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Article Image: Who Are You Going To Vote For?

Who Are You Going To Vote For?

No, not that election. This one. The contest for who gets to present at the upcoming Forum Symposium conference in October. Here are your choices: The Vendor. Andrew Taylor, CEO of Jwaala will certainly have something interesting things to say about how CUs can leverage PFM tools and approaches to improve member relationships. The Director. […]

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Article Image: The Three Most Overused Words In Marketing

The Three Most Overused Words In Marketing

It seems like just about every marketing-related blog post I read mentions at least one of the three most overused words in the business world today: Death, Disruption, or Innovation. I can’t help but wonder if some of these bloggers are trying to demonstrate their prescience by writing about the death of this or the […]

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Article Image: Organizing For Integrated Marketing Success

Organizing For Integrated Marketing Success

One of the most frequently debated topics in management circles is organizational structure. In many firms, org structure is a constantly swinging pendulum, shifting back and forth between varying degrees of centralization and decentralization. Is one approach better than another? A report I recently published at Aite Group, based on a study of marketers conducted […]

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Article Image: What’s the Deal with Financial Ad Disclosures?*

What’s the Deal with Financial Ad Disclosures?*

(*See below for details.) Some financial ads look like they were written backwards: leave two inches at the bottom of the ad for disclosure, then put in a big rate, and put the logo in the space that’s left. There are many 60-second radio ads where the disclosure is almost half the spot. When an […]

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Article Image: What Does Brand Equity Mean Anyway?

What Does Brand Equity Mean Anyway?

Harris Interactive released the results of its EquiTrend study which purports to measure and rank brand equity across a range of product categories. The brand with the number one equity score in 2008: Heinz Ketchup. In the financial services industry, the leader was Visa, and in the airlines business it was US Airways. Meanwhile, Microsoft […]

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Article Image: Banks, credit unions grapple with their monikers

Banks, credit unions grapple with their monikers

“You don’t want a long, involved name, or a name that doesn’t readily come to mind when people are looking for you.” — Martin Connors Jr., CEO of Rollstone Bank A recent article in the Worcester Business Journal explores what it calls the “big business” of financial naming. The article looks at some of the […]

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Article Image: Umpqua Bank’s Branch of the Future

Umpqua Bank’s Branch of the Future

The much-admired Umpqua Bank has created this fascinating video depicting one possible vision of the (very near?) future of financial services. Take a look: What’s particularly interesting about the video is the absence of narration. It gives the viewer credit, and lets us fill in any missing pieces with our imagination. The video engages you […]

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Article Image: NASCAR Banking

NASCAR Banking

Bank of America recently announced that it was introducing its first ever NASCAR-themed ad. The 30 second spot titled “Who’s Your Driver?” features footage of a number of top NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers whose likenesses are available on NASCAR Banking check cards and credit cards. Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne, Juan Pablo […]

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Article Image: Green Branch® Is a Federally Registered Trademark

Green Branch® Is a Federally Registered Trademark

“PNC has more certified green buildings than any company on Earth.” – PNC website Here’s something interesting you might not have heard. In 2008, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office approved a federal trademark application from PNC Financial Services for the term ‘green branch.’ Reality Check: People are going to use the term “green branch” […]

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Article Image: An unusual ad for a bank

An unusual ad for a bank

You don’t have to speak a lick of Indonesian to become engrossed by this banking ad, something that looks like a cross between a Richard Scary illustration and a Simpson’s cartoon. It’s very engaging. You can easily spend five minutes with the piece, regardless of your native tongue. You also don’t have to know a […]

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Article Image: Announcing projectADVOCACY

Announcing projectADVOCACY

“I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore.” — Howard Beale in the movie Network (1976) Do you ever wonder why customers say they’ll refer a firm to their family or friends? I’m sure the answer differs across industries, but in retail financial services it’s because they believe that the firms […]

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Article Image: Relevancy, Transparency, and Testing

Relevancy, Transparency, and Testing

Relevancy is the mantra of email marketers, and I’m very interested in finding marketers that aren’t just chanting it, but measuring it. While chatting with the EVP of Business Operations at one of the leading email marketing vendors the other day, I asked if any of the firms he works with is doing anything creative […]

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Article Image: BofA Execs Create Merger Ballad From U2 Hit

BofA Execs Create Merger Ballad From U2 Hit

When Bank of America merged with MBNA back in 2006, they had a big internal event for bank executives. Two of them got up on stage and performed a remade version of U2’s hit single, “One.” The song was rewritten to commemorate and celebrate the merger. You can read all the lyrics below. The duo […]

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Article Image: The Story Isn’t About Widgets

The Story Isn’t About Widgets

The CRMindustry.com blog reported yesterday that: Research released by WorkLight indicates a strong desire for Web 2.0 banking tools among customers. The survey revealed that a staggering 1 in 4 Facebook users would consider leaving their bank to be able to obtain online banking through Web 2.0 gadgets.” My take: First of all, let’s put […]

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Article Image: ‘Servus’ chosen as name for Canada’s new super-CU

‘Servus’ chosen as name for Canada’s new super-CU

The mystery is over. The name of Canada’s 3rd largest credit union will be Servus. The credit union’s board chose the name because the Servus brand was created only 18 months ago, is recognized in the Edmonton market and can be trademarked. Earlier this year, three credit unions in Alberta (Servus, Common Wealth and Community […]

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Article Image: Update: Battle over ‘Commerce’ name heats up

Update: Battle over ‘Commerce’ name heats up

Massachusetts bank puts Canada’s TD in a tough spot A U.S. District judge has issued a preliminary injuction barring TD Banknorth from using the TD Commerce name in all or parts of Massachusetts. TD Banknorth had planned on using the TD Commerce name after completing its recent merger with a Commerce Bank based in New […]

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Article Image: Web Site Redesign Best Practice

Web Site Redesign Best Practice

For the life of me I don’t understand why more firms don’t do what Hamilton Community Credit Union did. Towards the end of May, Hamilton CU published a post on its blog which alerted its members to the CU’s planned site redesign, to be launched on June 6th. The post included screen shots from the […]

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Article Image: Mo Banking Knowledge ‘On Your Internets’

Mo Banking Knowledge ‘On Your Internets’

Mo Rocca, a comedian and political satirist of some success, plays a man-on-the-street character in one of Bank of America’s latest promotions, “Mo on Banking.” In a series of online videos at a microsite, Mo reports wryly on banking topics, including this tidbit from the intro video: “Join me, Mo Rocca, as I dump a […]

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Article Image: Podcast on Building Financial Brands

Podcast on Building Financial Brands

“Building a financial brand is very, very hard.” — The Brand Show podcast A blog entitled The Brand Show has turned its attention to branding financial services in its latest podcast installment. The 30-minute segment starts with some sobering reflections from the hosts about how financial branding is “not an exciting industry niche,” and “it’s […]

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Article Image: Prize increased! Innovative logo for banking products!

Prize increased! Innovative logo for banking products!

That’s the headline of one of hundreds of design contests currently underway at 99designs.com. The rest of the ad for this contest reads: “There will be a number of banking products/services grouped into the ‘My Life My Money’ offering. Checking accounts, online bill pay, ATM, Credit Cards, etc. This is for a small credit union […]

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Article Image: What The Social Media World Needs Now

What The Social Media World Needs Now

Twitter is slowly collapsing under the weight of the growing social media world. That this should happen is no surprise. What will happen next shouldn’t come as a surprise either. The history of business repeats itself over and over: General, all-purpose products and services slowly give way to targeted, segmented offerings. That’s why I see […]

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Article Image: Judge orders trademark infringer to use ‘negative keywords’

Judge orders trademark infringer to use ‘negative keywords’

Here’s an interesting ruling in a financial trademark dispute involving Orion Bancorp (the victor) and Orion Residential Finance. The judge ordered the guilty infringer to purchase “negative keywords” through Google and other online ad systems. A negative keyword tells search engines that the advertiser’s ad should never be shown when a certain term is searched […]

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Article Image: Channel Preferences Don’t Matter: Clarification

Channel Preferences Don’t Matter: Clarification

In response to my earlier post, in which I said “customers don’t care about channels.” Tomas Kohl writes: Agreed, though if I indicate my preference for e-mail over telephone, I damn well mean I expect NOT to phoned. Plus, 99% percent of the time, e-mail will suffice; the possible exceptions being: your credit card has […]

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Article Image: Facebook + Financial Institution = Friends?

Facebook + Financial Institution = Friends?

“A buttoned-down organization trying to look hip is like a 50-year-old drunk uncle at a wedding trying to dance with teenagers.” — Charlotte Observer An article in the Sunday edition of the Charlotte Observer entitled “Your Bank Wants to Be Your Friend” takes a skeptical look at financial institutions as they attempt to carve a […]

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Article Image: Channel Preferences Don’t Matter

Channel Preferences Don’t Matter

eMarketing and Commerce reported on a Habeas study which found that: 67% of consumers prefer email as a communications channel over other online vehicles, and 65% believe this will continue to be the case in five years.” This contradicts my own research. I telepathically contacted 10,000 consumers and found that telepathic communication was the preferred […]

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Article Image: Casting call: Credit union TV ad contest draws 37 entries

Casting call: Credit union TV ad contest draws 37 entries

In a recent TV ad contest, 37 entrants produced a 23-second spot telling people why they should join SELCO Community Credit Union. Big cash prizes helped fuel a healthy turnout during a month-long entry period. Launched back in March, the credit union said spots could be edgy, funny, bold, simple, serious, or anything in between. […]

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Article Image: ‘Rewards Checking’: Bancvue’s Ubiquitous Differentiator

‘Rewards Checking’: Bancvue’s Ubiquitous Differentiator

“Aren’t you ready for real differentiation?” Financial institutions across the country are duking it out over high-interest checking accounts, the ones paying upwards of 6.25%. These high-interest checking accounts were a differentiator for a brief while when they first came out. Today, there are multiple financial institutions offering the exact same account in every city […]

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Article Image: Diamond Deposits

Diamond Deposits

Here’s an interesting idea from — of all places — Azerbaijan, where Unibank is giving away three 1-carat diamonds every month for a year. Well actually, only for 11 months. The winner of the final drawing in the 12th month (March 2009) will receive three 3-carat diamonds. Winners are selected in a raffle from bank […]

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Article Image: Customer Service Is NOT The New Marketing

Customer Service Is NOT The New Marketing

One of the blurbs in a recent Adweek/IQ Daily Briefing email posed the question: Is customer service the new marketing? According to the email: Nowadays things are changing. Customers looking for products simply type them into Google. Assuming you can get customers this way, the hard work then begins: keeping them. That’s why, according to […]

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