Tuesday, May 19, 2009
A Tough Market and an Unwise Move
You don’t need another opinion on this financial kimchee banking situation, and certainly not from the likes of me who needs Quicken to balance her checkbook, but one thing I know a bit about from my years of marketing experience in publishing is how things appear to the public.
Now John Q doesn’t always know how things are behind the scenes with profit/loss and with dividend shares and such, but lately he’s gotten quite fed up with the banking business in general, having learned of the very bad things that can happen with shaky investments.
So, I guess it would be safe to say that the public is more than a little uncomfortable with the banking biz in general right now. I, for one, know who I won’t be doing business with in the future. It’s a little less clear who the good guys are in all of this.
Which is why I was frustrated today when a regional bank vice president told me that although his bank is solid and has not been touched by the subprime debacle, the bank was pulling all advertising dollars from the budget because it had only made $2.5 million last year instead of the $5 million in the previous year. This is exactly the wrong thing to be doing now.
What a wonderful opportunity to grab market share and promote your security and wise management. John Q is ready for this kind of good news from a banker and will respond. Regional banks who never did a lot of advertising should be stepping up to build and promote their image. Don’t let the public assume anything about you. This is the biggest financial challenge in our lifetime, for Pete’s sake.
Those banks that have moved out with consistent and persistent messaging in the market will ride through this period basically taking names and eating everyone else’s lunch. Hurrah! to those progressive banks who have responded to the times and not left their customers out there hanging, wondering where they stand.
(Jane Dalier is a senior advertising executive for Valley Business FRONT.)