As we were looking at granular restaurant performance data we noticed that the average time at the table for patrons has increased by about 2 minutes on average over the last three years. Upon further inquiries, it seems customers are spending their table time taking pictures of their food and of course, themselves. The act of taking a selfie has spawned popular songs, websites and articles which is why Independent Bank in Texas has captured this recent sentiment in picture perfect form.
In May of this year, the Bank introduced mobile retail check capture in order to acquire and better retain customers, as well as cut processing costs. To introduce the product, they internally came up with one of the more brilliant ideas we have seen in banking (we wish we thought of it) – the Selfie Guy.
This animated check can’t stop taking pictures of himself which we think sums up the current actions of teens to Boomers perfectly. The Bank introduced the product online, in print, in statement and effectively with a mobile phone sized instruction brochure. While most banks would have been happy there, Independent Bank got their employees involved and created a sub-campaign with “Where in the World is Mobile Deposit Selfie Guy (MDSG)?” Employees packed the little acrylic cut out around and took selfies with him at various spots around the globe to post online and in social media.
The net result of the Bank’s effort was a solid marketing buzz, kudos from the marketing/banking communities (including some awards) and real financial gain. Mobile usage jumped 8% and 346 new customers enrolled in just the first month.
To service customers in the branch it takes more than $4.25 of effort of incremental cost compared to mobile check capture which takes about 19 cents. Like any good strategic initiative, mobile check capture also is inline with the Bank’s other strategic efforts. The product allows customers to save time creating higher satisfaction, as well as saves trips to the branch/ATM thereby being more environmentally friendly.
New customers, more transaction, employee engagement and cost reduction make this marriage of product introduction and marketing a huge success and is a great example of what banks can do if they just put some creativity behind their efforts. Independent Bank – Well done and thanks for not only teaching us something but inspiring us to do a better job at marketing.
Submitted by Chris Nichols on September 29, 2014