Due to regulatory requirements, banks need to produce and release a bank annual report each year, which undoubtedly entails an ample amount of time, money and stress. So why not put all your effort to extra beneficial use and treat your annual report as a practical bank marketing tool, drawing something back to your bank in return?
Customarily, bank annual reports include such content as financial details, balance sheets, and CEO’s and chairperson’s reports. But if you view your annual report as a part of your bank’s overall marketing plan, you’ll find there are ways that your content can be presented in a more useful and enlightening manner and elements can be included that can enhance the marketing impact of your bank annual report. After all, whoever reads your report will consider it a representation of your bank and will likely make assumptions about your financial institution based on what is conveyed in your report.
Boost the marketing power of your bank annual report with any of the following elements:
• Specific statements of your goals or vision. An expression of your bank’s aims or vision should be clearly stated and woven into various articles and letters throughout the report. Keep your statements positive and easy to understand so people get a clear picture of your passion and vision.
• Summaries of your bank’s successes and achievements. Marketing for banks via an annual report should include not only who you are, but also what you have done over the past year. Presenting what you’ve done and how your bank has achieved its goals portrays your bank as an ambitious, go-getting organization that successfully puts its plans into action. Additionally, if people see their money and support being used in beneficial ways, they will be more likely to continue doing so in the future.
• Overview of community involvement, charitable giving and support. People respect and appreciate when any organization gives back to the community in which they live, work and raise their families. So if your bank or employees donated money, time or services to the community, be sure to explain it in your annual report. Your generosity won’t go unnoticed!
• Case studies or customer testimonials. Case studies and testimonials that exhibit the positive results of your bank’s service are helpful in demonstrating the outcomes of your efforts, and they also show the warmer, human side of your financial institution.
• Future plans. Including an announcement of your bank’s future plans is a vital marketing tool that shows you’re a forward-looking financial institution with a vision toward future success. These initiates could be included in the CEO’s or chairperson’s report.
• Names of board and committee members, donors, sponsors, supporters, helpers, etc. These people deserve to be recognized in your bank annual report. Listing their names – or better yet, thanking them – shows that you value each and every one of them and the contributions they made. Just remember that while you want to include as many names as possible, be sure to do so in the most concise manner possible.
• Photos. People love putting faces to names so try to include pictures whenever possible. Make sure the photos you plan to use are of high quality, or consider hiring a professional photographer to take new ones.
• Contact information. Help people get in touch with your bank by including all of your contact information such as address, phone number, fax number, website and email address. These details can be presented on the back cover of your report.
Clearly, marketing for banks through informative, inspiring annual reports is a no-brainer. With a few additions and adjustments, your bank annual report can become more than a mere financial summary, transforming into a useful tool that acts as a supplement to your existing marketing materials, tells a narrative about your bank and its vision, and proves to readers that you deserve their trust and support.