Are you a financial services marketer in Vancouver?

Back in September at BarCampBankBC I met a man named David Cesarini. David is truly interested in financial services marketing, and after BCBBC he and I met up and I enjoyed chatting with him a lot.

Now I see that he has organized The Vancouver Financial Services Marketing Meetup Group. Sounds interesting (if you’re an FI marketing geek, that is), so spread the word.

The first Vancouver Financial Services Marketing March Meetup will take place on:
Wednesday, March 25th at 6:30pm
At the Dulcinea Chocolate Cafe
1118 Denman Street (map below)

I’m going to try and be there, so let me know if you are planning on going!

View Larger Map

Four down, one to go.

William at BarCampBankBCI honestly have no idea what I was thinking a few months back when I agreed to speak at five conferences in two months. Today I finished my penultimate engagement, and I’m starting to feel relieved.

It was been an extraordinary honour to be able to address such a diverse set of audiences.

  • From the Internet Marketing Conference here in Vancouver focusing on general online marketing techniques and tactics
  • Organizing and promoting BarCampBankBC, which was a truly amazing, inspiring and rewarding experience
  • Traveling to Indiana for the 2008 Partnership Symposium which was an event I had been looking forward to for almost a year and was a fantastic chance to see many of my favourite CU people from across North America
  • And today I spoke here in Vancouver at the IABC Communicating Social Responsibility Conference where I got to address a room full of people dedicated to bringing integrity and values to their business models.

I have one last one to get to. Net.Finance East will take place October 28-29th in New York and will be focusing on banking innovations. I always enjoy Net.Finance conferences, as I learn so much and get to meet some amazing peers.

After Net.Finance East, I have nothing until January when I go back to New York for The Finance 2.0 Summit.

Next year, I need to be a whole lot more selective, I just can’t afford to be away from the office and my family this much.

It feels a little like the end of an era for me. I have learned a ton, met some amazing people, sparked some incredible dialogue and really found my place in the industry. If you’re reading this, it may well be because we met at one of these events. If so, shoot me a comment and say hello.

(photo credit by Brent Dixon)

BCBBC08: Some final thoughts.

BarCampBankBCI am elated that BarCampBankBC was pulled off so wonderfully. It was a true pleasure to plan it and host it. But most of all, it was amazing to attend.

I must thank my two incredible partners in crime, Tim McAlpine and Gene Blishen. It was a great experience planning the event with these two. I also want to thank the incredible Brent Dixon who ensured as much of the event was webcast as possible and Morriss Partee for his truly hysterical and humbling Pecha Kucha.

I’ve updated the wiki with all the blogs and photos from the event I can think of. If I missed any, please add them.

In the end, it’s less about any particular thing that was discussed than the nature of the conversations, the quality of discussion, the collaboration, the learning and advising. Two trends that emerged, I think were the future of banking and the ethical nature of banking. I was surprised that the session on social finance was completely full, almost everyone came and it was a lively discussion.

I’m tired, and I may post again as the dust settles for me, but I wanted to get a post out before the day ended. I am grateful to all the people whom I got to see again, all the new people I was fortunate enough to meet and all the people who engaged in the conversation. You make my life a better place.

Thank you to all who attended and contributed. It was a real high!

BCBBC08: Can FIs Have a Heart?

BarCampBankBCWhat value is there in community activities, and where should we be focusing our efforts?

Should people trust a CU more than a bank just because its community oriented? We answer to members not stockholders. We’re a co-operative. Banks have shareholders that have to derive a profit.

Does that message get across to our members?

People can love their bank. The attitude and heart people put into their jobs translate into customer engagement.

First Direct is the most referred bank in the world, and it comes from great customer service. The people make the experience. If your employee experience is excellent, customer service will be good and customers will be happy and loyal.

In theory, CUs are a step closer to their customers/owners than banks. In reality, it doesn’t always translate.

Banking is a commodity.

Banks throw more money at the community thaqn CUs can, but the perception is that CUs are more engaged in the issues.

Can an FI increase relevance with specific segments? Are we one size fits all with segmented marketing programs. If we were starting a bank today, we would model the brand on some segment specifically, and choose a market niche.

BCBBC08: Mobile Banking

BarCampBankBCDo people want an iPhone app or just browse to the company’s site? How much more effective is a .mobi site?

Mobile web degrades in areas with poor reception, like some mountainous rural area. A native app passes less data so the degradation isn’t there as much.

The chip card could give greater access and data if plugged into a smart phone to allow for more complex transactions.

For alerts, there’s push and pull. A pull system sends out batch updates that meet a criteria (like a balance falling below a specified threshold). Push incorporates into a core platform and knows when the criteria is met and pushes the alert out. This will give more instantaeous results, and be more customizeable.

Will all FIs produce a very similar solution, or will they find a way to differentiate via a mobile offering. Right now, it’s first to market, but soon we’ll all just have the same thing?

Is it suprising that FIs haven’t tried to differentiate based on their online banking offer, functionality, usability, etc…

People will notice their mobile phone is missing long before their wallet or credit card is missing. Makes sense to embed payments into it.

If via mobile banking people want to see their full financial picture quickly, it may push people to use FI aggregators like Mint or Wesabe. Mobile could create the tipping point for those third party solutions.

Could it be something like a branded tip calculator is better advocacy and relevance than actual mobile banking. The tip calculator app in the iPhone app store is the most popular financial app. Are we overthinking?

Mobile is an opportunity to reach customers wherever whenever. What’s the most relevant way to do it. Alerts are a simple FI interaction that helps the customer. It differentiates from online banking in a way only mobile can.

ATM locator is a more powerful mobile app than mobile banking.