It was the best of marketing, it was the worst of marketing.

Bad marketing.  It is all around us.

Good marketing pops up from time to time, but you have to look for it.

Bad Marketing Message

My commute to work is about eight minutes.  Two Billy Joel songs and I’m there.

Straight down Manchester – quick and easy.

For some reason, we have a lot of banks in St. Louis.  Someone told me it is because we have a branch of the Federal Reserve here in the Gateway City.  But I don’t know if that is true.

On my little commute, I pass BMO Harris, PNC, Bank of America, Regents, Great Southern, Reliance, U.S. and something called Montgomery Bank.

We have a LOT of banks.

Every morning, I drive past Great Southern Bank.  They have an electric sign in front of the bank.

My friend David Williams, owner of Bill Young Signs, tells me that a sign like this would cost around $25000 to $30000.

Slipping into sales mode, David also told me that electronic signs can increase walk-in traffic between 20% and $150%.  I have no reason to doubt him.

He said that the people most likely to do business with you drive past your place of business every day.

Makes sense.

But here is the message that Great Southern Bank chooses to display every day and twice on Sunday:

24 HOUR ATM.  Get cash when you need it!

Notice the exclamation point.  In case, you weren’t already excited about the idea of an all day, ATM bonanza.

Imagine that.  Being able to put a card in a machine and to take your money out of the bank at any time.

Without even having to speak with a bank teller.

How exciting.

In all seriousness, this sign bugs me (can’t you tell).  Here the bank has spent $25K on this slick electric sign and this message is the best that the bank employees can come up with.

Advertising something that has been a thing for around 30 years or more.

Imagine the last sign meeting at Great Southern Bank (Des Peres location).

Bank manager, “hey gang, what should we put up on the sign?”

Teller # 1, “happy Thanksgiving?”

Teller # 2, “come check out our low interest rates?”

Teller # 3, “how about we tout our slick new ATM?”

Manager – “that’s it.  That’s the message we need to turn this bank around.”

I don’t want to just bust on the bank.  But, as students of marketing, there is a lesson here.

The lesson is that we can spend all of this money on message delivery – here a very sizable financial investment.

But if we don’t have anything to say, all that money is a waste of time.

We need to develop our message first.  To find our voice.  And to say something of meaning.

Delivery is the easy part.  Crafting the proper message is the hard work.

Strong Marketing Message

At the same time, I recently came a cross a strong marketing tactic that I am going to implement in our office.

When we meet with potential new clients, we always obtain their full name, their mailing address and their cell phone number.

We don’t necessarily do much with the physical address, unless and until the individual decides to hire us.

At the present moment, we don’t have a physical newsletter.  We may in the near future, but we don’t right now.

But after my sons visited a local orthodontist’s office for an evaluation, we received this thoughtful, hand-written note by one of the people who met with the boys.

Short, sweet but effective.  The note was personal and hand-written.  It came about a week after our visit so it was a good reminder that we were thinking of doing business with them.

Other than the use of “you guys,” which is a personal pet peeve of mine, the message hit the mark.

Smart use of the team’s time and good effort at conversion.

This would be very easy for Maximum Lawyers to incorporate into their conversion sequence, if you aren’t doing so already.  I am going to order stock cards and start doing this right away.

If you have a marketing tip or hack that you think would be good for us to share with our group, please let send me an email at jim@hackinglawpractice.com.

Thanks for reading.