A. Bright Idea also opened its second Bel Air office building on George Street, adjacent to the agency’s headquarters on Archer Street. The new building opens amidst community growth, as the corridor becomes a welcoming neighborhood and business community, supporting the vibrant downtown and opportunities stemming from the completion of BRAC in Harford County.

The expanded physical space allowed for A. Bright Idea to grow its creative talent as well, adding eight new staff members, including:

  • Lissa Tilley, Administrative Assistant and Client Coordinator
  • Lisa Morris, Junior Marketing Specialist
  • Antonio Jara, Graphic Production Specialist
  • Deborah Scott, Graphic Production Specialist
  • Jason Wojcik, Graphic Designer
  • Sandra Heitzer, Graphic Designer
  • Bradford Pratt, Audio/Video Engineer
  • William Gamble, Custom Fabrication Specialist

 

A. Bright Idea also promoted several staff members, including:

  • Cobey Dietrich to Vice President of Advertising and Marketing
  • Melissa Mauldin to Director of Advertising and Marketing
  • Katie Mercado to Assistant Director of Advertising and Marketing
  • Jill Dombroskie to Assistant Director of Graphic Services
  • David Wells to Multimedia Manager and Marketing Specialist
  • Eric Bach to Multimedia Specialist and Designer
Melissa Mauldin, Sr. Marketing Specialist, A. Bright Idea

According to an AVG Digital Skills Study in 2010 presented at the ABA Marketing Conference, 30% of U.S. toddlers can operate a smartphone or tablet app. This may or may not surprise you. It does not surprise me as my daughter, by age two, knew how to “slide to unlock” on the iTouch, go to the Entertainment folder, select Peek-A-Boo Barn, play her game until she was board and then go back to the folder to select a new game. Now this doesn’t mean that I’m a bad parent (I hope) or allow technology to babysit my child, it’s just an example of how “times, they are a changing” and technology is something the next generation is born with not being able to live without.

Because we as a society demand information at our fingertips and have the expectation of immediate gratification with our smartphones, banks are readying themselves for market capture. Mobile banking isn’t something new but it is something that many of our community banks are just getting into.

Launched two years ago, mobile banking was invested primarily by the large, national banks. In one of the many sessions on mobile banking at this year’s ABA Marketing Conference, it was cited that many of the larger banks may have launched this added feature to compensate for the areas where they were lacking (i.e. customer service, personalized attention, service fees, etc.). In terms of technology in the financial industry, mobile banking was more quickly adopted than any other technology launch. ATMs and Online Banking technologies took anywhere from four to ten years or more to acquire more than 50 percent adoption per household. Since its launch, mobile banking has seen a market penetration of 10 percent within the first two years and it is expected to eclipse Online Banking (in terms of usage) by 2014.  With consumer desired features including mobile deposits (scanning an image of a check and depositing it via your smartphone app), as well as balance inquiries, transfers, etc., customers desire the accessibility to manage their funds while they’re on the go.

Additionally, with the growth of couponing companies like Groupon and Living Social, banks are also adopting personalized service features based on a customer’s spending preferences and offering discounts that relate. How would you like your bank to offer you a coupon for the GAP the next time you log in to online banking, simply because they noticed you purchased something there before? Or offer you access to determine the cheapest gas based on your location simply because they noticed you bought gas with your bank card? Approximately 76 percent of customers said they would like discounts based on spending habits, and that they would switch banks for one that offered these personalized services.

While these conveniences are steadily on the rise and becoming more and more desired, 55 percent of consumers still primarily say they select a bank based on the convenience of location more than anything. The traditional bricks and mortar bank branches will not be a thing of the past.

National banks continue to primarily be the first to test out new product and service features, but community banks will soon follow to meet the growing demand by customers. While customers may need to wait a bit longer for these benefits at their community bank, when they do come they’ll be packaged with all the benefits of local, personalized service we value from our neighborhood banks.

From the classic chicken sandwich to the Eat Mor Chikin campaign, we all know and love the Chick-Fil-A brand. At a recent American Marketing Association Baltimore event, Dan Cathy, President and Chief Operating Officer of Chick-Fil-A, shared some insider tips from the company’s 42+ years of success and growth.

  • As a business leader, you may not be comfortable on Twitter or social networking sites, but you must adapt if you’re going to be competitive
  • There should always be a balance between remaining competitive and not forgetting your principles
    • Example: Chick-Fil-A has not, and will never, go back on their Sunday closure. Even though they may loose more than 1/7 of revenues, they make up for it with valued customers, refreshed and energized employees and a better overall experience.
  • Be realistic – there are always ways to improve
  • There has to be internal change before successfully changing externally
  • Honor, dignity and respect are in high demand and in short supply
  • Make your brand about experience, it’s something everyone is looking for

Which tip is your favorite?