Establishing thought leadership among midmarket CEO’s in print and online
Compass Bank has a clear understanding of its customers and their information needs. The saga of their increasingly effective content marketing strategy is told in the first issue of Content magazine from the Custom Publishing Council.
Compass Bank has a strong consumer banking focus that is reflected in its primary website which is colorful, fun, and useful. Here it provides the basic content and functionality that there consumer and small business clients would expect. What sets the site apart is a lively personality that’s a lot different from the typical bank site.
Their new Compass on Business Magazine and companion website deliver solid content that is equally well-targeted to CEO’s.
According to the article, Compass Bank sought to strengthen its connection to a very important market segment: Business owners of companies between 5 million and $30 million in revenues. As Cameron Brown, president of their custom media partner, King Fish puts it, “Compass wanted a position as authorities to CEOs in midsize markets and needed a whole new approach to do it.”
Although the bank had made an earlier abortive attempt at content marketing with a print publication, the ad agency that created it seemed to believe that design trumped credible editorial content. Obviously, the CEOs they were targeting would just toss copies of content-light magazines into their circular files. Compass Bank needed a product that senior executives would actually read and respect.
In partnership with King Fish, the bank was able to create a solid quarterly business magazine whose content resonates with C-level executives.
The strength of their content marketing made it possible to break away from the pack of other bankers who were tending to use the same old traditional marketing approach. “This marketing approach showed Compass was about service just as much as it was about a checking account,” according to Brown.
The print magazine is a well-designed blend of content that is clearly addressed to a sophisticated audience of business leaders.
As the bank describes it:
“Compass on Business magazine is designed to bring you relevant, applicable information…The magazine offers a range of departments and feature articles covering national and global issues that can make a difference in your business and even your personal life. From economic trends and tactics to help you more effectively manage and grow your operation, to content on personal finance improving your life, Compass on Business offers a unique, balanced approach.”
· strategic cost management: it’s not about slicing and dicing
· do-it-yourself retirement: building a better defined contribution plan
· innovation in five (not so easy) steps
· is long-term health care insurance a no-brainer?
· Portfolio checkup: everything in its place
· spotlight features on the states in which it operates focusing on their local economic issues-Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, and Texas
Extending the impact of print to the Internet
The content experts at King Fish knew that thought leadership would be built only on a foundation of strong compelling content. In addition, they convinced compass Bank that an integrated online off-line strategy was essential to their success. Thus, their new website added significant value to the print product. Brown says, “we launched a companion website, not to replicate the magazine, but to be more insightful and to offer additional content it was also about creating a community where people could gather and share information and also serve as a place for research data on how the magazine would perform.”
The Compass on Business website includes all of the print content including historical archives that adds much more. The site features a quarterly Business Leaders Confidence Index in partnership with major university business schools; the BLCI focuses on conditions in the states where they have banking operations.
Recently they have added podcasts from industry experts on topics such as:
· the growing cost of health care and solutions for the future
· the check is in the mail-it’s on life support
· maximizing the value of your company
· succession planning-having an exit strategy
The site also features links to respected business authorities such as the Wharton School of Business –and to local business news in their operating regions.
Focused content is key to their marketing success
The Compass Bank content marketing strategy demonstrates a precise focus on their target audience and what they need to know. They have successfully enhanced their credibility among senior executives in mid-market companies. The net result is both improved customer retention and customer acquisition.