Banks are Asleep at the Marketing Wheel.


There are few banks, if any, that spend marketing dollars educating and counseling consumers in the art of saving. I guess there’s not a lot of revenue in it. Or is there? 

If a bank were to get a reputation for helping people save, when it came time to borrow, it would be seen as a preferred source.  

I am not a bank nerd and therefore not steeped in all the marketing ins and outs, however, I have not seen any innovation in the category, beyond mobile phone apps, in decades. And as for savings innovation, way longer. 

Banks have taken a beating in the press. A beating.  Was I to conduct a poll, I’m guessing between the mortgage mess, federal bail-outs and malfeasance, 70% of the pop would say banks are doing a poor job. The other 30% are bankers and their extended families.  So why doesn’t someone step into the void and establish a good old “roots” saving discussion (online)? Or innovate with a savings product?  

Wells Fargo is the only bank I’m aware of actually doing this — and spending behind it. Their “Way2Save” program (used to be called “Save As You Go”) puts one of your dollars into a savings account every time you swipe your debit card.  This is brilliant on so many levels: targeting, brand ethos, education, brand experience, loyalty and first mover status.  Now it’s possible some other bank or credit union did this first, but I just heard about it on the radio, so for me Well Fargo gets the credit. And it hits a market with pent up demand – one that needs to hear the savings message. 

The financial category is asleep.  It is not paying attention and doesn’t see the cloud over its head.  Saving, as antithetical to creating bank revenue as it may be, is a concept for the times.  Nice job recognizing it Well Fargo. That’s a good business investment. Peace.