Whether your bank is large or small, when it comes to marketing, it’s not just about you. Successful marketing, as it turns out, is all about your customers.

In their 2007 Excellence in Advertising showcase, ICBA Independent Banker took a look at four community banks that had award-winning ad campaigns and found that each bank exhibited three key elements in their marketing strategies. They included:

  1. A consistent message
  2. A simple but powerful concept
  3. A focus on current customers

They noted that while all were important, the most effective of the three elements was the last one – customer focus.

“Smaller financial institutions tend to feature the bankers for some reason,” says Samantha Wreaks, publisher of The Journal of Financial Advertising and Marketing. “It’s far more effective to feature the customer.” ICBA’s study showed that three out of the four winning campaigns profiled customers in their ads instead of bankers.

So what’s the best way to come up with a customer-focused marketing strategy? Simple: Get to know your customers.

With that in mind, here are a few strategies that can help your bank put your marketing focus where it belongs.

  • Target your ads and communications. Don’t send out a blanket email to every customer. Create unique customer profiles and send targeted messages about what matters to them. Humanize the process and be relatable.
  • Connect with your customers on social media. Don’t just promote your stuff or be robotic. Use polls and ask questions to gain feedback. Respond to customers’ posts and tweets and make genuine connections.
  • Use tools like Google Alerts and Google Trends to your advantage.  Don’t always assume that what’s mattered to your past customers matters to your current ones. Stay relevant to the current issues and you’ll stay relevant when it comes time for them to choose a bank.

By having a strong customer focus, you will not only create a successful marketing strategy, you’ll create a brand that people trust.

Need help with your marketing strategy? SPC has you covered. Our marketing experts can help you reach customers and stay relevant. Find out more on our website.