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What marketing input should I solicit from the Board of Directors?

Below are excerpts from a recent online question-and-answer session conducted by marketers who participate in the ABA Marketing Network's Online Community.

QUESTION:

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I was recently appointed as marketing officer of our bank and am working to put together a marketing plan. I would like to get input from our board of directors on their thoughts concerning the bank's marketing. If you include board input, how do you get the information? Does anyone have a survey that they have used for this information?

Kim Henderson

Mutual Savings Bank | Franklin, Tenn.

RESPONSE:

When I Seek Board Input, I Ask to Be Placed on the Board Agenda

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In my various positions I have related to the board in different ways. My first bank had a board marketing committee which met quarterly and provided input into just about everything marketing did. That was a widely held bank and so that was appropriate for governance.

My second bank had a marketing committee, but because I was very seasoned and the CEO wanted to exercise more executive control, and because it was a family-owned bank and the CEO shared controlling interest, that was appropriate. After a couple of years, we disbanded the marketing committee because there didn't seem to be a need.

Now, when I want board input, I ask to be placed on the board agenda, and I take my topic directly to them for a very focused discussion. I plan carefully what I want to share, what responses I need, and what I will do with the responses before I get them. I create expectations for them and tell them how I will follow up.

I have used surveys, which are nice in that it gives the more thoughtful members time to think and respond, but we have a large board and not everyone does so. If you go this route, keep the survey short and simple, and be sure your questions will provide you the information you need to move forward.

Between the two, I think the 15 minutes at the board meeting is better. If you're new to bank marketing, I suggest the ABA School of Bank Marketing and Management. As a graduate, what I learned there has been invaluable and it taught me the business of banking so that I can participate as an executive and contribute to strategy. It gave me confidence to work with the board and lead.

Peggy Hudson, CFMP

American Trust & Savings Bank | Dubuque, Iowa

QUESTION:

We Have One Board Member Represented on the Marketing Committee, But We Would Like Input from Other Members

Thank you for the input! We have started a marketing committee that will have one board member represented on it, but we want to get input from all the board members in this initial phase of planning. I will look into the options you have suggested and see what will work best for the situation.

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I actually attended the first year of the ABA school several years ago. We were starting to have a heavier focus on marketing and, along with other duties I had, I became marketing coordinator, and I attended the school. It was very helpful to learn about marketing plans. Right after year one, the economy took a dive and community banks had some challenges, so we had to do some budget cuts, and I was not able to attend year two, and the bank's priorities shifted.

We are now circling back around and focusing on marketing once again.

Kim Henderson

Mutual Savings Bank | Franklin, Tenn.

RESPONSE:

Glad to Hear that Your Bank Is Focusing on Marketing Once Again.

Our senior management has a retreat in the fall where they create the strategic plan for the following year. I prepare a marketing plan with four or five main objectives based on the strategic plan. The marketing plan is an overview of all major strategies and tactics to reach those objectives. Due to the fact that we are a small community bank and can be flexible, I publish the plan in six-month increments. In January, I share the first- and second-quarter, and, at the end of June, I share the third and fourth quarter. This plan is posted on the intranet so any employee of the bank can review it.

At this point in time, I am not part of senior management, so our president shares information with the board and determines what is needed from me to get their input regarding marketing.

Ginny Wagner

Itasca Bank & Trust Co. | Itasca, 111.

Want to Join the Discussion?

The conversation presented here is excerpted from the Online Community of the ABA Marketing Network, which is a national professional association of bank marketers. Membership benefits include online networking with other bank marketers, a subscription to ABA Bank Marketing and Sales magazine, discounts on ABA products and services and a variety of online marketing resources and tools. To learn more about the ABA Marketing Network, visit www. aba.com/MarketingNetwork. If you are a Network member, but have not yet registered to ask questions or post answers on the Online Community, visit http://abamn.aba.com to sign on.
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Title Annotation:MARKETERS' FORUM
Publication:ABA Bank Marketing
Article Type:Excerpt
Date:Oct 1, 2015
Words:860
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