Content strategist Jennie Kim lays out the three components of a winning content strategy and...
Reprogramming Financial Services Marketing
For Atlanta-based SunTrust Banks, Inc., one of the nation's largest financial services holding companies, the brand narrative is about improving and strengthening customers’ financial lives. “We’re not selling them products,” chief marketing officer and chief experience officer Rilla Delorier told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in a July 2010 interview. “We’re engaging them in a conversation about how to live their life better, more solidly.” Bringing this objective to life is the bank’s “Live Solid, Bank Solid” campaign, which includes the social media-driven LiveSolid.com website. “It’s very consumer-oriented and talks about planning for a wedding, saving for college, dealing with your parent’s finances,” said Delorier. “The group that we’re attracting the most is under 40s who maybe never even balanced their checkbook before.” Launched in February 2010, the site, which greets visitors with a welcoming introductory announcement, has so far attracted some 9,000 Facebook fans and 1,000 Twitter followers, numbers which Delorier says are higher than “a lot bigger banks.”10
In a 2009 feature on how U.S. banks are using social media in marketing and communications, Mashable.com observed that, “…smaller, community banks seem to be leading the charge when it comes to social media innovation. These banks have tapped into the root of what social media means to the community, enjoying success in the way of returning real value for their institutions."11
One example is Green Bay, Wis.-based Nicolet National Bank, which shares valuable financial ideas and information with its customers via an online community hub called The Vault. Demonstrating big thinking in the face of a small marketing budget, Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations Jeff Gahnz one day listened to his CEO explain a complex financial matter in a matter of minutes. Upon reflection, he “realized that ideas they talked about in meetings could be shared with others using social media channels.” Thus was born The Vault, representing a small investment that goes long on value by engaging customers with content delivered via blogs and audio and video podcasts.12