Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A superhuman marketing resource. . .
your branch manager.

Community banks have a secret weapon that larger banks cannot disarm. It’s the local branch manager. . . your Superman or Wonder Woman. He or she is usually a pillar of the community, a friendly loan officer and a trusted investment advisor all rolled into one dynamic personality. . .or you hope they have that added charisma. Some larger banks have done away with branch managers altogether and others are charging fees just to interact with a teller. Therefore, that affable manager can go a long way to market your bank and solidify your brand.

In 2007 Booz Allen Hamilton, a strategy and technology consulting firm, studied over 4,000 bank branches. The researchers identified the traits of top-performing bank managers. Those bank managers are. . .

1. Willing to be held accountable for both their success and failures
2. Proud of their bank, branch and employees
3. Creative in coming up with new ways to drive business
4. Driven to succeed and motivated by their branch’s success, not just their own salary and bonus packages
5. Confident in their ability to meet their goals
6. Typically hold an integrated view of all aspects of their business – sales, service, people, core operations. . . in other words, they run their branches as if they were their own businesses

Sounds like the perfect person who can personify your bank’s brand!

These traits bring in the clients, too.
Booz Allen found that the best branch managers are worth between $500,000 and $1 million in incremental revenue to the bank. And branch managers who settle in at an office tend to do better than those who are transferred. According to the study, branches with managers who have stayed put or who have moved only once enjoyed an average growth in deposits of 13.2 percent, whereas those with managers who have transferred to new positions more than five times had an increase of just 3.2 percent.

What’s in the psyche of the perfect community bank manager?
If you have a bank manager who sees himself or herself as a “town mayor”, you definitely have an asset. This person identifies strongly with the bank and the community rather than the overall organization. Maximizing the branch’s performance and the communities’ ability to prosper ranks high on this manager’s list of goals. This type of manager also has few ambitions to move beyond branch manager. They’ve found their niche.

Keep them in the loop & you’ll have a marketing ally.
While this person is a natural for promoting your bank’s brand and message, they shouldn’t be left in the dark as far as your marketing goals. The Booz Allen study noted that well-trained branch managers produce significantly higher customer-service and customer-satisfaction scores. Keep them in your marketing loop. Play off their strengths. Keep them happy by letting them interact with the community. In fact, encourage it. Your manager already identifies with the bank and the community. Give them the ammunition to continue to spread your message and they’ll become your bank marketing ally.

No comments: