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Most community banks were founded by influential community leaders who are typically respected business owners who are well-known for supporting and participating in many local community activities.
So, the initial marketing strategy for launching a community bank was simple. Just piggy back off the founder’s reputations and leverage their credibility This was the original brick and mortar influencer marketing strategy and created an immediate sense of trust and credibility that every financial institution must have.
And today’s most successful social media programs use the same type of influencer strategies to effectively and efficiently acquire millions of online followers and customers.
Community banks shared the same basic beginnings, and today they are experiencing the same economic challenges. Costly compliant regulations… increased deposit costs squeezing their NIM… increased expenses created by unplanned mandatory technology investments… increased competition from online non-bank companies… and finding effective and affordable solutions to increase their core deposits.
No bank has control over these issues and the older established community banks never could have foreseen these challenges. This is probably why New Jersey hasn’t had a new community bank open in over ten years.
Another challenge facing community banks is the ability to live up to their original brand identity and customer promises. This is a natural progression that occurs when a community bank expands its footprint and opens new branches to serve multiple communities. At this point, they stop being a community bank and transition into a community’s bank.
Serving multiple and diverse geographic, demographic and socio-economic audiences creates new branding, marketing and communication challenges. But fortunately, these are critical challenges community banks do have control over.
During the physical transition process, community banks need to proactively develop plans to re-invent themselves. Customer focused communications will effectively serve the banks new audiences and segmentation marketing is, with-out a doubt, the most cost-efficient strategy to re-brand a community’s bank.
Watch our next video and discover how segmentation marketing can increase your core deposits.
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