last month's column. …