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The Three Most Regularly Violated Marketing Principles that Cost Banks Millions

by | Bank Marketing


I believe there are many ways to do anything—but there’s only one best way.

In this episode, I’ll show you how banks utterly destroy their potential by violating little-known and often-broken marketing principles.

If you’re thinking, “I don’t even know any marketing principles to violate—I leave that to other people”—you need this episode, because you must understand that ultimately you are responsible for the profit of the bank. Even if you don’t have the title, you need to know what not to do that wastes your shareholders’ dollars.

If, on the other hand, you are nailing it—you’re bringing in every one of your Top 100 most profitable next customers, you can’t close the business fast enough, and nobody asks you to match a rate—stick tight, because there’s even more for you.

And if you think you know a few things—maybe you had a marketing class back in college—you’ll be glad to know that there is a new approach to marketing, one that proves out ROI.

Now there are some hurdles when you mess with marketing. When you try to make some changes, cutting out things that have a negative ROI or can’t prove ROI, employees will jump all over your marketing team, thinking they’re not “doing anything,” when in fact, they’re doing what works.

You also may have a marketing team who has been “doing their thing” for decades and is not wild about hearing from an econ or finance person about what you need from them to make the bank safer and more prosperous. You may get the “how dare you” look. Remember that it’s not their fault—they were taught this way. Hey, people used to believe the earth was flat. And of course, the machinery is moving—the budget is in place, and television, radio, newspaper contracts are signed, so changing something is met with both inside and outside resistance.

Almost every bank has anywhere from one to three of these issues. I’m now going to describe some marketing principles that don’t work and give you steps to rectify them so that you can get some dramatically different results in a few short weeks.

Step 1:

Many marketing efforts spew everywhere, like marketing to the whole lake when there is only one fishing hole where the profitable fish are. You need to stop counting new accounts. Since 87% of them are unprofitable for an average bank, how many more can you tolerate? Really?

Step 2:

In contrast to the “creative teams” at most marketing firms who make up something…well…creative, how about if we have a “profit-centered” team instead? What if everything you did was designed to identify, target, warm, and pull in the few clients who can double the profitability of your bank in a few years? Sounds crazy, but most community banks’ Top 100 most profitable customers account for 50-120% percent of their profits. Not so crazy now, is it?

Step 3:

Stop almost all marketing that isn’t one-on-one. If it isn’t targeted to a person specifically, and they aren’t one of just a small group that you’ve decided to go after, stop it. You’re wasting your shareholders’ money. Not nice. Again, don’t go blaming your marketing people—the marketing schools are still teaching this approach. Did you ever meet a marketing professor who had to do payroll and profits? Yup, that’s the problem.

Three steps. Identify the fishing hole of most profitable prospects, then, target them and warm them, and finally, since you’re only really focusing on 100, you can give them some nice one-to-one attention. Just make sure you have the best next 100… not just the most recent 100 inquirers.

By doing this, you can build safety, profit, and sustainability in your bank. Since over the last few decades, we’ve lost 2/3 of our community banks, let’s make sure you get through the next 20 years by focusing on the few things that matter—and getting extraordinary at how you do them.

Make sure you tune in next time when I’ll show you how to get everyone in the bank knowing that they are a marketer so that they all understand how they tie to profit every day.

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