Data analytics forces financial institutions to rethink what ‘community’ means

Financial institutions must harness the power of data analytics to redefine the 'community' they serve, and build their marketing strategy around new segmentation models.

Traditionally, developing the marketing plan at a community bank or credit union has been a top-down process focused on specific products. The goals are defined by senior management, then handed down to marketing and retail teams who plan their promotions accordingly — campaigns that highlight the product(s) that need to be sold. Indeed, many financial institutions will focus all their marketing muscle and customer-facing communications on one product for a month (or quarter). During this time all the branch signage, statement messages/inserts, online banking banner ads, print ads and billboard all focus on the “Product of the Month.”

This approach to marketing is primitive, obtuse and unsophisticated. If it’s “Home Equity Month,” it doesn’t matter if someone owns a home or not, nor whether they have good credit; they will be subjected to the home equity campaign and endure questions from branch staff. The poor sap with a 582 credit score and no kids who lives in an apartment nevertheless has to hear about how “a home equity line can help you with that dream vacation or your child’s college tuition.”

For community institutions that brag endlessly about their “personal connection” with account holders how well they know customers, this this brute-force shotgun style of selling financial products is hypocrisy. You could call it marketing malpractice.


continue reading »