Dollars through the Doors: A Pre-1930 History of Bank Marketing in America

Dollars through the Doors: A Pre-1930 History of Bank Marketing in America

Dollars through the Doors: A Pre-1930 History of Bank Marketing in America

Dollars through the Doors: A Pre-1930 History of Bank Marketing in America

Synopsis

By the 1930s, banks in America had transformed themselves from passive responders to aggressive seekers of business, converting toward a market orientation by developments in service philosophy, segmentation of customers, and by transformation of staff. Bankers focused on building confidence among the populace, increasing transaction speed, and increasing security of operations. They also developed special marketing mixes based on gender, age, and affinity groups. They were also aware of the need to develop a positive spirit among the bank staff to increase productivity and to create better customer relations.

Excerpt

An important trait of banking in the United States is the aggressive search for business. This orientation is characterized by reliance on advertising and promotion, development of new product services, a service marketing orientation, and segmentation and positioning strategies. Despite the current prevalence of aggressive bank marketing, there has been little effort to understand and document how bank marketing developed and evolved. The thesis of this book is that the roots of the transformation of banks from passive business accepters into aggressive business seekers can be traced as far back as banking in America, and that the transformation was complete by 1930. Similar transformations have been seen in other industries. For example, the insurance industry transformed itself between 1840 and 1930 through the adoption of the agency (i.e., personal selling) method. In retailing, department stores revolutionized American shopping habits. In the production of goods where significant economies of scale or scope were present--such as in the automobile, tobacco, and beverage industries--or where transaction assets were specialized--such as in the oil industry--vertical integration and national marketing went hand in hand, a phenomenon well under way by the start of the twentieth century.

The evidence supporting the thesis of the transformation of American banking by 1930 is presented in three parts on service, segmentation, and staff. In the first part, the behavior and thoughts of bankers in relation to service are examined. I demonstrate that many service marketing concepts are much older than one would believe from a review of the current literature. Chapter 2 reveals that bankers increasingly paid attention to what are currently called "service quality determinants" between 1870 and 1930. Material is presented on how bankers (1) created confidence through promotions and architecture; (2) improved transaction velocity through adoption of technological and administrative . . .

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