Former Bank Marketing Presidents Bring Synergy to Phoenix Bank's Ads: Synchronous Framework Identifies Valley Bank Services with 'Value Banking.' (Norwood W. Pope, Leonard W. Huck)
Gross, Laura, American Banker
"It's just making the most of the obvious." That's how Norwood W. "Red" Pope describes the first marketing program to emanate from Arizona's Valley Bank since his arrival as senior vice president.
Mr. Pope, a former president of the Bank Marketing Association, traded one sun -- Florida's Sun Banks -- For another, over Phoenix, about two months ago.
Industry observers were curious to see what kind of marketing would manifest itself through the association between Mr. Pope and Leonard W. Huck, Valley's president -- and also a former BMA president.
Their first endeavor is a month-long positioning campaign emphasizing in print, radio, and outdoor ads that "Valley Banking is Value Banking." Future products will be introduced under this new umbrella.
The positioning program is a departure from previous efforts in that it attempts to create a synchronous framework for all of the bank's advertising. Prior to Mr. Pope's arrival, the retail side of the bank advertised whatever the product of the moment was -- IRAs, loans, etc. -- and institutional ads concentrated on leadership, on Valley being the largest bank in the state.
Even the competition is aware that "with 40% of the market, it's obvious that Valley just needs to hold onto what they've got. This may be a very good strategy for them, convincing their customers they are getting good value," comments Ronald A. Roderique, senior vice president, United Bank of Arizona, one of Valley's smaller competitors, with about $1.5 billion in deposits.
Mr. Pope would have no argument with that: "Unquestionably, Valley has been the value leader in Arizona banking, with more employees, branches, products, automated teller machines, drive-ins, everything, than the others. This new campaign is a reestablishment of our leadership position," explains Mr. Pope.
Mr. Huck agrees: "I have continually been impressed with something that sets us apart from the rest, something that makes us unique. That something is value."
So, one of the ads running in local print media is headlined, simply: "Valley Bank Value." The ad continues to exclaim, "You expect it. You deserve it. We deliver it."
The long but crisp copy points out that "value in banking today means different things to different people. But one thing is clear: People expect it. And deserve it. And it is our intention -- our commitment -- to deliver it."
The rest of the ad copy shows that their success hasn't prevented either Mr. Huck or Mr. Pope from remembering one of the most important basics of good marketing practice: Before you do do anything, do research. Prior to launching the positioning campaign, they conducted focus group research that sought to discover the factors consumers and business people consider important in their banks.
"When we compared what customers were looking for in their bank and our track record, we found that Valley Bank matched point by point right down the line. And we believe the words 'value banking' best describe the sum total of these distinctions," Mr. …