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What’s Hot In Financial Marketing? What’s Not?

What’s in and what’s out in the world of bank and credit union marketing? What trends are hot in retail banking, and which are not? What are the cool topics being explored by speakers on the conference circuit? What do you think? Do you agree with the list, or do you have your own suggestions? Leave your thoughts in a comment below.

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  1. I think these are mostly accurate trends, however, I think CRM is still a critical execution step for the future of banking. Moving the business model from transaction-centric to relationship-centric is essential for providing true long-term value to customers. Seeing CRM in WHAT’S NOT simply because it “takes a lot of work” is a shame and extremely sad for the customers of these institutions.

  2. It’s not to say CRM isn’t important Brad (just like other items in the list — branches, Gen-Y, etc.). It’s just CRM isn’t the hot topic it was. There was a time not long ago when every single core data processor was trotting out their CRM module with much fanfare. They were touted as the cross-selling, relationship-building solution every financial institution could implement. But among those who tried utilizing CRM systems, it seems that only one out of five ever successfully got front line staff to input the necessary information (and 1-in-5 could be a generous assessment).

    The tool still has relevance, it’s just not “cool” or “in” these days. The financial industry loves bouncing around from theme to theme. At one point in time, MCIF systems, CRM, matrix mailing and “big data” have all had their turn in the spotlight. They are all useful and potentially powerful tools. But the industry generally likes to turn its attention to the next shiny thing before mastering the last.

  3. I love this post from the perspective of being a conversation starter and for debate. How about these additional trends (or are they worthy of mention)?
    Merchant-Funded Cash Rewards (hot), Points (not)
    Mass Affluent (hot), Free Checking (not)
    Digital Advertising (hot), Mass Media (not)
    NFC (hot), Mag Stripe (not)
    Cards (hot), Checks (not)
    CFPB (hot), TARP (not)

    Another great, thoughtful post.


  4. Great additions, Jim, and thanks for the feedback. Two items in particular — merchant funded rewards, and targeting the upper end of the market — are definitely topics that are on fire right now.

  5. Great list. Agree 100% w/ the list as published, and like some of Jim’s additions, as well.

    One nit to pick: The article says: “Many FIs that rushed out and launched a blog are now regretting it.”

    I don’t think there’s much regret here — you can count on the fingers of one hand the number of FIs that made a strong commitment (of time and resources) to their blog. Wells Fargo and Verity CU come to mind. I don’t think either of these firms regret their blogging efforts. And the Young&Free CUs also have vibrant blogs.

    But the spirit of the comment is spot on. Blogging — or perhaps more accurately, slapping up a website and calling it a blog — was a waste of the 5 minutes that many FIs spent doing it.

  6. Another couple to add to the list:

    IN: Video banking
    OUT: Foursquare

  7. Joe Sullivan says:

    Jeff- great post and I agree with your trend analysis, especially, at the risk of sounding like one of those consultants – the underbanked! What we are seeing with our clients is that many of their customers are being left out of the economic recovery and are struggling to rebuild their financial lives. So it is less about what additional product the bank can sell, but how can that bank or credit union demonstrate that they can help their clients rebuild. Addressing that core need makes the product “stuff’ secondary. Too many banks and credit unions are missing a great opportunity to connect and help their customers.

  8. Joe, inherent in the “underbanked” discussion is bankers’ belief that the underbanked are somehow unhappy or unsatisfied with being underbanked. Perhaps the underbanked like it that way and are perfectly content? From a marketing/sales perspective, the question is: “What propensity does the underbanked have for additional products and services?” Sure, they may need more banking products (whether they know it or not), but that doesn’t necessarily mean the want to expand their relationship.

    It’s a curious area. Normally retail banks are all about the middle market — average folks, not those on either end of the extreme.

  9. Thanks for sharing. This is really an interesting and informative article.These are accurate trends.Moving the business model from transaction-centric to relationship-centric is essential for providing true long-term value to customers.

  10. So glad to see Microsites on the NOT list.

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