A Fresh Start

I kept reminding myself as the final seconds ticked away in Sunday’s surprise upset of my beloved New England Patriots by the NY Jets, that there’s always next year.  Well, it may be a long 7 months wait until training camp rolls around again for the Pats, but right now, many financial institutions are gearing up for the start of their new ‘season’ – with a whole fresh set of marketing  initiatives, strategies and goals.

But how do you set realistic goals and come up with the tactics to achieve them?  There’s always pressure to “improve over last year”,  but that’s a very broad statement and ultimately, performance is about having a good game plan and executing the details within that game plan (sorry, I guess I’m not quite over the game yet).  An objective year-end review can be very helpful in looking back at what worked, what didn’t and using that information to develop new tactics and strategies or simply modify existing ones.

You can learn a lot from analyzing not just the new customer relationships that were generated, but also those that were lost during the past year. What attracted customers to your institution? What caused them to leave? Were there warning signs that you could look for in your current customers to identify at risk relationships? Which branches performed better at retaining and growing customer relationships? Which of your customer segments are likely to be most impacted by the latest industry trends?

While the challenging economic climate may continue to temper everyone’s optimism, there’s no question that new marketing ideas  – bolstered by insight gleaned from the past – will have you well-positioned for the coming year.

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