It wasn’t all that long ago that people speaking into devices to tell machines what to do was the stuff of science fiction (who can forget Captain Kirk speaking to his ship’s computer on Star Trek?). When it became reality, speech recognition technology quickly changed much in our world.
In healthcare, for instance, speech recognition has significantly improved clinicians’ reporting accuracy and productivity. Physicians can now simply speak a patient’s story into the hospital’s electronic health record (EHR) and that information, now more secure and accurate, can be quickly shared among caregivers who, as a result, can make better clinical decisions and deliver a higher level of care.
It’s not just healthcare; speech recognition allows police officers to spend less time creating paperwork and more time protecting citizens. Perhaps best of all are the examples of how the technology has helped people without limbs realize their dreams of being authors, poets and artists, allowing them to simply speak into a microphone what they would otherwise type on a keyboard. The list goes on and on.
For the consumer, speech technology is now used every day as we all ask Siri or Alexa for information about…well, about pretty much anything you can think of. And a new generation of consumer is now searching the internet more and more via voice activation rather than text commands, and there are definitely benefits to be enjoyed.
But while being able to more quickly and easily search for things will help people be more efficient and productive, voice-activated search does raise some interesting questions for companies who may have begun to relax, thinking that their SEO strategy was in a good place. Maybe yours is, but if you haven’t already taken a fresh look at your approach to SEO and optimized your strategies for voice, it might make sense to do so now.
Here are a couple of suggestions:
A great place to start is with your content. Voice-activated searches are usually shorter than text and often in the form of questions and those using voice typically want answers quickly. So your content may need to be revised to be more conversational in tone so that it answers those questions, while still appealing to those searching via text. Yes, we know not necessarily a simple task.
It’s also a good idea to create web pages with FAQs. Again, voice-activated searchers often use questions, so why not optimize your site with the answers, written conversationally with voice search in mind.
There’s more to consider, but we’ll save that for another blog.
Text search isn’t going anywhere, but voice is definitely going to become more popular in the coming months and years. If you think you need to revamp or readjust your strategy, we’d be happy to help. Get in touch with us anytime.
We’ll see you back here soon.
There are a lot of really important considerations for a company looking to partner with an advertising or marketing agency, and there’s no shortage of lists available online offering guidance. Of course, much of what goes into choosing an agency depends on the specific requirements of an organization, but the basic guidelines to consider are pretty standard.
What’s interesting is that geography, once a key component on many of these types of lists, is no longer such an important consideration. It used to make sense that a firm’s relationship with an agency in close proximity would be, well, closer, but technology has made collaboration possible even from great distances. Nowhere is this better illustrated than in our relationship with Goodsill, an esteemed Hawaii law firm.
Brand success in paradise.
A while back, Hawaii’s Goodsill Andersen Quinn & Stifel decided it was time to rebrand their firm. The oldest and most respected law practice in Hawaii, Goodsill had a deep history in the islands but recognized its need to jump out ahead of competitors who had recently undertaken rebranding efforts of their own. Goodsill knew the timing was right, and that they’d need to enlist the help of an experienced branding strategy firm. Aware of our proven track record of success in legal services marketing, Goodsill overlooked geography and invited Stackpole to partner with them.
Excited at the chance to work with such an esteemed firm and the opportunity to dive deep into the Hawaiian-island culture, the Stackpole team was only too happy to oblige. Representatives from the account and creative teams headed to the islands to dive right in. The first step was to conduct intake sessions with Goodsill leadership and we worked closely with them to conduct a detailed brand perception analysis – all aimed at identifying the firm’s unique mission, culture, vision and core strengths. Once this initial phase of the brand process was complete, it was back to the mainland to begin developing the strategy.
“Once we were back in Massachusetts, our team really dug in and got to work,” said agency president Pete Stackpole. “The great thing was how the collaboration with Goodsill wasn’t at all affected by the distance. We continued to work as closely as we had during our time there and continue to collaborate closely as our relationship grows.”
“We really haven’t skipped a beat,” adds Stackpole creative director, Trev Stair. “We continue to work closely together and with Skype, Zoom and other available technologies, geography really hasn’t made a difference at all.”
The success of this “island/mainland” collaboration is evident in the results Goodsill has experienced since the new brand was launched. For instance, the responsive website we created for them was launched in July of 2017 and has seen:
The teaser ad campaign executed in September of 2017 resulted in:
In addition, our brand work for Goodsill has received a lot of industry attention. Out of 1,600 entries at this year’s Service Industry Advertising (SIA) Awards, our campaign received a Silver and Bronze in the Integrated Campaign and Website categories, respectively.
At the Legal Marketing Association (LMA) Your Honor Awards, the campaign took first place in the Communications: Brand Enhancement category.
All of which supports the notion that, when it comes to choosing an agency, geography really shouldn’t be a consideration. If you’d like to learn more about our relationship with Goodsill, check out the case study here.
If you’re looking for an agency that can deliver results, please get in touch.
In Part 2, we outlined the importance of effective communications with your staff during a merger and offered proven steps for getting and keeping your team informed and on board with your initiative. Now, let’s look at why communicating effectively with your customers is equally important, and consider tips for making sure your current customers will be your future customers.
Engaging your customers
According to a recent Deloitte study, 36% of customers state “emotions” as a key driver for switching banks due to not feeling valued, loss of a personal relationship and lack of trust that the new bank is looking out for their best interests.
Now more than ever, it’s important for both merging banks to review their customer engagement strategy and determine how to alleviate the disruption of the merger. Having a strong merger communication strategy is critical to the bank’s customer experience throughout the transition. Both banks need to keep customers engaged in a consistent and relevant format across all channels.
Customers want the following during the acquisition:
Fill out the form below to get your complete copy of our whitepaper to learn why communicating effectively is a key to making sure your current customers will be your future customers.
In Part 1, we set the stage for the difficulties financial institutions regularly find themselves dealing with when they attempt to merge with other banks or credit unions. Now in Part 2, we’ll dive a bit deeper into the specifics of communication successfully with your staff to ensure they’re on board and all in.
Aligning your staff
What good is a merger strategy if your employees aren’t on board? As we’ve said, mergers can result in employee turnover if not managed correctly. Employees who aren’t adequately informed often feel anxious about what will happen next and wonder if their positions are being replaced or eliminated. Upset employees can have a negative impact on your customers’ experiences with the bank. An effective and transparent communication plan can help mollify these risks.
Effective internal communications should cover:
There’s no doubt – communicating effectively with your staff is absolutely crucial to merger success. The only thing as important is communicating effectively with your prospects and customers. And that’s what we’ll take a look at next time.
Fill out the form below and get your complete copy of our whitepaper to learn why communicating effectively with your customers is just as important as communicating with your employees, and consider some proven tips for dealing with internal matters.
We’ve created this three-part blog series outlining some of the most important merger-related considerations and the proven steps you need to take to ensure communications – and merger – success. We’re confident you’ll find them helpful in ensuring a smooth transition as you integrate the cultures, internal systems, products and services of both institutions.
But before you begin creating strategies to communicate with your key stakeholders, there’s one vitally important consideration we can’t stress enough. Your brand.
The importance of the brand
Before you launch any communications initiatives around the merger – internally or externally – the brand must be your primary concern. Nothing is more important to the success of a merger than the brand, yet it’s the thing most overlooked by bank leadership.
From your brand strategy and messaging platform to your new logo and name, a strong brand aligns the cultures and values of both organizations, unifying the separate teams by creating a shared purpose and identity. The brand conveys that unified presence to the marketplace, clarifying misperceptions, reducing uncertainty and skepticism, offering a compelling rationale for the merger and creating a sense of excitement and anticipation about the benefits the new organization delivers.
Remember that people are emotional about their banking relationships. For many of your customers, much of what they’ve known about their bank is going to disappear. This can’t help but be unsettling. A well-conceived brand that shows you understand their sense of loss and conveys how much you value them as customers will go a long way in keeping them as customers.
We hope you enjoyed part one of this three-part series. Stay tuned for our next installment when we focus on the importance of internal/employee merger communications or fill out the form below to get your complete copy of the “Bank Merger Communications” whitepaper.
Some decades back in automobile manufacturing, the Toyota Production, or Lean Manufacturing Methodology as it has become more commonly known, radically changed the car-making industry. Built upon production processes created by Henry Ford to enhance efficiencies, Lean philosophies enabled Toyota to streamline processes, reduce waste and costs, and improve quality to the point that it became the behemoth car company it is today.
One key aspect of Lean is to focus efforts on those steps that contribute directly to the desired end value. Any step that does not lead directly to the end goal is considered waste and, since the key to Lean is the elimination of waste, those steps are eradicated and processes are streamlined.
We’re not ready to claim that Account-Based Marketing (ABM) will revolutionize your company’s performance to the same degree the Toyota Production Method did for the Japanese auto manufacturer, but as we consult with our clients about ABM, we can’t help but notice the similarities between the two. Without a doubt, a well-executed ABM strategy will streamline your processes and reduce waste.
When done correctly, ABM eliminates wasteful efforts and unifies the processes and activities of the sales and marketing departments toward a common, more productive end. For instance:
According to Forrester Research, less than one percent of leads become revenue-generating customers, so it’s easy to see why ABM has gotten so much attention in recent years from both sales and marketing organizations. And while there are probably as many differences as there are similarities between Lean Manufacturing principles and those associated with Account-Based Marketing, when it comes to streamlining your sales and marketing efforts and eliminating wasteful activities in both organizations, the connection is undeniable. And, in our opinion, it is another reason to take a serious look at how ABM might help your company.
If you’d like to learn more about our views on Account-Based Marketing, get in touch with us today.
Stackpole is excited to announce that the agency has won First Place in the “Communications: Brand Enhancement” category at this year’s LMA (Legal Marketing Association) Your Honor Awards. Agency president and founder Pete Stackpole was given the award representing work performed for the Hawai‘i-based law firm, Goodsill.
“What a thrill for all of us at the agency to receive this prestigious award,” said Stackpole after the presentation. “This honor is reflective of the talent, dedication and total immersion approach of our team at Stackpole. It also represents a great client who values the importance of process in developing a standout brand and who appreciates the impact of great creative.”
Goodsill is one of the oldest and most respected law firms in Hawai‘i. Their history runs deep, but they recognized an opportunity to jump out ahead of the competition with a total rebranding. Recognizing Stackpole’s deep industry knowledge and experience, they turned to us for help.
That in and of itself was very rewarding for everyone at Stackpole. For a law firm based on the islands of Hawai‘i to procure the services of a brand strategy firm in Massachusetts says a lot about our reputation in the legal services industry. It also presented considerable challenges, as Hawai‘i has a unique and distinctive culture. The new brand would have to simultaneously establish Goodsill’s premier market position and reflect the “Mahalo” sensibilities that define the firm’s distinct essence and culture.
After extensive intake sessions and market analysis on Oahu, the Stackpole team immersed itself in the local scene before returning to the mainland to begin work on the new brand strategy. This total immersion approach–typical of Stackpole methodology–once again paid off. The new brand campaign has been hugely successful in establishing Goodsill as the simultaneously preeminent and “freshest name” in Hawai‘i law.
“We’d like to thank LMA for this distinguished award,” Stackpole continued. “To receive this recognition from such as prestigious institution is a high honor, indeed. I couldn’t be prouder of my team at the agency, and I’m thrilled that we’ve been able to do such innovative work for a client as special as Goodsill.”
View the winning campaign here.
At its 2018 NEFMA Best in Marketing Awards Dinner last evening, the New England Financial Marketing Association announced its winners. Everyone at Stackpole was thrilled to learn that the agency took second place in the Outdoor Advertising category for its Boundless Banking campaign, created for the longtime client, Norwood Bank.
“The New England Financial Marketing Association is a terrific organization, and we’re thrilled to receive this award,” said agency president, Pete Stackpole. “This campaign has received its share of accolades, and this honor means a lot to all of us at the agency. We want to thank all the judges and congratulate all of our fellow recipients on work well done.”
In addition to the NEFMA recognition, the campaign has also been recognized with a Best of Show in the Integrated Marketing Campaign category at this year’s Service Industry Advertising (SIA) Awards, a national award show.
You can see the Boundless Banking campaign here.
Thanks to its premier product and service offerings, an unending commitment to stellar customer service and the expertise of longtime marketing partner, Stackpole, Merchants has grown to be one of the top ten fleet management companies in the US.
In an industry where the current climate is one of mergers and acquisitions – and a resulting perceived lack of customer focus – the Merchants/Stackpole team recognized an opportunity to refresh the firm’s brand image, capitalizing on the innovation responsible for 10 years of solid growth in an effort to further increase market share. The campaign results are impressive.
Check out the story here.
“Every so often, new technology comes along that changes everything.
Welcome to every so often.”
That line, created by Stackpole as the lead thought of its brand campaign, aptly sums up the arrival of Vetter on the digital lending scene. Never before has a solution so streamlined the loan origination process for banks who must now compete against a seemingly endless lineup of Fintech provider challenges.
Vetter recognized Stackpole’s long and successful history in financial services and turned to us to help develop a branding that would clearly announce and differentiate both the product and the firm. We’re pretty pleased, as are the folks at Vetter, with how things turned out.
We think you’ll enjoy reading the case study, which you can find here.