In view of recent tumult in the banking sector, the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) has debuted a national public awareness campaign designed to encourage consumers to do business with a local community bank.
The campaign calls attention to the BankLocally.org website, which enables consumers to find a community bank in their market. ICBA stated the campaign “boldly and effectively differentiating community banks from large banks, credit unions and other financial institutions.”
Last year, ICBA launched a pilot campaign to determine the viability and need of a national campaign by testing messaging and creative assets designed to build awareness and positive perceptions of community banking. The trade organization determined that after the pilot campaign ran its course, the percentage of consumers who know what a community bank is increased by 22% while the share of consumers with positive opinions of community banks grew by 15%. And after seeing the campaign elements, 75% of consumers who were not doing business with a community bank became interested in learning about these financial institutions.
“ICBA is investing big in the future of community banking with the launch of this consumer-driven public awareness campaign,” ICBA President and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey said. “Now more than ever, we must shine a light on the unmistakably different business model that is community banking and introduce it as a clear choice to America’s consumers. Consumers deserve to know that they have a safe, sound and secure community banking option in their own community that can be their financial advocate for life,” Romero Rainey said. “Together with our community bank members, we will make a difference and shine a light on all that is well and good in community banking.”
ICBA is also aiming at millennials – the organizations’ research found 46% of millennials stating that support of local communities is one of the most important characteristics of a “perfect” bank. Further, millennials showed more interest in community banks than previous generations (61% among ages 25-39 compared 50% for age 40 and up).
“Millennials already have experienced two historical financial moments within their lifetimes and are on the brink of or currently experiencing some of life’s biggest financial moments and milestones,” ICBA Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Rob Birgfeld said. “It’s vital consumers know that community banks are the perfect fit for their life’s journey and stand ready to build a trusted banking relationship with them — helping them achieve financial stability and their life’s goals, all while making the community they call home stronger and more vibrant.”