Believe in Banking Podcast

In Part 3 of our special summer series where we revisit our discussions with banking leaders, we’re spotlighting the community-first commitment of community banking. In this episode, we talk with Brad Tidwell, President and CEO of VeraBank, and Ryan Kilpatrick, Executive Vice President and Chief Brand and Communications Officer from Origin Bank, about the heart of service at the core of their community financial institutions. Both leaders discuss building opportunity out of that core purpose and how serving their communities through challenges like COVID creates even more connection and growth.

Ask An Expert

Sean Keathley discusses how to create connections through branch conversions

After a COVID slowdown in banking mergers and acquisitions, we’re now in the midst of a predicted a resurgence of M&A activity in 2021. But it's once the deal is done, that the real work begins. In this Ask an Expert, Sean Keathley discusses converting branches to the new post-merger brand. With the exterior of the branch as your beacon and the interior as your experience, branch conversion is a rich opportunity to drive acquisition, deepen customer connections, and solidify and grow relationships. Learn the principles and practices in branch conversion that help banks master all the complexity.

We believe that banking can help us overcome this crisis and emerge stronger for it.

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Outside View

John Legend plays piano with his son sitting beside him in a new Vrbo commercial

Smart marketing and advertising messages from brands recognize the impact of pandemic-life on consumers, even as we look to brighter days ahead

With mask mandates lifting in the U.S. for the vaccinated and states ready and reopening, brands (and consumers) are anxious to turn the page on the pandemic. But rather than a rush back to a prior “normal,” brands (and consumers) are taking a more measured approach. With marketing messages careful not to push the pandemic aside, brands are acknowledging that consumers are likely changed after a year-and-a-half of COVID life. True before the pandemic, the best brands recognize this reality and meet people where they are. 

In Forbes’ recent coverage of post-COVID brand-building, marketing executive Ryan Stoner says, “The world has just gone through one of the most significant crises of this century and many brands are still faced with a myriad of uncertainties, needing new playbooks.” Advising brands to prioritize customer needs and authentically stand for something, Stoner declares: “There is no going back to the old normal, and we must embrace new marketing truths to drive growth in a post-COVID world.” 

So, which brands are best navigating this new post-pandemic world? Ad Age’s recent roundup of brand messaging highlights a quest to successfully meet the moment. Uber’s ad showing people returning to life after lockdown is a homerun, capturing all of the excitement of being back in the (New York) groove but nodding to post-COVID safety with masking. Some ads are using their brand heft to subtly advocate for vaccination, like Budweiser showing people gathering, but reminding us that “Good times are coming. Now we have a shot.”

Another shining example of post-pandemic marketing that strikes just the right chord: Vrbo’s Reunions. Set to John Legend’s version of “I Can See Clearly Now,” this powerful, emotional ad features real people who were unaware that they’d be reuniting with loved ones. Vrbo’s vice president of global brand Lish Kennedy describes the approach: “Vrbo believes there’s nothing more important than being with the people you love, and we’re celebrating that it’s finally time to be reunited.” Debuting the ad with behind-the-scenes and surprise footage, this brand recognizes the personal cost of lockdowns and optimistically points us to the future. 

As these successful brand messages demonstrate, setting the right tone is critical for connecting. Stoner says, “During the pandemic, consumers got used to empathy from brands… Customers are also used to and crave an authentic tone of voice from brands” but they shouldn’t overdo it. Stretching beyond the parameters of your brand voice can feel performative. Yes, living your values out loud shows your brand commitment and an upsurge in purpose, “But purpose must be both lived and believed.” 

To see all of the recent brand ads, visit Ad Age’s article on post-COVID brand messaging. For help developing and delivering meaningful marketing for FIs, contact us at info@adrenalineagency.com.

Photo Credit: Vrbo, June 22, 2021

Smart marketing and advertising messages from brands recognize the impact of pandemic-life on consumers, even as we look to brighter days ahead

With mask mandates lifting in the U.S. for the vaccinated and states ready and reopening, brands (and consumers) are anxious to turn the page on the pandemic. But rather than a rush back to a prior “normal,” brands (and consumers) are taking a more measured approach. With marketing messages careful not to push the pandemic aside, brands are acknowledging that consumers are likely changed after a year-and-a-half of COVID life. True before the pandemic, the best brands recognize this reality and meet people where they are. 

In Forbes’ recent coverage of post-COVID brand-building, marketing executive Ryan Stoner says, “The world has just gone through one of the most significant crises of this century and many brands are still faced with a myriad of uncertainties, needing new playbooks.” Advising brands to prioritize customer needs and authentically stand for something, Stoner declares: “There is no going back to the old normal, and we must embrace new marketing truths to drive growth in a post-COVID world.” 

So, which brands are best navigating this new post-pandemic world? Ad Age’s recent roundup of brand messaging highlights a quest to successfully meet the moment. Uber’s ad showing people returning to life after lockdown is a homerun, capturing all of the excitement of being back in the (New York) groove but nodding to post-COVID safety with masking. Some ads are using their brand heft to subtly advocate for vaccination, like Budweiser showing people gathering, but reminding us that “Good times are coming. Now we have a shot.”

Video Credit: Uber, May 17, 2021

Another shining example of post-pandemic marketing that strikes just the right chord: Vrbo’s Reunions. Set to John Legend’s version of “I Can See Clearly Now,” this powerful, emotional ad features real people who were unaware that they’d be reuniting with loved ones. Vrbo’s vice president of global brand Lish Kennedy describes the approach: “Vrbo believes there’s nothing more important than being with the people you love, and we’re celebrating that it’s finally time to be reunited.” Debuting the ad with behind-the-scenes and surprise footage, this brand recognizes the personal cost of lockdowns and optimistically points us to the future. 

Video Credit: Vrbo, June 22, 2021

As these successful brand messages demonstrate, setting the right tone is critical for connecting. Stoner says, “During the pandemic, consumers got used to empathy from brands… Customers are also used to and crave an authentic tone of voice from brands” but they shouldn’t overdo it. Stretching beyond the parameters of your brand voice can feel performative. Yes, living your values out loud shows your brand commitment and an upsurge in purpose, “But purpose must be both lived and believed.” 

To see all of the recent brand ads, visit Ad Age’s article on post-COVID brand messaging. For help developing and delivering meaningful marketing for FIs, contact us at info@adrenalineagency.com.

Photo Credit: Vrbo, June 22, 2021

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Never let anyone - any person or any force - dampen, dim or diminish your light. ~ John Lewis

Data You Can Use

0 %*
*The average return on investment achieved by banks that have progressed further in data-analytics maturity
Data

The Story: Recent insights from Accenture about data-driven analytics in commercial banking find that financial institutions that focus on advancing their data capabilities unlock more opportunities to grow their bottom lines, while reducing costs and customer attrition at the same time. Whether it’s automating transactions or developing new banking products, banks and credit unions should leverage the power of the data they already have to improve the banking experience for existing customers and acquiring new ones. 

The Takeaway: For financial institutions, better decision-making relies on better use of data. To be more competitive with fintechs, payments companies and others who are taking a bite out of banking thanks to their digital-first approaches, FIs must focus on gathering useful data and effectively using it. For future-facing institutions, data empowers the entire banking process – allowing employees to enrich their consultations, making transactions more efficient and customizing banking products delivered to customers at the point of need. 

Source: Accenture, “Data-Driven Mastery in Commercial Banking,” June 22, 2021

Sharing Successes

Growing Smarter - Data-Driven Performance Marketing Helps Put United Bank on the Map

Growing Smarter: Data-Driven Performance Marketing Helps Put United Bank on the Map

For more than 180 years, Mid-Atlantic based United Bank has grown on the power of its relationship-driven approach, becoming a 200+ branch community bank serving small towns to big cities – like its recent market expansion in the Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia metro market (affectionately known to locals as the DMV). 

To support its brand’s growth in its largest metro market – especially its deepening influence in DMV’s intensely crowded and competitive landscape – United coupled strategic and stunning branch experiences with a smart digital acquisition campaign designed to attract and engage new customers. The campaign promoted a highly differentiated product – a truly free checking account – and its hyper-targeted approach delivered serious results. 

Driven by data into audience demographics, needs and behaviors both online and off, the campaign featured creative that targeted the right message on the right channels at the right time. Programmatic display and video and paid search ads generated huge interest. Click-through rates soared almost 150% above the industry average, and the campaign delivered nearly 18 million impressions with page views – mostly from DC audiences – that were in the six figures.

But most importantly, those clicks turned into customers. In all, the checking campaign directly delivered nearly one thousand new checking accounts and new United customers in just a few short months, with a cost per acquisition that was significantly lower than industry benchmarks. 

The campaign’s success proves not only the power of targeted digital marketing, but also the power of a holistic approach to growth. Combining smart marketing and smart network and branch strategy across all channels of your experience can help your brand stand out, connect and convert – no matter how tough the competition.

To find out how your bank or credit union can leverage the power of smart marketing to grow, email info@adrenalineagency.com.

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Do you need short-term help reopening your branches? Find out about post-COVID branch readiness solutions that can help, or email covidready@adrenalineagency.com.

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