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Where's the Holiday Bank Marketing?

By Jim Bruene on December 21, 2004 9:28 AM | Comments

These days most major online retailers and consumer sites dress up their websites for the holidays.

Unless, they are bank sites.

Each year we surf major banks looking for holiday happenings. We were surprised again this year to find little creativity on bank home pages. On Dec. 21, none of the largest 30 banks in the U.S. had a major holiday theme running.

Two banks, National City (#11) and LaSalle (#15) were running prepaid gift card banners. And two others were running small holiday-themed promotions running, AmSouth Bank (#27) and PNC (#20).

PNC is running a tongue-in-cheek look at the cost of purchasing the items in the popular holiday song, The Twelve Days of Christmas. This year the total cost was $17,300, up 2.4% since last year. The bank has been tracking the cost for 20 years and provides a long-term look at the price increases. It's very clever, providing valuable publicity and a positive impression of the bank.

AmSouth Bank has an interesting holiday promotion, one that ties directly to online banking a bill payment. Website users can personalize a holiday greeting card and send it to anyone with an email address. Users are encouraged, but NOT required, to use the cards as a notification of a check being sent through AmSouth's bill payment system. The default "personal" message even says:

A monetary gift is being sent through AmSouth Bank, please look for it in your mail in the next 7 days.

Greeting card users do NOT have to be bank customers. AmSouth doesn't say whether it is capturing email addresses. We would have to assume not.

Action Items

Add a holiday promotion for your 2005 marketing plan. It's a great way to jazz up your website for the holidays and you can include a sales promotion at the same time, especially for prepaid cards or gift checks.

-- JB

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If you'd like to learn more about the financial interactive marketing efforts, check out the Interactive Financial Marketing Database from our sister publication, the Online Banking Report.

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