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10 steps to a successful community bank marketing audit

What is a marketing audit and why do you need to conduct one? A marketing audit is a systematic review of an organization’s marketing function with the goal of assessing how effective their marketing efforts are, where their strategy might be lacking, and what steps might be taken to improve their marketing ROI.

Why is an audit important? MailChimp has this to offer: “There was a time when marketing was much less sophisticated, especially when it comes to technology and the internet. Today, marketing is so much more than billboards and newspaper ads. With all the potential channels you can use to reach your customers, it’s important to be able to focus on the ones that will be most effective. Whether you’re still trying to figure that out or aren’t seeing the results you’d like to on certain channels, a marketing audit can help.”

A marketing audit, when you get right down to it, is all about answering questions you SHOULD have, questions like:

  • How effective is our current marketing strategy?
  • What are the strengths of our current marketing efforts?
  • What are the weaknesses?

Perhaps the above can be summed up with this: Are we reaching the right people in the right place at the right time with the right message?  Ideally, a marketing audit will answer this question.

 

1. Draft a year-end marketing report

Before you can begin auditing the year’s marketing efforts, you first need to have a record of all your marketing efforts. This year-end marketing report will be used to help determine which strategies worked and help you decide where and how you can improve your future marketing efforts.  Your year-end report should include: 

  • Last year’s marketing strategy and goals
  • A record of all marketing channels you used throughout the year
  • Performance records for each channel throughout the year
  • Dollars spent on each marketing channel

 

2. Confirm Marketing Goals and Objectives

Goals

The next step in your audit should be evaluating your marketing goals from the previous year. All marketing goals should be SMART. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound). If you used SMART goals last year, it should be easy to determine which goals you met and which goals you did not meet. A few examples of SMART goals:

  • Generate 250% return on investment for all clients by Dec. 31, 2024
  • Increase average monthly Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) 20% by June 30, 2024
  • Generate $1 million in marketing attributed revenue by March 30, 2024

Objectives

Confirm that all key marketing goals are associated with a marketing objective. Some examples of key objectives include:

  • Increase marketing ROI
  • Increase CLV (Customer Lifetime Value)
  • Reduce customer acquisition cost
  • Increase brand recognition
  • Increase profitability
  • Increase market share
  • Decrease customer churn

 

3.  Determining which marketing strategies did and didn’t work

In addition to identifying which marketing goals you did and didn’t meet, it’s equally important to define which marketing strategies did and didn’t work. 

First, take a look at your larger marketing campaigns. Ask yourself which campaigns yielded the most significant response, and which ones were not as successful as you would have liked. Next, look at your smaller, day-to-day marketing choices. Examine metrics such as:

  • Which social content garnered the most engagement from your customers
  • Which email campaigns or e-newsletters yielded the greatest click-through rates
  • Which website pages/blog articles attracted the most visitors

 

4.  Measure performance

In addition to goals, it’s important to confirm what KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are linked to these goals. You’ll want to review key marketing metrics and analytics to gauge the performance of your marketing initiatives. Here are some examples:

  • Sales qualified leads (SQLs)
  • Marketing qualified leads (MQLs)
  • Conversion rates
  • Social media engagement
  • Email campaign open and click-through rates
  • Website traffic and engagement
  • Customer acquisition cost (CAC)

Performance measurement is data driven and that data can inform you on the level of success you’ve achieved in meeting your marketing objectives. The data you’re collecting might look like the a) number of hits per ad, b) percentage of customer engagement, or c) number of organic leads from specific campaigns. Without data like this, you can only guess at what is working for you and what isn’t.  Data gathering tools – and there are a host of them that are quite good at measuring performance metrics

 

5. Establish personas

Who are you marketing to? What does your audience like and not like? Answering these questions will lead to a greater understanding of your audience, the preferences, the buying behaviors and much more. Understand your audience and you can avoid wasting marketing dollars, energy, and resources on ineffective marketing campaigns. Buyer personas are, therefore, critical to the efficient development of effective marketing messaging and should include considerations such as the target individual’s:

  • Age range
  • Gender
  • Income range
  • Education
  • Occupational status

 

6. Watch the competition

For an effective marketing audit, you need to know who you’re competing against. This can help you get a baseline for where you need to be, what channels you should be looking at, where your marketing efforts should be focused, and ways you can stand out. Some questions that you may want to consider when completing a competitive analysis audit include:

  • What is your competition doing that works?
  • How are they positioning their offerings?
  • What channels are they putting most marketing efforts into?
  • Who are the new competitors to keep an eye out for?

While the marketing strategy audit is about you and how your business is doing, evaluating the competition is another source of data that can help you draw those conclusions.

 

7. Verify the plan budget
Now is the time to determine how much you want to, or have to, spend on your marketing plan. According to SmartBug’s, What a marketing audit is and how to do one, “first, you’ll want to set your overall marketing budget for the upcoming year. Next, determine which items — if any — are staying the same as they did last year and are considered non-negotiable. There may be some items that you thought worked, but might be willing to reduce if necessary. Make note of the marketing efforts you’re hoping to start or improve upon. Do some research on the cost of taking on these projects, and determine how much of your marketing budget you’re willing to spend on those line items.” Based on how you budgeted for each item in your plan, you may need to rework your marketing calendar for the upcoming year. 

 

8. Summarize and Make Recommendations

After reviewing your marketing audit, you can make informed recommendations about where the company may best focus its continuous improvement efforts and what specific action plans it should consider.  Here are example recommendations for common gap areas.

  • Update buyer persona
  • Create a content plan for addressing gaps in existing content
  • Develop sales enablement collateral for each persona/opportunity combination
  • Document sales and marketing service level agreements (SLAs)
  • Address all website SEO penalties, such as broken links and 404 errors
  • Resolve analytics tracking issues. All metrics that matter should be tracked and validated
  • Identify specific opportunities for conversion rate optimization
  • Update the brand messaging matrix

 

9. Review Branding & Positioning

Evaluate your bank’s brand identity, brand messaging and brand positioning in the market. Use your marketing audit to assess if your brand accurately reflects your company’s values, unique selling proposition and desired image. How does your brand compare to other banks with whom you compete?  How is your brand perceived by both current customers and non-customers?

 

10. Perform a SWOT Analysis

Perform a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis to identify internal and external factors that impact your business’s marketing efforts. Identify strengths to leverage, weaknesses to address, opportunities to explore and threats to mitigate. 

 

Plan for your next audit

Marketing auditing is an ongoing process, not a single event. Whether carried out as one comprehensive audit or a series of mini-audits, the next step or iteration should either already be scheduled by a specific auditor or be scheduled before concluding the audit. With a comprehensive marketing audit under your belt, you’ll be ready to develop strategies, tactics, and processes that align with your marketing goals and business needs. 

 

Bank Marketing Center

Here at bankmarketingcenter.com, our goal is to help you with that topical, compelling communication with customers; the messaging — developed by banking industry marketing professionals — that will help you build trust, relationships, and revenue. 

Another great portal feature? Through our partnership with ChatGPT, customizing our layouts is even faster and easier. With the addition of AI-assisted content development, our clients can very quickly generate articles they need for newsletters and blogs and any other content they might need in their marketing efforts.

We are also excited to announce that we have added video editing capabilities to our suite of services.  Along with all the functionality our bank partners already enjoy, they'll now be able to:

  • Animate static elements like text, shapes, and photos
  • Upload and trim your own video clips
  • Access a growing library of stock videos provided by Getty Images
  • Add and edit multiple scenes and transition between them
  • Produce more engaging social content, more professional digital signage displays, or even a full blown commercial

To learn more about this new feature and what it can bring to your bank marketing, click here to view the educational video we just made available to our bank partners. (Yet another reason to make bankmarketingcenter.com your partner in compelling marketing messaging!) 

To view our marketing creative, both print and digital, as well as learn more about our new video editing feature, go to the bankmarketingcenter.com homepage and register for a one-on-one personalized demo.  You’ll learn why over 300 financial institutions have chosen us as their bank marketing partner. You can also contact me directly by phone at 678-528-6688 or via email at nreynolds@bankmarketingcenter.com. As always, I welcome your thoughts.

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Gambling addiction. Is it a problem for banks? You bet it is.

 

Let's face it. An addiction to gambling is, yes, a problem for banks. But, it's a much bigger problem than that.

American Banker just ran an article on banks and gambling: Why Gambling is Suddenly a Problem for Banks. The timing of this article makes perfect sense … to me, anyway, as there seems to be a significant increase in the marketing messaging around gambling … especially during NFL games.

It used to be beers that occupied the ad airwaves during football games. Now it seems to be brands such as DraftKings and FanDuel. There are sites, too, that hawk these brands, such as “Covers.” Here’s the kind of stuff you’ll find there: “New bettors that register with the online sportsbook today receive $200 in Bonus Bets, plus any cash winnings, after an initial $5 wager. The bottom line: Make an initial $5 qualifying bet and automatically receive an instant boost to your DraftKings account, regardless of the outcome of the wager and without the use of a DraftKings promo code.” Same as the commercials. These brands are spending big money hooking new customers with promotional offers

How big a problem is this? For starters, the impact of problem gambling stretches beyond the individual struggling to overcome it. Gambling addiction also has an inherent “social cost,” experts say; a cost that is paid by American taxpayers. The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) estimates that the annual national social cost of problem gambling is $7 billion. These costs include gambling-related criminal justice and healthcare spending as well as job loss, bankruptcy, and other consequences. This number, the association says, is probably far below the actual cost as numbers are hard to track, and there's not a whole lot of research being done on the subject. Also, according to their site, and just as frightening is this: “60 to 80 percent of high-school students have gambled in the past year, and 14 to 19 percent either fit the criteria of having a gambling problem or are showing ‘signs of losing control.’” A February 2023 article in Money even went as far as to call sports gambling a “ticking time bomb” with “addiction at an all-time high and getting worse.” 

According to a recent 60 Minutes segment titled “Sports betting boom fuels concerns about problem gambling,” 50 million men regularly bet on sports and Americans have spent more than a quarter of a TRILLION dollars on sports betting. A contributing factor that looms large? Placing bets has become easier than ever. Who needs a bookie when you can place a bet on just about anything, anywhere, anytime simply by opening an app on your phone? 

Much like drug or alcohol abuse, a gambling disorder is a diagnosable, chronic mental health disorder. Studies have shown that society has a greater understanding of, and sympathy for, individuals who struggle with drug and alcohol addiction. Why? A gambling problem is viewed as one that’s far easier to control. In reality, problem gambling and substance abuse are very similar: Both come with higher-than-average rates of depression, anxiety and suicidal behavior. According to the National Association of Addiction Professionals, problem gambling has the highest suicide attempt rate (up to 20%) of all addictions.

How does gambling impact banks? The debt that comes with it. Research has shown that excessive gambling and debt are strongly connected. Those with clinical problem gambling often have high levels of debt and the severity of the gambling problem correlates with the amount of debt. A gambler’s debt can be secured or unsecured and research tells us that gamblers most often finance their debt with credit cards and unsecured loans … money management instruments with higher interest rates. Of course, in order to be profitable, banks need that debt to be paid. The worry right now, for the banking community, is that it won’t be. Which is why we’ve created ad campaigns on the subject. As always, I welcome your thoughts.

Bank Marketing Center

Here at bankmarketingcenter.com, our goal is to help you with that topical, compelling communication — developed by banking industry marketing professionals — that will help you build trust, relationships, and revenue. Like these campaigns that community banks can run to help educate their customers on the extremely real, and dangerous risks of gambling.

We are excited to announce that we have added video editing capabilities to our suite of services. (Yet another reason to make bankmarketingcenter.com your partner in compelling marketing messaging!) Along with the functionality our bank partners already enjoy, such as ChatGPT, they'll now be able to:

  • Animate static elements like text, shapes, and photos
  • Upload and trim your own video clips
  • Access a growing library of stock videos provided by Getty Images
  • Add and edit multiple scenes and transition between them
  • Produce more engaging social content, more professional digital signage displays, or even a full blown commercial

To learn more about this new feature, our bank partners can click here to view the educational video. To view our newest marketing creative, both print and digital, visit our website. If you're not yet a partner, go to the bankmarketingcenter.com homepage and register for a one-on-one personalized demo. You’ll learn why over 300 financial institutions have chosen us as their bank marketing partner. You can also contact me directly by phone at 678-528-6688 or via email at nreynolds@bankmarketingcenter.com. 

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10 reasons to use video in your community bank's marketing

In recent years, video content has emerged as a marketing powerhouse, transforming the way businesses, including community banks, connect with their audiences. From social media to email campaigns to websites, videos have become an integral component of marketing strategies, playing a crucial role in capturing attention, conveying messages, and driving engagement. Which is why I am pleased to announce that our bankmarketingcenter.com bank partners now have video editing capabilities!

Now, let's delve into the increasing significance of videos in marketing and explore why community banks should prioritize this dynamic medium.

“Video remains a key priority as a marketing tool, reaching an all-time high. More marketers credited video with increasing dwell time, traffic, leads, sales, and reduced support with 92% telling us their ROI on video content is up 87% from 2022. In addition, videos on social media generate 1200% more shares than text and image-based content combined.”

– HubSpot’s 2023 Video Marketing Report

1. Capturing Attention in Seconds

In an era where attention spans are dwindling, videos have proven to be remarkably effective in capturing and retaining audience attention. According to a report by Wistia, videos that are two minutes or less in duration have the highest engagement rates. Short-form videos on platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube Shorts have become immensely popular, allowing brands to convey their messages succinctly and creatively.

2. Boosting Conversions and Sales

The impact of videos on conversion rates is substantial. Research from HubSpot reveals that including a video on a landing page can increase conversions by 80%. Furthermore, product videos have been shown to enhance purchase confidence, with 64% of consumers more likely to buy a product after watching a related video. This highlights the persuasive power of visual storytelling in influencing consumer behavior and driving sales.

3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Benefits

Search engines love videos, and community banks that leverage this medium in their consumer marketing stand to benefit from enhanced SEO. According to Moovly, in 8 Powerful Reasons You Need to Use Video Marketing [TRENDS]: ”A webpage with an embedded video is 53 times more likely to appear on the first page of Google search results." Imagine that. Incredible. As search algorithms increasingly prioritize multimedia content, such as videos, incorporating video content into your website, as well as your overall bank marketing content strategy, becomes a “no brainer” move for improving online visibility.

4. Social Media Dominance

Social media platforms have evolved into video-centric spaces. According to Cisco's Annual Internet Report, "videos comprised over 82% of all internet traffic. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter heavily prioritize video content, and posts with videos garner higher engagement rates." Additionally, the rise of live streaming and short-form videos on platforms like Snapchat and TikTok underscores the shift towards dynamic and interactive video content.

5. Mobile Consumption Trends

The ubiquity of smartphones has fueled the rise of mobile video consumption. Marketers must optimize their video content for mobile devices to ensure seamless and engaging experiences for users on the go. Short, vertical videos designed for mobile viewing have gained immense popularity, especially on platforms like Instagram and Snapchat.

6. User Engagement and Shareability

Videos are inherently shareable and have a higher likelihood of going viral compared to other content formats. This from Crackitt’s State of Visual Content“Social video generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined. 59% of executives agree that if both text and video are available on the same topic, they are more likely to choose video. Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video compared to 10% when reading it in a text.

The emotional impact of video content, combined with its visual appeal, makes it more likely to be shared across social networks, exponentially increasing its reach and impact.

7. Building Brand Trust and Authority

Video content allows community banks to leverage what makes them unique: the personalized experience.  Videos are particularly effective in humanizing a brand, connecting with consumers on a personal level, and building trust. All of which you want from your marketing, right? 

"The average user spent 88% more time on a website with video content compared to websites without video content."

- Forbes, Top Website Statistics For 2023. February 2023.

Through storytelling and visual elements, videos enable community banks to showcase their values, mission, and trustworthiness, and authenticity, establishing even stronger connections with their audience.

8. Email Marketing Effectiveness

Videos in email marketing campaigns can significantly boost engagement. Campaign Monitor’s What is an interactive email? states: "Including a video in your email can increase click-through rates by up to 300%." This illustrates the potential of videos to cut through the clutter in crowded inboxes and deliver compelling messages that resonate with recipients.

9. Virtual and Augmented Reality Integration

As technology advances, virtual and augmented reality are increasingly becoming part of the video marketing landscape. According to Statista, the AR & VR market is projected to generate revenue of US$38.6bn this year, and expected to grow at an annual rate of 10.77% (CAGR 2024-2028), resulting in a projected market volume of US$58.1bn by 2028. Community banks should consider leveraging these amazing, immersive technologies to create interactive and memorable experiences, further enhancing customer engagement and brand name recall.

10. Continuous Growth and Innovation

The trajectory of video marketing is one of continuous growth and innovation. With the advent of new technologies, community banks will have greater opportunities to create high-quality, immersive video content. Virtual events, interactive videos, and personalized video experiences are likely to shape the future of video marketing, offering brands innovative ways to connect with their audiences.

What next?

The role of videos in marketing is not just a trend; it's a fundamental shift that aligns with the evolving consumer preferences of a market that is increasingly digitally savvy and video oriented. The impact of videos in marketing is undeniable, from capturing attention, to sharing content, to driving conversions and building brand trust. As community banks navigate the digital landscape, integrating video content into their marketing strategies is not just advisable; it's imperative for staying relevant, engaging audiences, and achieving marketing success in 2024 and beyond.

Bank Marketing Center

Here at bankmarketingcenter.com, our goal is to help you with that topical, compelling communication with customers; the messaging — developed by banking industry marketing professionals — that will help you build trust, relationships, and revenue.  

We are excited to announce that we have added video editing capabilities to our suite of services.  Along with all the functionality our bank partners are already familiar with, they'll now be able to:

  • Animate static elements like text, shapes, and photos
  • Upload and trim your own video clips
  • Access a growing library of stock videos provided by Getty Images
  • Add and edit multiple scenes and transition between them
  • Produce more engaging social content, more professional digital signage displays, or even a full blown commercial

To learn more about this new feature and what it can bring to your bank marketing, click here to view the educational video we just made available to our bank partners. (Yet another reason to make bankmarketingcenter.com your partner in compelling marketing messaging!) 

To view our marketing creative, both print and digital, as well as learn more about our new video editing feature, go to the bankmarketingcenter.com homepage and register for a one-on-one personalized demo.  You’ll learn why over 300 financial institutions have chosen us as their bank marketing partner. You can also contact me directly by phone at 678-528-6688 or via email at nreynolds@bankmarketingcenter.com. As always, I welcome your thoughts.

 

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GenAI and the 11-fingered spokesperson

According to a recent article in The Financial Brand, “Andrea Brimmer, chief marketing and public relations officer at Ally, has been one of the leaders of the company’s exploration of GenAI’s potential. But she’s also a realist with a sense of humor. ‘We just saw our first creative presentation from an agency where all the storyboards were done via GenAI,’ says Brimmer. ‘The agency people told us that if we saw a person on the storyboard with 11 fingers, don’t freak out. It will be because it was all done by GenAI.'”

As a former ad agency “creative guy,” I did find this amusing, however, I did bristle a bit when I read it. I remember well when digital design entered the agency world and revolutionized the way agencies created print ads. The “paste-up artists,” as they were called – who worked in what we called “the bullpen,” i.e., the studio where our mechanicals were created – were highly-skilled artists who made their living by cutting and pasting type onto boards. These boards were then photographed and the film then used by the publication to print the ads. With the advent of digital design, these artists suddenly found themselves either out of a job, or learning how to use design software on a computer, instead of an X-acto knife and glue. 

Now, according to the article, ad agencies are apparently using ChatGPT to create storyboards. If you’re not familiar with a storyboard, it’s a frame-by-frame depiction of the action in a film or video shoot, up until now hand-drawn by a storyboard artist or Art Director (like me) who possesses what we call “hand skills.” A storyboard is designed to provide a roadmap for the shoot. With it, ideally, everyone involved in the production knows, well before the production starts, what is needed, what happens, and when. The result is, or should be, a tremendous savings of time and money.

So, like the mechanical artists in the bullpen who were replaced by iMacs and QuarkXpress, what does the future hold for those creative folks who storyboard-out a concept that requires film or video production? The article goes on to say: “Ally marketers reduced the time needed to produce creative campaigns and content by as much as two to three weeks, and saved 34% of the time that the same work would have taken without Generative AI. The major savings came in the time taken for research, first drafts and other steps – totaling roughly 3,000 hours of human work. Already Brimmer sees the potential for GenAI to save on staffing and that it will influence the types of people she hires in the future.”

Wow. 3,000 hours. If you were to assign an average agency hourly rate, which according to Clutch.com’s January Ad Agency 2024 Pricing Guide is $100/hr on the low end, you’d be looking at a savings of about $300,000. Not bad, considering that ChatGPT is – at least for now – a freebie.  

The question I ask myself is this: As ChatGPT, and 11-fingered individuals continue to make their way into storyboards, what will the talent pool for creative people be like in the coming days? Will in-house marketing departments and ad agencies still need the kind of creatives, i.e., copywriters and art directors, who can digest a 50-page deck of research, along with a creative brief, and develop a concept from it that is fresh, compelling, on-brand and most importantly, moves the ROI needle for their client? “Brimmer says that the experiment has already influenced what she tells college audiences when she speaks about marketing careers. Since ChatGPT came on the scene, she says, she’s frequently asked, ‘Will I have a job when I get out?’ She says she tells students to learn all they can now about how to use GenAI. The more they know, the more employable they will be. She’ll be hiring for such skills.”

How would I answer that question? A little differently, I think: “Yes, you might get a job in marketing as a writer or designer, if that’s what you’re after… as long as you focus on marketing first, and ChatGPT second.  The next generation of marketing department creatives – those young men and women who will be using GenAI to prompt their way to 11-fingered spokespeople – will still need to be, first and foremost, art and copy professionals. Will knowing how to prompt ChatGPT help? Sure, but ChatGPT, no matter how well prompted, will never take the place of a well-trained advertising pro.

Bank Marketing Center

Here at bankmarketingcenter.com, our goal is to help you with that topical, compelling communication with customers; the messaging — developed by banking industry marketing professionals — that will help you build trust, relationships, and revenue. Another great portal feature? Through our partnership with ChatGPT, customizing our layouts is even faster and easier. With the addition of AI-assisted content development, our clients can very quickly generate articles they need for newsletters and blogs and any other content they might need in their marketing efforts.

To view our marketing creative, both print and digital – ranging from product and brand ads to social media and in branch signage – visit bankmarketingcenter.com.  You can also contact me directly by phone at 678-528-6688 or via email at nreynolds@bankmarketingcenter.com. As always, I welcome your thoughts.

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GenZ, GenX, GenAI, and community bank marketing

 

According to a December 23, 2023 article in Forbes Magazine, “large numbers of people will be getting a life-changing amount of money, a last gift from a parent or grandparent that meaningfully alters their circumstances. That shift is already in the works, and will continue for a couple of decades. According to wealth management firm Cerulli Associates, some $53 trillion will be passed down from boomers to their Gen X, millennial and Gen Z heirs, as well as to charities. That includes both gifts during their lifetimes and inheritances afterward.”

Now, how much of that “grandma and grandpa” wealth actually gets transferred to Boomer children and grandchildren remains to be seen. There’s speculation, too, that the cost of healthcare for these senior Americans will have a significant impact on their wealth, leaving less to “hand down.”  

As a community banker, it has become more important than ever – as we all know – to offer a customer experience that can capture those young customers as they now comprise nearly 50 percent of the U.S. population.  We also know what an impact technology, AI in particular, can have on building that experience. So, what exactly, should community banks be looking to do with the GenAI in order to attract and retain GenZ and GenX customers – those individuals who are tech-savvy, value personalized experiences, and expect seamless integration of technology into their daily lives?

1. Personalized Financial Insights

GenAI tech solutions excel at the analysis of vast amounts of data and transforming that data into valuable insights. Those insights can then be used by community bank marketers to greater personalize their banking experience. Community banks can utilize AI and ML (Machine Learning) algorithms to understand individual spending patterns, saving habits, and the financial goals of their younger customers. By offering personalized financial advice and tailored product recommendations, they can further solidify their position as trusted financial partners; a position they must own in order to compete with the large nationals, regionals and non-banks. 

2. 24/7 Virtual Assistance

GenAI-powered virtual assistants such as chatbots can provide immediate responses to queries, guide users through transactions, and offer real-time support. As we all know, younger customers, accustomed to instant information access, value round-the-clock availability. Research has shown, in fact, that not only do younger customers value virtual assistants, but many actually prefer them to human beings! AI-assisted customer experience not only enhances customer satisfaction, but also frees up human resources to focus on more complex, revenue generating tasks.

3. AI-Driven Fraud Detection

Security is paramount in banking, and GenAI can play a crucial role in enhancing fraud detection measures. ML algorithms can analyze transaction patterns, identify anomalies, and flag potentially fraudulent activities in real time. This proactive approach not only safeguards younger customers' assets but also instills confidence in the security measures implemented by the community bank.

4. Personal Finance Management Apps

GenAI can power intuitive personal finance management apps that go beyond traditional banking services. These apps can provide budgeting assistance, track expenses, and offer insights into financial behaviors. By empowering younger customers with tools for effective money management, community banks can foster a sense of financial literacy and responsibility.

5. Chatbots for Seamless Communication

Chatbots driven by GenAI can be integrated into various communication channels, including websites and mobile apps. These bots can assist with account inquiries, transaction history, and general banking information. Their conversational nature mirrors the communication preferences of younger generations, providing a user-friendly interface for quick problem resolution. 

6. Targeted Product Recommendations

GenAI algorithms can analyze customer data to identify behaviors, patterns and preferences. This information can then be leveraged to offer highly-targeted product and service recommendations, such as credit cards, loans, or savings accounts. By presenting relevant offerings, community banks can increase the likelihood of younger customers engaging with additional financial services as they move along their life-long financial journey. How important is personalization? A survey by McKinsey & Company found that personalized product recommendations can increase conversion rates by up to 300%.

7. Facilitating Digital Onboarding

Simplified onboarding processes are crucial for attracting and retaining younger customers. GenAI can streamline account opening and verification procedures, reducing the friction associated with traditional onboarding. This not only improves the overall customer experience but also positions the community bank as forward-thinking and tech-friendly.

8. Gamification for Financial Education

To make financial education more engaging for younger customers, community banks can leverage GenAI to incorporate gamification elements into their apps. Interactive simulations, quizzes, and challenges can educate users about financial concepts, encouraging them to develop sound financial habits.

Navigating the future of community banking with GenAI

As community banks embrace the era of GenAI, the potential for transforming the banking services experience for younger customers is almost limitless. By harnessing the power of AI-driven technologies, community banks can not only meet the expectations of tech-savvy customers, but also differentiate themselves in an increasingly competitive landscape.

Bank Marketing Center

Here at bankmarketingcenter.com, our goal is to help you with that topical, compelling communication with customers; the messaging — developed by banking industry marketing professionals — that will help you build trust, relationships, and revenue. Another great portal feature? Through our partnership with ChatGPT, customizing our layouts is even faster and easier. With the addition of AI-assisted content development, our clients can very quickly generate articles they need for newsletters and blogs and any other content they might need in their marketing efforts.

To view our marketing creative, both print and digital – ranging from product and brand ads to social media and in branch signage – visit bankmarketingcenter.com.  You can also contact me directly by phone at 678-528-6688 or via email at nreynolds@bankmarketingcenter.com. As always, I welcome your thoughts.

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5 community bank marketing trends to think about

What will community bank marketing look like in the coming year? For many, this year will mean taking advantage of the technologies, such as AI (Artificial Intelligence) and ML (Machine Learning), that can enhance their business across the enterprise. They’ll also continue to leverage social media, as its role in the overall marketing mix continues to grow.  And, they’ll make sustainable business practices a core component of their growth strategy. So, what can community banking’s C-level leadership be thinking about as we move into a new year?

1. Embracing the hyper-personalized digital experience

In our increasingly digital world, along with the growing customer expectation of convenient, seamless service, personalization is key; especially in attracting and retaining the younger, more digitally savvy customers that now comprise nearly 50% of the U.S. population. Leverage data insights to personalize online interactions – the mobile experience, in particular – tailoring content and offers to match individual customer needs and preferences. Utilize AI-driven tools to create personalized experiences across digital platforms, enhancing customer engagement and satisfaction. What are consumers looking for in mobile experience? 24/7 access, features that track expenses and make it easier to save, easy P2P payment options, and enhanced security, to name a few.

“Generative AI, epitomized by the release of ChatGPT, empowers banks to provide hyper-personalized customer experiences like never before. By analyzing vast amounts of data and understanding individual preferences, banks can craft tailored financial solutions, recommend investment opportunities and offer real-time assistance that resonates with each customer's unique needs.”1

This is critical when you consider the fact that 70% of people rate personalization as “highly important” to their banking experience.2

2. Implementing and marketing sustainable banking practices

To most, the word connotes “going green” by choosing paper over plastic, recycling rather than committing trash to a landfill, or driving fewer miles. For financial institutions, that notion of sustainability barely scratches the surface. With growing pressure from customers, employees, the federal government, and a wide range of both state and federal regulatory agencies, banks must now address what is known as the “Triple Bottom Line” (TBL) – people, planet, and profit.

How? By incorporating sustainable banking practices into their lending, operations, human resources, and management of physical assets. Incorporate sustainability into your bank’s marketing strategy. Highlight eco-friendly initiatives, such as paperless options, green financing, or community sustainability projects. Demonstrate a commitment to environmental and social responsibility. Those banks that do, and act on internal and external sustainability initiatives, will ultimately have a competitive advantage. 

3. Enhancing customer service with AI and ML

By automating the capture and analysis of customer interactions across various channels - such as chatbots, call logs, emails, and social media - artificial intelligence and machine learning can assist banks in gauging customer satisfaction levels and pain points, as well as responding more promptly to customer questions and concerns. 

AI can power robust customer experience functions, such as chatbots, as well as help with processes such as gathering, storing, and validating customer data from across the enterprise. Machine learning can sift through emails, reviews, and other customer interactions to understand the sentiments behind them, thereby helping to predict customer behavior, enhance their experience, drive loyalty, and improve retention rates. All while adding greater efficiency and accuracy to manual, labor-intensive and error-prone, "human-in-the-loop" processes. 

4. Leveraging social media platforms and messaging

Why are social media platforms the ideal messaging platforms for community banks? Because social media IS community. Unlike the large, national banks, community banks are in the business of participating in their communities and, importantly, helping people through relationships. Community banking, at its core, is about connecting with customers on a personal level. And isn’t that what social media is all about?

According to the ABA’s 2023 State of Social Media in Banking, “three out of four (76%) banking executives agree or strongly agree that social media is important to their banks.” And why not? After all, social platforms can do a great deal; help you connect with your customers, build relationships and trust, increase awareness about your brand, and boost your leads and sales. How will forward-thinking banks make use of these powerful engagement tools? They’ll introduce new products, cross sell, gain valuable insights into customer preferences and market trends, improve their customer service support, offer financial management guidance, celebrate their employees and community involvement, attract new talent … the list goes on.

5. Leveraging data for better decision making

Unstructured data, or "big data," is the data associated with a whole new world of data sources that includes social media, image and video files, document scans, webpages, blog posts, call center recordings, emails, analytics, metadata, and more. This data lacks a defined organization or pre-set pattern, can range in size from a few bytes to very large documents and represents, by far, the lion's share of the data that banks process daily. It's estimated, in fact, that 80-90% of data generated daily is unstructured and the growth of unstructured data is climbing at 55-65% each year.3

This is where automation can, again, play a key role. Leverage data analytics to make informed marketing decisions. Analyze customer behavior, preferences, and engagement patterns to refine marketing strategies. Use these insights to create targeted campaigns that resonate with specific customer segments and maximize marketing ROI.

What next?

Community bank marketing in 2024 is rich with opportunity. Forward-thinking banks will take steps toward Integrating sustainable business practices, making the most of digital innovations, engaging the community via social media, and offering a seamless, customer-centric experience from in-branch to “in-hand.” What we’re all learning is that the future of banking lies in embracing automation and harnessing the power of data to unlock new avenues of growth and success. And that future is now. 

Bank Marketing Center

Here at bankmarketingcenter.com, our goal is to help you with that topical, compelling communication with customers; the messaging — developed by banking industry marketing professionals — that will help you build trust, relationships, and revenue.  Now, through our partnership with ChatGPT, customizing our layouts is even faster and easier. With the addition of AI-assisted content development, our clients can very quickly generate articles they need for newsletters and blogs and any other content they might need in their marketing efforts.

To view our marketing creative, both print and digital – ranging from product and brand ads to social media and in branch signage – visit bankmarketingcenter.com.  You can also contact me directly by phone at 678-528-6688 or via email at nreynolds@bankmarketingcenter.com. As always, I welcome your thoughts.

 

1Forbes. Enabling Next-Generation Customer Experiences Through Banking Innovation. September 7, 2023.

2Capco Intelligence: Insights for Investments to Modernize Digital Banking.

3CIO Insight. How Businesses Use Unstructured Data for Business Intelligence. February 15, 2023.

 

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Is your bank marketing missing a generation or two?

As you’re well aware, banking customers now have more choices than they ever have. They also have greater access to a vast amount of data and information, which makes shopping for a “better” banking experience about as easy as it can get. This means competition is fierce, for both consumers’ attention and their business. … and not just from traditional financial institutions, either. Today, a community bank’s competition comes from the big nationals, regionals, other community banks, well-funded, loosely-regulated non-banks … the list gets longer every day.

CX is king

If any of us in the banking industry has learned anything, especially since the pandemic, customer experience (CX) is king, and that a financial institution’s survival depends on its ability to meet the sky-high service expectations of the marketplace. The segments of that marketplace that are particularly critical, not just to banks but all businesses, are the Millennials and GenZs. Why? Together they comprise 1) nearly 50% of the U.S. population, and 2) they are the banking consumers of the present AND future, those individuals who are just beginning their financial journeys. 

So, segmentation and personalization are, or at least should be, at the top of any community bank’s marketing efforts. The key takeaway is this: When it comes to bank marketing, one size does not fit all. Especially when you consider that 70% of people rate personalization as “highly important” to their banking experience.1

Just how seriously do those individuals take their bank’s customer experience? Pretty seriously. Couple that with the current economic environment and you have nearly three quarters of banking Americans exploring ways to cut expenses, including a bank’s fees and recurring charges. Sixty-three percent are looking for ways to balance saving time and saving money. What does this mean for a community bank? It means people want to know their bank will reward their loyalty, help them save money and time, and generally make life easier. In addition to cutting costs, consumers are also looking for help managing their finances. According to a June 2022 survey by Vericast, 44% of respondents say they get their financial advice from friends or family. Only 31% turn to their financial institution for financial advice.2

Here’s an opportunity for the community banks to do what they do best; build upon those trusted relationships and offer financial guidance in the way of workshops, as well as scheduling one-on-one meetings with financial planning specialists.

The up-and coming generations

What happens when these up-and-coming Millennial and Gen Z banking services consumers don’t receive the customer experience they’d like and expect?  They “vote with their feet,” as the saying goes.  In fact, they don’t even need to use their feet!  They can now switch banks in less than five minutes using nothing more than a mobile app. And Millennials and Generation Z have the greatest tendency to make the jump from one institution to another, with 53% of millennials and 42% of Gen Z changing financial institutions in the past two years.3

What you need to know about Gen Z

For starters, Gen Z’ers, contrary to popular belief, don’t spend every waking hour on TikTok and texting. They actually like to mix a bit of analog (or what some are calling “vintage” technology, such as record players, flip phones, and disposable cameras) in with their digital lives. 

To reach Gen Z with your financial institution’s offers, consider focusing on deposits, BNPL, and card incentives. This banking consumer wants to build their savings, but roughly only 25% of Gen Z surveyed indicated they had saved $1,000 or more for unexpected expenses or bills.3  To help Gen Z customers, and potential customers, meet their financial goals, community banks would do well to provide easily accessed education tools through the web, social media and apps.

What you need to know about Millennials

Members of this generation see how other industries use tech and communication to improve the customer experience and expect the same from their financial institution. They’re in a busy stage of life, too, and here is where CX technologies and practices can come into play. Text messaged offers, auto controls and convenience are all critical as they balance the demands of time, work/ life responsibilities and resources. Millennials want offers and information on how you can help them. Establish your position as a trusted advisor to save them money on the things they want and need to build loyalty. Most importantly, invest in this relationship now because as they get older, while they will also be exploring more and more financial services and products, they will also become less receptive to financial institution messages.

Bank Marketing Center

Here at bankmarketingcenter.com, our goal is to help you with that topical, compelling communication with customers; the messaging — developed by banking industry marketing professionals — that will help you build trust, relationships, and revenue.  Like these ads on our portal that you can use to market to younger, digitally savvy customers.

To view our marketing creative, both print and digital – ranging from product and brand ads to social media and in branch signage – visit bankmarketingcenter.com.  You can also contact me directly by phone at 678-528-6688 or via email at nreynolds@bankmarketingcenter.com. As always, I welcome your thoughts.

 

1,2Capco, Capco Intelligence: Insights for Investments to Modernize Digital Banking.

3The Center for Generational Kinetics, The State of Gen Z 2021-2022, October 2021.

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How to use ChatGPT prompts in bank marketing

It’s obvious that we’re fans of ChatGPT. After all, back in July, we added AI-assisted content development to our suite of bankmarketing.com solutions through the integration of ChatGPT. With the addition of AI-assisted content development, clients can very quickly generate articles they need for newsletters and blogs and any other content they might need in their marketing efforts, including suggestions for their marketing plans. In short, the addition of this technology makes the creation of marketing content even simpler. Perhaps you have an extremely lean marketing team, or your marketing team members have no design or writing skills. In either scenario, ChatGPT is a true lifesaver.  

If you’re not intimately familiar with ChatGPT and its capabilities in terms of bank marketing, read on. As community bankers, it’s essential that you understand the benefits of this amazing technology.

For starters, ChatGPT, is by definition, an AI-powered conversational agent that can optimize a community bank’s marketing resources, deliver more engaging and meaningful customer experiences, and in so doing, drive revenue growth.

Ok, I know what it is. Now, how do I use it?

ChatGPT is certainly a great tool in creating content … if you know how to use it. To that end, we’ve included a few tips that will help – that is, if you haven’t already mastered it – to, at least,  get you started. 
Here’s what I did. I opened ChatGPT and used the prompt, "What should I promote in January as a financial institution?" ChatGPT generated the following response:

“In January, consider focusing on financial products and services that align with common New Year’s resolutions, financial planning, and seasonal trends. It then suggests marketing your investment products such as IRAs, as well as offering financial management workshops that can be considered a way to address a New Year’s resolution to better manage money.”

If you do not like the initial generated idea, use the prompt again and it will generate a different response. If you like the initial response and you want to write, say, a blog on the subject, you can then prompt ChatGPT with: “Write a 750-word article on why it's a good idea for banking customers to investigate investment products and financial management education in the New Year.”  The program will give you this, as a start:

“As the New Year begins, it presents an opportune time for banking customers to delve into investment products and financial management education. While resolutions often revolve around health and personal goals, prioritizing financial well-being can be equally crucial. Exploring investment opportunities and seeking financial education in the early months of the year can pave the way for a more secure and prosperous financial future.”

Pretty good, right? Again, if you’re not happy, prompt the program again for a different response.  You can continue to prompt the program, slightly modifying your prompts, until you’re happy with the response. You can modify your prompt as well. For instance, you can prompt ChatGPT with “make this article more conversational,” and you’ll get an entirely different response again. 

Next, say you’re working on an ad and can’t come up with a great headline. Use the prompt: "Write a headline for why it's a good idea for banking customers to investigate investment products and financial management education in the New Year. ChatGPT will give you this: “Empower Your Finances: Explore Investment Opportunities and Financial Education in the New Year for Greater Prosperity" Again, if you don’t like it, use the prompt again until your AI content assistant provides you with a headline you love!

How well does ChatGPT work?  You decide.  Back in July, we prompted ChatGPT to “write a 750-word article on how to get the most out of using ChatGPT in writing marketing content.” This is what our AI-assisted writer came up with. Now, is ChatGPT the award-winning writer you’d love working on your bank marketing? Perhaps not. Sometimes he/she can be a bit, well, “loose” with the facts, so it’s always good to do a bit of fact checking. But, it's a great tool for the novice, and even the professional writer who will occasionally suffer from a case of writer’s block.  PS: Never input information that you don’t want to share with everyone on the planet!

Want to learn more about prompting? Check out our video!

Bank Marketing Center

Here at bankmarketingcenter.com, our goal is to help you with that topical, compelling communication with customers; the messaging — developed by banking industry marketing professionals — that will help you build trust, relationships, and revenue.  Now, through our partnership with ChatGPT, customizing our layouts is even faster and easier. With the addition of AI-assisted content development, our clients can very quickly generate articles they need for newsletters and blogs and any other content they might need in their marketing efforts.

To view our marketing creative, both print and digital – ranging from product and brand ads to social media and in branch signage – visit bankmarketingcenter.com.  You can also contact me directly by phone at 678-528-6688 or via email at nreynolds@bankmarketingcenter.com. As always, I welcome your thoughts.

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Fair Lending practices: An essential element of your bank marketing mix.

Community banks are the bedrock of local economies, fostering financial growth and stability within their neighborhoods. As cornerstones of trust and service, these institutions hold a significant responsibility not only to provide financial support but also to ensure equity and fairness in their lending practices. Implementing and steadfastly following Fair Lending practices isn't just a regulatory necessity; it's a fundamental commitment that strengthens community ties and fosters inclusivity.

What is Fair Lending? Fair lending prohibits lenders from considering your race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability when applying for residential mortgage loans. Fair lending guarantees the same lending opportunities to everyone, and that the process is based solely on the individual’s financial qualifications. How is this guarantee enforced? The federal Fair Housing Act protects an individual’s fair lending rights. The Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity enforces the federal Fair Housing Act and state and local enforcement agencies enforce fair housing laws that are substantially equivalent to the federal Fair Housing Act. 

Lending discrimination can occur at any stage of a home purchase or refinancing process. For example, if a lender refuses to make a mortgage loan because of your race or ethnicity, or if a lender charges excessive fees to refinance your current mortgage loan based on your race or ethnicity, the lender is in violation of the federal Fair Housing Act.

Understanding Fair Lending Practices

In order to facilitate the practice of fair lending, community banks are subject to various regulations, including the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), Fair Housing Act (FHA), and Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). Compliance with these regulations is essential to prevent discriminatory practices and promote fair access to credit and banking services. When put into practice, Fair Lending processes actively prevent discriminatory lending practices, including redlining (denying credit based on a neighborhood's demographics), steering (directing borrowers to less favorable loan products), and pricing disparities based on non-financial factors.

The Importance for Community Banks

As a community bank, upholding Fair Lending practices reinforces your reputation as a fair and ethical institution, one that represents the best of its community. This fosters trust among customers, investors, and the broader community, enhancing the bank's standing as a reliable financial partner. But trust isn’t the only benefit to Fair Lending. Fair access to credit fuels economic growth within the community. When banks ensure equitable lending, they empower both individuals and small businesses, facilitating entrepreneurship, job creation, and overall economic development.

As we all know, community banks are uniquely positioned to understand the needs and challenges specific to their community. Implementing Fair Lending practices allows them to tailor services and lending products that cater to the diverse requirements of their community members.

Why market your Fair Lending practices?

Simple. Marketing your Fair Lending practices demonstrates your commitment to fairness, equality, and social responsibility; the cornerstone to your reputation in the community. It’s a way to:

  • distinguish yourself from both the non-bank and the large national banks
  • engage customers beyond financial transactions
  • Invite your customers to be part of an ethical banking journey, aligning their values to your commitment to fairness and non-discrimination
  • reinforce the personalized service you’re known for
  • communicate your bank’s dedication to providing equal opportunities for credit access
  • empower underserved communities, encouraging those who live in them to seek financial assistance without fear of discrimination
  • reinforce your role as a driver of positive social change by promoting economic equality
  • enhance your reputation as an ethical institution

Effective Marketing Strategies for Fair Lending Practices

Educational Campaigns and Workshops

Hosting seminars and workshops on fair lending educates your community, showcasing your bank's commitment to Fair Lending practices, while empowering your customers with an understanding of their rights.

Digital and Social Media Messaging

Leveraging digital platforms to communicate fair lending messages broadens your bank’s reach. Social media advocacy campaigns can disseminate information effectively and quickly, while engaging a wide audience. Use your social media platforms and messaging to communicate your educational programs and your community partnerships.

Community Partnerships and Outreach

Collaborating with local organizations and participating in community events reinforces the bank's commitment to fairness. Such partnerships demonstrate a shared dedication to promoting inclusivity and equal access to credit.

Challenges and Considerations

Resource Allocation and Budgeting

Implementing marketing campaigns focused on Fair Lending practices requires dedicated resources and budgeting. Community banks might need to allocate additional funds and personnel.

Navigating Regulatory Compliance

Ensuring that marketing efforts comply with fair lending laws and regulations is essential. It is critical that your bank navigate these regulatory frameworks while effectively communicating their Fair Lending initiatives.

The promise of AI and Fair Lending

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has revolutionized the banking industry, offering efficiency, accuracy, and personalized services. However, while AI presents a myriad of benefits, its application in lending decisions can potentially exacerbate biases and lead to unfair lending practices, such as:

  • Discriminatory Outcomes

Biased algorithms can result in discriminatory lending outcomes. For instance, AI might favor certain demographics or penalize others based on historical data, leading to unequal access to credit.

  • Reinforcement of Socioeconomic Disparities

If AI algorithms consider factors correlated with socioeconomic status, such as neighborhood demographics, they might inadvertently reinforce existing disparities, limiting opportunities for marginalized communities.

  • Legal and Reputational Risks

Unfair lending practices, whether intentional or unintentional, pose legal and reputational risks to banks. Lawsuits and damage to reputation can arise if AI systems are found to perpetuate discrimination.

What next? Strengthening Communities through Fairness

Marketing fair lending practices isn’t just about compliance; it’s a demonstration of a community bank’s commitment to its core values and the community it calls home. By communicating their practices transparently, community banks can continue to foster trust, promote inclusivity, and reinforce their positive impact within their communities. 

About Bank Marketing Center 

Here at bankmarketingcenter.com – one of the industry’s most well-regarded providers of professionally-designed marketing materials to local banks – our goal is to help you with that topical, compelling communication with customers that will help you build trust, relationships, and revenue. Like these ads on our portal that you can use to market your Fair Lending practices.

To view our marketing creative, both print and digital – ranging from product and brand ads to social media and in branch signage – visit bankmarketingcenter.com.  You can also contact me directly by phone at 678-528-6688 or via email at nreynolds@bankmarketingcenter.com. As always, I welcome your thoughts.

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Why your bank marketing should include "greenness."

Sustainability. To most, the word connotes “going green” by choosing paper over plastic, recycling rather than committing trash to a landfill, or driving fewer miles. In other words, modifying consumption behaviors to reduce the human carbon footprint on our shared earth. For financial institutions, that notion of sustainability barely scratches the surface. Granted, sustainable business practices have always played a role in banking operations and profitability (as well as bank marketing) but, today, those practices are even more vital. Why?

With growing pressure from employees, the federal government, a wide range of both state and federal regulatory agencies – and importantly, customers – it has become more critical than ever for banks to have a strategy in place for addressing what is known as the “Triple Bottom Line” (TBL) – people, planet, and profit - in their bank marketing.

Originating in 1994, the TBL initially encapsulated social equity, economic, and environmental factors. However, over time, this concept has evolved into broader frameworks like CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility), ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance), and specialized concepts such as environmental P&L, impact investment, and carbon productivity.

Why sustainability is critical to bank marketing

According to a recent survey by Mambu, a financial services technology company, “findings demonstrate the sustainability opportunity for banks, as nearly half (49 per cent) of consumers say they would consider switching to a provider with a stronger commitment to sustainability.  And, just two in five (42 per cent) consumers think that their current bank or financial institution clearly communicates its sustainability commitments, with only 37 per cent knowing what climate pledges they have publicly announced or committed to.”

So, what does sustainability mean for community banks? Those banks that fail to value their ESG commitment may find themselves at a reputational disadvantage. And with it, a challenge to their goal of attracting and retaining customers. Simply put, there’s a new kind of customer out there. Today’s banking customer wants to know that their purchases are having an impact—and they’re willing to spend time researching a bank’s products, its social structure and environmental impact. Ergo, the better your community bank can present its commitment to sustainability—that is, to creating economic, social and environmental value—the more success it will have in attracting customers and creating long-lasting relationships with them. Now is the time, if you haven’t done so already, to make and market green initiatives in the marketplace. Switch to motion-sensor LED lighting in your branch locations, eliminate paper where possible (i.e., monthly statements), make use of remanufactured materials and energy efficient equipment where possible. Want more ideas? To discover more ways to go green, visit the Green Business Benchmark website.

How do you develop and reinforce those customer relationships? Yes, you should go green yourself and market that “feature” of your bank, but you can (and should) also encourage your customers to do the same. Create informative content, such as blog posts, videos, and infographics, highlighting the significance of sustainable practices and their positive environmental impact. Share practical suggestions with your customers on how sustainability can integrate into their daily lives, from conscious consumption to energy conservation and recycling. You can even involve them in the processes by asking for suggestions in controlled environments or organizing sustainability-focused events, seminars, or webinars to actively engage your audience. “By positioning yourself as a reliable source of information, you establish credibility and attract sustainable customers who prioritize sustainability in their lifestyles.”1

In conclusion, sustainability in banking is not just a buzzword—it's a transformative journey shaping the future of banking as “greenness” takes on increasing importance to consumers and with it, the bottom line for your community bank.

About Bank Marketing Center 

Here at bankmarketingcenter.com – one of the industry’s most well-regarded providers of professionally-designed bank marketing materials – our goal is to help you with that topical, compelling communication with customers that will help you build trust, relationships, and revenue. Like these ads on our portal that you can use to market your sustainability.

To view our marketing creative, both print and digital – ranging from product and brand ads to social media and in branch signage – visit bankmarketingcenter.com.  You can also contact me directly by phone at 678-528-6688 or via email at nreynolds@bankmarketingcenter.com. As always, I welcome your thoughts.

1medium.com. How to Attract Customers with Sustainability: Building a Greener Future. October 11, 2023.