Eight strategies for the underdog financial institutions
Big banks have a major trust gap with the average consumer, according to a study, which has created a marketing opportunity for credit unions and small banks.
Several years later, Americans still blamed the big banks for the financial crisis back in the Great Recession.
At least, this is according to a study released in 2014 (scroll down to see an infographic).
Seventy-one percent of responding consumers believe the big banks haven’t been held accountable for their risky behavior.
Sixty-six percent are still angry and 49 percent of them prefer to bank at a local institution.
This came to light in a study by Harris Poll.
It was underwritten by more than 200 community banks and credit unions with Kasasa, a provider of a national brand of rewards checking and saving accounts.
Consumer angst over the big banks’ behavior is an opportunity for credit unions and small banks.
Small institutions can compete against the big banks with strong branding and marketing.
They will — if they make every effort to make certain they don’t have a trust gap like the big banks.
Here are eight basic strategies:
1. Management should develop objectives and a complete, action-oriented strategic plan covering all goals from deposits to loans. Profitability should not heavily depend on interest rates and fees.
2. Value propositions should be easy-to-communicate and understand.
3. Using digital and traditional media, the marketing plan should create a dominant top-of-mind awareness and include cross-promotion strategies with benchmarks to obtain the desired return on investment.
4. For long-term growth and sustainability, the focus should include mobile marketing and strategies to attract and retain young people.
5. It’s necessary to develop a consistent branding strategy for positive consumer experiences from tellers to loan officers.
6. Credit-union member or bank-customer experience policies must be published in a formal manual.
7. Employees must be fully trained to understand how to build trust, the meaning of exemplary customer service and in the cross-promotion of products and services in synchronization with the branding.
8. Marketing should have a seat at the senior-management conference-room table along with human resources, lending, business development, finance, compliance and information technology.
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“No matter how much the boss likes you, if you work in a bank you can’t bring home samples.”