Hundreds of bankers gathered for Mega 14 Energy sponsored by the Indiana Bankers Association at the end of April 2014.  I had the opportunity to attend a variety of educational sessions throughout the two day conference.  As a seasoned bank marketing professional, I heard several ideas that I thought were ideas worth sharing with others.  Here’s a brief list of some takeaways:

  1. Debit cards users can be incentivized to use their cards more.  Research indicates that current debit card users can be encouraged to utilize their cards more for purchases and after the incentive period they will continue to use their card at the new level.  The research shows there is a direct correlation between Not Sufficient Funds (NSF) and debit card usage.
  2. Delaying customer access to overdraft protection results in lower NSF frequency.   Customers who are welcomed into the overdraft protection program from day one are more likely to have an overdraft while losses are basically the same as those who join the program after a designated time period.  However, NSF fee income is significantly higher in the “day one” group compared to those who delayed joining the program.
  3. Recruit your employees to be part of a speakers’ bureau.  Bankers have a wealth of knowledge which they can share with your communities.  Develop a list of financial management topics that might be of interest to others and distribute this to organizations that routinely have speakers at their meetings.  Possible topics include understanding your credit report, improving your credit, etc.  Bankers can sign up for other resources at the web site Amplify Bankers. 
  4. Sign up for alerts on your company.   Take time to set up alerts so you know what is being posted about your bank on the internet.  While there are several sources, TalkWalker.com/alerts and Google Alerts were the most highly recommended sites.
  5. Turn a repo into a roving billboard.  One attendee shared how his bank wrapped a small box truck they obtained as part of a repossession and let nonprofit organizations in their community borrow it for projects.
  6. In six words or less, state what your bank stands for.  Make sure everyone in your bank can define what your bank stands for in six words without using “customer service” or “community.”  It really makes you determine what differentiates your institution from every other.
  7. Compile examples of exemplary service into a document for new employees.  We all want quality service that gets repeated over and over.  Exceptional service stories get repeated over and over as evidenced by the same Southwest airlines story told in two separate sessions by two different speakers.  Compile your bank’s legendary service stories in a booklet that you can share with new employees so they’ll know your expectations from day one.
  8. App-ifying for the web.  Websites must be created to work with a variety of screen sizes and to do a better job of providing a great experience for the touch.   These new sites will cost more, but result in a better experience for the visitors.  This spring’s high school graduates were 10 when the iPHONE was introduced.  These are the next generation visitors to your web site.
  9. Consider hosting a cash mob to create awareness for small business.  You can show support for small business and make small business owners aware of your commercial lending services by hosting a cash mob in your community.  The first few could support existing customers and the next few could support “hot prospects” identified by your lending staff.
  10. Net promoter research will determine how likely your customers are to refer your bank to their friends or colleagues.  The one question that has the strongest statistical correlation to repeat purchase and referrals is “how likely is it that you would recommend XYZ Bank to a friend or colleague?”  Those who rate you a 9 or 10 are promoters, while those who rate you a zero to 6 are detractors.  Your net promoter score is calculated by subtracting the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters.

Hope these tips were helpful, and I look forward to next year’s “Mega Conference!”