10 Resolutions Bank Marketers Can’t Ignore in 2012 (Contributor)

I recently contributed some thoughts on a recent post titled “10 Resolutions Bank Marketers Can’t Ignore in 2012” which appeared on Jim Marous’s great blog Bank Marketing Strategy. The post went up on January 3, and was also featured on Finextra & Banking2020.com.

Here’s the start of the content with a link to Jim’s original full post (it’s worth the read…you can follow Jim on Twitter at @JimMarous).


2011 was year that many bankers, and especially bank marketers would love to forget. Not only was focus diverted by the need to respond to new regulations for the second consecutive year (this time it was the Durbin Amendment), but the image of our entire industry was challenged as foreclosures and bank failures continued to be in the news.

We didn’t do ourselves any favors in 2011 either, as some of the larger banks learned the power of social media when they decided to increase (and then rescind) debit card fees, or when the industry fought internally with Bank Transfer Day.

The biggest impact of all of this noise was that attention was diverted from what should have been accomplished in 2011. As I reviewed my post from last year, Ten Bank Marketer Resolutions for 2011, it is clear that most bank marketers lacked the time/focus to make much progress on any of last year’s goals. So, in writing this year’s Bank Marketer Resolution post, I could have simply posted the same resolutions from last year (similar to what I do with some of my personal resolutions). Instead, I reached out to bank industry leaders from across the globe for their ideas. There was surprising uniformity in their suggestions, and a sense of urgency around the need to achieve much more than last year.

So here are the resolutions bank marketers should not ignore in 2012 according to industry leaders:

1. Validate The Value of Marketing Through Measurement: As highlighted in my recent post 100 Years Later, Marketers Still Have Difficulty Measuring Up, there is still a tremendous gap between what bank marketers implement and what is measured. Not only are there almost 20% of marketers who don’t find measurement of results imperative according to recent research by Ifbyphone, but less that 50% of any channel is measured. Dan Marks from First Tennessee says, “Bank marketers should resolve to measure and optimize true marketing ROI – having the courage to seek out the unproductive part of the marketing mix and replace it with other activities that generate real shareholder returns.” Serge Milman, CEO of Optirate states, “In 2012, bank marketers should resolve to have a more diligent focus placed on business drivers that can help manage and grow the bank,” while Bradley Leimer, vice president of online/mobile strategy at Mechanics Bank said that, “The number one resolution for bank marketers in 2012 must be to ‘put data first,’ since the proof of any program resides in the measurement of results.”

Jeffry Pilcher from The Financial Brand added a common sense resolution that is not always followed . . . “stop doing things that don’t work.” It is clear that if only one resolution can be accomplished in 2012, the measurement of attribution and program results is the most important.

View the Rest of the 10 Resolutions for 2012 for Bank Marketers

I added additional comments to Jim’s blog, which I’ll also include here:

Bradley Leimer said…

Let me expand on my comments regarding data and measurement a bit.

Most of us would like to say we put results first. This means our marketing efforts, our channel activity, everything we do as marketers, have data points around them working to improve ROI, expand customer relationships, and improve the effectiveness of our marketing …but that’s not the reality.

When it comes to ‘Big Data’ and effective measurement tied to results, we need to be able to sort the wheat from the chaff.

The key is the ability to filter new and existing sources of data to pull the most pertinent metrics to mirror our business strategies.

While I generally would suggest we track/collect every potentially meaningful data point we can (you can always use leverage this data through analytics/data models later), the truth is that our industry has been trying to leverage ‘Big Data’ for years.

And most financial institutions have failed miserably at utilizing existing streams of big data. We are sitting on top of a goldmine of data, and it’s just becoming more of a deluge.

This goes for leveraging trends in transaction data, channel activity data, account changes, inbound and branch based interactions, CRM analysis, online and mobile transactions, credit data, and more. Now you add social graph and other sources of user generated content and we are simply compounding the issue, and making data storage facilities buckle.

Our industry has so much to offer our clients from the data we collect, from increased retention efforts through relevant offers, to real time account alerts that offer new levels of connectedness, to improvements in service that create genuine customer delight.

But we generally don’t focus on things that help our customers. We use data to justify our budgets, to justify marketing and technology efforts. Let’s step back and focus on data points that impact the customer advocacy that Ron Shevlin discusses in his post.

Let’s focus on streamlining ‘Big Data’ relevancy and work toward focused service goals in 2012.

As data sources continue to expand, we should be to take a good look at what we have already overlooked. Pick our spots to match advocacy metric to result.

Turn the morass of Big Data into targeted Small Data through filtering specific goals win. This will help you truly build customer intelligence in the long term.
January 3, 2012 7:57 PM

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