The American Bankers Association recognized the nation’s best bank marketing initiatives today at the 2022 ABA Bank Marketing Conference in Denver. The 2022 ABA Brand Slam awards honored elite bank marketing strategies that stood out among hundreds of entries from banks of all sizes nationwide.
“Bank marketing is critical to driving growth and steering the organization’s entire customer experience,” said Jim Edrington, ABA’s chief member engagement officer. “These award winners each exhibited an exceptional ability to understand their customers’ needs and tailor their interactions accordingly.”
A volunteer panel of 52 Certified Financial Marketing Professional (CFMP)-credentialed experts judged the concept, strategy, creativity, execution and impact of entries in six different categories: Integrated Marketing Campaign, Out of the Box Idea, Public Relations/Community Engagement Activity, Social Media Campaign, Video Campaign, and Website Redesign. A winner was selected for each category.
The 2022 Brand Slam award winners are:
Integrated Marketing Campaign
A bank that has launched a product, promoted a service or set out to market a particular line of business using multichannel tactics.
- First United Bank, Durant, Okla., for its campaign titled “First United Bank: United Acts of Kindness.”
The objective of First United Bank’s “United Acts of Kindness” campaign was to measurably increase the amount of kindness in the communities it serves by activating and tracking an incremental 100,000 acts of kindness in 24 hours during the National Day of Kindness. Generating these acts was no small task and took a lot of people, planning and promotion to make it happen. The promotion campaign used multiple, integrated channels from both traditional and non-traditional categories: human, retail, digital and broadcast. The outcomes generated were overwhelming. First United eclipsed its goal by three times with over 300,000 acts of kindness logged during the one-day event. Along with the net results, the campaign outperformed industry benchmarks in many areas including click-thru rates and effective conversion rates.
Out of the Box Idea
A bank strategy, campaign, promo item or another form of marketing genius that doesn’t fit in any other category.
- Simmons Bank, Little Rock, Ark., for its “Mobile Sweepstakes” program.
Simmons Bank unveiled a Mobile Deposit Sweepstakes in spring 2021 to drive usage for the bank’s mobile deposit feature. From March 1-May 20, customers were mailed checks worth $0.01 and invited to deposit them via the Simmons Bank Mobile app. Each deposited check earned customers an entry into Simmons’ sweepstakes, with weekly prizes from $100-1,000 and an overall grand prize of $10,000. Penny checks were also available for Simmons’ Retail team to give customers who stopped by its branches, allowing associates to demonstrate app features and personally invite customers to join the sweepstakes. Winning customers were encouraged to visit their branch to claim prizes, allowing Simmons to add a personal touch to a digitally focused campaign. The bank integrated the Mobile Deposit Sweepstakes across numerous channels – including direct mail, video, and online and mobile messaging – to reach its entire customer base. As a result of the campaign, 80% of Mobile Sweepstakes checks given out in branches were used by customers who had never attempted mobile deposit. First-time mobile deposit users also increased by 54%, with nearly 30% making a second mobile deposit during the campaign period. The campaign also drove 40,800 social media impressions.
Public Relations/Community Engagement Activity
A bank PR/Community Engagement initiative generating positive buzz and fostering goodwill in the community.
- Fidelity Bank, New Orleans, for its “P.O.W.E.R. Plates” initiative.
Launched in 2019, P.O.W.E.R. Plates is a month-long celebration of women in hospitality scheduled annually every July. It is a marketing campaign produced by Fidelity Bank’s P.O.W.E.R. (Potential of Women Entrepreneurs Realized) Program and benefits the Louisiana Hospitality Foundation. P.O.W.E.R. Plates' goal is to raise awareness of, and drive business to, women-led restaurants in the southeast Louisiana region, as well as support LHF’s dedication of supporting hospitality industry workers through educational and crisis grants. Each participating restaurant registered their “P.O.W.E.R.ful woman” to highlight, as well as a featured dish and/or drink. Each restaurant or bar also committed to donating $1 per unit sold during the month of July. Fidelity Bank committed to market the program, as well as match up to $2,500 of the giving dollars raised. The 2021 campaign greatly exceeded participation goals and raised nearly $20,000 in donations.
Social Media Campaign
A social media strategy that resulted in clicks, conversions, engagement and impressions.
Tie (2 Winners):
- Evolve Bank & Trust, Memphis, Tenn., for its social media campaign titled “Women’s History Month.”
In March 2022, Evolve Bank & Trust celebrated Women’s History Month by using a multi-platform approach to highlight its female leadership and women’s contributions to banking. It also used this campaign to help propel its internal Diversity & Inclusion program. On each of its external and internal social media channels, Evolve highlighted “Evolver” women who do a variety of things for the bank. The bank also put a spotlight on community partners with a mission to help women in both personal and professional development. The bank saw good engagement on social media from a range of content that included special graphics, video content and blog posts. During the campaign, Evolve saw significant growth in Facebook and LinkedIn engagement.
- Dedham Savings, Dedham, Mass., for its “2022 Social Media Campaign.”
With products spanning across different stages of a consumer’s life, a variety of social channels such as Facebook, Instagram and TikTok were leveraged to reach potential customers with a message relevant to them, on a channel they engage with most. New platforms, such as Nextdoor, were introduced to take advantage of up-and-coming trends in the social media landscape and position Dedham Savings as a local resource. Campaign goals included brand awareness, website traffic and video engagement. A variety of ad units such as video, static and carousel were rotated across platforms to share product messages in creative ways. Promoted products included: Brand, Savings, Account Switch, Mortgage, Business and Conquesting.
A campaign that uses video, whether digital or television, to effectively tell your bank’s story
- Synovus Bank, Columbus, Ga., for its video campaign titled “Get There.”
Synovus implemented a video campaign as part of its effort to pivot from a local-oriented, retail bank into a sophisticated, relationship-driven B2B banking partner. In addition to a new tagline, the creative idea uses line-drawings over wide, open spaces to visualize the potential B2B customers see and the bank's ability to help make that vision a reality. Synovus created five beautiful films to tell this story across three vignettes that spotlight key businesses Synovus has supported. Synovus featured its :15 films in Major League Baseball with a media partnership with Bally Sports for the Atlanta Braves, and ran them online. It also used its :30 and :45 videos for digital experiences and client engagement. In just two months in market, the campaign has driven over 513 landing page conversions, creating a robust lead pipeline of the sophisticated, enterprise B2B customers that will drive future growth.
A website redesign that effectively employs concept, strategy, creativity and execution to achieve the bank’s desired results, whether it be to refresh the look or to enhance the efficiency of the user experience.
- OMB (Old Missouri Bank), Springfield, Mo., for its new OMB website experience.
Launched in June 2022, OMB’s new website is graphically stunning, easy for consumers to navigate and, perhaps most importantly, engaging for visitors. Returning users know exactly where to go to find what they need, but the website functions most impressively for new visitors who aren't sure exactly what they need. These visitors are encouraged through call-to-action buttons to "GET STARTED," which takes them through a short and very simple quiz to result in a product selection card specific to them based on the choices they made. If their end result was a loan, the homepage changes to show them loan products when they return. In all, the homepage has more than 30 variations that can appear based on how the user has navigated through the site. The site also incorporates animated icons and a new blog feature.
To view these award-winners, click here.
The American Bankers Association is the voice of the nation’s $23.5 trillion banking industry, which is composed of small, regional and large banks that together employ more than 2.1 million people, safeguard $18.6 trillion in deposits and extend $12.3 trillion in loans.