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Isn’t social banking just a marketing thing?

One of the questions that came up in Abu Dhabi is that Social Media is great, but what’s it go to do with the CIO?  CIOs are the main audience here at MEFTEC and media is a marketing thing isn’t it?

This got me thinking, as most of the social media presentations do focus upon marketing related matters.

My first exposures to social media for example, came from the Head of Experiential Marketing in one of the banks.

His job was to track customer experiences online and look at new ways to reach out via, at that time, channels like YouTube and virtual worlds like Second Life.  As Facebook and Twitter have arisen, they’re in that space too.

Equally, as branches appear in virtual worlds and on social media, they also appear to be a marketing thing run by the marketing groups.

I look at my friend Christophe Langlois’s blog and read his entry about the top 10 most followed banks on twitter – BNP Paribas (x2),  Rabobank (x2), Buergschaftsbank, Deutsche Bank, Barclays Wealth, ING, ABSA and Caja Madrid – and can see why some bank decisionmakers are cynical about all these goings on.

It’s all marketing.

Just like the old media world of cinema, TV and papers, the new media world is dominated by marketing folks.

YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr … it’s all about customer comms and getting customers engaged through an improved User Experience.

That's why it's all marketing, because it's just chat and entertainment.  Nothing to do with the business of banking.

In talking with a CIO about the business of banking, they said: “of course our CEO and board ‘get’ this new media stuff.  Many of them use it.  But their question always comes down to: ‘if I invest a dollar in this, will I get two back?’”  And the answer, apart from for marketing purposes, is always a resounding ‘no’.”

Hmmmm … it doesn’t quite tally with my other blog entries this week, but if a bank’s board want to believe that social media is just a marketing thing, I’m sure the new media based competition won’t be too worried.

 

About Chris M Skinner

Chris M Skinner
Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, the Finanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal’s Financial News. To learn more click here...

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  • Oh dear, that CIO’s misunderstanding about social media and the part it should play in corporate strategy! It rather confirms my views posted in response to your earlier blog entry on banks failing to manage money:
    “Can I suggest that there is a rich seam of competitive advantage to be garnered by the banks – indeed the entire sector – if only they could recognise it? The growing evidence is that ICT communications in themselves are not now the critical competitive factor; nor is the traditional face-to face dealing service model. The critical factor IMO is the combination of the two…
    Banks with their many discreetly layered organisations from street-scape to global, are ideally positioned to service and exploit this new economy and new society. They should aim to find the new ways to best manage ICT, money and real-people relationships.”

  • Suresh Rajagopalan

    – Not all CIOs, CEOs and Banks to be painted with the same brush.
    – There are banks willing to allocate budget for digital consumer platforms that include integrating their customers Social presence online with Offline either with their product processors (credit/debit hosts) or with Merchant systems (rewards/rebates/loyalty additions).
    – If a CEO wants to spend a $ and expects 2$ as return, then the same question is relevant for offline hoardings across the street corners. It all depends on the number of eyeballs!
    – As long as an organisation is not trying with a ‘me too’ approach, bundling their service/product offerings with both online/offline presence will certainly attract different set of audiences depending on the appeal of the product or service generates.

  • Suresh Rajagopalan

    – Not all CIOs, CEOs and Banks to be painted with the same brush.
    – There are banks willing to allocate budget for digital consumer platforms that include integrating their customers Social presence online with Offline either with their product processors (credit/debit hosts) or with Merchant systems (rewards/rebates/loyalty additions).
    – If a CEO wants to spend a $ and expects 2$ as return, then the same question is relevant for offline hoardings across the street corners. It all depends on the number of eyeballs!
    – As long as an organisation is not trying with a ‘me too’ approach, bundling their service/product offerings with both online/offline presence will certainly attract different set of audiences depending on the appeal of the product or service generates.