Will a Banking Relationship Lead to a Breakup?

by. Joe Swatek

“I don’t want a relationship with the guy who sells me aspirin. I just want my headache cured.”

That quote, found in a direct marketing article, is credited to Emily Soell, a marketing executive who is a member of the Direct Marketing Association Hall of Fame.

When I read the quote, I didn’t imagine how it relates to the topic of the article, but how it applies to financial services marketing.

Which of your financial institution’s products and services do you promote?

To attract a prospect to your lobby, simple is better. Promote the popular, basic accounts and services.

Yet in the past few years, I’ve seen more financial marketers promote relationship accounts. You know the kind. The relationship includes a checking and savings account, services like online banking, e-statements, and debit card. Then the product designers pour in all the extra “goodies” like rate discounts, ID protection, insurance policies, safe deposit box specials, and even shopping and travel discounts. Plus a monthly fee to pay for it all.

Much too complicated. Have you ever tried to thoroughly explain a relationship account in a brochure? Bankers want every nuance included, so the description likely turns into a long, dizzying list of bullet points.

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