Perseverance and forward thinking are often the only thing that will differentiate you from your marketing competition. Occasionally the marketplace presents you with opportunities that you couldn’t pay to have created. The key is, however, that you need to be watching the landscape, you have to be ready to act, and you have to be bold.
Just such a moment is coming together right now in the financial industry. On the one hand, courtesy of the impending changes to interchange fees, the Big Banks have announced a monthly charge for a debit card. On the other hand, we’ve seen Occupy Wall Street catch imaginations and re-ignite calls for accountability and responsibility.
If that wasn’t enough, we’re also seeing a big movement toward doing business locally. It really started last year with Small Business Saturday, November 27, but has really picked up steam recently with calls for a national Bank Transfer Day on November 5, 2011, and tandem movements to Move Your Money and “Bank Local First.”
So, what are astute marketers to do with this culmination of events? First off, assuming you represent a local business, not a national firm, put a proud stake in the ground about your local status. Remind your staff, customers, and your community, that you are local.
Second, are you being proactive about making your community a better place? Do you stand for something? Is there any small piece of the accountability and local ideology you can embrace and plant a flag in the hill for? If there is — THIS IS YOUR MOMENT! Shout it from the hilltops, take a position, be bold — your brand will be glad you did. And that goes double for you local financial institutions out there!
A beautiful example of a local Rogue Valley business “seizing the moment'” is PremierWest Bank. Over the weekend, they ran this ad in the local newspaper. It’s stunning in it’s simplicity. It’s bold, and it definitely makes a statement. Having spent more than my share of time in boardrooms discussing whether we had the fortitude to make such a bold stand, I applaud PremierWest for so clearly standing up for what they believe. As a locally owned bank, they should reap the rewards for being clear about their ideology and being willing to take a stand.
Consumers are hungry for honesty and plain talking. They are tired of legal jargon and disclosures that last longer than the radio ads. They want businesses to do what’s right and to be accountable for their decisions. This is a unique and special time for marketers — this is your opportunity shape the kind of business you want to become.
Basil King reminds us: “Be bold, and might forces will come to your aid.” Are you ready to be bold? Are you ready to stand up for what you believe? Good — then get out there and do it!