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  • Content relevant to readers
  • Engagement of readers, as demonstrated by level of sign-ups and newsletter open rates
  • Industry leadership in use of social media and other tools


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Marketing has become more complex with proliferation of channels and media.


Marilois Snowman, CEO of Mediastruction and David Kerstein, President of Peak Performance Consulting Group, discuss their presentation at The Financial Brand Forum 2017.


Their presentation covered strategies to increase marketing efficiency and sales by improving optimization across media and sales channels, and they presented a case study on how one community bank completely retooled its approach, generating a 40% lift in efficiency.



Debit interchange is one of the key fee income drivers, especially for community banks. But many institutions struggle to find strategies that fuel revenue growth, especially as merchants become more sophisticated in directing debit transactions to lower cost PIN vs. signature.


In today’s environment are debit rewards programs successful in stimulating demand? Can they help you jump-start performance? Is there sufficient payback after expenses are considered?


We believe there are more effective ways to improve debit revenue.


Rewards programs reached their peak in 2009 when they were offered by 58% of financial institutions. This dropped to a low of 32% in 2012, before stabilizing at 38% during the past two years. The decline in rewards programs gives us a test case to measure effectiveness. What happened when rewards programs were discontinued? Are the banks with the highest debit revenue generation offering rewards, or are they improving revenue through other means?


There are 3 drivers of debit revenue: penetration, activation, and usage


  • High performing institutions have significantly higher penetration of their customer base – more customers have cards, and are active. At the top quartile of performance, 92% of customers have a debit card. This compares to the average for all financial institutions of 77%, and only 62% for the bottom quartile.


  • We often hear that “many customers don’t want a debit card” or that “many of our customers don’t qualify for a card”.  But top performers have demonstrated that high penetration is possible. If customers don’t have a card, they can’t use it.


  • Best in class banks encourage their customers to use their cards more. At the top quartile, active cardholders use their card 31 times per month, vs. an average of 22 for all institutions, and a low of only 14 times per month for the bottom quartile of performers.


Data analytics is key to improving usage. Well performing institutions understand who is using their card, and where they are using it. They have programs to target activation (get non-users to make at least one transaction), and to encourage users to transact more (“you used it at the gas station, now try it at the supermarket”).


What about rewards programs? The decline in rewards participation is driven by the recognition that most customers receiving rewards are already predisposed to debit use. When programs were discontinued there was no significant diminishment in activity – certainly not enough to offset the savings from program management.


Instead of the highest users, spend your time and energy to identify non-users, or low users, and incent them to increase activity.


Remember PAU (Penetration, Activation, Usage) and establish metrics to measure, monitor – and improve – performance.


Financial Institutions are re-configuring branch networks to meet changing customer demand, closing bank branches and investing in new channels.


Jon Voorhees, Peak Performance Consulting Group consultant and former Head of Distribution Strategy at Bank of America discusses strategies to improve customer retention, sales performance, and cost savings.


Teller volumes have declined by about half in the last several years. With far fewer volumes going through largely fixed cost facilities, the cost per transaction done within the four walls of a branch will only climb.


Since the recent Great Recession, only about 5% have closed. When you take into account the number of new branches still being opened, the net decline is only about 4% in the last five years. So the question for banks is why aren’t you closing more?


Many banks have discussed the need to cut costs and close branches but few have been aggressive in doing so. The main reason more banks aren’t closing branches is fear pf customer attrition, but with the right data, analytics and implementation approach you can move forward with confidence.




This article was was originally published in The Financial Brand on June 22, 2017


Bank-at-Work programs are both efficient and effective ways to generate new business. But, work site events shouldn’t be a ‘hit-or-miss’ activity for bankers. Here are strategies that can ensure they drive consistent business results – and tips you can use at any prospective customer activity.


By Paul Corrigan, Consultant at Peak Performance Group


Bank-at-Work programs make a lot of sense – they are a way to leverage relationships you already have with businesses, and a way to generate consistent levels of new consumer accounts as well. After all, what could be better than a company giving you direct access to their employees? One of the best ways to capitalize on this opportunity is to hold on-site events at employee sites.


Unfortunately, we frequently hear stories about less than expected results.


An all too common refrain is, “Why are we sending valuable resources to work site events that generate no return for the effort?” Instinctively we are prone to thinking that poor results must be function of the offer package not being rich enough, or the client company is not proactively promoting the program, or the marketing materials aren’t generating sufficient awareness.


I used to manage a Bank-at-Work program for a large national bank, and one of the things I learned is that inconsistent performance is almost always a function of the quality of on-site execution. It’s what we do with that on-site opportunity that makes the difference between success or failure.


So, how do we improve results? Here are the top 10 keys to success for increasing your Bank-at-Work sales results. The good news is that most of these keys to success are applicable to any customer or prospect event, from an on-site meeting to a Chamber of Commerce event or other community activities.


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If the podcast does not appear, please click on the word “Podcast” in the title of this article) 


On this episode of the BAI Banking Strategies podcast, Lou Carlozo, Managing Editor, interviews   Jon Voorhees of Peak Performance Group about the closing, opening and evolution of bank branches. Voorhees also reveals how banks can close branches and still experience low customer attrition rates.


Lou Carlozo, BAI. Bank branches. Where the three key words before were always location, location, location – today they might as well be decisions, decisions, decisions.  Should branches be closed, should they be transformed, should they be re imagined. or should branches turn into something altogether different that uses the best world of customer satisfaction and automation.


To learn more about the current and future state of branches we will be talking with bank branch expert Jon Voorhees.


Welcome to BAI Banking Strategies, where each week we will focus on key issues facing financial services leaders.  We’ll bring you objective opinions and actionable insights that will help you power smart decisions. I’m your host, Lou Carlozo, Managing Editor of BAI. Come on in!


Thanks for tuning in. It is great to have you on the podcast today and we are at the end of Season 2 so we want to thank everyone who has tuned in so far. While we’re off you can check out the archive of podcasts at www.bai.org  and as always, our podcasts can be heard through Apple iTunes podcast app, Soundcloud and Google Play.


And today with us here we have Jon Voorhees, a Consultant/Adviser for Peak Performance Consulting Group. Most recently focused on the consumer banking industry, Jon has used his expertise in retailing, consumer goods and the automotive industry.  If you’ve read his posts on BAI Banking Strategies you know he is clear spoken and gets right to the heart of things.


Jon, great to have you on the program today.

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