Five Things We Liked at the ABA Marketing Conference:

September 22, 2011 at 12:33 PM
We recently attended the 2011 ABA Marketing Conference in Baltimore, MD, and we must say that we were very pleased with the amount of actionable, practical, information for bank marketers that was on offer. When we were not participating in the debate on free versus fee checking (highlights of which are forthcoming), we soaked up a variety of information on …
 
  1. Getting started in social media: Too often we leave social media sessions feeling either disappointed or overwhelmed. This time, we left with a good idea of what community banks can do to get the most leverage out of limited resources in these channels. We also left with possibly the best swag of the conference – a sample social media policy and a set of guidelines for employees to use in communicating via these platforms. It is important to have both – a social media policy lays down rules on what can be said, while guidelines help coach employees on how to say something in a manner that is consistent with your brand and value proposition. 
  2. Ideas for utilizing the most under-leveraged assets of banks – the information you collect about how customers use their money. This data can be used to help customers find ways to save and/or spend more wisely. TruAxis (formerly BillShrink) has found that 89% of customers would like banks to use this information to analyze their bills and help them identify lower cost providers. Other opportunities include offering personalized discounts, recommendations for future purchases (like those provided by Amazon or Netflix), and allowing your debit card to serve as an electronic loyalty cards for local businesses.
  3. Reboarding.  Everyone talks about onboarding, the process by which new households are introduced to the bank during the first few weeks after they open their account and (hopefully) convinced to buy additional products. We also liked the idea of giving some extra attention to single-service households, using targeted messaging based on analysis of existing information on those households, and working to cross-sell additional products/services to these customers (as presented by Marquis).
  4. Intel’s Smart ATMs. And no, we don’t just mean ATMs that can work without envelopes. In the marketplace, Intel was busy demonstrating new technology that can tell banks who is standing at a particular ATM, how long they look at your messaging, and which message they pay the most attention to. The technology also works with digital signage.
  5. The secret to success with small business owners. It turns out that the answer to this conundrum is fairly simple – take the time to listen to small business owners and understand what their most pressing issues are. If, by the end of a conversation with a current/prospective client, your bankers can speak to the business’ size and lifestage, its staff size (and plans to expand), the owner’s vision (is he/she thinking about next year, or just getting through next quarter?), and the owner’s level of community involvement, then they will be well-positioned to offer that client the products/services that the owner needs the most. In the study that revealed this, Deluxe Enterprise Operations also found that businesses that have had to deal with three or more banks during the course of their existence are less likely to trust banks to handle their business.
Thanks to the ABA for a great 2011 Marketing Conference!
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