Readers Choice: 10 Most Popular Articles in 2010

#1 Why Social Media is a Waste of Time for Most Banks & Credit Unions
An examination of 11 issues that make social media marketing a challenge most financial institutions won’t (or can’t) overcome. Read over 10,000 times, this 2,500 word essay was by far and away the most popular article published on The Financial Brand in 2010. It ignited a fierce debate among financial marketing experts, generating over 100 comments (worth reading in their own right).

#2 ATM 2.0 The Future of Self-Service
When BBVA set out to design the new super ATM of the future, they asked questions like, “What if Apple designed ATMs?” Their resulting prototype may look a little like a men’s urinal, but it reflects some innovative and insightful thinking. The Financial Brand’s article, which includes a dozen photos and a video, was viewed over 6,000 times.

#3 25 Things More Important Than Online Social Media
Intended to help financial institutions maximize their marketing muscle, this list outlines items that arguably have more impact than what 98% of financial firms have been able to achieve with social media so far. What made this article so popular in 2010? Some might argue people are looking for excuses to avoid social media. Others seem to intuitively sense that social media isn’t a priority when weighed again other more significant, strategic initiatives.

#4 Branch Showcase: M&T Green | BNZ’s Concept Store | TD’s Slipque
Over 5,000 readers enjoyed this portfolio of innovative facilities and branch environments from banks and credit unions around the world, which includes dozens of enlargeable high-resolution photos. Another article with a portfolio of branch concepts also made it into the top 20 most popular published in 2010. For many financial marketers, these articles are the best place for financial marketers to see what interesting things everyone else in the industry is doing with branches.

#5 TD Introduces Mascot, But What the Heck Is It?
When TD Bank rolled out its new green trapezoid mascot, curiosity piqued some 5,000 readers who wanted to know, “What is it???” TD, which positions itself as “America’s Most Convenient Bank,” says the smiley polygon is a three-dimensional extension of the its brand. Really? Take a look for yourself and see if you think it makes sense. Read article.

#6 The Coolest Bank HQ You’ve Ever Seen
You’d have to be crazy to not want to work for this Australian investment bank. Macquarie’s Sydney headquarters is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. The headline pretty much says it all. Over 4,000 readers have spent 5+ minutes looking longingly at the article’s 30 photos and one video. If you can handle staring at office environments that are way slicker than yours, you might also want to check out this 6-pack of awesome and gorgeous bank HQs. See more.

#7 Steal This Idea: The Ultimate Conversation Starter
Senior executives at banks and credit unions loved this simple idea to spark conversations in branches. Next to each service rep, place a medium-sized placard with a mini-biography of that employee’s life. Then watch the number of lively, relevant customer conversations skyrocket. This article has been forwarded to peers more than any other published by The Financial Brand. Read more.

#8 Put the Milk in the Back of the Store
There’s an old retail maxim in the grocery business: “Put the milk in the back of the store.” You want to drive consumers past everything else you sell as they make their way to the one thing they need most often. Which is precisely why you should be burying the transaction/teller area in the back of your branch locations. Read article.

#9 The Very Mobile Future of Banking
Take a look at these videos and interactive demos from some of the most innovative banks in the world, and you’ll have to agree… The future of banking hinges on the marriage of two ideas: “mobile” + “touchscreens.” iPhones, iPads, iPods, Microsoft Surface, Virtual Wallets, etc. Read article.

#10 Service Is Not What Differentiates You
Do you think that what differentiates your organization’s exceptional service is what differentiates you from other financial institutions? Guess what? Every bank and credit union in America thinks the exact same thing. Here are four reality checks you had better read. Read article.

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