Community Banks

Why Most Community Banks Don’t Invest in True Marketing Strategy

Community Bank Growth Triade

Over the past few weeks, I have been speaking with a few Bank CEOs, and I want to share with you some of the reasons why Most Community Banks don’t invest in proper marketing strategy.

I will focus on one area this week and cover the others over the next few weeks. Today, we start with Lack of Understanding.

Remember this customer journey map I introduced to you in the last few weeks? If you don’t have a game plan like this, it won’t be easy to Track, Evaluate, and or Optimize your marketing efforts.

If we, as Chief Marketing Officers, lay out the plan like this, the CEOs will understand the strategy we are putting in place. Most times, the marketing strategy is driven by the CEO, but in all actuality, it needs to be caused by the CMO to align with the goals of the Community Bank.


Here’s what happens: you are given a goal to increase the “Loan” portfolio or find a way to increase “Deposit growth,” and if you haven’t implemented a marketing strategy with a journey document like the above, you will resort to what most marketers do;

  1. Buy a sign at the local high school
  2. Offer Pens and trinkets to customers
  3. Give away tool kits when customers open accounts
  4. Post on Social media without tracking the results or knowing why you are posting.
  5. Run Ads by boosting your latest post.
  6. Create a Podcast because it’s cool.
  7. Buy a Billboard or Magazine slot alone

Don’t get me wrong, some of these things are not awful; you need to know when and how to move customers from Awareness to Raving fans of your Bank.

So, what do you think happens next?

The CEO and Board question why the needle was not moved in your goal areas. Then, marketing budgets are cut, and marketing becomes less important than something that drives the needle.

Resistance to Change:

I’ve also realized that most Bankers have a resistance to change. It’s not because they don’t believe in what needs to happen; they have never been exposed to an actual Marketing strategy, and it’s okay! However, you can’t stay in that place; you must implement a plan.

So please look below at this Growth Triad and see the critical pieces of the puzzle.

  1. Documented Journey
  2. Actionable Metrics
  3. Tools & Tactics

Most Bank Marketers operate on one spoke: the Tools and Tactics, with Actionable metrics sprinkled in like Google Analytics. If you need to learn to have all 3 of these in play, you should do so immediately.

You are stuck in the mud if you have a Documented Journey and actionable Metrics. You need the tools & tactics to move forward.

You will be a One Hit Wonder if you have Actionable Metrics & Tools, and tactics. It may work one time, but then you need to know what you did for it to work.

See where I’m going? You need all three working together for Growth!


Understanding your Customer Data:

Another critical factor is truly understanding your customer data. You know they have relationships with other Banks, right? Would you want to know who they are? How about if they are planning for a significant purchase and need a Line of Credit? Using your customer data to understand how to market to your customers is critical, and you should be doing that.

Over the next few weeks, we will also share a new partnership that can help open the floodgates for your Bank. We can’t wait to share everything with you.

P.S. – If you are not using a documented approach to your marketing, you are throwing tactics on the wall and expecting them to stick. Don’t allow your marketing teams to make you miss the mark.

Book a Free Discovery Session with us!


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