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Blog: Bank Marketing Insights

ad campaign going down in flamesAdvertise Accordingly.

As a leader in the C-suite, you’re often surrounded by people who defer to your opinion. Maybe there are a few “yes men.” So it can be easy to say you don’t like an ad campaign presented by your CMO and shoot it down without a second thought.

But wait! This campaign isn't for you.

It’s for the people you want to attract. So before you send it crashing into flames, make sure you’re being open—and you’re being strategic.

ask some questions

  • Who are the individuals in your target audience? 
  • What do they care about?
  • Who are their friends? 
  • What keeps them up at night?
  • What are their daily lives like?
  • Where do you find them?
  • How can your bank be a solution for them?

Those individuals may not look like—or live like—you do

The US Census Bureau is full of information to inform decision making about your marketing. Here are some teasers:

  • Marriage: Millennials are waiting longer to marry. And 1 in 6 marriages is to a spouse of a different race or ethnicity.
  • Commuting: more people are biking to work.
  • Parenting and family structure: More grandparents are raising their grandchildren, and more kids are living with a single parent.
  • Race: 7% of the US population is multi racial, and that number is growing.

Tattoos are the norm. Religious preferences are dramatically different than in the past. Entrepreneurs are increasingly female. 

We once had a prospect literally flip out over a model wearing blue nail polish in his company’s commercial. While that might not be appropriate for an advertisement directed at him, I suspect it was right for the audience he was trying to reach. The problem: he thought of his audience as people just like him. 


Are you trying to appeal to people you think you know?

rethink your product development

Understanding those audience lifestyle choices and demographic statistics in your banking communities can help you be much smarter about what you offer and promote.

Pay attention. Once you know more about your audiences, you can develop the products and delivery systems that make life better for the people you want to attract and keep.

take a fresh look at your advertising

Show them reflections of themselves in your social media, your advertising and your promotional materials. Better use of photos and copy style can help your audiences feel like you’re speaking to them and that you understand their needs.

With digital technology, it’s easy to change images and promotional offerings to suit your audiences. Move away from the mass produced auto loan ads and toward communications that are relevant to others—not you.

reassess your hiring

Intentionally work on diversity and inclusion in your institution. If your employees and directors don’t all look like you and sound like you, there are many more opportunities for growth and innovation. 

A friendly reminder: your target audience is probably not just like you. Devote some time to listening to—and collaborating with—your team to develop authentic, on-target campaign communications. You’ll attract the customers and employees that will take your institution to new heights.


For help with a strategic, measurable campaign that resonates with the audiences you wish to reach, contact Martha Bartlett Piland direct at 785.969.6203

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