Marketing is all about building relationships… Therefore we all need to wear the community bank marketing hat

The beauty of a community bank…is that it is all about the community. Typically your board of directors and most of your shareholders are all part of the community. Together you have invested in the community, built your careers in the community and raised your families in the community. So, it is logical that all of you, as community businessmen and businesswomen, put on your community bank marketing hat and help grow your bank.

Today, reaching out to your friends, family and business leaders (your circles of influence) to build and strengthen your relationships is a powerful dimension of marketing. In the past, you might try mass marketing, along with printing a lot of brochures, to bring in your customers. It’s always easier to advertise and hand out materials and hope someone will call you. But, times have changed drastically.

First, the competition is too fierce; you can never depend on your customers just dropping by because they saw an ad…unless you are only talking hot/CD money. There are too many hungry sales people from larger banks and credit unions pounding the pavement for good business and dumping the not-so-good business. Second, your marketing budgets are considerably less today. You don’t have the luxury of running mass marketing campaigns…again hoping the customers you want will come to you. Finally, and most importantly, you simply have to be smarter.

You have to decide who you want as your customers and use your circles of influence to reach out to them. Your marketing has to be thoughtful, targeted and personal. Who better to wear the thoughtful, targeted and personal marketing hat than your board of directors and your shareholders?

If each one of your directors and shareholders felt responsible for marketing your bank to at least one of the business leaders within their circle of influence it will make a significant difference in how you market your bank going forward. What would a dozen new leads do for your bank? How about 24?

Are you willing to ask your board of directors and your shareholders to help you build relationships for your bank? Will you ask them to wear a marketing hat? Think of the possibilities…