Top 10 Financial Marketing Stories of 2013

Here are the top 10 most popular articles published by The Financial Brand in 2013, ranked by number of page views.

#1) 50 of the Most Spectacular Website Designs In Banking

This huge portfolio with 50 of the most visually stunning websites from banks, credit unions and other financial institutions around the globe was viewed over 110,000 times last year.

It serves as a great resource for financial marketers looking to see how the web aesthetic is evolving in the banking space.


#2) Branch Showcase: 12 Concept Designs From Around The World

This collection of fascinating and innovative retail branch concepts from banks and credit unions — nearly 100 photos of a dozen different projects spanning the globe, from the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Sweden, Japan, Poland, South Africa, Brazil, Bulgaria and Slovakia — was viewed nearly 50,000 times in 2013.


#3) An Open Letter to Google: Google Alerts Broken, Now Useless To Financial Marketers

The Financial Brand had frequently encouraged bank and credit union marketing executives around the world to use Google Alerts. But over the course of six months, the service became so unreliable that it was basically useless. This open letter to Google beseeched them to restore the tool’s functionality, and cautioned financial marketers against using Google Alerts to monitor mentions of their brands online.

Apparently The Financial Brand wasn’t the only user of Google Alerts to notice the service had degraded. The article struck a nerve with the tech community, and was picked up by major publications like TechCrunch. Some 30,000 people read the article in 2013.


#4) Retail Banking Trends And Predictions For 2013

The Financial Brand usually refrains from making any kind of annual forecast of trends in retail banking. But there is no shortage of experts weighing in with their predictions and resolutions every new year. This article recapped some of the major themes that were to dominate 2013, and was read nearly 20,000 times. How accurate were the predictions? Circle back, read the article and see for yourself.


#5) 7 Reasons to Love GoBank

Jim Marous penned this love letter about GoBank’s phenomenal rollout. GoBank does so many things well, it’s hard to single them out, but this article lists seven of the reasons consumers love them… and seven reasons everyone else in the banking industry should be quaking in the boots. GoBank is undoubtedly a challenger brand that’s going to shake up the banking industry. Over 11,000 people read this article in 2013.


#6) Wells Fargo Mini-Branches and The Shrinking Retail Footprint

In 2013, Wells Fargo launched a new branch concept — what they are calling “the neighborhood bank format” — with a footprint one-third the size of a typical location. Shrinking branch sizes certainly saves money, but there’s one hitch: It’s tough to make small spaces sexy. Roughly 10,000 people checked out this article to see what Wells Fargo was up to, and how they were handling branch downsizing.


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#7) PNC Rolls Out First Ever Portable Pop-Up Branch

Not long after Wells Fargo rolled out their minibranch, PNC followed with their ultralight pop-up. This portable, temporary bank is so small — only 160 square feet, smaller than most people’s bedrooms — that it fits on a sidewalk. PNC says they will be introducing a spate of new concept branches in the months to come.

#8) Google Data Reveals 2013 Banking Trends

The Financial Brand’s annual study of Google search trends paints a fascinating visual picture of the financial sector in 19 charts.


#9) New Umpqua Flagship Store Shatters Stuffy Branch Mold

Situated right in the heart of San Francisco’s Financial District, Umpqua’s newest location feels more like a contemporary store or upscale café than a bank branch. It features mobile concierges, iPads, interactive touch screens, outdoor seating and a free “loaner” bike.

#10) 30 Gorgeous –and Simple– Banking Websites

After The Financial Brand published the first post, “50 Spectacular Websites,” we realized readers were intently curious about web trends. More and more retail financial institutions are trying to liven up their online experience by redesigning website homepages with an emphasis on visual simplicity.


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