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PRESENTED BY EARLY OWL ADVERTISING NORTHWEST MISSOURI STATE UNIVERSITY SPRING 2014
Table of Contents
Situational Analysis ....................................................................4-5 Target-Market Profile .................................................................6-7 Primary Research and Campaign Objective ...........................8-9 Content Strategy & SEO .......................................................... 10-11 Creative Strategy A: “More Than Money” ............................. 12-17 Creative Strategy B: “Time”..................................................... 18-21 Sales Support Materials .........................................................22-23 Heart of America Tractor Cruise............................................24-25 Social Media ............................................................................26-27 Text Weather Alerts..................................................................... 28 Usability......................................................................................... 29 Media Strategies ..................................................................... 30-31 Resources.......................................................................................32 Budget.............................................................................................33 Group Members and Acknowledgements .................................34
Early Owl Advertising
Advanced Advertising Strategies is a senior-level course at Northwest Missouri State University that allows students to have a real grasp of the advertising agency atmosphere because the class is really run like a business, not a college class. And in the Spring 2014 term, our sole client was Citizens Bank & Trust. This plansbook, and accompanying appendix, are the results of our semesterlong work. The class gathers students from a cross-section of majors to cover every job or department in an advertising agency. The first day of class, we decided to name our agency Early Own Advertising, because as we tried to plot our schedules, we immediately realized that half of us are early birds and half night owls! Since then, we’ve worked day and night to fulfill the client’s needs and goals. For more information about this course, visit www.AdvAdv.blogspot.com
Citizens Bank & Trust is a 125-year-old, community-based, full-service financial institution that has grown to 24 branches located in Northern Missouri, Kansas City and St. Louis. Though Citizens provides services including commercial and private banking, wealth management, trust services and insurance, our overall goal for this campaign is to focus on agricultural loan products. The business of farming has changed dramatically since Citizens first opened its doors in Chilocothe, Missouri. Just in the past 30 years, farm income has grown almost 150%. Farmers have good cash reserves, and especially now, a valuable commodity: real estate. These sources of wealth allow farm loans to remain steady and outperform other types of loans. Agricultural loans allow farmers to have a fighting chance when they are struggling, especially since farming equipment is so expensive, loans are often the only way to keep a farm afloat. Lenders are just as important to farmers as cooperative weather. This, coupled with the fact that cropland values in the Midwest have been rising dramatically, means that agricultural loans have been rising, as have the performance of these loans, putting agricultural banks in better position than some small banks. Lower interest rates on farm loans helped sustain farm lending during the third quarter of 2013. These lower rates can be contributed to competition between lenders, a strong farm economy, and solid loan repayment. The rise in farmland values helped support farm real estate financing, while the high production costs increased the demand for farm operating loans. These two conditions kept farm loans at a steady level during 2013. Banks would like to give out more farm loans since they have a high percentage of funds sitting around due to strict loan restrictions
• Longevity: 125 years as a rural bank • High retention rate: 98% of their customers stay with them and only 2% of their clients switch banks or close their accounts. • Community ties. Citizens is highly involved in the communities where it operates. • High email open rate percentage: 40%. • Current state of the farm economy. Cost of farmland is increasing and crop prices are reaching the end of a five-year boom. • Building strong relationships with farmers in the region through the ag loan officers.
• Misconception of Citizens not being an agricultural bank. • The target audience doesn’t change banks very often. • The long process of getting a loan approved. • Geographical dispersed target audience and few ag loan officers to reach those clients. • Lack of a consistent selling strategy or approach. All ag loan officers are different. • The main client prospecting pool is referral-based. Can limit opportunities for securing more ag loans. • Website lacking of agricultural image, organization, design, and URL structure. • Mobile site is non-existent.
and the fact that agriculture has been so profitable, diminishing loan demand. Though Citizens has a strong history in the Northwest region of Missouri, they also have a strong competitor when it comes to agricultural lending: Nodaway Valley Bank. Nodaway offers similar loan packages, but has been in business 146 years. They are currently running advertisements based on their “time-honored values and trust,” as well as running specific agricultural-focued billboards in the region. But, with Citizens recent focus on agricultural loans, several loan officers have been able to pitch more loans to area farmers. Specifically, Dave DeShon and Staci Baker are building Citizens’ trust with farmers as they meet with community members. Our goal for this campaign will be to build on the trust that DeShon and Baker have established. Farmers require that their bank lenders know
the farming business. They are proud of their farms that their families have spent generations building. They are a loyal group, and rarely switch banks. But their choice of bank depends on relationships, not on interest rates. The nature of farmers as a target audience for a marketing campaign means they are geographically hard to reach. They’re dispersed throughout the countryside where no single newspaper or magazine can reach them. That’s why within this report you’ll see we use the best means to reach farmers using the best possible media vehicles, and reaching them at the best possible times. We’ll be taking Citizens strongest assets, especially its community bonds, and ensure that farmers know not only that we’re there for them when they need us, but that we’ve been here for them for 125 years. To that end, we’ve developed two different advertising campaigns that will help position Citizens Bank & Trust as a rural bank with a strong presence in the farming communities of the northwest Missouri region. Throughout this report, we have summarized the key elements of our campaign that show how to deliver ag messages to the farmer.
• Building even stronger community ties. Brand Citizens image as a community-minded ag bank. • Sponsor farming-related events. • 125th anniversary event as reminder of the long presence of Citizens in farming communities. • Build image as agricultural-focused. • Place ag-focused messages in traditional media, reaching farmers in media they are familiar with. • Take advantage of social media to prove agricultural credentials of bank and loan officers.
• Direct competitors: Nodaway Valley Bank and Farm Credit Services. •Nodaway Valley Bank is currently advertising to farmers in Citizen’s territory. • The negative feeling some farmers have towards banks and loans. • The constant change of the agricultural landscape and the weather
Target Market Profile
The target audience for this campaign is farmers who need agriculture-focused loans who live near Citizens Bank & Trust rural branch locations in Northern Missouri and Eastern Kansas. These farmers believe that their profession is a lifestyle and that it isn’t for everyone. Farming is in their blood and they are very proud of the fact that they provide the food for the rest of the country. The target lives in an area that is reachable by an agriculture loan sales representative from Citizens Bank and Trust and is close enough to a branch location where they can conveniently use Citizens’ banking services. In general, we’ve learned that, although there are several Citizens employees who can handle farm loans, most seem to fall to two lead ag loan officers: David DeShon and Staci Baker. Their respective territory is indicated on the map shown here. Since the main responsibility of selling agricultural loans falls to these two officers, we have focused our entire campaign around the territories they cover. More detail on how we reach farmers in this area is covered in the Media Strategies section of this book, and in the Appendix. The typical farmer in our target area is male, older than 40 and operates a farm larger than 100 acres. They are very proud of their profession and appreciate anyone who understands it and wants to talk about it. When it comes to a banking relationship, these farmers tend to stay with the same bank for a very long time and they value a partnership with their loan representative. They want to work with a bank that understands their situation and works with them, rather than one that just looks at the raw numbers and ends a relationship if profits are too low. Trust is a key factor in retaining the target’s business.
Male Farmers, 45-64+ Main Decision Maker Kids in College and/or Son is Influencing Decisions 100-500 Average Acres Lives in CB&T Region
Farmers Prefer Traditional Media
Farmers tend to stick to traditional media sources when searching for information on agriculutral products and services, including weather. These traditional media sources include Television, Radio Buisness Magazines and Newspapers. In addition to these traditional sources farmers rely on iphone and android apps to check the weather on their phones while they are in the field.
Sources: NAFB: National Association of Farm Broadcasters; Successful Farming
To effectively help position Citizens Bank and Trust as an agriculture bank, Early Owl needed to gain a better understanding of the clients that were being marketed towards. To do this Early Owl conducted primary research. For this primary research an anonymous survey of about 15 questions was constructed in hopes of learning the target audience and what is important to them in regards to banking. This survey was then distributed to individuals who visited the Maryville Coop as well as at a Nodaway County AgriLeaders meeting. In addition the survey was available online and the link to the survey was posted in several places both through the internet and around the city of Maryville. By the end 53 individuals had given responses to the survey allowing Early Owl to have a better grasp on the target audience’s profile as well as their feelings towards banks. This information was then used to help ensure that the campaign was constructed with the client in mind.
Source: 2014 Early Owl Primary Research
Source: 2014 Early Owl Primary Research
Our overall goal for all elements presented here is to establish Citizens Bank & Trust as a rural bank that takes pride in the farming community, and to instill in farmers a sense of trust and security.
Content Strategy and SEO
To establish CB&T as an agricultural bank, we started with the ebankcbt.com website, where we recommend you build an entire content area dedicated to agriculture. We recommend you house this content at www.ebankcbt.com/ farm, and in fact, our advertising messages will reference this address. The idea is to prove to farmers that Citizens is an ag bank. We can’t just do this with advertising alone, we need to be sure that farmers see first-hand that Citizens knows agriculture. Your loan officers prove this every time they meet a potential customer, but your website needs to do the same. The screenshot below shows the home page of the Farm section of the website. We recommend contracting out content related to commodities, weather and farm news. And, of course, feature prominently Citizens’ agricultural loan offerings. A complete outline of our content strategy is located in the Appendix version of our campaign. This content actually serves dual purpose: First it establishes Citizens as an agricultural bank; and second, it serves to help the web site rank better in Google search results, which is a process called Search Engine Optimization. The more content that’s focused on farming and agriculture, the more likely that Google will list ebankcbt.com/farm on results pages when farmers are looking for agricultural banking information. Good search engine results page ranking will allow farmers in the area to find the Farm pages more easily and find information regarding agriculture loans. In short, Google sends more traffic to pages that have a lot of good content that is updated regularly. The best way to do this is to have a mix of news feeds, such as weather and commodities, as well as custom-written agriculture news.
The home page of a Farm content section that will feature news, weather and commodities updtes.
There are other ways to ensure that these Farm pages rank high on search engine results pages. For example, content that engages users is more likely to rank higher. For that reason, we recommend adding social sharing tools to the content. And, we’ll be promoting the site’s agricultural content in our social media plan, which is coming up later in our campaign. Another important ingredient for ranking high in search engines is to put important words in imortant places on the new Farm web pages. We recommend that you focus on “farm bank,” “farm credit” and “farm loans” as the top three phrases to include in your new Farm section. Our research found that the word “farm” is searched far more frequently than the word “agriculture,” and that’s why you see that word in many “key” locations in the mock-up here. Again, our full report in the Appendix provides much more detail on how to optimize your site for search engines. Our goal is to ensure when a farmer searches for “farm loans” in Google, that he finds Citizens Bank & Trust first, and in the example below, before he finds Bank of America! Once the Farm pages are easy to find and provide relevant content to its readers, CB&T will be one step closer to repositioning itself as an agriculture bank.
Our goal is to have ebankcbt.com rank No. 1 for the key phrase “farm loan,” ahead of Bank of America’s ranking.
Campaign: “More Than Money” More Than Money:
Farmers do what they do for more than simply a paycheck, and Citizens Bank and Trust understands that farmers have much more to worry about than their finances. This campaign uses empathy as a message strategy. It works to connect with farmers on their level. By positioning Citizens Bank and Trust as a bank that handles “more than money,” they can relate to farmers who do what they do for more than the paycheck. The campaign tag line also rings true in the sense that farmers have much more to worry about in a typical day than just money. By emphasizing that Citizens officers understand the busy schedule of farmers and realize that there is more than money, it makes them seem less like just a banker and more like a resource or tool.
“More Than Money” Print Campaign
“More Than Money” Mobile Banner Ads
Campaign: “Time” Time:
Citizens Bank and Trust has been growing and evolving right alongside farms for 125 years. This rich history is unique and important to farmers when they look for a bank that understands the ever changing industry of farming. This campaign uses heritage as a message strategy by informing farmers of Citizen Bank and Trust’s long history. In our campaign, we show that knowledge, innovation, and growth all take time. With its 125 year history, Citizens Bank and Trust has a strong understanding of these three qualities. The campaign uses antique imagery contrasted with new imagery of farm scenery and equipment to convey the sense of passed time. By highlighting the bank’s rich history, we are able to encourage trust between potential borrowers and the bank loan officers.
Sales Support Materials Promotional Materials
Through our conversations with Staci and Dave we learned that personal interaction is key when it comes to perspective clients. Citizens Band and Trust currently uses a lovely box of cookies to help get their foot in the door when it comes to approaching people. Early Owl would like to expand on this by offering two other promotional tools that may have a greater chance of being kept around. First is a wicker basket that has a linin lining and has a Citizens Bank and Trust name plaque fashioned to the front. This basket will allow the agriculture officers to put any items that would be beneficial in it and the basket itself can be re-purposed by the client. The second tool is a ½ gallon water jug with the company logo on the side. The jug can be filled with various items as well and then it is our hope that it will be reused several times by the farmers. With these two items it is our goal to give the loan officers a way to approach prospective clients and provide items that have the potential to stay around for a longer duration. These baskets would be used by loan officers to deliver cookies, candy or any other items that may have been used in the current cookie box.
This water jug is an alternative to the cookie box and basket that can be used to bring to farmers. It is designed to keep Citzens Bank in the forefront of the target’s mind.
Expanded Business Card Concept
After speaking with Dave and Staci it was obvious that the first interaction with a perspective client is crucial and a business card is an essential part of this. We offer two new business card alternatives. We have created two envelope style handouts that fit into the all important shirt pocket. In both versions the envelope the client will find a card with a scenic picture on one side and the loan officers information on the back with room for the officer to write a personal message. Also in the envelope the client will find either a Citizens Bank and Trust air freshener or a customized Citizens Bank and Trust seed packet. These two items are intended to help the loan officers grab/keep the attention client as well as have a longer duration.
Heart of America Tractor Cruise
We recommend that Citizens becomes more involved in the rural and farming community by participating in certain community events that are popular with farmers. These events can include tractor cruises, county fairs and events with classic tractor shows. By donating time and money to these events Citizens will begin to position themselves as an ag bank and as a bank that is invested in the rural community. Annual Heart of America Tractor Cruise We met with members of the Heart of America Tractor club and discussed ideas and have come up with a list of ideas of ways that Citizens could contribute to the event. The following is a list of things that both Early Owl and the Heart of America Tractor club believes would be an effective way of being involved with the event.
● Citizens would offer volunteers for all the promotional events like the pedal tractor raffle, pre registration, pancake breakfast and help during the actual event at the morning breakfast, at the BBQ supper or even at the stops along the route. Citizens volunteers would be encouraged to wear Citizens branded shirts, and we recommend not dressing up too much. ● Citizens could donate a certain amount of money to the various charities that the Tractor Cruise supports. ● The Heart of America would allow Citizens to donate branded items to the event like water bottles, and hand fans as well as have items and handouts in the packet that goes out to all of the registered tractor cruisers. ● We recommend that Citizens bid on and purchase items at the auction at the end of the event. Specific items that are purchased, like a quilt, could then be displayed in various branch lobbies in the target area.
Branch Tractor Parking Promotion
To establish CB&T as a rural bank, we have decided the bank needs to sponsor the Heart of America Tractor Cruise. To promote this event, CB&T will have a “Tractor Parking Only” sign in the parking lot in the Maryville and St. Joseph locations with a small tractor parked there, starting the week before the event and ending the day after the event. “Tractor Parking Only” signs will be used at the Heart of America Tractor Cruise as well. We will give one to each of the tractor drivers as a gift.
Social Media Plan
Based on the preceding analysis, along with our target market research, we believe the primary social media outlet for Citizens Bank & Trust should be Facebook. This seems to be the one social media site that is most common among farmers, and CB&T already has a presence there. The media team is recommending buying ads in Facebook to send messages to the hard-to-reach, rural farmers. Collectively, we can concentrate several marketing goals toward Facebook. Citizens Bank and Trust’s existing Facebook page will be used to help establish it as an agriculture bank. We have prepared recommendations as to how best to approach this goal, starting with purely agriculturerelated posts. Providing market prices and weather reports are essential to show that we understand farmers. By focusing solely on the agriculture aspect instead of the ag lending aspect, CB&T will build the trust-base they need to communicate with the farmers. Citizens Bank and Trust is already active in communities, but to ensure that it is reaching the agricultural communities in the target area, we recommend posting about events that pertain to farmers. The tractor cruise is an excellent way to reach farmers and by posting about it on the Facebook page, we can show that CB&T is an agricultural bank without plainly telling them that it is. We recommend getting Staci Baker involved in the process of establishing Citizens as an agricultural bank on Facebook. Baker would post on her personal Facebook page. Photos of her on a farm, and posts about her involvement in the tractor cruise would be a great way to show that she understands farmers. Baker is involved in several farming communities, and therefore knows a lot of people. Through her posts, Baker would not be seen as a loan officer, but as a friend. A personal profile of the loan officers would give a brief history of their knowledge of farming and would begin to build a trust with them as people first and bankers second. Farmers need trust in the person they do business with, and this is a great way to lay a foundation for the loan officers to make an impression that they do know more than just the banking side of the business. Primarily, Citizens Bank and Trust social media presence will focus on positioning the bank as an agricultural bank, and less about the actual loans it offers to farmers. The following are examples of Facebook posts that could be incorperated into both the company account and the personal ag loan officer’s accounts.
Social Media Plan
Use personal posts to validate your agriculture and farming background. Personal stories are what farmers love to hear, and shows that you know what you’re talking about.
Text Weather Alerts
There’s not doubt about the fact that weather is the single most important factor that constantly affects a farmer’s operations. Weather showed up again and again in our research as information a farmer wants constant access to. Because of the importance of weather information to farmers, we recommend that Citizens sponsor a farm-specific text alert service that provides weather information daily to farmers. A sponsorship of this text service would include text at the bottom of an SMS weather alert that reads: “This message was brought to you by Citizens Bank and Trust”. This serves dual purpose for Citizens: 1) It proves to farmers that Citizens understands farmers’ needs; 2) It reminds farmers on a daily basis that Citizens is a partner in their farming business. Farm Journal Media is a agriculture specific media company that has several text alert offerings that can be sponsored. This service has an established subscriber base of farmers who have opted in to receive these messages. With this service they not only provide the text pushing service, but they also provide the content as well. Sponsors of these texts are allowed a certain amount of characters at the end of each message. We recommend that Citizens Bank and Trust sponsor Farm Journal Media’s weather text alert service. This service sends weather forecasts daily to 200 subscribers who are farmers only in counties where Citizens has a branch location. These alerts allow for sponsors to write 35 characters of text below each text. We also recommend that Citizens use another service of Farm Journal Media called Mobile-4-Media which is a service that would set up a method of obtaining new subscribers to the text alert service. These new subscriptions could be gained in a number of ways. First this service would create a text short code where the farmer would text a code to a phone number and automatically opt-in to receive weather alerts that way. This short code could be promoted on Citizens advertisements or used as a handout for loan salesmen. A second way this service could solicit subscriptions would be an online form on Citizens’ website, preferably on their ag loan page, where farmers would fill out a form with information like their name, their farm information, and contact information and they could select specifically what kind of text alerts they would like to receive. This online form idea would also be a great way to build a customer and prospect database. The plantable seed card is another great tool for the agricultural loan officers to utilize. This is a great handout to give while networking in the community, and has a really unique twist.
Usability User Experience
Usability is the measure of how effectively a website is designed. Usability testing consists of developing a list of tasks for testers to complete. The usability team takes thorough notes as the tester goes through the tasks. Usability testing helps identify difficult parts of a website and can help with ideas for developing a smoother user experience on the website. The usability/user experience (UX) portion of our marketing campaign is intended to test the effectiveness of the client’s website. We are testing members of the target audience so we can study how they use the Internet and how they browse a site. Once we identify these things, we can make suggestions to CB&T on how to more effectively design their website so farmers can find information on agriculture loans more efficiently. We will have members of the target audience and from the focus group we conducted, complete a series of tasks regarding the website and record everything from what they click on, where they scroll, what they say during the tests, etc. We will also record the testees’ internet connection strength, what browser they use, what plugins they use on their browser, and the screen resolution of the computer they use. We found that the “sign in” bar on the website is easily mistaken for a search bar. We also found that the repetitive use of links in different locations on the page can be confusing and causes the users to spend an unnecessary amount of time looking for links and not finding them.
he intended strategy for this media buying campaign is to give Citizens Bank and Trust a presence in media vehicles that our target audience uses throughout the year. o accomplish this, ads will be placed based on the media preferences of farmers, covered on page 7 of this book, geographic targeting, media vehicles with content related to agriculture and specific timing in the farming calendar. This will establish Citizens as a rural bank with a foothold in the farming community. All of our media buy recommendations are detailed in the chart to the right. Farm magazines and farm radio are the primary media types being used to reach farmers. All of our research pointed to these devices as still being the primary preference of farmers, and since our goal is to ensure that farmers think of Citizens as an agricultural bank, we want
to be sure we have a presence in important agricultural media in the region. Both radio and billboards will run all year, and magazines are targeted seasonally. Through repetition in various media vehicles, the target will have constant contact with our intended message and eventually position Citizens as the trusted ag bank in the northwest Missouri region. The total cost of a full year cycle of this media plan will cost ----. This campaign cost is justifiable because it reaches a specific target in just the region that Citizens has a presence in. Please refer to the Appendix for a complete description of all of our media recommendations.
The following resources have been cited or recommended throughout our campaign. Fastline Rick Fowler email@example.com 888.681.2682 KAAN-AM Denise Fritzel 660.425.6380 KFEQ-AM 680 Gary Exline Senior Sales Associate 816.233.8881 Heart of America Tractor Cruise Martin From, President Cell: 660.582.1453 Lamar Advertising (Billboards) David Halpin Sales Manager/Kansas City firstname.lastname@example.org 877.550.3172 Market Commodities Provider Bar Chart Marketing Data Missouri Farmer Today Jaclyn Korte 573.298.0120 email@example.com Rural Missouri Mary Davis 573.659.3400 Successful Farming Heather Gieseke 515.371.75134 Tractor Cruise Martin From HoA Tractor Cruise President Cell: 660.582.1453 Weather Content for Farm Landing Page Dark Sky Company, LLC Info on the weather app: https://developer. forecast.io/ Weather widget example: http://blog.forecast.io/forecast-embeds/ Weather Channel Contact (for website ads and mobile) David Drake firstname.lastname@example.org 770.226.2489
Text Messaging Provider:
Farm Journal Media Steve Fink, National Acct. Mgr. 913.544.4791 email@example.com
AirFreshener for Business Cards http://29cents.com Nameplate for Basket http://www.plaquemaker.com/PlateOrder. html Parking Sign MyParkingSign.com Text Alert Seed Cards http://www.printglobe.com Water Jugs/Instore Signage/Tractor Parking Sign Printing Rod firstname.lastname@example.org 660.582.4919 Woven Basket https://watsontradingcompany.microform. com/shoppingcart.php
Budget Overall Budget
Image Sources from Advertising Campaigns More Than Money Cows: iStock #13363910 (5 credits, $8.35) Crops: iStock #20642845 (4 credits, $6.68) Good Things Take Time Dirt: ShutterStock #62922298 ($29 for 2 downloads--includes this and cornfield) Cornfield: ShutterStock #125973053 ($29 for 2 downloads--includes this and dirt) Old Tractor: iStock #27509346 (4 credits, $6.68) New Tractor: iStock #17949264 (40 credits, $66.80)
Acknowledgements Group Members and Acknowledgements
Sr. VP Wealth Management Citizens Bank & Trust We’re greatly appreciative of Randy Baker’s time and involevement in this class. This learning opportunity is only possible due to his willingness to extend a helping hand to us by giving us real business problems to work on. We hope you are able to use some of the ideas and concepts in this book!
Founder/CEO Springboard Creative The reality of working wiht a client was buffered by Kevin Fullerton’s guideance; he not only helped us with our creative concepting, but also helped ensure that our ideas were presented in a winning style. We can’t than you enough, Kevin! Thanks for helping us through those CPY moments!
Dave DeShon, St. Joe Market Prsident - Lending Staci Baker, VP Community Banking Jacquie Lamer, Course Instructor
Early Owl Advertising
Account Coordinator Camila Quesada Surveys & Infographics Rachel Kendall Jakob Kircher Social Media Lacey Heinrichs Breanna Nold Media Planning Camila Quesada Jakob Kircher Breanna Nold SEM & SEO Logan Compton Britt Parker Public Relations Lacey Heinrichs Promotional Materials Camila Quesada Jakob Kircher Rachel Kendall Logan Compton UX/Usability Logan Compton Britt Parker Plans Book Breanna Nold Creative Brittany Ehlers Cameron Ramaekers Rachel Kendall