Who has the last word in your marketing? Your CEO? Board? Marketing Director? 

What about your CUSTOMERS?

This week I’ll be spending a few days with a client testing seven logos and two tag lines in three counties.

After nearly a year of research … shopping the competition; surveying customers and not-yet-customers; talking to staff, management and Board; mapping customer clusters by product and balance; analyzing competitive messaging and look; and reviewing market share trends, we crafted more than 50 logo ideas with different color combinations, fonts and icons. From that, we’re now down to seven! With a sizable investment in time and money, the ONLY rational choice is to let the customer’s have a loud voice at this point. We will talk to customer’s in the branches and note their demographic segment – strategically giving more weight to key target segments.

  • What colors do you like?
  • What image “SPEAKS” to you?
  • How does each image make you FEEL?
  • What do you like the LEAST? Why?
  • Which image says, “(insert your brand POSITION here)?”

I doubt there’s anyone reading this that would disagree with going to the customer base on a logo. But what about campaigns?

  • We “gamble,” determining product offers – what will help us get noticed and drive enough business to more than pay for the offer?
  • We invest time in creating a handful of messages and looks to get the offer noticed – then select only one.
  • We spend big bucks to print, mail, secure lists, buy media space, track SEM, send emails, or whatever to get the message to the right people.

Is the very first time your customer sees your marketing message AFTER you’ve already made the investment and have pushed all of your resource poker chips all-in?

I’ll admit, I’m as guilty of this as anyone. I ask this knowing that few of you do it. In fact, I think I just heard a few of you verbally say, “Oh $*&#!”

It ain’t hard! It costs nothing! It’ll take maybe an hour. The next time you have a high-impact campaign:

  • Go to your lobby with a clip board and talk to the folks in line.
  • Take to social media. You’re on Facebook to engage, right … why to get some free research from that engagement.
  • Assemble an advisory council of customers who fit your most sought after target segment.

Get their opinions, ideas and buy-in BEFORE you go all-in.

Here’s an example:

I’m going to show you 3 ideas for a possible promotion…

3 Concept Examples (different looks, messages and offers)

Of these 3:

  • Which look best grabs your attention? Why?
  • Which offer is most attractive? Why?
    • What about the other 2 offers?
  • Focusing on each piece separately:
    • What stands out to you?
    • What is this card saying?
    • Is there anything confusing to you here?
  • Overall, would you be interested, today, in acting on one of these offers? Why/Why not?
  • How would you prefer to receive this message?

That doesn’t take long at all, does it?

By including your customers on high-impact campaigns, you improve your changes of success, reduce upper-management second guessing and have the best possible answer if asked why you chose a certain direction.

In addition to being a bank and credit union strategic consultant, MarketMatch also has nationally and internationally requested speakers. Contact us to bring our marketing ideas to your institution or next conference.

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