Bank Marketing Ideas

Out with the old and in with the new
The banking and finance industry has evolved over centuries to incorporate technological advancements and expand on a global scale. This has naturally resulted in high competition and coupled with the fact that the average customer today is financially savvy, banks have to think far outside the box to acquire new accounts and build a trusted brand.
In general, there are three marketing approaches that most banks adopt. A good number continue to use the conventional “interruption” marketing model, some are exploring content and digital marketing, and others prefer to take a less aggressive approach, letting “good service” do the talking.
For a bank, however, it all begins with branding. All your advertising, public relations, and allied communications should reflect what your bank represents. Think of branding as building a personality that prospective clients and other stakeholders will immediately associate with your products and services.
There is no single right way for banks to approach branding and marketing, and the 12 marketing ideas, tips and suggestions provided in this post represent a mix of different strategies.
1. Hire a flash mob… (no, really!)

Wells Fargo used a flash mob to grab attention in 2011, to great effect. Not only are flash mob performances cost-effective, but if done at the right place and time, they can get considerable exposure and visibility in a matter of minutes.

Flash mob campaigns provide ample room for creativity – you can feature cultural performances, a celebrity appearance or anything else you think will captivate audiences and leave a good impression of your brand.

2. Train staff on message and values

It is not enough to craft a set of values on paper for marketing purposes. Actions really do speak louder than words when it comes to branding. The behavior of your employees, particularly the front-line staff, has a huge impact on customer experience and brand perception.

Banks are typically places where people end up waiting in queues, so anything your staff does to make that experience pleasant (even holding the door open for incoming customers) is going to be rewarded with loyalty and will do wonders for positive word-of-mouth marketing.

3. Host a financial literacy event for youngsters

Youngsters are usually in need of financial guidance and advice, particularly those who are fresh out of school or college, or newly employed. If you can set up an event targeting the local youth, for educating them about financial management and imparting real value (with a bit of entertainment), a lot of your audience may become account holders down the road.

4. Run social media campaigns

Social media is a powerful tool in the right hands, and there are numerous ways to set up interactive campaigns with various goals. Whether you want brand awareness, engagement or actual conversions, there are different strategies for each, and a professional marketing agency can easily help you get started.

Some of the simplest social media marketing ideas for banks include giveaways and lucky draws for account holders, encouraging new sign-ups and spreading awareness.

5. Sponsor a local cause

Showing concern for the local community by getting involved in important causes is a sure way to build loyalty. Apart from being marketing opportunities, such initiatives help strengthen your position in a community over the long term.

6. Install video players in all your branches

In the digital age, people are used to being inundated with information and perhaps have even come to welcome such distractions. You can entertain visitors on your premises and at ATM locations with videos showcasing your achievements and any promotions you might be running at the time.

7. Print creative messages on your deposit slips and ATM receipts

Most people don’t really give receipts a second glance, but they typically take them away and go over them later. Printing creative messages and promotional offers on these receipts and slips is a good way to keep your existing clientele engaged.

8. Organize a food giveaway

Giving away free food is always a good idea. Salem Five Bank used this approach successfully by sending out its team of “banker bakers” to deliver cookie-grams along with the bank’s name and location to thousands of potential customers within the immediate 1-mile radius.

9. Host local sports events

You may not have the budget to sponsor a major league team, but you can try hosting a local sports event for the community, offering light snacks and a whole lot of entertainment. You can even have a team from your bank compete in the event and allow people and bank staff to interact freely, in a casual environment.

Not only will this be memorable for everyone involved, it will also set you up as a stakeholder in the community.

10. Give people free rides in branded luxury cars

Everyone wants to ride around in a luxury car, and you can arrange this in partnership with a car dealer, allowing people to sign up for free, supervised car rides around town. You can attract a lot of attention with such an event, and if you put up branded stickers on the cars, you can leave a lasting impression that complements your brand.

11. Send out a team for community service

You can get special uniforms designed for a weekly staff outing where your team performs community service activities, such as beautifying a public space or distributing treats around town. The aim here is to contribute positively to the community and also get noticed for it.

12. Plan a PR stunt

The National Australia Bank (NAB) has gone so far as to duct-tape an employee to a light pole, attracting onlookers, who were then told that rival banks were behind the “prank kidnapping” and were jealous of NAB’s progress and recent successes. The PR stunt generated a lot of viral hype and social buzz for the bank at almost no cost.

While any of these marketing strategies can yield positive results in both the short and long term, the key component of any comprehensive marketing campaign is the delivery of a consistent message.

Some popular slogans used by banks around the world include:

  • American State Bank: Banking for You
  • HSBC: The World’s Local Bank
  • Standard Chartered Bank: Your Right Partner
  • CITI Bank: Citi Never Sleeps
  • First Bank of Nigeria: Are you First with your Bank?

You need to determine how you want people in general, and your target segments in particular, to perceive your bank. This means you must have a set of values that will be reflected in everything you say and do as a bank.


At Cam Myers Marketing, we specialize in unique, unconventional marketing strategies that deliver results and strengthen your brand in line with your existing values. Whether you are considering digital marketing campaigns or traditional marketing activities, we would love to discuss your needs and propose effective, out-of-the-box strategies.

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