Take bank marketing to the next level

Executives in the bank marketing industry already know the benefits of traditional marketing. In order to build market share, increase deposits and retain customers, banks are finding themselves struggling to stand out in an overcrowded marketplace. Stepping outside the realm of traditional newspaper and radio advertising can often be just what is needed to take your bank marketing to the next level.

Step One: Choose a Unique Bank Marketing Promotion A well-publicized exciting bank marketing promotion works to bring in clients who are new to the community and provides an incentive for those who are unhappy with their bank to finally make the switch. People enjoy having fun and winning prizes. Implementing a high-profile bank marketing promotion that incorporates these activities can be all that is needed to bring clients through the door. Attention-grabbing promotional ideas include a cash cube money machine swirling with cash and prizes, a promotional prize wheel, a locked prize vault or something as simple as customized scratch-off lottery cards. Clients will earn the chance to spend 30 seconds in the cube, spin the wheel, unlock the vault or scratch off a ticket.

The goal is to choose something so unique that people can't help but talk about it. Not only will word-of-mouth advertising take over, but people will not want to miss their chance to win. Step Two: Determine The Bank Marketing Goal Having a specific goal for a public promotion can greatly influence its outcome.

It is important to define this goal before moving forward. What is the bank's highest priority for marketing right now? Increased loan applications? New checking accounts? Increased deposits? Sometimes the bank's marketing goal is not that easy to pinpoint. Many times banks are simply looking to increase overall awareness within the community.

If this is the case, it is important to consider how the population currently feels towards the bank and specifically what changes are desired. Setting tangible goals allows the promotion's success to be measured. Step Three: Connect The Promotion To The Goal Once the objective of the promotion and the attention-grabber have been chosen, it is now time to tie them together. Let's assume a cash cube money machine was selected as the incentive. If the primary marketing objective was to increase new checking accounts, then every new checking client will earn the opportunity to step into the cash cube to win hundreds or thousands of dollars worth of real cash or custom imprinted vouchers that represent cash or prizes.

Based on the bank's marketing budget available, the cash and prizes can be altered to meet any needs. Prizes may include anything from cash, checking incentives, savings bonds and CD's to pizza coupons and sporting tickets. Step Four: Utilize Traditional Bank Marketing Most banks still rely heavily on traditional marketing to advertise their specials and rates.

When a special promotion such as a cash cube in the lobby is introduced, it is important to use newspaper, radio and other advertising already in place to cross-promote the event. Existing ads can be altered to include the phrase "Stop in today for your chance to grab cash and prizes in our cash cube!" Using existing ads leverages your bank marketing budget. It also presents a cohesive campaign to the public. Every impression counts, so having the promotion mentioned at every opportunity only increases the chances that a client will hear it, retain the information and act on it. Step Five: Take the Promotion on the Road Participating in community events is a great way to gain exposure and promote that "neighborhood bank" feeling. People like to feel as if they are doing business with a bank that cares.

During the duration of the promotion, check the local calendar to see if there are any festivals or large community events in which the bank could participate. The opportunity to have the cash machine in a public venue will achieve visibility, build brand recognition, and gain customers. Of course, public events would not necessarily have the same level of prizes as the cash machine in the bank lobby! That becomes one more reason for people to come into the bank.

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