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Knowing Your Audience as a Community Bank | Marketing Monthly

As a community banker, you know your customers. You may recognize regulars as they walk through the door and know why they’ve come before they have to tell you. That’s the beauty of the community banking model. But do you really know your customers? If you were asked to describe a typical customer who banks at your institution, what would you say? Would you have to think about it for very long?

For your marketing efforts to be effective, you need to know your customer in this way. If you were asked to give a speech, you would likely want to know to whom you were speaking—that is, what characteristics would the crowd have in common. Marketing works much the same way; you need to understand the group your bank is addressing in its materials. In this article, we will explore some elements to consider as you paint a picture of your audience.


As a community bank, you likely serve customers of all ages, races, and socioeconomic backgrounds. However, consider the makeup of your community: what is the average annual income? How many people own homes, cars, and small businesses? What is the balance of age groups, genders, and races? This will help you to get an idea of who you are speaking to with your marketing materials.

Needs and Goals

While demographic information can be important, you’ll want to take a deeper dive into the mind of your ideal customer. What needs do they have that you can solve with your products and services? What are their goals in a banking relationship? What questions do they ask most often? Answering these questions will help you speak the language of your audience and catch their attention.

Challenges and Objections

Once you understand your customers’ needs and goals, it’s important to figure out why they have yet to become your customer. What are the most common objections potential customers give your tellers and sales staff? What holds them back from banking with you? Overcoming objections is a key part of any sales process. If you can answer your prospects’ most common objections before they even walk in your door, you’re in for a smoother journey for your future customer.

Customer Journey

Every customer has a customer journey. For your bank, your customer’s journey is the span of time and events between their first encounter with your brand to opening their account or closing on their loan.
Understanding that customer journey is key to understanding your customer, and by extension, marketing to them effectively. How do your customers first hear about you? What touchpoints do they find most compelling? And, maybe more importantly, at what point in your sales process do would-be customers leave and not come back? Finding ways to track these things will give you and your team invaluable insight into the needs and wants of your customers. As a community banker, you have an advantage over other institutions as you begin this process; you likely see and talk to your customers every day. Once you begin asking the right questions, the answers should come easily. Understanding your audience’s demographic makeup, needs and goals, challenges and objections, and customer journey, you can create marketing materials that resonate with your ideal customer.

Getting the right support from a correspondent banking institution can also help your community bank thrive. Independent Community Banker’s Bank has established a reputation for excellence over the last 30 years. ICBB serves Community Bank’s throughout Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Tennessee to better serve their customers using a variety of services, including credit card solutions and loan participations. To learn more about how we can assist your bank visit www.icbb.bank or contact our Account Executive team solutions@icbb.bank.

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