Key CCG Services
A long-established Midwestern bank — and subsidiary of one of the nation’s largest 50 banks — felt its quarterly customer newsletter was drooping. While customers seemed to appreciate it, and their basic expectations were being met, it simply wasn’t creating the same excitement after five years of production. And it wasn’t providing the return on investment the bank needed to keep it going.
In fact, the bank had set some high goals for its financial services client newsletter — to go beyond simply providing product information to actually garnering greater customer profitability and increased affinity between the bank and its customers. The bank felt that, by deepening its relationship with customers and demonstrating its value through the newsletter, it could build customer loyalty and gain greater share of wallet.
But where to start?
The bank sought out an agency partner to help achieve its goals. CCG made a natural choice, with our lengthy history of developing financial services client newsletters. Plus, we had a proven track record helping financial institutions build customer loyalty and profitability through stronger customer relationships.
Working with the bank, we settled on 11 specific objectives to pursue in refreshing the customer newsletter.
Create a faster and more flexible production process that would allow for fresher and more timely content
Localize the content to increase relevancy for customers
Position the piece as a financial services client newsletter that delivers value and increases product knowledge, but does not “push” products
Encourage interactivity between the bank and its customers
Validate customers’ decisions to use this bank as their complete financial services provider
Reinforce the bank’s services to a broader customer base by making the newsletter friendly, easy to read and easy to understand for a wide range of readers
Drive the bank’s name and products/services to customer top-of-mind
Increase incremental balances for each bank customer
Decrease frequency of customers shopping around for the best rate
Generate word-of-mouth referrals
From Objectives to Strategy to Action
CCG held intensive strategy discussions with the bank’s management and conducted an analysis of the bank’s current customer newsletter and other customer relationship marketing tools. From these exercises, we were able to identify opportunities to improve the customer newsletter and incorporate performance measurement strategies through subtle changes that could produce results without jarring readers.
CCG implemented these changes immediately to begin early achievement of the objectives:
- Included timely and relevant information on events taking place in the bank’s service area to convey the desired “hometown bank” feeling
- Developed innovative content and story angles that would drive customers to anticipate the publication, read it and build the sense of credibility needed in an effective marketing communication
- Created a natural-feeling flow of information that communicated the “What’s In It For Me” element quickly and intuitively
- Reduced word count while delivering meatier content and ensured the editorial voice was not sacrificed for a promotional one
- Polished the layout and design, departing from expected layout approaches to create a more inviting and exciting look
- Leveraged the bank’s website to increase interactivity through calculators, other tools and additional product information
CCG also recommended using the bank’s website to provide more in-depth content than the printed customer newsletter, to offer interactive quizzes that helped drive the message home and as a vehicle for delivering surveys to gather customer feedback.
Within two years of launching the premier issue of the refreshed customer newsletter, readership was higher than ever and customers reported looking forward to receiving the publication every three months. The production timeline was decreased to eight weeks, allowing the content to remain fresh and timely, an approach applauded by management and customers alike.
The newsletter won several national design and content awards, including a Silver Award for Best All-Around Investment/Financial Publication from the Publications Management Magnum Opus competition.
Most importantly, management viewed the enhanced newsletter as key to an increased level of bank customer loyalty. After only seven issues, they increased the budget and resources for the newsletter to ensure the publication continued to achieve objectives.
Are you next?
Are you looking for new or improved ways to connect with your customers and build loyalty with an eye to ROI? CCG’s financial services marketing experts can help. Our full slate of financial marketing solutions includes strategy, data, analytics, digital and interactive services, and content and creative development. Complete the form below or call us at 303.986.3000 to schedule a free consultation.