We in the Midwest are often tagged as being conservative when it comes to marketing and advertising. Based on the fact that in the past five years, Lessing-Flynn has had a grand total of one bank knock on our door, follow up with a phone call after sending a mail piece or even extend a “we should get together at lunch and talk about your financial needs” handshake at a networking event, it’s safe to say financial marketing in Des Moines is extremely conservative. That or we’re a very undesirable bank prospect!
There’s a huge opportunity in this market for a financial institution willing to step outside of the traditional “we’re local”, “it’s our people”, “you’re not a number, we really care about you” messages that (jokingly) differentiate every financial institution in this market.
In our quest to bring a creative thinking to a rather stiff-collared industry, we ran across a number of savvy ideas that go beyond the typical website, Yellow Page ad, statement stuffer and newspaper ad. Check these out:
1) Brass Media is a complete suite of media tools designed to reach the Generation Y group including a monthly magazine, video podcast, blog, website widgets and branch promotional pieces.
2) Addison Avenue Federal Credit Union has taken the “big bank” theme to the extreme with a clever online campaign themed “Bank Intervention”. The creative campaign is designed to encourage people to break their addiction to big banks.
3) Europe’s Dexia Bank created a whole new “bank within a bank” exclusively for youth 12 – 25 years, old called Axion. Part of their marketing effort to this audience included an elaborately planned contest featuring up-and-comer rock bands who ultimately performed in “banner concerts” via streaming online banner ads.
4) The west coast’s Umpqua Bank has been innovating the bank branch experience for years. Beyond the typical free-coffee and drive-up vacuum tube, they launched a visionary video that demonstrates how innovative bank branches could take advantage of current technology in the not too distant future.
5) Amsterdam’s Insinger de Beaufort launched a service for high-end customers who don’t have time to dabble with little things like bills and deposits. Clients there can drop anything related to their finances into a shoebox and the bank will pick it up and handle it all, including financial reports and planning.
6) Australian bank, Westpac created a “truth pod” that allowed people to vent about what they didn’t like about their bank. Using video from the campaign, they were able to highlight how they were “lowering the cost of banking” for their customers.
7) Even in our own backyard, there are innovative financial marketing ideas emerging from a desire for innovation. Take a look at savings goal-oriented SmartyPig – which has now grown from a small startup just a few years ago to a local company doing business internationally. Take a look at new startup Dwolla, which makes the transfer of money easier and less expensive.
Have you seen other innovative financial marketing ideas? We’d love to hear from you in our comments section below.