There will be no love lost when we send 2020 packing. But before the door slams, this cruelest of years has one last insult to flip us off. And it has to do with that most valuable of currencies: time.
60 Days of Crazy Left
As you read this, we are now on the cusp of Labor Day (Sept. 7, 2020). From that point to the U.S. presidential election (Nov. 3, 2020), we will witness a pervasive, brutal media circus that will make the Roman chariot races look like bumper cars at the kiddie park. American attention circuits, already a bit spindly, will be overloaded with hourly drama du jour. Serious financial decisions by consumers or businesses or banks? Not a chance. But wait, there’s more!
The encore to the White House brawl will be the blur. Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 26, 2020) is the official kickoff of that All-American annual indulgence: the holiday blur. This will extend decision paralysis right through to New Year’s Day. Toss in a few bank holidays (Columbus Day, Veterans Day) and the balance of the 2020 calendar year is just a shade over 60 working days. That’s hardly enough time (or air in the room) for any meaningful promotional effort of a bank product or service.
But it IS enough time to secure an immense financial advantage for your bank’s strategic marketing in 2021 if you act soon.
Media Costs at Near-Historic Lows
In the marketing world, one of the side effects of the COVID-19 experience has been the collapse of media prices, currently approaching 2008 levels. Less highway traffic = fewer eyeballs on billboards, fewer ears tuned into drive time radio, etc., etc. With few exceptions, supply has drowned demand across the media spectrum.
Yes, the national elections will hike some rates, but that’s mostly big-time electronic media, not the bread-and-butter media choices that work so well for community bank marketing.
Opportunity Alert: Bundled volume deals on outdoor, behaviorally targeted digital, print, direct mail, TV and other media can now be secured by smart media buyers at up to 50% off rate card … or less.
STOCKPILE Your Media Arsenal Now!
Keenan-Nagle’s recommendation for our community banking colleagues is a simple three-part strategy:
- Use this 60-day working window of 2020 to stockpile volume media at historically low rates. Get a proven professional with media-agnostic chops to help make it happen. It’s pounce time, partners!
- Don’t spend a nickel of your media muscle for the balance of this godforsaken 2020 calendar year. Nobody will be paying attention anyway.
- Be ready to deploy it with a vengeance in the first two quarters of 2021 in high-profile (and even higher cost-efficiency!) marketing efforts aimed at beefing up the most profitable sectors of your product portfolio: HEL, HELOC, small business loans, laddered CDs, whatever floats your boat’s bottom line.
“Moving quickly when the market is right is going to be key. Planning and buying now allow you to do that,” says Paul Leese, executive vice president and former media services director, at Keenan-Nagle Advertising, Inc. “But the trick is not just buying media at great rates. Negotiating flexibility on run dates, bundled buys and ensuring you are getting premium space is just as important. Using the expertise of dedicated media strategists like ours to navigate these buys can make a big difference in maximizing your advertising investment.”
Big Boing Theory
It’s a very sound bet that by early next year the COVID-19 experience will be receding into the rearview mirror and the American economic spring — painfully compressed for way too long — will be ready to release its energy with a resounding “boing!” in consumer confidence and capital borrowing. Your bank will be ready to pursue multiple growth opportunities and brand-building through smart marketing at a bare fraction of the media cost you would pay under normal standards.
As a bonus, you can also bid 2020 goodbye and good riddance knowing you turned some of its considerable pain into well-deserved profit.
Michael C. Keenan is the president and CEO of Keenan-Nagle Advertising, Inc. Based in Allentown, PENNSYLVANIA, with a full-service team of 12 professionals, the Keenan-Nagle firm has specialized in community bank marketing for more than three DECADES. FOR MORE HELPFUL facts, visit www.keenannagle.com or call 610-797-7100.