It’s Bank Credit Card Junk Mail Season Again!
The paper avalanche begins at my home in South Jersey. It's January, and along with the cold, snow and wind—plus post-holiday bills—comes the inevitable volume of bank credit card offers. Hooray!
Yesterday's mail represented the normal credit card promotional mini-avalanche: five offers—two from national banks, and three from major regionals. In reviewing the promotions, they are pretty typical, pretty similar in positioning and messaging, and all pretty much hit several of the following, non-personalized, push offer components:
- Cash back on a quarterly/annual basis
- Cash advances
- Tie-ins with bank branches
- Periodic purchase summaries
- Online payment apps
- Rewards and gift certificates
- Free or discounted merchandise
- Low introductory APR interest
- Free/low cost balance transfer
- No foreign transaction fees
- Instant approval
- Worldwide coverage/acceptance
- Frequent flyer miles and travel rewards
- Low annual fee/no annual fee
- Associated banking, brokerage and payment services
Look familiar? Today, I received three more mail credit card offer promotions, looking much the same as yesterday's batch.
The Hopeful Trend Toward Offer Personalization
In an effort to both differentiate their program, make better and more productive use of available customer data and bring their credit card marketing costs under control, some banks have begun to build personalization and/or customization into their promotions.
Let's begin with credit card design itself. Instead of just illustrations with bank logos, there's almost a do-it-yourself feel about the array of card designs. In other words, banks are offering cardholders the opportunity to create designs that match their personalities. For example, Capital One offers designs with images which range from the patriotic to the artistic, such as beach landscapes; and even cartoon characters such as Dilbert and Daffy Duck. Other Capital One design choices include insignias of various charities; and these are paired up with points which can be converted into cash donations after credit transactions.
"Marketing Nuggets" will include observations regarding trends, and often study results, representing current, real-world issues of high importance to direct marketers. Those issues include omnichannel communication usage, mobile marketing, content, informal offline and online social communication, consumer behavior, message personalization, internal customer-centric processes and organization, strategic customer life cycle planning, proactive employee contribution, etc.