The trend: Marketers at four different financial institutions told The Financial Brand what kinds of media buys they’re making, where they’re cutting back spending—or thinking of cutting back—and how they’re making the most of their marketing budgets.
Navy Federal Credit Union, based in Vienna, Virginia, with $156.6 billion in assets under management.
Differentiation: Its specialized customer base consists of active-duty military service people, veterans, and their families. It promotes financial wellness as well as deposit products, auto loans, credit cards, and mortgage solutions.
Largest share of budget: Primarily video across digital and broadcast channels, with a mix that includes performance-based marketing and paid social media.
Social media activities: Meta-owned channels like Facebook and Instagram perform well for the credit union.
Fvc Bank, based in Fairfax, Virginia, with $2.4 billion in assets under management.
Differentiation: It’s focused on enhancing the customer experience, partly through tech investments.
Largest share of budget: Radio works best in the Washington, D.C. and Baltimore metropolitan markets during work-week commuting drive time. It produced a series of short commercial spots featuring the banks’ customers and the bank’s CEO and chairman. These ads send its prospects online to search.
Social media activities: The bank uses Facebook and LinkedIn, and says it’s managed to increase engagement by 40% over the past year, posting three to four times weekly.
State Bank of Southern Utah, based in Cedar City, Utah, with $1.2 billion in assets under management.
Differentiation: It’s emphasizing customer relationships and community ties, rather than doing straightforward product promotions.
Largest share of budget: A rebranding necessitated new promotional material and signage. Its logo will also appear on promotional swag, like hats and shirts.
Social media activities: YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook are the platforms where it’s most active. Each of the bank’s branches owns a Facebook page.
Credit Union of Southern California, based in Anaheim, California, with $2.6 billion in assets under management.
Differentiation: It promotes its community ties. This year, it’s been prioritizing deposits over loans because of high interest rates.
Largest share of budget: Programmatic digital display marketing has helped the firm with attracting deposits. Ad respondents are directed to its landing page to apply for products or memberships.
Social media activities: Facebook best matches its demographic. This year, it set a goal of hitting 20,000 followers. Next year, it plans to expand its efforts to TikTok and Instagram.
Our take: All financial institutions offer similar products, edging them close to commodity status. For differentiation and to lay out a customer value proposition, their marketing campaigns usually seek to humanize them, putting forward the faces of employees and customers or rooting the financial institution within a very particular community. The informality and interactiveness of social media, as well as its post-sharing mechanisms, make it ideally suited for these purposes.
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