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NEFMA gets a new look

Posted By NEFMA, Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Updated: Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Exciting news – a new logo will be revealed at the upcoming 2014 Spring Conference! The new mark is a great reflection of the organization’s values, its members and personality. We don’t want to give too much detail away yet so we hope you’ll be there for the big unveiling!

Tags:  new logo 

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The Revolution Will Not Be Commoditized

Posted By Addison Hoover, NCR, GM, Branch Transformation Marketing, Americas, Tuesday, April 1, 2014

This is not about ATMs. This is not about mobile apps. This is not about branches, recyclers, interest rate offerings, or eMarketing campaigns.

The banking revolution is all about the consumer.

Although its virtues have been espoused in the retail industry for over the last decade, banking is now becoming acutely aware of a dramatic paradigm shift. We’re no longer in a world where consumers rely on banks – rather, banks are more reliant than ever on their consumers.

With technology has come access, with access has come knowledge, and with knowledge has come empowerment; consumers today have the ability to choose how and where they prefer to be served, and, most importantly, the ability to choose which vendor will serve them based on those terms.

This is a scary proposition for a number of institutions. However, serving this generation of consumers doesn’t need to be a guessing game.

At an individual level, each end user is forming expectations on how they’re served, not by industry, but throughout their daily lives. The most astute technology companies and financial institutions are actively monitoring these points of engagement within the retail, travel, and hospitality industries. Each of these lines of businesses is distinctively molding their physical and digital customer experience strategies, and in turn, rapidly affecting the preferences and expectations of financial consumers everywhere. 

"They will be the banks and credit unions that craft the next generation of full service, augment the interplay of delivery channels, and create intimacy and personalized relationships with their consumers." 

As the paradigm has gone from banking to consumer, to consumer to banking (C2B), it is ever more important we stay in sync to these expectations, and understand that the next generation of banking tools is going to be much different than before. The answers for how to engage with a customer won’t be as easy as throwing more intelligent deposit ATMs in a branch, or delivering a segregated mobile app, or building a location with flashy fixtures or indistinct digital signage.  

Luckily, if we look around we can quickly identify the myriad megatrends businesses are employing and consumers are adopting. Whether it’s video-assisted service from Amazon via a tablet or Hertz over a kiosk, or mobile transactions impacting architectural design and consumer choreography at Chipotle or Delta, or beacon and self-service mobile technology in an Apple store – the mental models for customer expectations are already being curated across a diverse suite of daily interactions. The expectations forming in parallel channels are actively going to show which tools need to be utilized by financial institutions as the banking revolution continues. And when used correctly, the final product is going to be a seamless, enhanced experience, which better serves the end user on their terms.

Institutions that understand this – and work with solution providers in tune with the end user’s comprehensive expectations – will be best positioned to help abstract transactions from isolated channels, tailor a consistent tone and voice, and synchronize experiences across their digital and physical footprints.

They will be the banks and credit unions that craft the next generation of full service, augment the interplay of delivery channels, and create intimacy and personalized relationships with their consumers.

Those institutions that eschew these meaningful guideposts will be approaching the banking revolution with an outdated toolset of commoditized, ingredient technologies, leaving consumers with no choice but to head to greener pastures.

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10 Business Banking Essentials

Posted By NEFMA, Thursday, March 27, 2014
Updated: Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Small businesses have long been a vital part of the U.S. economy and a symbol of the American dream. But, during the past few years, small business owners have faced their fair share of challenges – from dealing with a sluggish economy and lackluster consumer confidence to skyrocketing healthcare and benefit costs. Combine all of these factors with increased regulatory scrutiny, tight credit and an uncertain economic future, and you have a small business environment in which only the strong will survive.

The good news? All of this presents an excellent opportunity for community banks and credit unions.

Community financial institutions have long been instrumental to the success of small businesses. Now, more than ever, community banks and credit unions, with the right bundle of services, cannot only bolster the health of their small business customers, but increase loyalty and grow fee income in the process. If these time-strapped owners can come to your institution for the full complement of services they need to succeed, you will earn their trust, their business and reap the long-term financial benefits.

Attached is a D+H white paper that explains the 10 services you need to become the institution of choice for the small business community.

Download File (PDF)

Tags:  commercial services  small business 

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Ben Franklin’s Idea Is Still a Good One

Posted By Charlie Gross, Senior Vice President WordCom, Friday, March 21, 2014

What we all know today as the US Postal Service dates back to one of our most famous founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin.  He saw a need to help the original 13 colonies communicate with each other.  In 1775, the Second Continental Congress appointed him the first postmaster general.

In all the years that have followed, the basic premise has remained the same.  For just a few pennies, a message will be delivered to any entity with an address.

Electronic communications conveniences introduced over the last two decades have certainly brought a dramatic reduction in the volume of mail.  However, financial marketers still recognize the fact that as a communications medium, direct mail is still a very cost-effective way to reach both customers and prospects alike.

In fact, because mail volumes have declined significantly, it’s much easier to make an impression in anyone’s mailbox these days compared to just a few years ago.  And with the mail, messaging efforts won’t be thwarted by SPAM filters, easily ignored by web site clutter or the DVR, all of which can be formidable obstacles to success when using electronic media.

Using direct mail is simple.  There are only three variables: the offer, the list and the creative presentation.  Seasoned direct mail marketers recognize that chances of success are greatly enhanced if you get the first two correct.  A competitive offer to a targeted list will deliver good results.  Creative should be attractive and display the brand in a positive light however, it just doesn’t carry the same weight as the offer and the mailing list.

In recent years, there have been exciting advances in database technology that provide mailers with many new selection opportunities.  Demographic enhancements, transaction pattern analysis, credit profiles and predictive models are some of the tools that are available to both large volume and small volume mailers.  And that’s how cost-efficiencies are realized.  It’s all about getting the highest return for the smallest expense.  Modern targeting techniques help increase the odds that the message will reach motivated buyers without excess waste.

Technology has improved on the production side too.  Advances in the equipment used for printing and assembly of direct mail mean more flexibility.  Design ideas that could not be produced a few years ago are a reality today.

The most compelling reason to include direct mail in your marketing efforts is that every mailing can be tracked for effectiveness.  A thorough campaign analysis includes direct open rates (a count of openings for the actual product featured in the offer), indirect open rates (all the other things that the target audience opened), lift over control (when testing a new list, offer, or creative format), and an ROI calculation that shows if the project made money after all the expenses are tallied.

In today’s fast-paced environment, “snail mail” might seem as relevant as the telegraph.  But the post office isn’t going away any time soon.  Rock on, Ben Franklin!

Tags:  direct mail  target marketing 

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Winter Conference Re-Cap

Posted By NEFMA, Thursday, February 20, 2014
Updated: Monday, March 24, 2014

In January, around 100 financial marketers braved frigid temperatures to attend NEFMA’s Winter Conference in Woodstock, Vermont. The harsh weather was quickly forgotten upon arrival at the charming Woodstock Inn, where a roaring fire greeted guests.

 Many NEFMA members who arrived early Thursday headed to the nearby town of Quechee for a guided tour of the Simon Pearce glassware plant. Thursday evening, attendees gathered for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres at the Networking Reception, immediately followed by dinner in the Woodstock Inn’s main dining room.  During dinner, guest speaker Clay Adams, CEO of Simon Pearce, delivered a fascinating account of his experience managing a luxury brand through rapid growth and diversification.

Friday’s conference program began with breakfast and a welcome address from NEFMA President, Bill Dewitt. The morning sessions covered a broad range of marketing topics including market research, compliance, and event planning. First up was “Getting to Know Your Customers,” a detailed look at several research techniques that every marketer should be familiar with. The “Compliant Sales and Marketing Strategies” presentation went deep into the intricacies of UDAAP regulations and how to avoid common compliance issues. “Event Planning Essentials” rounded out the early sessions with some innovative approaches to creating successful customer events.

After lunch, keynote speaker Ted Rosen presented “How to Stop Selling Products and Start Building Relationships.” As president of Expert Business Development LLC ,  Ted specializes in helping financial service providers build strong relationships.  His session demonstrated his thorough knowledge of relationship building techniques, as he shared many useful insights on designing internal processes and effective sales training.

Tags:  conference 

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