It’s like Groundhog Day all over again!

Did you know that Punxsutawney Phil has been predicting the possibility of an early spring for over 130 years? How do you predict your brand’s success year after year? Are you content with “seeing what happens” as in “will he or will he not see his shadow?” Or are you finding ways, right now, to make sure you see an early “spring” in profits, consumer engagement, employee morale, brand recognition, market share, website conversions, and everything else that will make your brand successful in 2020?

It seems that too often brands react to what “the other guy” is doing rather than being “the other guy” that everyone is watching. Being your category leader isn’t all that hard. Really! You’d be surprised at how apathetic your competition is. While they are busy looking for signs from “the universe” you should be out there building your brand every day.

I see this a lot in banking. Think about the “push-back” you get from all of the overly conservative forces your department is up against every day, like shrinking marketing budgets, unadventurous presidents, BODs who do not like change, aging depositors who also do not like change, government regulations, expensive technology—will it work or not? The list goes on. Is it just better to “stay the course”? I guess only time and results will answer that. But, if you prefer a bit more excitement, I recommend you try something new this year. Get a tiny bit out of your comfort zone. Maybe it’s a new brand creative direction, messaging, look, color palette, logo evolution, tagline or internal process. Have you tried brand archetyping yet?

Being a leader is fun!

To keep it simple, I tell my clients to take a hard look at their competitors in the marketplace. What do they own? Are they positioning themselves as the “local” bank or credit union? If so, let em’ have it! Position your institution as the leading resource for something totally different—something you do better than anyone else—and go for it!  I’ll bet you could be viewed as the leader in one of these areas: technology, customer experience, product development, convenience, etc. Find your leading differentiator and run with it!

Don’t be the leader in “customer service”, everyone thinks they are.

You need something that can belong to you and only you. If you’re more “innovative” than your competition, prove it! If you’re more “convenient” than your competition, prove it! If you’re more of anything than your competition, you have to prove it at every touch point. People do not have the capacity to think of you as best at everything. Pick one and own it! Once you do, market that message constantly and consistently.

Don’t worry about what your competition is doing next, rather, make them worry about what you’re doing next! Great creative execution combined with a compelling offer or solution, is a tough act to beat. The most successful brands in the world understand this formula and excel by using it. As always, I recommend you seek professional help to get it right (not a groundhog).

Remember, Groundhog Day is just a hopeful reminder of brighter days ahead. Make every day brighter for your brand. Use today as a springboard for tomorrow’s success, and then repeat.

Contact Dan!

So, traditional advertising is dead, huh?

Maybe it’s time to re-think that. I’m not going to bash digital, so no #okboomer from you younger, far better-looking people wearing beanies and reading this blog on your cell phone. 😉

I’m here to say that nothing is more awesome than traditional advertising! Digital is a great avenue to include in the mix, but it does have its limitations. Let’s face it, there’s not a lot of room for creativity on tiny banner ads.

So, I propose that marketers stop looking for the next big, inexpensive thing, and get back to what actually works. What actually brings a return on investment. Get back to maximizing your dollar returns, not just your click-thru rates or website conversions. Hell, a billboard on the side of the road could be the cause of a ton of website “conversions.” As could the other 5,000+ messages we see, hear, smell and feel every day!

So let’s look at all the avenues that a brand should use to make money. That is the name of the game, right? Businesses (yup, including banks and credit unions) need to make money. Number one on the list. Sorry for being so blunt.

Let’s stick with financial institution marketing for now. What is a solid marketing mix for a community bank or credit union? Obviously, you’re limited by the marketing area and budget.  But even if you cannot be everywhere, at least you can “own” where you are being seen, heard and felt. Here’s a great list for a community bank or credit union with a limited budget:

  • TV (local network or cable)
  • Radio – terrestrial (on air or streaming) or targeted satellite
  • Newspaper (for your all-important aging depositors)
  • Outdoor and transit (depending on availability)
  • Paid media buys on social media (where most of your younger audience is)
  • Emails from custom audience lists that follow you on social
  • Google PPC to track your digital marketing efforts
  • Direct mail (yup, actual physical mailers)
  • Blogs on your website (to prove you know what the heck you’re talking about)
  • Merchandising in and around all branch offices
  • Web video archived on your site or on your YouTube Channel

Do you see how the above mix is all-inclusive? I guaranty that if you follow this list, you will make money for your organization. That’s why they hired you.

Don’t try this at home kids! I highly recommend hiring experts that do these activities everyday to assist you. The one thing they may be able to add here is real creativity. Customers, members and prospects respond to great creative and an excellent offer. They really like it—without pressing a little heart on the screen. They actually press your number on their phones and sign up for something you’re selling.

So, once again, not beating up on digital marketers out there. Just hoping to add some value to your job performance. Please don’t ever say traditional advertising is dead. That will never happen. Embrace its awesomeness!

Contact Dan!

Get in touch with us!