The Toughest Challenges Financial Marketers Face in 2014

The Financial Brand asked 300 bank and credit union marketing executives to share with us the biggest challenge they faced in 2014. Here’s what 40 of them had to say.

These verbatim answers were pulled from The Financial Brand’s annual marketing survey fielded in January 2014. You can see the statistical analysis from that study here.

“We need to know who we want to be when we grow up in order for us to know how to spend our marketing dollars.”

— Community Bank AVP ($100 to $500 million in assets)

“Interpreting the vast amount of data that we have and turning it into actionable strategies.”

— Credit Union VP ($100 to $500 million in assets)

“Access to big data to create and measure effective online campaigns and next best offer marketing.”

— Bank Director ($10 billion to $50 billion in assets)

“Analytics and measurements.”

— Community Bank Director ($100 to $500 million in assets)

“Adequately measuring ROI for every dollar spent.”

— Credit Union SVP ($100 to $500 million in assets)

“Growing business in a rotten rate environment.”

— Credit Union Director ($100 to $500 million in assets)

“Providing a value proposition that isn’t purely price related.”

— Credit Union SVP ($500 million to $1 billion in assets)

( Read More: 2014 State of Bank & Credit Union Marketing )

“Brand awareness in new markets. Finding the right mix of products. Customer engagement. And of course, the dollars to do everything.”

— Community Bank EVP ($100 to $500 million in assets)

“Growing agressively without running afoul of new regulations/regulators.”

— Bank EVP ($100 to $500 million in assets)

“Understanding social marketing ROI.”

— Credit Union Executive ($100 to $500 million in assets)

“Changing the culture — staff engagement and participation in branding and marketing initiatives.”

— Credit Union Manager ($100 to $500 million in assets)

“Getting everyone at the bank on the same marketing page.”

— Community Bank C-Level Exec ($100 to $500 million in assets)

“Intense competition.”

— Bank VP ($500 million to $1 billion in assets)

“Attracting the younger generation — ages 18 to 24 — without spending an arm and a leg.”

— Credit Union VP ($500 million to $1 billion in assets)

( Read More: 50 Questions for 2014 About Your Bank’s Digital Marketing Future )

“Sustaining loan growth given that the refi boom has for the most part passed.”

— Bank VP ($1 billion to $10 billion in assets)

“Competition for residential loans in a contracting market.”

— Bank SVP ($100 to $500 million in assets)

“Retain savers-only in a market without incentive of interest rates.”

— Bank VP ($10 billion to $50 billion in assets)

“Rate environment, customer cross-sell, and deposit growth.”

— Bank Manager ($10 billion to $50 billion in assets)

“Marketing costs. We are seeing increases across all our vendors.”

— Credit Union VP ($100 to $500 million in assets)

“Focusing on products that are meaningful to consumers and businesses vs. what is ‘cool’ according to our bankers.”

— Community Bank C-Level Exec ($500 million to $1 billion in assets)

“Marketing compliance.”

— Bank Manager ($10 billion to $50 billion in assets)

“Getting C-level executives to understand the importance of branding.”

— Credit Union SVP ($1 billion to $10 billion in assets)

( Read More: The State of Checking Account Consumers in 2013 )

“We have so many things we want to do and so little time to do it all. Our marketing budget is limited. We have to be creative with how we allocate resources.”

— Community Bank Executive ($100 to $500 million in assets)

“We are looking for a new core provider. Everything is stalled until that is locked down.”

— Community Bank VP ($500 million to $1 billion in assets)

“The move to electronic/mobile services while maintaining excellent service in traditional channels. A big part of this is recognizing and offering consumers what they really want, and not making assumptions based on age/economic demographics.”

— Credit Union VP ($500 million to $1 billion in assets)

“Keeping up. Doing more with less.”

— Credit Union VP ($500 million to $1 billion in assets)

“We are in a highly saturated and competitive large city market. No one really knows who we are. We need to create marketing pieces that raise brand awareness, tell people who we are, and why they should bank with us.”

— Credit Union Director ($500 million to $1 billion in assets)

“Low budget with high expectations and goals from senior leadership.”

— Credit Union Executive ($100 to $500 million in assets)

“Creating greater brand awareness given our relative size in the market… 2% of $30 billion in deposits.”

— Community Bank VP ($500 million to $1 billion in assets)

“We are in the middle of a potential merger, making it difficult to know when and where to invest marketing resources, and what we should wait for.”

— Credit Union Manager ($1 billion to $10 billion in assets)

“Keeping and building a brand while going through mergers and attempting to ‘right-size’ in our markets.”

— Bank SVP ($500 million to $1 billion in assets)

“Rebranding our organization, implementation of brand guidelines — from greeting etiquette to office coffee.”

— Bank Executive ($1 billion to $10 billion in assets)

“We spent the last three years on aggressive acquisition. Now we need to focus on retention and building relationships.”

— Bank Manager ($50+ billion in assets)

“Developing a comprehensive and cohesive marketing plan with limited staff time.”

— Community Bank Executive ($100 to $500 million in assets)

“We have an aggressive indirect lending program and a high number of dormant accounts, so our member retention plan has become a high priority.”

— Credit Union VP ($100 to $500 million in assets)

“Differentiating ourselves from the competition.”

— Credit Union VP ($1 billion to $10 billion in assets)

“Keeping up. Offering all the technological conveniences consumers demand.”

— Credit Union VP ($1 billion to $10 billion in assets)

“There always seem to be more tasks that need accomplishing than we have time to plan and complete.”

— Credit Union Manager ($100 to $500 million in assets)

“Restructuring the way branches operate from a staffing model to the transformation to more self-service technologies.”

— Community Bank EVP ($1 billion to $10 billion in assets)

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