As this year’s NBA Finals approaches tonight, the story of the underdog could be no more prevalent. Although he might not seem like an underdog (with a salary that could buy planes that have plane hangars to land his other planes in), LeBron James started with all of the odds against him. Abandoned by his ex-con father and bouncing between the rougher edges of Akron, Ohio, LeBron seemed to have no chance to succeed. Entering the NBA Finals, we know how the story panned out for this young man.
The other underdog story has more to do with the bigger market/bigger budget teams against the smaller market squads. Oklahoma City is in the bottom third of team salaries in the NBA and they are up against the third highest salaried team in the NBA (Thanks in large part to Mr. James’ stipend). Why am I filling you in on all of this basketball knowledge in a marketing blog, you ask?
First of all, thanks for asking. Secondly, it all stems from a statistic I read yesterday in The Financial Brand: 48.2% of all auto loans are owned by the top 20 lenders. How is a small-market team, like a local credit union or regional bank, going to compete against the LA Lakers and Boston Celtics of the financial game? A true underdog story, indeed, and warranting my ramblings about LeBron James’ upbringing. Well here’s how they compete:
1. Social Media
Evan Childs wrote a terrific blog about how a recent direct mail campaign was so powerful to a lady and her family that she sent a thank you letter to the bank about the potentially life-altering savings on her auto loan. With social media, the right soapbox for your customers can take this idea of the “thank you” letter and allow it to go viral. Not only does the personal banker feel all warm and fuzzy inside, but the world gets to see it! AND IT’S FREE! Not taking advantage of Facebook, Twitter and a blog immediately can be a major mistake for any lending institution. Post pictures of your bank, showcase video of your latest community event, let the world know of your competitive rates, showcase specials and use social media as the ultimate cross-sell platform.
2. Direct Mail
Let’s face it, the Underdog bank/credit union can’t keep up with the technological spending of some of the top 20 lenders. So what are the other options? A creative direct mail campaign can compete with a sophisticated technological strategy. With the right campaign, the piece can actually integrate technology on it with the use of QR codes, variable print, and personalized landing pages, all automated to provide for manageable pricing. Affordable, effective and proven to get results, direct mail is your starting point guard, directing the other parts of your multichannel campaign.
So, which underdog will prevail in this year’s playoffs? Only time will tell. Feel free to stop by and check out what SourceLink can do to harness social media, technology and direct mail for any lending institution. Leave your comments below! Even your predictions of who will win the Finals!