Lean Budget Marketing: Abridged

March 04, 2011 at 1:04 PM
CPG recently published our thoughts on how to make the best use of more limited marketing resources in the March 2011 issue of ABA Bank Marketing. The advice on offer in the article can be boiled down to a few key points:
  1. Keep it strategic: Focus spending initiatives on items that best align with the bank’s overall strategic goals – whether those goals are to increase brand awareness, generate revenue, meet the needs of a key group of customers, or (most likely) some combination of all three.
  2. Develop simple analytics: Taking a hard look at customer and other internal data can be helpful in identifying the most strategic investments, but it can also lead to paralysis by analysis.  Track a few key core metrics that tie to the drivers of customer retention and profitability – and direct your spending towards correcting course when there are adverse movements in those drivers. Use these metrics to build concrete business cases to justify investments and to demonstrate the returns on those investments seen by the bank.
  3. Establish regular communications with senior management: Proactively seek out those to whom you report to provide them with insights and updates on the bank’s key marketing initiatives. This should include those initiatives that may not have gone exactly as planned, since being the first to communicate these results and to provide insight as to why things did not turn out as well as you originally had hoped can help to build credibility.
In addition, there was one idea for prioritizing initiatives that we liked but were not able to fit into the article. Nancy Maas, a CPG Consulting Associate and former chief marketing officer of Associated Bank N.A. (assets of $22.5 billion), recommends sending staff out to the branches every once in a while, to allow them to observe the ways in which customers and branch staff interact with and respond to the products and promotions that were thought up at corporate headquarters. This observation can change the way that bank marketers think about how they will support the frontline’s sales and service activities, helping them to discover more efficient and effective ways of doing so.
The article itself contains many more examples of how marketing directors from banks around the country have put these principles into practice. You can find the full text here.

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