Financial Marketing and Cross Selling Blog
At Truebridge, we have done research to identify the barriers to cross selling and published the results. In a nutshell, we identified the need for banks to shape their image as the place to go for more of their customers’ financials needs beyond deposits and loans. We also highlighted the fact that banks needed to do a much better job in creating referrals. There are several ways that these barriers can be overcome. Why aren’t banks attacking these problems with more force?
A recent conversation with the president of a community bank gave me a good understanding of their points of pain and it sets up a real catch 22 for the whole industry. The low interest rate environment has squeezed margins and driven down revenues forcing expense cuts. On top of that, new regulations are adding to the cost of banking. What is needed most now is revenue growth. But growth takes money. Money that is not there to spend. Read more >>
If you follow social media news then you’re most likely aware of Foursquare, the latest location-based service that rewards you for frequent visits to near by retail shops, restaurants, churches, night clubs and most recently, banks. Like Twitter, I was a little hesitant about Foursquare when I first started “checking-in”. I didn’t quite understand the badges or why I would want to take my phone out every time I was at a bar or restaurant to check in. Then my colleague shared an article from TechCrunch that discussed the way Foursquare is rewarding users directly through retailers that are on the site and I’ve been intrigued ever since.
An introduction to Foursquare
To have your business show up within Foursquare, users can enter your location in manually if it’s not already listed (take a minute to enter your location). There is no charge for having your business on the site. To “check-in” at your location, users simply open the application through their smart phone and all locations within a certain radius pop up. When you check in you can add personal messages such as “hanging with friends and having cocktails on this beautiful spring day”. Most users connect their activity to their Twitter and Facebook accounts. You can also add tips to the location you’re at so that other users can see your advice when they check in at the location – “Try the house martini with blue cheese stuffed olives. It’s to die for”.
A recent report from the Mercator Advisory Group, Cross-Selling Through Multiple Channels: Soft Selling to the Jittery Customer, highlights the areas where banks have the greatest opportunity to cross sell to their customer base. The two areas that they have narrowed in on are somewhat of an ironic pair – smart phones and branches.
While this may seem counter intuitive to some, to us it makes perfect sense. We’ve been advocating for several years now that a banks website should not be seen as a separate touch point from the branch but rather as a touch point that can help drive customers to your branches. Too often banks view their website or mobile devices as just a convenience for their customer but in order to be successful, banks must take advantage of places like their website to help drive the client back to them for help.
To do this, banks must be doing more then talking about their specific products such as their various rates for special savings or CD accounts. Today, the American consumer is looking for answers to the many financial decisions they face throughout their life. And with all that’s going on today there’s no better time for banks to take a leading role in providing this information, not the government. ... Read More >>
By now you’ve most likely seen all the articles written about the statement made by Ken Lewis, Bank of America’s president, that the likelihood of their branch network being reduced by 10% is high. One publication you might have heard of, Wall Street Journal, claimed that this was what Lewis actually said. But in fact, reports now show this figure was brought up by a reporter on the call and was not a number Lewis claimed is real.
Given all the initatives that fall off the table within banks, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see BofA’s branch network grow versus shrink over the next few years. However, this “hyped” story does bring about an interesting topic. Just what is the future of a bank branch?
The IT and online financial advocates will tell you that branches are irrelveant when it comes to the future of banking. But for banks to truly take on a new era of financial services they’ll have to make a strong case FOR the branch, not against.
From the beginning of banking here in the United States it has always been about personal relationships. Over time, these relationships have been harder to keep because of the technology that allows us to do bill paying and transfers right from our own home or even while on the road. The checking and savings accounts that hold our cash to buy both necessities and toys use to draw us back to the branch on a frequent basis. At one point, daily. Now, with one simple... Read More >>