What’s on the mind of bank marketing leaders in 2017?

Data – they are awash in it and, while they want to harness its potential, they also don’t want to drown in it either. That was one of the key takeaways from the recent Media Buying Innovation Summit hosted by the Massachusetts Bankers Association and GCAi. The Summit kicked off with a panel discussion facilitated by Mass Bankers Magazine Editor Bruce Spitzer that focused on the question “What do I need to succeed?”.

Panel members were: Joan Leahy, Vice President of Marketing, PeoplesBank; Kevin Howard, Chief Marketing and Community Engagement Officer, Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank; Michael Allard, Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer, Avidia Bank; and Jerry Lavoie, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Dedham Institution for Savings.

Panelists generally agreed that the shift was on, with traditional media losing out (print advertising taking the biggest hit) to a variety of digital marketing strategies. Yet, they also agreed that investment in new media was not being made without considerable thought. The targeting options offered by digital marketing, along with its affordability and effectiveness, is what has been driving investment. “Experiment” and even “fail fast” were remarks made by panelists suggesting a new wave of testing and retesting the multitude of new marketing options.

But hold on. This group of experts also agreed on which demographic really butters a bank’s bread and it was not the millennials who were spreading that wealth. Bank marketers felt that traditional was not going away anytime soon but they would be asking for some extra digital value to augment that four-color print ad in the Sunday paper. So while the traditional traveling ice cream truck proved popular for one bank this summer, a good part of that enthusiasm was driven by social media posts announcing where the truck would be on a given day. Traditional and digital combine for a sweet treat.

The bank marketing professionals, representing financial institutions from the hills of the Berkshires to the shores of Cape Cod, were also able to hear from experts at leading media companies including Comcast Spotlight, iHeartMedia, Entercom and, of course, the GCAi Digital Media and SEO PR team who presented on Pay Per Click opportunities and Social Media Marketing. Interestingly, the day ended with a presentation by GCAi’s own Darcy Fortune who encouraged bank marketers to not only buy media but also to be media through creating and disseminating video.

Still it was the targeting yardstick that won the day. Bank marketers want to finally address the problem retailer John Wannamaker suggested so long ago:

Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half.”

To get there, these marketers were going to not only dig into the data, but also the customer journey. Key life indicators, behavioral, and even hyper-targeting where key components of early planning for 2017.  Digital is here to stay and even the media giants present at the summit spent time describing their new e-arsenal. Oh, and the ice cream truck will be back in 2017 as well.

Posted in: Digital Marketing News

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