The World’s Greatest Marketer to Kids
U.S. Bancorp, KeyBank, J.P. Morgan Chase, USAA, Wells Fargo--and many others--are launching marketing campaigns aimed at children.
The idea is to get kids used to putting money away at a very young age. Some banks make it possible to deposit as little as 10 cents. Others are giving away premiums and prizes ranging from stick-on tattoos to music downloads when they have $100 in their accounts.
My exhaustive (and exhausting!) file of news stories contains many accounts of gimlet-eyed, self-styled anti-marketing-to-kids police worried about everything from violent computer games to Oreo cookies.
Of one thing I am absolutely sure: No one before or since has marketed to kids with elegance and success of Frank O. Brock, long-time president of the First Bank of Troy, Idaho.
The Amazing Bob Hemmings
Bob Hemmings is one of the great men of direct marketing. Now close to age 90 and proprietor of the Hemmings IV Direct agency in Pasadena, Calif., Hemmings is dapper, intense, powerfully built, and immediately recognizable with his Adolph Menjou mustache and bone crusher of a handshake.
Look for Hemmings and chances are you'll find him on an airplane, either en route to taking care of a client or just returning from giving a seminar on direct marketing.
In his younger days, a friend of Hemmings was Frank O. Brock, president of the First Bank of Troy, Idaho.
Troy's population in 1960 was 514; Brock's bank had 6,000 active accounts--12 times as many people who lived in the town. He had customers in 45 states and around the world as far away as Pago Pago.
What was Brock's secret?
Know What Business You Are In
Hemmings recalled that Brock knew precisely what business he was in.
I am in the financial services business to help provide finances for my customers from the cradle to the grave.