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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. FindABetterBank.com’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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NEFMA Member Spotlight: Shelley Regin

Posted By NEFMA, Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Name:Shelley Regin

Title:1st VP, Director of Marketing and PR

Financial Institution/Company:Country Bank

What I like best about my job:Being able to streamline processes, improve brand recognition AND implementing all the ideas that I have wanted to for the last 10 years and was never in the position to do so! I am so very grateful that I am now! I am where I was meant to be in my career!

First job out of school:Adminstrative Assistant at a Marketing Firm - Monarch Resources. It is no coincidence that I circled back to marketing after all these years.

The biggest challenge my company is facing in the coming year:Watching the bottom line just like everyone else. Being a new person in the position I look at things in a new light. I look at the bottom line and wonder, how does this really benefit the Bank? If it does, I will proceed or I will discontinue the process and look for other avenues that would be more beneficial to the Bank and the bottom line.

If I had an unlimited budget this is how I would spend it:Hiring a great spokesperson that would attract lots of attention.....how about Channing Tatum or Carrie Underwood & Eric Church! Or even better, how about "the most interesting man in the world" the Dos Equis man! "I don't always Bank, but when I do I prefer Country Bank."

Marketing campaign I wish I had done:Capital One's - "No" Baby!

Why I joined NEFMA:I joined NEFMA to meet others in my field. Being new to the position, it is very important to network and get to know how others in this industry are successful and how they do it. I love to hear what other banks are doing and if it is something I could implement at Country Bank. At my first conference I was able to shed some light on some processes for others that we are successful with here at Country Bank.

Number of years as NEFMA member: I am a newbie....just 4 months in, be easy on me! I have one conference down back in & October which was fabulous and I look forward to attending the next one in May. Please introduce yourself as I would love to get to know each and every NEFMA member.

What I like best about NEFMA:Meeting others in the field and looking for ways to streamline, improve and create fun and exciting marketing initatives for the bank.

When I'm not at work you can find me (fill in blank):Can you say work-a-holic? Besides work, I can be found taking educational classes, camping, boating, golfing, running my 13 year old daughter to several weekly dance classes and reading a good book when time allows, which is not often!

My favorite book I have read in the past year:I just finished a biography by someone who searched her own name "Shelley Giard" on Facebook and found me, Shelley Giard Regin. Come to find out she was born and raised in the same town as me and we are not related and do not know each other. Her book "I Need The Happy Ending" by Shelley Giard is inspirational and motivating to never give up even when you are dealt a difficult hand. Shelley lost her sister in a drunk driving accident when her sister was only 16 and Shelley 7. This event changed her life and that of her family forever. She chronicles her life and challenges she has had to face and that she has overcome. She is an inspiration to me and motivates people via her blog daily with her sense of humor and passion for life. We agree that everything happens for a reason and our connection is incredible! We hope to meet when she goes on book tour next month.

Tags:  spotlight 

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Fall Conference in Review

Posted By NEFMA, Monday, October 29, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The NEFMA Fall conference was held in Needham, MA on October 21 and 22.

Over 130 financial marketers attended the event titled "Looks Who's Talking, practical advice and discussions on improving your budget, your brand and your community presence." With a new time format and predominantly member lead panels, the conference received rave reviews. Add your thoughts on the NEFMA LinkedIn page.

The conference kicked-off with Thursday night's dinner speak, Jack Rossin. Jack a marketing consultant and former advertising agency principal, spoke of his experiences, early in life, working in a pawn shop and how the lessons he learned there translated into important business practices (e.g. positioning a product to the needs of the customer, the value of listening to consumers and how to sell confidently). To learn how some simple techniques can help you present more confidently, sign-up for Jack's presentation tip email by emailing him at jack@jackerossin.com and putting "subscribe" in the subject line.

Friday morning was kicked off with a panel titled "Building a Bullet-Proof Budget", included in the panel were Gerald Coia, President, Eastern Federal Bank; Joe Casey, CFO. HarborOne Credit Union; Monica Curhan, VP and Marketing Director, Citizens-Union Bank. Key discussion points included: 1) understanding the workings of ALCO and how the banks make money, so that can be translated into marketing initiatives that both drive financial results and build the brand; 2) positioning Marketing as a key business driver in the organization, not just a staff function; 3) the importance of knowing the details of where you are spending your money and the historic results that spending has achieved; and 4) having confidence (and thick-skin) when presenting the budget to the CFO and CEO.

Greg RosenfromNES Groupdiscussed "Branding Your Branch Experience" and key factors in tying your brand to the physical aspects of your branch. He urged attendees to be mindful of how their brand is interpreted by customers based on the physical architecture, visual imagery, and auditory, olfactory and other visual cues. He also stressed the importance of understanding how customers' behavior in the four key physical zones: attraction, welcome, transaction and relationship.

Paul Scully, President and CEO, Country Bank; Beth Eckel, Senior Vice President, Washington Trust; and Tony Battista, Vice President, St Mary's Credit Uniondiscussed the importance of institutionalizing community involvement in a panel titled "Good Citizen or Strategic Community Leader, Is your institution effectively marketing your community involvement?" Some of their advice included: 1) being clear about the objectives of your community efforts; 2) being disciplined in how you evaluate and allocate the dollars available; 3) the importance of engaging employees in your community efforts and perhaps incorporating a community component into performance evaluations.

The conference ended with a high-energy conversation about Facebook between Kristin Brandt, Vice President, Sundin Inc. and Joe Trafton, Senior Vice President, Connecticut Online Computer Center (COCC). For a recap of that discussion, please click here to read more.

Tags:  conference  NEFMA News 

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Choosing to be Great Instead of Big

Posted By Bo Burlingham, Editor-at-Large, Inc. Magazine; Author, Small Giants, Thursday, October 18, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, November 20, 2013

There is a choice that all business owners and leaders have to make sooner or later, and it may be the most important one you'll ever face. That choice has to do with how far and how fast you want your company to grow. No one is going to warn you about it, or prepare you for it, or tell you at what moment you really have to make a decision one way or the other. Chances are, your business advisors will be encouraging you to grow as fast and as far as you can. The outside world will be sending you similar signals. We all want to be successful, after all, and our visions of success are inevitably shaped to a large extent by examples in the media, the spirit of the times, and the common wisdom about what's possible. If you constantly hear about the need to grow or die, if the only companies being celebrated, or even taken seriously, are the biggest, or the fastest-growing, you may never even think to ask about options other than growing your business as much as you can and as quickly as you can.

Nor can you necessarily count on your friends and family—those who really do have your best interests at heart—to point out that you might find more happiness by choosing another path. They're probably not aware of any alternative. Like most people, they assume that getting big is the whole idea. But there is, in fact, an alternative, and the payoff for choosing the less-traveled path can be huge. It can affect every aspect of your business—from your relationships with the people you work with, to the control you have over your time and your future, to the impact you have on the world around you, to the satisfaction and fulfillment you get out of your professional life. For proof, you need look no further than the companies that I call Small Giants.

Chances are you already know some Small Giants. They're different from the norm. They don't fit comfortably into any of the three categories we normally put businesses in: big, getting big, and small. Some are tiny; others are relatively large. Most are growing, often in unconventional ways, but a few have chosen not to grow at all. Size and growth rate aside, the Small Giants do have certain characteristics in common. To begin with, they are all utterly determined to be the best at what they do. Most of them have been recognized for excellence by independent bodies inside and outside their industries. Not coincidentally, they have all had the opportunity to raise a lot of capital, grow very fast, do mergers and acquisitions, expand geographically, and generally follow the well-worn route of other successful companies. Yet they have chosen not to focus on revenue growth or geographical expansion, pursuing instead other goals that they consider more important.

These companies also have another characteristic in common—one that's harder to define. Gary Erickson, the founder and CEO of Clif Bar, calls itmojo. I think of it as the corporate equivalent of charisma. If a leader has charisma, people want to follow him or her. If a company has mojo, people want to be associated with it. They want to buy from it, sell to it, work for it, read books and articles about it, wear its t-shirts and caps. Think of Apple, or Harley-Davidson. The question is, where does this mojo come from?

It would take a whole book to answer that question, and I just happen to have written one—Small Giants: Companies That Choose To Be Great Instead of Big(Portfolio). In it, I look closely at 14 Small Giants and identify the things they all do that give them their mojo. What comes through are the extraordinarily high standards that Small Giants set for themselves. And yet these are standards that other companies can aspire to and achieve. Although few startups have even a remote chance of becoming the next Google, Apple, or Facebook, there is nothing to stop any business from becoming the Small Giant of its industry, provided the leader has the vision, the desire, the knowledge, and the commitment to make it happen.

And that's good news for the rest of us, because the more Small Giants there are, the better off we will all be.

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