How Community Banks Can Compete - and WIN- in a Banking Sea Change

Posted by Mark Gibson April 13, 2017 03:06:00 PM

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Community banks are under pressure to grow and remain relevant—to attract new customers as their existing customer base ages. But smaller banks face particular challenges. Some alarmists are even sounding the death knell for small community banks.

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Topics: Bank Marketing

Jump-start your sales efforts for 2017: Communicate

Posted by Mark Gibson January 18, 2017 10:02:00 AM

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Marketers are born communicators, but how many of us do all this wonderful work, then don’t share it with colleagues or the C-Suite? We get so wrapped up in our external campaign launches that we forget our most important audiences – those who pay us and those who serve our customers! 

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Topics: Marketing Best Practices, Bank Marketing, B2C, Financial Services, B2B

Who is your audience? Can you really answer that question?

Posted by Mark Gibson July 29, 2016 05:03:00 PM

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I recently had a fascinating discussion with my cousin, Katie Quinn -- of Today Show, Serious Eats, and QKatie You Tube fame.  She has built a nice following of 150,000 food and travel fanatics, and is wondering where to "take" them.  We talked about defining a "Mission" or Purpose for her channel, defining her Brand Position, and then we got to her "Primary Customer."

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Topics: Bank Marketing, Financial Services

Alcott welcomes noted financial services expert, Mark Gibson

Posted by Knight Stivender July 18, 2016 05:05:00 PM

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Mark Gibson, a 30-year veteran of the financial services industry with consultant roles at corporations including Citibank, Chase, and HSBC, has joined Alcott Marketing Science as a senior consultant working to expand the agency’s financial services marketing division.

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Topics: Bank Marketing, Financial Services

Community Banks' Competitive Advantage Slips Away

Posted by Mark Gibson July 12, 2016 05:10:00 PM

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The latest J.D. Power satisfaction results are like a “shot across the bow” for America’s community banks. For the first time, the nation’s largest bank customers have rated their service higher than regional and mid-sized banks, long known for superior customer service.

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Topics: Bank Marketing, Financial Services

Bank marketers: Grab your seat at the table

Posted by Mark Gibson July 12, 2016 04:21:00 PM

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Many organizations treat strategic planning either as a necessary evil or as a financial exercise that’s done once a year. This presents an opportunity for all marketers who may or may not have a seat at the planning table today.

Strategic planning should be a never-ending process, not a single event. If a muscle doesn’t get exercised regularly, it gets weak and flabby, and the planning muscle is no different.

I like to think of strategic planning as a year long effort that starts in January or February, and finishes when the executive team involves the board in November or December. It should start out broadly at the beginning of the year, with executives and managers carefully assessing the environment for challenges, opportunities and new ideas. You want to both look in the rearview mirror and peer as far as you can through the windshield. The year should also begin with a healthy dose of looking in the mirror, or self-assessment. As the year unfolds, the planning process narrows gradually like a funnel, and by late summer and early fall, executives and management are working together to determine what the strategic priorities will be, and what programs and tactics will be implemented to achieve them.

If your organization doesn’t start planning until later in the year, that presents a unique opportunity for you to insert yourself in the process and create a significant role for yourself. Peter Drucker’s Five Questions provides an excellent framework for looking in the mirror, and I’ve had success using it to link marketing to strategic planning in the eyes of the CEO and CFO. How? Just look at the questions!

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Topics: Bank Marketing, Financial Services

Five To-Dos for Bank Marketers

Posted by Knight Stivender December 15, 2015 05:16:00 PM

At Alcott Whitney, our leadership team comes to the table with combined experience of more than 30 years helping banks grow and exceed their marketing targets. Based on our work with some of the brightest clients in the industry at institutions like Wachovia, Regions Financial and National City Bank, we've put together 5 top to-dos for bank marketers. In the business? Let us know what we should add to this list. 

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1. Understand your market opportunities and allocate resources accordingly. For example, we know that last year, upwards of 30 million business tax returns were filed in the United States. Just getting started are the roughly half of those businesses that are bringing in less than a million in annual revenue. At the top of the pyramid - and likely to have long ago chosen their business banking partner - are the 35,000 who are pulling in $100 million or more. That leaves a sweet spot of somewhere in the ballpark of 1.2 million small businesses earning between $1 million and $100 million each year. That's an awful lot of opportunity for financial institutions whose expertise lends itself to helping successful small businesses take the next big leap.

How to: Marshal your in-house marketing expertise, or hire a data and analytics agency that can pinpoint these opportunities and tailor messaging to them.  

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Topics: Marketing Best Practices, Bank Marketing, Financial Services