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NEFMA Member Spotlight: Robyn LeBuff

Posted By NEFMA, Monday, April 8, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Name: Robyn LeBuff

Title:Vice President, Marketing Team Leader

Financial Institution/Company:Kennebunk Savings.

What I like best about my job:Variety. Every day is different and brings a new challenge.

First job out of school:Payroll clerk – lasted six months.

The biggest challenge my company is facing in the coming year:Generating more loan volume to offset shrinking interest margins.

If I had an unlimited budget this is how I would spend it:I would develop a more aggressive digital marketing effort designed to generate a stream of business leads.

Marketing campaign I wish I had done:The Old Spice Guy – such an unexpected approach to market a product that I thought was a thing of the past. My dream campaign would include a clever idea that would go viral big time.

Why I joined NEFMA:Networking then, networking now!

Number of years as NEFMA member: Yikes - 34 years.

What I like best about NEFMA:NEFMA is a great way to connect with other marketing people to share ideas.

When I'm not at work you can find me (fill in blank):Digging in my gardens.

My favorite book I have read in the past year:Just Kids by Patti Smith.

Tags:  spotlight 

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Financial Institutions Warm Up Slowly to Social Media

Posted By Carie Schelfhaudt, McDougall & Duval Advertising, Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Have you Googled your financial institution lately? The results might surprise you. Even if your financial institution isn’t active on social media, chances are your customers have mentioned you online, and an Internet search might reveal content that isn't favorable.

A recent survey byVantageScoreconcluded that financial institutions are slow to harness the power of social media and digital technologies. In fact, 28 percent of institutions responded that they don’t monitor any social channels. This is an alarming statistic in an industry where institutions market so heavily on reputation.

Given the number of sites where people can submit online reviews, financial institutions should proactively seek out what others are saying – both to manage their online presence and address any compliance concerns. Start with a quick search on the most popular websites for customer feedback, and where applicable, consider all options for taking greater control. These sites include:

It's worth noting that a widget was recently added to Facebook that links Company Pages to their business profile on Foursquare and Yelp. (If you don’t have this feature yet, keep monitoring your page on Facebook.) Since many NEFMA member institutions already have a presence on Facebook, we should examine two of these sites:


Yelpis a popular online guide that helps people find places to eat, shop, drink…and bank…based on the informed reviews offered by locals. More than 86 million people visited Yelp during the last quarter of 2012 to help them make decisions, and while the vast majority of reviews are positive or neutral, some are not so kind. Yelp reviews generally rank well in search engine findings, so financial institutions should definitely pay attention to what is being said.

Thankfully, Yelp offers free business accounts so companies can engage with their reviewers, both publicly and privately. A good place to start is to see if your financial institution is listed on Yelp, and then claim your profile. Once you open an account, you can address any negative comments that might appear in the same way you would handle a complaint on Facebook – by posting a response that invites the person to contact you directly to discuss the issue.


Foursquareis a free mobile app and website used by more than 30 million people worldwide to document the places they’ve been and help determine where to visit next based on recommendations of their friends and connections. Since its inception almost five years ago, there have been more than three billion check-ins, with millions more occurring every day.

Again, just because your financial institution hasn’t established a presence on Foursquare, people have likely already added and checked into your branch locations. Because users have added these locations to Foursquare on their own, the information is not always accurate.

Even if your financial institution chooses to not claim their Foursquare locations as their own, it is a good idea to do a regular search for new check-ins. Visitors to your locations can also post pictures along with their Foursquare check-ins, including photos from INSIDE the branch that could be considered a safety and compliance risk.

Your financial institution might want to establish free location listings to guarantee that the contact information for each branch is accurate. It will also give you more control over the accuracy of the information shared on Foursquare and allow you to encourage check-ins through incentives.

Not interested in having Yelp and Foursquare links prominently displayed on your Facebook Page? You can turn off this feature by clicking "Edit Page,” then "Update Page Info,” then "Basic Information,” and uncheck "Links to Other Places on the Web.

Where on the web have you unexpectedly seen information about your financial institution?

Continue the conversation in the comments below!

Tags:  foursquare  social media  yelp 

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NEFMA Member Spotlight: Bill Bannon

Posted By NEFMA, Monday, March 11, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Name: Bill Bannon

Title: President

Financial Institution/Company: Bannon & Co.

What I like best about my job:Helping client’s decision-making by providing relevant, reliable marketplace information such as customer satisfaction surveys or awareness and perceptions studies.

First job out of school:Analyst for Mutual of New York

The biggest challenge my company is facing in the coming year:Balancing work and life beyond work.

If I had an unlimited budget this is how I would spend it:On a program like Matt Damon’ or what Michael Bloomberg is doing about gun control.

Marketing campaign I wish I had done:Nike’s Just Do It

Why I joined NEFMA:It is where it is happening in financial institution marketing.

Number of years as NEFMA member: 25

What I like best about NEFMA:Interaction with other members

When I'm not at work you can find me (fill in blank):Reading books, bike riding, golfing, visiting grandchildren, traveling, and watching sports - particularly March Madness although I’m hopelessly out of my bracket pool already.

My favorite book I have read in the past year:Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin that gave great perspective when seeing the movie Lincoln.

Tags:  spotlight 

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Must Have Mobile Banking

Posted By Carie Schelfhaudt, McDougall & Duval Advertising, Saturday, March 2, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, November 19, 2013

While mobile banking helps create a more holistic customer experience, it now seems the service is a vital aspect of customer acquisition.

Last month,The Financial Brandreported in its "Mobile Banking Now Vital to Customer Acquisition” that mobile banking is a required feature for financial institutions today.’s bank comparison tool revealed that 18.3 percent thought that mobile banking is a "must have” feature now, a 63 percent increase from 2010! Even more insightful was the fact that more than 88 percent of survey respondents said they are currently mobile banking users.

Are financial institutions keeping up with demand?The Financial Brandarticle notes that in 2010, less than 30 percent of the featured financial institutions offered a mobile banking app, compared to more than 82 percent that offer the service now.

It seems many institutions agree that mobile banking is a "must have” feature today, but we were curious to learn more. We asked NEFMA member institutions, Dime Bank and Claremont Savings Bank, about how each launched mobile technology — and the banks approached it quite differently.

Connecticut based, Dime Bank was an early adopter of the technology, launching its mobile banking application in June of 2010. This differentiated the bank from local competition — large and small — which were not yet offering mobile services.

"Since we are always trying to add additional conveniences that our customers want, we invested in the technology early on,” said Diane Papadakos, Vice President, Director of Marketing & Sales at Dime Bank. "It also helped us reach the younger generations who were most interested in the service early on.”

To promote the launch of their app, Dime Bank used a combination of in-branch signage, website messaging, statement stuffers, Facebook posts and print and radio advertisements. Though some customers embraced the app right from the start, a significant increase in users came in April 2011 when Dime Bank launched its mobile website. In the two years since the launch, the bank experienced a 1,073 percent growth rate in registered mobile banking/app users.

"This is only the beginning. We anticipate our numbers may triple in the coming years due to high demand and the increased number smartphone users,” Papadakos said.

On the flip side is Claremont Savings Bank in N.H., which just launched its first mobile banking application in February 2013 — a time when 75 percent of their local competitors already offered it. Marketing Coordinator, Jaime Richardson attributed the timing to the bank’s cautious and customer-focused approach to banking.

"We took time to complete our due diligence,” said Richardson. "We wanted to make sure that whatever functionality we offered would be most useful to our customers.”

To promote its new service, Claremont Savings Bank focused its efforts into a four-week, multi-pronged campaign of online advertising, social media marketing, print and radio ads, as well as communications in-branch and on automated teller machines. In July, the bank will make another big push to secure mobile banking users as many students prepare to leave for college or the workforce. Success of these campaigns will be measured in August — and the bank has established a way to track its return on investment.

"Early on, we identified a percentage of customers who would most likely use the product and evaluated Call Center communications to determine who was looking for simple transactions that could be offered via a mobile service,” said Richardson. "Then we attached a dollar amount to those identified customers with a per transaction price, and this amount will be used to determine ROI.”

ThoughThe Financial Brandstory didn’t mention what features of mobile banking were "must have” for users today, the banks we talked to have their own opinions, stemming from the fact that they must stay up-to-date with customer demand. As a result, Dime Bank hopes to soon offer bank-to-bank and person-to-person transfers, and Claremont Savings Bank is exploring how to roll out mobile bill pay and mobile banking for business account customers.

Tags:  mobile banking 

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Online Ads: Finding the Right Tool for the Job

Posted By Carie Schelfhaudt, McDougall & Duval Advertising, Monday, February 18, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Once considered the golden ticket to reach your target audience, print advertising no longer stands on its own. In this web-enabled world, most sensible media plans now include Internet advertising because people are on their computers, mobile devices and smartphones all day.

Though it may be more comfortable to advertise solely in the online counterparts of your favorite print publications, financial institutions that want to attract the most targeted audiences should consider Google and Facebook advertising. Both can open up a world of opportunities to increase market share based on user preferences, habits and locations, but which is better? When we break it down, you’ll see one is more effective in building brand awareness, while the other is better at promoting a specific product.

There are different schools of thought on whether Facebook can effectively promote products, or if it is primarily considered a tool for increasing top-of-mind awareness. While a great mortgage rate or an unmatched checking product can capture one’s eye in a Facebook ad, the social media giant generally falls short as an online avenue for product advertisements because Facebook users are typically not there to search for product information. They are more casual users.

However, for branding efforts, Facebook is the way to go. For starters, it offers the ability to target your ads based on specific user interests, fine-tuning your efforts and minimizing wasted views. Furthermore, a branding ad that is given adequate time on Facebook will be seen repeatedly by the same user, helping to build awareness of the company and its message — without the user ever clicking on the ad. Facebook advertising also gains greater credibility as user’s friends start liking the company page. And since, based on an average cost-per-click, Facebook ads are historically more affordable than Google AdWords. They are the more cost effective choice for an extended branding effort.

Google, however, excels when utilized for a new product launch. The Google AdWords Search and Display networks can show an ad at the exact moment that a consumer is looking for that particular product, or a closely related one. This is achieved by choosing keywords to match your ads with user search terms. In other words, when a user searches Google by typing in the keywords you have chosen, your ad will appear. This ability to capture consumer interest — as people are already actively searching for new products — makes Google AdWords a better choice for product promotions.

Tags:  adwords  facebook  online ads  PPC 

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