Marketing partnerships with retail banks are perfect for companies with products or services that fit a banks specific initiatives. I recently partnered MyBizHomepage with a local branch of Key Bank to host a cocktail party around Key Bank´s KeyClub4Women, which gives minorities 2% of prime for all business loans. The value proposition was simple: combine forces to penetrate a common target market and deliver free services that help women business owners.
MyBizHomepage provided the direct mail piece and conducted the RSVP call-downs and the bank provided the inserts at the branch, invited their business owners and hosted a cocktail party. Now this effort has moved to the next level, involving all of the 12 districts in Eastside Seattle, reaching more and more small businesses. This was put together in about 45 days and considered a grass roots program.
How to start?
1. Do you have a good relationship with your brand manager/vp? If not, start one.
-my discussion with Key started out not at corporate, but with my local branch vp and graduated from talking about kids to work and then the banks offerings for women business owners.
2. Identify the fit between your service and/or product offerings and the bank.
-the door of opportunity really opened with the branch vp said that 11 of the last 12 loans had been to women business owners that were great at making money, but didn´t have easy access to financial statements
3. Verify you don´t overlap or compete with the banks existing programs or partners.
-Key didn´t have any programs for integrating with QuickBooks-a perfect opportunity for my company
4. Show the bank how they will get more customers, or more net business from existing customers.
-We purchased a list of women owned businesses in the 3 zip codes serviced by the branch with the objective of increasing the bank´s existing numbers
5. Take the bulk of the detail work-let the bank do what it does best-provide the venue and the name brand.
-After we created and delivered the direct mail, we also conducted the call-downs for rsvps. The Bank chose and paid for the food and wine and staffed the event. It was a great combination of resources.
In this case, the service offering was a free, on-line accounting resource, and this fits in the classical "technology" industry. But marketing partnerships with retail banks could also be created by firms in a variety of other industries as long as the effort ties back to stated initiatives. Think demographic-based products or services for the Hispanic or African American market, or recovery programs or assistance for local issues, such as a fire, flood or hurricane.