Commercial lenders can have a hard time differentiating themselves in today’s competitive banking environment. The services offered are intangibles, and, as any expert will tell you, it’s quite difficult to build strong marketing campaigns around things people can’t touch.
However, a bank is a very important institution for an individual or a business, and there are some marketing tricks banks can use to win customers.
Let’s take a closer look at a few marketing strategies that commercial lenders are relying on these days.
Get People Hooked on Mobile Capture
Mobile banking and remote deposit capture continue to gain in popularity among business owners. If your institution has a great mobile app, don’t be shy to promote this via radio, TV, and social media. In fact, a campaign highlighting this feature will appeal to business owners who are committed to streamlining operations.
Engage business owners and get them using your mobile app for managing deposits. From there, look for cross-promotional and upsell opportunities to meet the lending needs of commercial accounts. (A system such as AccuAccount can help identify such opportunities).
Networking is Still Important
It’s important not to underestimate the power of the customer’s voice. Especially now, when there are so many avenues for feedback like social media and even good old word of mouth.
Of course, banks should have a gold standard for customer service. That should be part of the standard operating plan. But, in order to build trust with the locals and build buzz, it takes a little more. Many banks have been successful in asking their current customers to refer friends and family for a small incentive like reduced checking fees, swag, or even cash.
It also doesn’t hurt for a bank or a branch to get involved with a local charity or sports team. There are opportunities for involvement at festivals and events, too. Supplying a mobile ATM, or a booth staffed with people able to talk about the bank’s offerings (handing out free swag like branded bottled water or tote bags) can go a long way to getting brand recognition in the community.
Free Stuff Works
Speaking of branded swag, it is a fact that everyone likes free stuff. Just like children love free lollipops at the branch, adults will react favorably to small gifts like the aforementioned tote bag. Surprisingly, branded calendars (in the form of refrigerator magnets) keep a bank’s brand front and center while providing a helpful tool that gets everyday use. It may seem simple, but it is effective.
Banks can also offer free stuff that isn’t of the promotional goody variety. Free checking for new customers, low interest rates for bank credit cards, and other account-related incentives have proved very effective in bank marketing strategies. Some banks even partner with local companies like car dealerships or retail stores to offer a sweepstakes-type drawing. Leveraging the tools already available helps, but partnering with a local business could provide more positive press.
There are, of course, many other strategies banks can use to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Stay tuned in this series for more information or sign up for our free monthly newsletter, packed full of tips for commercial lending institutions.