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!

Building a brand from the inside out.

On the surface, building a brand from the inside out is sort of a given, right? Treat your “team” well and they will be happy; a happy team then creates a stronger brand. It’s a nice thought and meme headline from a sales guru, but going a little deeper, it’s important to look at and closely study the psychological and sociological factors that actually go into building a brand from the inside out.

I’ll be honest, I’m not a professional psychologist or sociologist, but I am a guy that is successfully running a marketing company over the last 25 years. I cannot stress enough that in order to be successful in marketing, you must have a thorough understanding of people in general, and what makes them tick. Over the years I’ve learned what truly motivates people is truthfulness, the ability to listen, and providing an environment of complete respect and cooperation.

Ask any successful business owner of a strong brand what percentage of their job is managing personnel, either in-person or through a subordinate, (i.e. HR, senior manager, account executive, etc.), and what percentage of their job is actually doing their “job,” they will most likely say it’s about 50/50.  They’ll also say, “that is my job.”

It doesn’t really matter the size of the company either. One example I like to use is Sir Richard Branson of the Virgin Group. If you know of him, as I’m sure you do, can you imagine him not being extremely hands-on with his entire team? I wouldn’t be surprised if he knows each of his holding group’s 35,000 employees by first name! A content and empathetic team fosters a successful brand.

I certainly don’t have 35,000 employees, but over the years I have employed some wonderfully intelligent people. By design, my individual team members have always been way smarter than me (in my opinion) at what they do. But, if there was a general area I hope my management style has rubbed off on them over the years, it would be the importance of humanity, and with that, human psychology and sociology. You simply cannot have a successful brand without this.

Treating your people well is important, for sure, but that alone does not build a successful brand. Truly understanding your people is more of a feeling than a word or action. When you hear someone say “I feel you” in its contemporary meaning, it’s really getting very close to what I am talking about. A successful company or brand is one where everyone (from every level of authority) has a true desire to mindfully listen, learn, cooperate and “feel” each other to excel as a team.  That same desire will ultimately be extended to your clients, resulting in a very successful partnership.

So, if upon “brand soul-searching” you find that your company’s brand needs some work, start inside. Set aside times where you and various groups of your entire team can discuss your brand and determine ways to strengthen it. Get others involved. This is not just a marketing function. It’s a whole-company function. The more involved you make your team members, the more inclined they are to get excited about being a part of something important and noble. Once the internal vision is unified, you can enlist the assistance of a marketing company to bring your vision to life.

It’s amazing what most people can “feel” if they truthfully open their minds. Add this ability to their natural intelligence and capabilities, and, wow, they can do just about anything—including successfully working with others to build a brand from the inside out.

Contact Dan!


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