My first day on the job with Mills Marketing just happened to be the 2014 Iowa Bankers Association Marketing Conference. What an experience! Here were my top 3 takeaways …

  1. Becki Drahota was the keynote speaker and opened the conference with a presentation titled “How to Make Your Marketing Relevant and Responsive to the Bottom Line.” The biggest eye opener for me? 8% of the overall population, which represents 12 million people, aren’t bank customers. This is not to be confused with the under-banked segment, which primarily banks with prepaid cards and payday loans. This segment represents 6-figure income families who claim to have no use for a bank! Can you say, opportunity? Becki gave attendees proven strategies for outreach and measurement, and detailed the “new look” of today’s bank marketing team.
  1. Beth Ziesenis was the next presenter with a topic titled, “It’s All About the Bling: Design & Graphic Tools for Better-Looking Everything.” Beth proved the phrase “there’s an app for that” to be absolutely true. She discussed several apps an internal bank marketing team could utilize to put some pizazz in marketing pieces. One of my new favorites is Tagxedo. Tagxedo turns words – famous speeches, news articles, slogans and themes, etc. – into a visually appealing word cloud that could take shape into anything, even your own brand. How great would it be to write your financial institution’s mission statement and have the words take the shape of your logo! Take that design, put it on a t-shirt, now you have what your staff is going to wear for their next community outreach event!
  1. Trevor Henrickson spoke to “Using Technology for Dynamic Target Marketing.” He presented three things a financial institution needs to have strong marketing: technology, authenticity and a high level understanding of your customers. Narrowing in on the authenticity portion – Questions to ask yourself to make sure your institution is being authentic are, ‘Who are you?’ ‘Who do you think you are?’ and ‘Who do you want to be?’ Saying you’re one thing, and then providing a completely different customer experience is a true tell of how authentic your institution really is. Also, make sure your branding is consistent. Your customers and non-customers should know what to expect every time they visit your location, website, mobile banking app, etc.

All in all – it was an excellent learning experience. I met a lot of great bank marketers and look forward to meeting more of you soon!

So that was day one at Mills … and I can honestly say, it’s only gotten crazier – busier – and more FUN since then.