I have been publishing Bank Marketing Strategy for only three years, but it has been an exciting (and sometimes challenging) adventure. It has provided me a forum for discussing many of the changes and exciting innovations in retail banking, while allowing me to meet leaders who provide interesting perspectives on an industry I have been working in for more than three decades.
So, which of last year's Bank Marketing Strategy posts were the most read and created the most buzz? The top posts definitely covered a wide spectrum of topics, but also may have helped Bank Marketing Strategy be recognized as one of the top 5 financial industry blogs by The Financial Brand.
A follow-up to the fourth most read article of 2012, this blog post provided details into the differences between bank and credit union marketers as noted in the 2012 Bank and Credit Union Financial Marketing Survey conducted by The Financial Brand and myself early last year.
The post discussed how, while both banks and credit unions were anticipating constrained budgets in 2012, that was where the similarities ended. Not only were banks expecting to be dealing with trust and compliance issues for much of the year, they were going to be focusing on different products and services in their promotional efforts.
In 2012, I invited industry leaders to provide their perspective on what goals bank marketers should focus on during the upcoming year. Much like personal resolutions, it was universally expected that many of the resolutions may not be met, but the aspirations of hopefully making progress on these ambitious goals were discussed.
Last year, the goals for marketers focused on challenges such as measurement of results, channel integration, enhancing the customer experience, big data, leveraging social media, innovation and building both a customer and bank value strategy. Interestingly, possibly because of the scope of these resolutions, the most discussed bank marketer resolution for 2013 ended up being to have greater focus on a narrower set of goals.
To get a perspective on the challenges and opportunities available to banks in the area of rewards and loyalty, I reached out to the leaders of four companies that were currently leveraging structured and unstructured data to provide unique solutions to the banking industry. These leaders were also co-panelists with me at the 2012 BAI Payments Connect Conference.
This roundtable interview provided great insight into ways that banks and credit unions could take advantage of the 'loyalty trifecta' of bringing together payment and transactional insight, targeted communication and offers as well as mobile functionality. Interestingly, a year later, few organizations have cashed in on this opportunity.
As mentioned above, I partnered with Jeffry Pilcher from The Financial Brand at the beginning of last year to develop the 2012 Bank and Credit Union Financial Marketing Survey. This allowed both of us to better understand the challenges and opportunities of marketers in the banking and credit unions industries
This post provided an initial overview of the results from over 300 financial marketing professionals at organizations of all sizes. (the highest rated post provided credit union and bank break-outs). The primary challenges facing institutions last year continue today and include the need for better measurement of results, the importance of expanding share of wallet and optimizing the media mix for improved effectiveness and efficiency.
Before Brett King's newest book, Bank 3.0 was even released, I was lucky enough to get an interview with the visionary and founder of Movenbank who had previously written Bank 2.0 and Branch Today, Gone Tomorrow. During the interview, he discussed the challenges traditional banks are having as they try to transform themselves for the consumer who places a higher value on time than locational convenience.
The interview also dug into how Brett envisioned the payments competitive landscape transforming and how he believed social media and banking may integrate in the future. In early 2013, I am looking forward to another interview with King as Movenbank goes live as a digital bank.
In November of last year, I had the opportunity to be interviewed by Bankrate.com regarding what I saw to be the biggest changes in the banking industry that are impacting consumers. This post provided the transcript to the discussion, highlighting the changes in mobile and online banking functionality, how branches will begin to be reconfigured or go away entirely, and how mobile wallets may eventually replace our leather versions.
I further discussed how many banks are significantly changing the way consumers may interact with their banking accounts and how prepaid cards are becoming a viable alternative to traditional checking accounts.
Discussing a topic that I will definitely be covering again in early 2013, this September post delved into the impact that the confluence of financial and customer behavioral changes was having on bankings' branching network strategies. This was also a major theme in the interview with Brett King in the #5 post in 2012 as well.
Referencing recent research reports from Fitch Ratings and Infosys as well as articles in various trade journals, this post discussed how banks are looking at alternatives to traditional branches to serve customers more efficiently. The post also discussed the potential of shrinking branch networks and new technology that will enable alternative financial product delivery options.
With a headline playing off a Halloween theme on October 31, this post provided an analysis of how personal financial management tools are being used by consumers and delivered by third party providers. Referencing a 2012 study by The Federal Reserve, as well as research from Aite Group, Javelin Strategy and Research and Celent and a blog post from Ron Shevlin, this article also discussed the potential (or lack thereof) for PFM growth.
Finally, I was able to review one of the more innovative PFM products available to banks recently introduced by the team at Finovate 2012 winner, MoneyDesktop. This tool, with both online and mobile user interfaces, is a way for banks to quickly offer dynamic PFM services to their customers.
As banks expand their digital marketing strategies to optimize marketing spend and effectiveness, retargeting has become more commonplace. A strategy that captures customer insight as they move around the web, either shopping for financial products or simply just visiting a bank site, this tactic allows bankers to 'reconnect' with the same consumers later, providing offers that may generate new business.
Including an interview with Lloyd Lee from New Control and research from both ComScore and BizRate Insights, this post dug deeply into both the benefits of retargeting and the methods used for best results.
The tenth most popular post in 2012 was developed after a presentation and interview done with Matt Wilcox, SVP from Zions Bancorporation in conjunction with Drew Sievers, CEO of mFoundry at last year's BAI Retail Delivery Conference in Washington, DC.
The post highlighted many of the ways banks can now expand their view of mobile banking as a cost containment channel (which it may not be) to include several revenue opportunities that can be integrated within the service. Through partnerships with third party providers, the article describes how the mobile channel could provide a 'revenue annuity' at a time when fee and interchange income is being squeezed.
So there's the top ten Bank Marketing Strategy blog posts from 2012.
I hope to continue to cover a wide variety of topics in 2013 that are of interest to my readers. If there is any subject you are especially interested in, let me know. It is always fun to research the unknown and uncover ideas and strategies that can make us all more successful.
Here's to a prosperous and exciting new year.