Bank Marketing Pitfalls Part 3: The Dangers of Organizational Silos and Changing Too Much Too Quickly

Banking isn’t what it used to be. And how banks market to their customers – in a way that provides convenience, value and humanization – is indicative of how well they can attract and retain customers for life. 

There are core areas upon which every financial brand needs to deliver to provide the kind of seamless, repeatable customer experience that motivates customers to return time and time again. Failure to do so can be detrimental to the short-term and long-term success of any financial services organization. 

So far, we’ve covered pitfalls #1 – #4 in the first two sections of this three-part series (read part 1 here and part 2 here). 

To wrap up this series, we’ll go over pitfalls #5 and #6, taking a close look at why banks must integrate marketing and sales and avoid changing too much too quickly. 

Pitfall #5: Failure to Integrate Marketing and Customer-Facing Teams 

From the first touchpoint, marketing and customer-facing teams must work in lockstep to not only know where the consumer is at all times but also ensure they receive the same level of customer service on every channel, regardless of who they are interfacing with. 

Financial services organizations where these organizations are tightly integrated experience:
  • Better understanding of their customers – When a lead becomes a customer, it’s crucial that all knowledge about that customer is made visible to the relationship manager. From there, the relationship manager can begin guiding them on the next step of their financial journey. 
  • Well-defined marketing strategies – One of the best ways to formulate new strategies and campaigns is based on what your customer-facing teams are hearing. For example, if they frequently run into the same three questions during an initial meeting with a prospect, work with them to develop a one-pager or email campaign to answer them. 
  • Higher brand standards – Adhering to overall branding and messaging guidelines at the corporate office is one thing, but what happens out in the branches? Is the look and feel of all external-facing materials the same? The closer marketing and customer-facing teams are, the more efficient organizations can be at maintaining consistent corporate branding and ensure their organization is properly represented. 

As stated by Jill Rowley, Partner at Stage 2 Capital, “The new reality is that marketing needs to know more about sales, sales needs to know more about marketing, and we all need to know more about our customers.” This begins with integrating marketing and customer-facing teams. 

Pitfall #6: Attempting to Change Too Much Too Quickly  

Change is hard. Yet many organizations attempt to change too much at once and lose buy-in from internal stakeholders who cringe at the thought of making yet another change – or worse – ignore the mandate altogether. This may be one of the reasons 70 percent of all organizational change projects fail.  

Thinking about initiating a change in your bank? Consider these five steps to streamline the process: 
  1. Define the change as it relates to business objectives. 
    This is a critical, yet often overlooked the first step. Announce the change and tie it back to the strategic goals of the business, which also helps determine the amount of time and energy that should be invested in the initiative.
  2. Determine the impact. 
    Employees want to know, “How will this affect me?” Clearly, state which departments will be impacted and how that trickles down to each contributor. Keep in mind both short-term and long-term effects.
  3. Communicate. 
    Develop a communication strategy that states a timeline of the changes to come. Offer a means for employees to ask questions along the way and have a plan in place for managing feedback.
  4. Provide ongoing training. 
    Implement ongoing training to continue to help all parts of the organization to improve and adapt to changes. Relying on internal champions is one way to formalize change and ensure people know who to turn to if they have questions.
  5. Measure, monitor and correct. 
    You’ve put in the work. Now it’s time to measure the results and adjust accordingly. Did this change achieve its goal? Was it implemented successfully? What could be done differently next time?


As banks adjust to the changing landscape of the financial services sector, integrating marketing and customer-facing teams and avoiding changing too much too quickly are two ways banks can position their organization for success. 

Regardless of the changes to come in the future, these are fundamental areas – and common pitfalls – that will continue to impact the long-term success of financial services organizations and foster an environment scalable for growth.