I could go on.
What separates the Gonzo from the Nonzo? Here are a few things worth thinking about. The following list may strike you as simple – stuff everyone already knows – but I have to tell you from my experience there is a lot of gap between knowing and doing.
“Everyone’s a marketer,” right? Gonzo marketers have thick skin – and they constantly have to make judgment calls. Retail wants to hand out free “creams and lotions” at the local Wine and Cheese Festival. The CEO wants you to sell four services to every borrower that got their loans through a car dealer. Outside consultants want to see your ROI analysis and cost per new customer from your last checking campaign.
How do you get thick skin? By doing the right things and letting the chips fall where they may. While you do need to know what your CEO is thinking, it’s OK to politely downplay the constant flow of “friendly advice” from your colleagues. Make sure you know what’s important, and don’t let yourself get defensive or derailed.
To any marketer, developing the basic market positioning strategy is the key to selling any product or service. Jack Trout in Trout on Strategy (McGraw-Hill, 2004) defines strategy as “what makes you unique, and what is the best way to put that difference into the minds of your customers and prospects.”
This is a big one. Profitable customers make the bank money; unprofitable customers cost money. The Gonzo marketer is the leading proponent for accurate profitability reporting in the organization and initiatives to build profitable customer relationships.
If you don’t have the software and the data to understand product and customer profitability, you’re going into the battle unarmed. You can spend considerable money attracting customers that will never be profitable. Understand the characteristics and product mix of a profitable customer and focus your time and resources there.
This one is easy. Go on the attack and stay on the attack – never back off when it comes to getting your message out. Many mid-size to larger institutions in your market are in a holding pattern, concentrating on liquidity and capital. Now may be a good time to attack.
Remember the Gonzo marketer’s creed:
“I am the gatekeeper of my own destiny …
I will have my glory day in the hot sun”
Hasta luego y buena suerte, bancarios gonzos.
At Cornerstone Advisors, that’s our creed, and a long list of satisfied clients understand it’s how we do business.
We can help your institution with best practices, process improvement, strategic planning, technology planning, system selection, conversion management, risk management, mergers – and more.
But we’ll never start the execution without the strategic justification.