Suze Orman took the stage at the Money2020 conference in Las Vegas this week and admonished 70% of the crowd first for failing to take care of their own financial affairs (e.g. "Stand up only if you have in place an advanced directive and durable power of attorney for health care, a revocable trust, a will and a financial power of attorney"). She also admonished companies for calling their customers "consumers."
Pretend you’re at a meet and greet when someone introduces themselves as John David Robertson from Newport Beach, Rhode Island, with a PHD in mechanical engineering who now specializes in computational biomechanics. Clearly, this is an impressive guy, but your first thought is: how did he get through all of that in one breath? Your second thought: hopefully he has a name tag. Conversely, when Joe, a professional soccer player, introduces himself and says he plays soccer, there’s actually a chance you might remember him. Joe plays soccer.
There has been a lot of debate about the usefulness of the branch bank recently. Although branch locations cost quite a bit for banks to operate, I think the banks are far less willing to see them go than the customer is.
There is a whole lot of noise being made about the best marketing tactics for financial institutions. The general consensus seems to be: get personal! Sean McDonald even titled his article, Marketing: Make it Personal, Touch the Soul! The FI that knows the customer best, will get more business. To impress the customer (ie show the most customer knowledge) and earn their business FIs need to follow three steps:
Discussions of new regulations for banks and credit unions are huge right now. I’ll be honest and admit that I don’t know all the details about the proposals being made, but I know that banks aren’t happy about more regulation. I can’t say that I blame them, but there is a flip side, as Alan Kline points out in his article, Regulation is a Fair Price for Government Support on American Banker.
“Who are your competitors?” I’ve been asked this question by potential clients, friends, and colleagues. It is a seemingly easy question, but the answer is far less direct than you might expect. Micronotes is a new business, with a new idea, and to be perfectly honest we do not have any direct competitors (to our knowledge).
It’s no secret that banks and credit unions are looking for revenue sources. Cross-sell is a top priority in 2012 with financial institution managers and marketers dreaming of auto loans, mortgages, and sugar plums. While loan products may bring in revenue immediately, deepening customer relationships through financial advising sessions, bill pay enrollment, etc. should not be overlooked.
If you have it, you know it’s a problem, and if you don’t your customers are probably more satisfied—I’m talking about old, outdated legacy technology. Financial Institutions are at a major cross-roads having to cut costs, find new revenue streams, and interact with customers through a multitude of different communication channels (twitter, facebook, online banking etc.). Many FIs are lacking the technical infrastructure to adapt to the changing environment. In effect FIs are being forced to upgrade their core systems, or fall behind the pack.