Half-Baked Marketing = Missed Opportunities

Late last week I came across a contest run by a (not local to me) community bank. “What a fantastic marketing idea!” I thought. “What a way to go beyond free gas!” I thought.

“What a way to take an idea only halfway!” was the reality.

The bank had a great idea – a local photo contest (think cute baby) gets the community involved. The bank even set up a dedicated website to allow online voting and entry. The website was attractive, cleanly designed and appeared to be simple to use.

Here’s where they dropped the ball.

Curious, as I am, regarding how far they took the campaign, I search on Facebook. The bank attempted a Facebook page two years ago, but appeared to abandon it soon after. Twitter? Not there either.

Facebook could have tied in wonderfully with this campaign, and helped this contest go viral. I haven’t named the bank, and don’t know how successful the campaign was, but still: what a missed opportunity.

Marketing isn’t limited now to “just direct mail” and “just email” these days, and just a website alone isn’t going to cut it. Look at where your customers are, and where they want to interact with you. Build social media into your marketing mix. As this contest proves, your online presence doesn’t have to be “all about banking” – and promotional tools like photo contests are tailor-made for Facebook.

In other news:

Is Banking’s Future in the Cloud? My debut piece for BankDirector.com. Great insights from Tom Garcia, CEO of InfoSight, Anil Cheriyan, CIO of SunTrust, and Michael Bryan, CIO of Bank of North Carolina.

The FDIC is encouraging banks to reach the unbanked.

Glad to see my colleague, Al Dominick, back to blogging. Will community banks be for sale when M&A picks up?

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