Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Thursday, October 7, 2010
In the report, they rank the top 50 most social industries and, to my surprise, Banking ranked 3rd, behind Search Engines-Portals and Advertising & Marketing. Why was I surprised? Because, in the numerous banking conferences I attend, there seems to be few of them who are actively using social media, either personally or as a company. Recently, for example, I was a presenter at the Fiserv PIP Conference on Social Media in Banking. This was a followup to the morning session when Fiserv CMO Don MacDonald spent an hour talking about this very subject. When I asked how many of the 30 or so people who attended my session used Twitter, for example, only 2 attendees raised their hand. And yet, according to this report, Banking also ranks number 3 in the use of Twitter.
So why the disconnect? Perhaps it's because the people who attend these sessions at conferences are looking for help and the active users are back at the office, tweeting away like madmen. Anyone else have a theory on this? I'd love to hear from you.
Monday, September 13, 2010
The first was a MarketingProfs post. They, along with many others social media sites, highlighted a Pew Research study that found the fastest growing demographics among social media users is adults age 50+. In one year, use of social media by these online users doubled to 46%.
The second was the launch of a new site called Banking on the Future jointly by Sapient Nitro, Geezeo, and Brett King. The premise is that we (bankers) are entering a new era they call Engagement Banking. This will go well beyond the traditional branch relationships by using Technology to engage customers in many different ways.
While separate items, they appear to be the converging of two very similar trends. Boomers are moving to the social media space in droves, embracing this "new" way to engage their friends, family, and merchants. Bankers, or at least the one's looking to engage their customers, are adding services like Personal Financial Management tools and mobile banking. Interestingly, the focus for engaging customers, whether through social media or new financial management tools, has traditionally been aimed at the younger generation. Given the recent trends, that may not be true for long.
Friday, August 20, 2010
Friday, August 6, 2010
There are too many, well documented stories about social media "experts" or "consultants" who rarely participate in the space. As noted in the post, if you are going to advise people to blog as a business strategy, then you better be blogging about it. A good example are Mike Sweeney and Will Davis of a local marketing firm here in Baltimore, Right Source Marketing. They recommend blogging as a key component of content marketing for their business clients. As marketers themselves, they are "walking the walk" by blogging about their own experiences in their Marketing Trenches blog. It's refreshing to see consistency between the message and the messenger.
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Friday, July 30, 2010
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Friday, July 16, 2010
- Recently had a conversation with an industry analyst about social media. She commented that many banks have avoided social media activity until they have an exit strategy. Huh? Did you have an exit strategy when you started your corporate website or built online banking? Social media is an extension of, not separate from, your activities through the web. No more, no less.
- I've been really impressed with the way Jesse Torres, CEO of Pan American Bank uses social media. Their Facebook page provides lots of information about their activities in and around their community. He isn't afraid of getting involved in controversy either, as you can see from this post on the blog LA Eastside.
- I came across a blog post focusing on a Twitter marketing strategy to bankers. I've found Twitter to be a great way to connect with others in the industry, stay up to date on trends, and generally stay informed. The people/brands I follow offer relevant information from both themselves and others. If all I see is a constant stream of self serving tweets, I' m not following you.
- Speaking of people in the industry, Ron Shevlin of the Aite Group is one worth following. He has some terrific insights and perspectives (and the occasional rant) on his blog Marketing Tea Party. Plus, he's attended over 75 Dead concerts over the years, which makes him a rock star in my book.
Friday, June 25, 2010
Friday, June 18, 2010
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Both Stu Fisher and I are introducing PFM solutions at our organizations later this year. Addison Avenue is working with Jwaala while we are working with Geezeo. Our solution, called Mariner360, is going through Beta testing right now. Unlike Addison Avenue, our solution will not be integrated into our Online Banking platform. This is for two reasons. One, the time frame to integrate the two platforms would have been prohibitive. Two, we actually think each solution addresses different and distinct needs. Online Banking is a tool for performing tasks, like checking a balance, transferring funds, or paying a bill. Mariner360 will provide our customers a more holistic view of their assets and liabilities to manage their whole financial life. Providing a place to set budgets, goals, and manage their financial life is what we should be doing for our customers. Our Mariner360 platform will help us meet that role.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Both of our companies have been early adopters of social media including Twitter, FaceBook, and Blogs. Addison Avenue recently added some community groups and hired a social media manager to add focus to their efforts. We will be adding a Community component to our site in June. There are some compelling reasons for participating in social media. Javelin's research indicates that over 52% of all consumers are active in social networking, with the 35-44 year-old's the fastest growing segment.
While our organizations are very different, we did agree on one key point. Social media should be an extension of, and not separate from, your overall web strategy. Let's face it, bank web sites can be somewhat boring with product descriptions and (lots) of regulatory disclosures. Our goal has been to connect with customers and prospects, build the brand, and have some fun in a less formal environment. How you use it, or whether you even participate or not, depends on your overall strategy.
Next post will be on the Personal Financial Management discussion from Net. Finance.
Friday, May 7, 2010
- A few companies have one. There is even a site that publishes corporate policies if you want to see some samples. http://socialmediagovernance.com/policies.php
- Other companies simply block access to the sites for all employees with no exceptions.
- Most other companies simply don't have a policy and don't seem concerned about it.
We finalized ours this week and it is a pretty good combination of suggested behaviors (Netiguette) while addressing the compliance and legal concerns. We'll be sharing this with our employees shortly and making it part of our Employee Handbook as well. In a highly regulated industry, we think it is important.
Friday, April 30, 2010
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Friday, April 16, 2010
One of the key questions is how will this new service mesh with the current online offerings. Many are suggesting that this will appeal to a different market than the current online banking customers. The Gen Y's, for example, have grown up tethered to their cell phones. Then there are the Underbanked who use mobile devices. They have found other ways to manage their personal finances without using the typical services of banks but might be open to a mobile option.
We will be introducing a mobile solution later this year. We are pretty excited about the offering and think it will help us attract and retain the younger consumers. If you are an FI with mobile banking, I'd love to hear what your experience has been.
Friday, April 9, 2010
So it is with a sense of irony that I received a solicitation in the mail from Ally Bank to open an interest checking account. No, they aren't stalking (mocking?) me. You see my mortgage is held by GMAC Mortgage and this offer came through them. The product itself is compelling: interest checking with no minimum balance, no ATM charges, and no monthly fees. Sounds like a pretty good deal just not sure how they can make any money on the account. But I guess they don't have to worry about that.....
Thursday, April 1, 2010
And, of course, we continue to use social media tools like Twitter and Facebook to make our extended networks aware of the new posts. Let's face it, content and visibility without promotion is like a tree falling in the forest; does anybody really hear it?
Friday, March 19, 2010
We've seen the same challenge in our institution. How do these statistics compare to your experience with social media marketing in your organization? I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Friday, March 5, 2010
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Hey, as a consumer, I'm all for competitive rates and a great customer experience. And a lot of banks, especially big ones, made some really bad decisions over the last few years. What really bothers me is this company, with this management team, is leading this charge. Here are some facts:
- Ally Bank is the former GMAC Bank started in 2001 and re-branded in May, 2009. It is a unit of GMAC Financial Services, an organization that, since December of 2008, has received $16 billion in TARP Funds.
- The senior management team is run by former executives of some of the largest (and most troubled) banks including Bank of America and Citigroup.
So basically, we have an organization that is run by the same people who built these "traditional banks" that they say don't meet the needs of their customers. And their capital comes from the Federal Government, which stepped in and saved the failing parent. Interesting.
For those of us out here in the "real world" of financial services, who didn't get TARP funds, don't have the luxury of a new start, and struggle with a myriad of confusing regulations, give us a break. We really are trying to do the right things for our customers.
Wow, glad I got that off my chest. Now if this damn snow would just go away......
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
FISC's current research project relates to new media and social networking in Japan's financial services industry. As input, they are seeking best practice examples from leading U.S. financial institutions that are leaders in the use of social media. Based on Mr. Prentice's research, he felt that 1st Mariner Bank was one of the organizations that they should meet. This was the first visit on their five day trip across the country that includes meetings with Bank of America, Umpqua Bank, and Wells Fargo. We are honored to be included in this short list of U.S. financial institutions.
There are over 700 banks and credit unions in Japan, ranging from four mega-banks to over 600 smaller community institutions under $2 billion. Adoption rates have lagged behind other industries, where 10.5% of all businesses are active in social networks while FI's are at 6.9%. Mixi, the largest social network in Japan, has over 17.9 million users, so there is plenty of opportunity to connect with these consumers.
- Given the conservative nature of the banking industry in Japan, it has been very difficult to get consensus across the organization to engage their customers through the social networks.
- The Japanese culture is one of collaboration. So many of the initial social media efforts have focused on internal corporate use for information sharing and communication.
- Selecting and agreeing on the target markets. Again, by working through a consensus management style, it takes time to make these decisions and take action.
The challenge they face is that social media is messy, always changing, and an uncontrollable space. Sometimes you just have to have an initial plan, make the leap, and learn on the fly.
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
For those who are good enough to win these local competitions, there is the opportunity to be nominated and compete in the national business plan competition in New York, for $10,000. Ten9Eight: Shoot for the Moon , from award-winning filmmaker Mary Mazzio, follows these students as they prepare for and compete in this very intense competition. As a NFTE volunteer at Patterson High School in East Baltimore, I am the mentor for two students, William Mack and Ja'Mal Wills (pictured above), who are featured in this film. Their company, J & W Sensations, produces an all natural skin lotion. As a mentor and friend of these guys, I am incredibly proud of them and all they have accomplished. The film was released nationally in November and will debut on BET this Sunday, February 7th at 12 noon. I encourage everyone to watch this powerful and moving story about these young entrepreneurs from around the country.
Friday, January 29, 2010
Thursday, January 21, 2010
I also had the chance to attend a couple of other sessions as well. Here are some takeaways.
Todd Marks and Vince Buscemi of Mindgrub Technologies talked specifically about a recent project for Voice of America in China and the ROI of that effort. What I really liked, and want to explore in 2010, is the use of widgets to engage our customers. We are rolling out a new PFM application this year and a widget that could logically make a connection with the new service could be a good fit. We'll have to look into it.
Will Davis and Mike Sweeney of RightSource Marketing talked about the blog as the hub of your social media efforts. From their perspective, it is especially critical in the B2B space. It can replace the "first meeting" and provide an opportunity for prospects to see how you think, not just visit your website to see what you do. I think that is some great advice.
Friday, January 15, 2010
Friday, January 8, 2010
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
- Focus on quality not quantity. People can tell the difference.
- If you have an offer, make it compelling. If you are sharing information, make it relevant and interesting.
- If it seems boring and mundane to you, it probably is. Don't send it.