1 Would you like insurance with that checking account? How about stocks? Financial institutions today have supplemented their routine banking products with nontraditional services. The challenge is learning how to market these new offerings under the umbrella of the established brand.
2 C u s t o m e r R e l a t i o n s h i p s Selling the One-Stop Shop Illustration by, Curtis Parker B by Janet Bigham Bernstel anks have been the trusted partners of consumers for decades as both a safe harbor for deposits and a partner in lending. Yet when it comes to purchasing nontraditional bank products like insurance and investments, many customers are hesitant about expanding their relationship with their primary bank. Despite aggressive cross-sell activities by financial institutions, only about 17 percent of consumers say they are interested in one-stop-shopping at the bank, according to an April 2005 report In Search of the One-Stop Shopsper by Forrester Research. Among the suggestions aimed at winning over the onestop shopper, Forrester recommends tailored offers and relationship pricing. The banks we spoke to who are deep into their new roles as more than just banks do these things and more. They have their own stories to tell about how to market nontraditional products to the conventional bank customer. aba BANK MARKETING DECEMBER
3 It s All About Personal Connections First Tennessee Bank N.A. Memphis, Tenn. Assets: $37.2 billion for the entire company Locations: 210 irst Tennessee Bank added investments to its line of products back in the mid-90s. Using a dedicated sales force, the bank achieved some success in expanding business. Yet initially there was no great inclination for people to get those items from their bank rather than their preferred Fspecialist. First Tennessee, and the entire industry, was faced with the enormous challenge of building awareness in consumers that the bank you ve trusted with deposits and loans is now the one to look to for investments, insurance and financial planning as well. The key thing we did from a marketing and branding perspective in 2000 was to reposition the brand, explains David Miller, senior vice president and director of marketing. We decided we really needed to market the bank as a full-service financial services company. They started by leaving the bank behind, literally. We used to be First Tennessee Bank, but changed it to just First Tennessee, he says. It seems simplistic, but it has ramifications in how the marketplace perceives you and also how your employees react. Research shows us that the word bank has some self-limiting characteristics and removing that word eliminates a psychological barrier. The decades-old tagline also had an update. The former Here for You had served the market-share leader well, but the new All Things Financial better reflected their new role as a broader financial services company. Other changes followed, such as branches being renamed financial centers, each headed by a financial-center manager. Aside from tweaking titles, First Tennessee turned to mass communication channels like TV, print and even sponsorships to feature its insurance and investment capabilities more prominently. One creative campaign born of their early awareness-building efforts that s still prevalent today was the introduction of working money. These feature guys dressed in dollar-bill suits that are activity-oriented, not lazy money as in noninterest accounts, laughs Miller. It wasn t exactly for wealth management areas, but was so out there it s stayed in a lot of our advertising. Other current marketing activities focus on their own customers rather than the marketplace at large. Now it s a much more surgical approach, such as newsletters to our more affluent customers and sophisticated directmail programs, explains Miller, recognizing that from a marketing economy of scale, we need to optimize the dollars we re spending to promote our nontraditional products and there are certain customers more in need of them. Miller says First Tennessee s targeted, surgical approach focuses on such things as: Relationship pricing Legal barriers prevent relationship pricing within insurance products, but it s critical in all other areas. Like many financial institutions, First Tennessee discounts some traditional banking products depending on the breadth of customer activity. Personal connections A key part of the wealth management strategy that s evolved has been facilitating and enhancing personal relationships and creating one-to-one connections with a salesperson. Don t Blink was one of a series of print ads used by First Tennessee to introduce its All Things Financial tagline. The new slogan better reflected the institution s new role as comprehensive financial services provider. Regular contact Direct mail is used somewhat in the traditional sense, systematically touching on a regular basis both existing wealth management customers as well as those with the highest deposit balances. New technologies have expanded the possibilities. Our system now enables our officers to send out directmail pieces with their signature and in some cases their photo, explains Miller. It allows us to control brand from a corporate perspective through templates and a finite set of options while following the strict regulatory guidelines and still giving officers some freedom. 18 DECEMBER 2005 aba BANK MARKETING
4 First Tennessee was able to convey its position as a broad-based financial services company through a series of ads featuring people dressed in dollar-bill suits. The idea was that First Tennessee could make your money smarter or force it to work harder. Lists of direct-mail recipients are also placed on the corporate intranet so the sales force can follow up with a phone call. Specialized experts Research shows that consumers are looking for advice. A bank is in a great position to offer that, but it doesn t come without investing in some sophisticated abilities. In our company, it s not just the large group of specialists we have, and we have about 50 investment officers in Tennessee, but also a very significant percent of our financial center sales force is licensed to sell annuities, claims Miller. We probably have one of the top 10 or 15 broker/dealers in the country when you combine our dedicated officers and the licensed financial center sales force. Complimentary financial planning Offering in-depth complimentary financial planning is a real cornerstone of First Tennessee s strategy. While research shows consumers crave financial advice, many are leery of the credibility of the advice they receive, mainly because historically it s been tied to a product pitch or sale. First Tennessee s certified financial planners do not sell; their compensation is based on the number of plans they create and the happiness of the customer. This is not Budgeting 101 but a comprehensive plan that you might pay $1,500 to $2,000 to get done somewhere else, including tax planning, education planning for children, risk management for insurance and long-term care, Miller explains. Miller says it costs them between $600 to $800 to do a plan. Because it s objective advice and clear to the customer that First Tennessee invested time and resources to provide that advice, they ll make significant product purchases on the back end. The bottom line is that our business is very much still a people business, claims Miller. Why do they love First Tennessee? Why have they been with us 25 years and expanded the relationship? Typically they ll tell you it s because we re convenient, have more branches, longer hours and complimentary financial planning but then they ll tell you in most cases that Suzie Q at the local branch is great, they trust her it s personal connections. aba BANK MARKETING DECEMBER
5 A Strategy of National Media Exposure Univest Corp. Souderton, Pa Assets: $1.7 billion Locations: 34 wo years ago Annette D. Szygiel senior vice president of marketing at Univest Corp. in southeastern Pennsylvania Ttook over as the new director of marketing. Prior to her arrival, the company had acquired a broker/dealer, a couple of insurance companies and a few banks in new markets. There were many things to consider, specifically to evolve the brand through those acquisitions and continue to reinforce our name equity, states Szygiel. I believe in a strategy to leverage what you have, which for Univest, was brand recognition as a community bank providing solutions for local consumers and businesses. Logo change On a tactical level, the first move was to enhance the logo. No difference in color or fonts or positioning of the integrated platform, but with the addition of the words banking, insurance and investments to strengthen the message. That impacted everything from our financial-servicecenter signage down to our letterhead and business cards, explains Szygiel. Our tagline is Financial Solutions for Life, reinforcing our integrated platform of banking, insurance and investments. On a strategic level, the goal was to maximize current customer relationships and gain exposure and momentum as an integrated solutions provider. One key was to get consumers to understand one-stop-shopping at Univest. We implemented a consumer segmentation strategy to expand our existing customer relationships through the product process, she explains. We took a look at their banking relationship, cycle of life, propensity to attrite and propensity to buy a next product. The methodology builds a broader service mix that positions the investment and insurance piece of our platform. I realized we had a goldmine of expertise in our wealth management and trust business, but we hadn t been telling everyone. Annette D. Szygiel, senior vice president of marketing, Univest Corp., Souderton, Pa. Once consumers get beyond the basics of banking, taking the step towards investments feels natural for them, she claims. The product process is the same for insurance, but less easily adopted by customers. I do think the investment piece is easier, and there is still some hesitancy on the insurance side, says Szygiel. Consumers seem to feel better about going to an insurance company for their insurance services. We have experienced more success [with insurance] with our business clients. Retaining employees of acquisitions But the insurance business is still growing at Univest. In 2000, the company acquired the George Becker Agency, in 2001 they acquired the Gum Agency. The most recent acquisition took place in 2004 with the Donald K. Martin & Co. of West Chester, Pa. Strategically, Univest s approach to the changes was to retain the employees of the newly acquired companies. Our new employees brought portfolios of customers with them, she says. The consistency of employees and employee expertise translates into continued brand strength, she says. Positioning wealth management and trust experts Competition in Univest s marketplace is, as Szygiel puts it, very healthy. There are the megabanks, the regional powerhouses and a dozen or so community banks. To rise above the noise level, Univest pursues national media exposure. When I first arrived, I realized we had a goldmine of expertise in out wealth management and trust business, but we hadn t been telling everyone, she says. So we engaged a public relations partner to actively pursue national media exposure that we leverage here in our local marketplace. According to Kim Detwiler, vice president and director of corporate communications at Univest, a relatively small investment returned over $1 million worth of public relations over an eight-month period, contributing to brand visi- 20 DECEMBER 2005 aba BANK MARKETING
6 Although a regional company with $1.7 billion in assets, Univest of Souderton, Pa., actively pursues national media exposure for its in-house wealth management and trust experts. Shown here are Univest experts speaking on national financial TV shows. The exposure strengthens brand visibility among local customers. bility. Through a relationship with Gregory FCA of Ardmore, Pa., Univest s experts have been named in numerous print publications such as The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times and made over 20 TV and radio appearances, among them segments on CNN, CNBC and Squawkbox. When Univest customers see Gary Wolfer [vice president and senior trust investment officer] or Jim Fisher [vice president and trust investment officer] being quoted on TV and radio at that national level, it certainly builds our credibility among high-net-worth individuals and local business owners, says Szygiel. Desk-side briefings In addition to pursuing the national media, Univest started a series of what they call desk-side briefings with local media outlets. We made appointments with all the media we thought influential in our marketplace and told them our story, basically that we re a financial service organization committed to community, she explains. We take local deposits and make local loans. It s a very active public relations program that s been in place for a solid 18 months. We ve made some big strides in partnerships with different media they come to us now, and we also pitch stories to them. The challenge going forward, she says, is to remain topof-mind as the destination for integrated financial solutions. It s tough in a noisy marketplace because our resources aren t as vast, she admits. But we try to get to the people level, the community level and forge ahead with the relationship approach that we promise. aba BANK MARKETING DECEMBER
7 Constantly Improving the Customer Experience Commerce Bank N.A. Cherry Hill, N.J. Assets: Over $36 billion Locations: 340 ommerce Bank bills itself as a growth retailer that sells convenience. The bank s retail chain concept features standard- Cized facilities, hours and service, and aggressive marketing. Their record speaks for itself, claims founder and chairman Vernon W. Hill, as the average bank grows $2 million a year while Commerce Bank, headquartered in Cherry Hill, N. J., has been growing at $24 million. Our whole banking model is built around the idea of a unique customer experience that s clearly differentiated us from our competition, claims Hill. Obviously we have something going on. In fact, with everything they deliver, Hill says they re redesigning the banking experience. The trick is to translate and transport that experience to their sizable insurance business and their relatively smaller capital markets area. Our customers have a preconceived notion of what the Commerce brand stands for and what they come to expect from us on the banking side, says Hill. So we haven t changed our basic branding message as America s most convenient bank, but it is more difficult to create that differentiation with nontraditional bank products. On the insurance side, Commerce tried to impact the customer experience by re-engineering the way insurance is serviced and delivered. One unique thing we do centers around our very large and complex claims department, explains Hill. When you file a claim with most insurance companies, they pay you as little and as late as possible. My claims department is Vernon W. Hill II, founder and chairman of Commerce Bank N.A., Cherry Hill, N.J. 22 DECEMBER 2005 aba BANK MARKETING
8 designed to represent you, to get you the maximum claim in the shortest possible time. While there are plenty of plans for the future, there is no one thing that Hill can say works best in marketing what has historically fallen outside bank boundaries. It s nothing gigantic, rather it s about an endless amount of adjustments to make it better, says Hill. On the insurance side, we re on a never-ending quest to improve the customer experience. On the capital markets side, it s about linking up our commercial bankers and our wealth management people and giving people software products they can use to manage their portfolios with our help. That s not to say that all their marketing strategies for nonbank products have been instant successes. Some ideas, like putting insurance brokers inside branches, fell flat. He speculates that s because insurance is primarily a call-center business, and consumer insurance customers are more cost driven and less brand loyal. We haven t made giant mistakes, but we ve made tactical errors along the way, and we know it, admits Hill. The biggest mistake you can make is to say you re happy with where you are we know we have to make it better every year. n All Commerce Bank facilities share a similar interior and exterior look. Shown here (counterclockwise from upper left) are the Brooklyn Heights location in Brooklyn; the Princeton, N.J., location; the Astoria, N.Y., location. Shown above is the bank s popular Penny Arcade machine for kids. Janet Bigham Bernstel specializes in writing about marketing and financial services industry issues. She works in Jupiter, Fla. How useful was this article? Please use the postage-free Reader Opinion Card provided in this issue or leave a message at (202) You can also send comments by to aba BANK MARKETING DECEMBER
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