Industry Marketing Series: Community Banks and Credit Union Marketing

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At POP, we understand that marketing is certainly not a one-size-fits-all industry. In order to have your ad campaign see the best results possible, you have to work with a marketing agency that is willing to take the time to get to know your special niche in the industry. This idea is especially important when discussing marketing strategies for community banks and credit unions.

Community banks and credit unions require much different marketing approaches than say a global clothing retailer. Their audiences and goals are much different. Community banks and credit unions are essentially small community businesses, and therefore need a marketing campaign that will help them attract local and regional business. In order to increase traffic to their websites, and get more customers through the doors, these organizations need the help of an agency that is willing to investigate their local markets.

POP always takes a customized approach to each and every ad campaign. Our first step is to utilize a creative brief in order to understand the bank or credit union’s current positioning in the market as well as its goals and plans for the future. This creative brief gives the banking institution the opportunity to let our designers and developers understand the purpose of the marketing campaign and the messages that the institution would like to convey to the public.

When we developed and launched a new web site for Pacific Valley Bank in Salinas, California, POP gained plenty of experience getting to know the marketing needs and challenges faced by many community banking institutions. More importantly, we understand how to implement a marketing tool that is tailored to deliver real results. Like we did for the Pacific Valley Bank, we help community banks design websites that are optimized to attract new local customers to their institution. When the visitors visit the website, they find news, interactive tools, valuable information, and resources that we know banking customers are seeking.

How do we create specialized marketing campaigns for community banks and credit unions? Well, let's look at some of the decisions made for Pacific Valley Bank. After scouring scores of stock libraries, we realized that most of the images had a generic feel or looked downright silly. The bank is headquartered in Steinbeck country, which draw thousands of literary pilgrims every year. It also happens to be an agricultural community and many of their business banking customers are farmers.

While comfortable inside, the bank doesn't have an architecturally distinctive main branch. If it had, we might have considered photographing it. Instead, we found a local photographer named Kirk Kennedy whose work is displayed in the Salinas branch lobby. His outdoor photography is simple stunning plus it looks more authentic and local, which is what many farmers and banking customers seek. While we don't have the marketing research to back this up (expensive), we gained the impression that many in the community favor local shops to nationwide brands: for example, the local coffee shop had more customers than the local Starbucks. Kirk's photos together with professional portraits of management and the bank's directors created a far more neighborly feel that resonates with the community.

By taking the time to view each business as an individual entity instead of using assumptions or generalized standards for every customer. Our agency puts in the effort to develop a deep knowledge of your local market and the community bank and credit union industry. We combine this knowledge with our fresh perspective in order to launch an effective and valuable marketing campaign.