Vision Without Action is a Dream, (but…)

“Vision without action is a dream,

…action without vision is a nightmare.”

Have you seen this proverb before? It certainly rings true for many banks whose marketing plan is a to-do list of where to advertise and what brochures and flyers to print.

Are you one of those banks? Do you know if your marketing dollars are working for you and providing a return on your investment?

To build an effective marketing plan for 2012, you have to know how you are known in the market and if that differs from how you want to be known. Is it time to reinforce your current reputation, or infuse new messages? Having a vision – knowing the big picture so to speak, will help you define what you need to accomplish and what strategies and actions you’ll need to undertake to do so.

For example, if your goal is to shift your deposit mix to core accounts because that fits your vision – do you have a strategy to do so? Separate approaches for consumers vs. businesses?

Or say you want to be known for something other than low fee banking. Or maybe you can and want to be known as the almost fee-free bank. Decide what your bank stands for and communicate it to the right audience with the right message. But first make sure you have a fee strategy, and build your action plan from there.

Are your products competitive? So many banks are building relationship programs that offer better deals to customers with multiple accounts – you’ll be seeing more of this approach throughout the next year. Can you compete with them? Or do you want to stand out and be the bank that offers solo accounts with good benefits. What is your product strategy?

You get the idea. Think through what types of customers you want to keep, grow, and add. And what strategies will help you deliver these results. Then define your action plans. If you start from the top, not the bottom, you’ll see a significant bump in the impact of your marketing efforts.

So – don’t lead your team in a nightmare – or worse yet – not even know if you’re having one. Build a marketing vision and strategy for your bank, then your action plans – that’s your foundation for success.

And, as a reminder, in this season of strategic planning, don’t forget it’s also the season to give thanks and celebrate your bank’s strengths and perseverance in what we all know is a challenging environment. Our hats off to all of you – and our sincere appreciation for your business.

Critical Bank Marketing Trends in 2012
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