Bankers are not marketers. This much should be obvious, but the point was driven home to me not too long ago as I was sitting in my local branch gazing at the POS collateral scattered around the lobby (see example at left).
Getting a new credit card isn’t typically a spur-of-the moment decision. Nor do most people regularly have luggage on their mind. Could the Venn diagram of customers who were thinking of opening a credit card and getting new luggage – and were spurred into action by this promotion – really be substantial enough to meaningfully drive customer acquisition? Frankly, I’d be surprised if this promotion drove any incremental business for my bank.
Successful promotions don’t narrow down the number of people who will take action – instead, they either broaden the potential market or make your offering more compelling to your existing market. In math terms, you want a promotion that drives the union of two markets, not the intersection of those markets.
Ultimately, if you’re trying to convert prospects or cross-sell to your customers, the most effective thing you can do is to discover what your market values and deliver on it. If you must run a promotion, focus on surprising and delighting your customers with something unexpected – but related to why they do business with you.
As I was contemplating all of this, the customer service agent returned, sat down, and asked, “Do you want a credit card? You get luggage.”
I think I need a new bank.