A few takeaways from a remarkable hour with Eric Cook.

Eric Cook

“Lover of Goldens. Rider of mountain bikes. Nerd for all things digital - especially if it's got anything to do with banking. My favorite fortune cookie message,” says Eric, reads: ‘Love what you do. Do what you love.’ I'd say that sums it up.”

The Eric I’m referred to is, of course, Eric Cook, who was kind enough to be our guest for the May 2, 2024 webinar, “Social Media. What’s New and What’s Next.” 

These days, Eric considers himself a recovering banker – having transitioned from being a banker to advising bankers – and now, with a team of banking marketing experts, operates WSI, a digital marketing agency with a focus on community banking.

Over the years, as you know, many things have changed when it comes to both the financial services industry, and the way banks do business on the "World Wide Web". With 15 years of hands-on experience as a community banker, Eric has seen it all and as a result, is well qualified to guide community-focused institutions in online engagement. 

Here’s a simple example of what I mean. Building an effective web presence is way more complex today than it was back in 2007, right?  Which, by the way, was about the time Eric decided to make his transition from banker to agency owner. Since that time, he and his WSI team have been serving community banks with customized online solutions. What does that mean? “Our clients come to us for a wide range of services,” says Eric, “from building secure, compliant bank websites and enhancing their customer experience, to guiding them on a digital marketing journey that leads to greater engagement, ROI, and share of wallet.”

So, back to the webinar. What did we talk about? Here’s how Eric kicked the session off and with what, I felt, was a very, very important message – it’s all about WHY:

“Thank you, folks at Bank Marketing Center for inviting me to chat about what I love, and that's banking, and all things digital. Today, we're going to dive into social media and you're going to see a really cool demo of what Bank Marketing Center offers bank marketers when it comes to what is now a critical component of bank marketing messaging; videos and animated images. 

“So when I think about social media, though, if we just take a pause and a step back, I think it's important to think about the content strategy that we have in place and what it is that we're talking about when we go on social media. Oftentimes, I hear and I see a lot about what we do as a bank and how we're doing it. So we've got great products and services. We've got excellent rates. And we're doing it through online applications into our branch. 

“But when we take a look at this, those of you that might be familiar with Simon Sinek, or maybe familiar with his Golden Circle, what you really want to do is focus on the WHY. Why your bank does what it does and why you do what you do as a banking professional. And that really is at the heart of it. 

“I hate to break the news to you, but banking, to a large degree, is a commodity. When I worked at a bank early in my career and I was running the teller window, the $20 bill that I gave a customer is no different than a $20 bill that any other bank or credit union is going to give to THEIR customer. So when we think of a social media strategy, we really want to focus on is that WHY. Whether the content that we're posting is just text, or you’re sharing images, or creating video or audio … anything you do, from the content on your website, even your blogs, the more you can make it about the WHY, the greater the chance that you're going to differentiate yourself from the competition and get people to fall in love with you.

“People want to see you as their banker, not just somebody that works at the bank. They want to trust you. You probably get work calls at home. When something doesn't go the way it should for a customer and that customer sees you at the grocery store, they’ll grab you, right? I hope they do. That's because they see you as their banker and this is important; the content that you're producing through social media needs to reinforce that.”

In summary, we covered a number of important bank marketing topics … the various social media platforms – their pros and cons –  the opportunities and challenges presented by Generative AI, and the power of video in marketing messaging, to name just a few. Now, I can’t begin to “sum up” all of the great insights that Eric shared with the group during our session, but I can share the link to the webinar again: “Social Media. What’s New and What’s Next.Take a look and let me know what you think.

Bank Marketing Center

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

Our web-based platform puts our client partners in complete control of their marketing production process – and for a fraction of traditional marketing costs. We’re also proud of the fact that we currently work with over 300 financial institutions. 

Want to learn more about what we can do for your community bank and your marketing efforts? You can start by visiting bankmarketingcenter.com. Then, feel free to contact me directly by phone at 678-528-6688 or via email at nreynolds@bankmarketingcenter.com. 

Last but not least, two things. First, as Eric mentions in the webinar, right now we’re offering “a pretty awesome” deal to new Bank Marketing Center partners: Sign up with us by the end of May and get the month of June free. Second, for additional information on Eric, his team, and the services his digital marketing agency provides to community banks, please visit WSI.

As always, I welcome your thoughts.