Boston, MA – Strategy consulting firm Truventis (www.truventis.com) announced today the release of a new white paper on how community banks can take advantage of the current strategic environment to build trust among consumers and win new customers.
“Community banks and credit unions have been slow to embrace social media,” said Truventis founder John Theriault. “However, in the current banking climate, social media may represent a real win because it’s a way to leverage the value local banks bring to the community – contrasted against the major banks which are suffering from negative consumer perceptions”.
According to the FDIC overall US based credit unions saw an increase of 6.6% in deposits, while large banks lost deposits. In addition, trust for the large banks is at an all time low. Said Theriault, “the investment bank meltdown in 2009, the increases in new fees or higher fees, the wild escalation of credit card interest rates and more has left consumers feeling the like the big banks are the enemy and not to be trusted with their money.”
“Large banks are responding with marketing campaigns, such as Citizens Bank’s ‘Banking is Good Citizenship’ advertisements. Its an attempt to build consumer trust in the marketplace,” said Theriault, “but local banks and credit unions have a secret weapon in their arsenal – the check they give to the Boys and Girls Club every year. Local banks can use their support to area community groups and small businesses to their advantage, leveraging it on Facebook, Twitter, and blogs to authentically build good will, trust, and community on and off-line.”
Theriault noted that local institutions can position work they do as socially conscious, because often its focused on developing the local economy and supporting area charitable organizations. He said, “When I was running a chamber of commerce, who wrote the first check for the new hospital wing? Who sponsored the kids’ sports teams? It was always the local banks leading the way. But do their customers know that? Probably not, which is why given the lack of trust for big banks right now, this is an important moment to make that known.”
Theriault also noted that current research supports this approach. According to the June 2010 Fleishman Hillard Digital Influence Index, over 61% of consumer are influenced in personal finance decision space by Internet research, and trust for information on the Internet increases exponentially when there are multiple sources to draw from – particularly a friend or contact who provides a positive referral. Said Theriault, “This is why community banks are perfectly positioned to use social media. They can tell their story there, and if they do it well, it will be reaffirmed by their customers and friends off-line because what’s portrayed is authentic and deeper than a splashy marketing campaign.”
Truventis LLC is a strategy focused management consulting, research, and advisory firm with offices in the Boston, MA and Washington DC regions. The company serves both public and private sector clients with an emphasis on strategic planning, human capital, brand management, and strategic communications.
More at: http://www.truventis.com/