By Kandi O’Connor
Bank marketers face a variety of challenges when it comes to managing dispersed local marketing resources and campaigns. Compliance and regulatory requirements must be satisfied, local marketing campaigns must be relevant and easy to implement, and local sales teams need to be adequately supported and trained to execute campaigns.
As for the branches, they tend to be much closer to their local customers than the corporate office, and they may have great ideas for engaging their local markets. This may tempt them to take the lead on their local marketing by creating and distributing their own unapproved marketing materials.
Juggling compliance, consistency, and relevance.
While branch staff may have the best intentions, they may very well do more harm than good—from exposing your institution to compliance and regulatory risks, to undermining your overall marketing objectives with brand inconsistency, ineffective local marketing tactics and missed cross-sell opportunities.
How do you work closely with your local sales teams to ensure they have the necessary tools and training to share messages that will resonate with their local consumers, while also ensuring your brand is consistently represented and communications are compliant with bank marketing regulations?
Simplifying local marketing with automation.
A growing number of banks with distributed organizations are looking to marketing resource management platforms to help them gain control of their local marketing programs. Here are five ways you can use these tools:
- Reduce compliance risks with an electronic approval process. One of a bank’s greatest needs is to ensure local marketing campaigns adhere to compliance regulations. A portal-based system can streamline and automate the approval process so marketing and legal can quickly and easily review, approve or request changes for any materials created in the portal. Not only does this provide an electronic paper trail to use in case of an audit, it also simplifies the approval process by keeping close track of materials—all in one location.
- Empower branches with customizable templates. When local branches and mortgage loan officers have the tools they need, they can address their specific market with targeted messaging. Templates might include brochures, posters, postcards and more. It’s then possible to customize specific areas such as contact information, demographics, life stage, etc. Once a template is customized, you can configure your system to automatically send the materials to marketing and legal for review and approval. When materials are approved, you’re ready for printing and distribution. If you’re unsure whether this approach will work in your institution, test it with a handful of templates. It’s a program that is easily expanded if your local branches adopt it.
- Adopt brand-consistent, compliant communications and guidelines. In addition to ensuring compliance to bank marketing regulations, you need to make sure local branches are properly representing your brand to consumers. Templates and approval systems help ensure local branches are using the correct logo, colors and messaging to reach consumers.
- Manage local marketing budgets effectively. If your local sales teams need budgets in order to implement new local marketing campaigns, a marketing resource management system can offer a streamlined and effective way to assign, approve and track local marketing spending across channels.
- Provide comprehensive support and training. Develop and offer regular training to help encourage staff to utilize the technology. Make monthly and ongoing training available to help users navigate the system and use it for all it’s worth. You can also outsource the hosting and management of this kind of system, helping minimize IT resources and maintenance.
Marketing resource management makes it possible to drive local sales while maintaining efficiency and compliance. Start by automating the approval processes and you’ll solve your bank’s branding and compliance issues, strengthen your overall brand and reduce compliance risk.
What’s more, these efficiencies may lead to process improvements that reduce costs and make it easier for brokers and agents to do business with your bank, which will boost sales. By making it easier to create co-branded marketing materials, you’ll experience more effective joint marketing events. Instead of missed opportunities, you’ll enjoy all the benefits of effective and efficient marketing resource management.
Kandi O’Connor is COO of Vya, a provider of simplified marketing systems that solve local marketing challenges for marketers in banking and finance, insurance, franchising and manufacturing. Email: koconnor@VyaSystems.com.