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Look anywhere: books, podcasts and social posts, and you’ll see much discussion about how marketers can get a seat the the decision-making table for their financial brand.

Is there a magic formula? A secret recipe?


Rather than being viewed as the “Cookies and Events Person,” savvy Chief Marketing Officers who have earned top level respect live by these 6 rules:

1. They understand and speak the language of the C-suite.

That starts with understanding how the bank makes money and knowing the bank's strategic business goals. Rather than talking about marketing goals, they first talk about the institution’s goals. After that, they show how the marketing goals support the institution.

2. They establish measurable goals up front.

Highly regarded CMOs know how to calculate the ROI and Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI) from the work they do.

They always develop their marketing and branding campaigns with measurable goals, KPIs and quantifiable milestones to gauge along the way. Establishing those goals up front and working toward them helps demonstrate the value in the work they're doing now—and how to improve in the future.

3. They are curious.

They ask smart, probing questions about business goals and strategy. They use data to learn about customers, and they use research from the marketplace. Then they listen. They demonstrate that they're strategic thinkers by diplomatically questioning. The answers they get help them make sense of the situation and support their case later on. These skills are incredibly important in building credibility with senior management.

4. They build relationships throughout the bank.

They establish connections and relationships across departments and business lines to have a deeper understanding about how to build teams that advance the bank. They gain allies who offer insights fo promotions and campaigns that will work well from an operations standpoint. That earns the respect and support of their peers.

5. They report upwards and outwards.

Whether they have a seat at the ALCO/leadership table or not, they "report up" on the measurable outcomes of their efforts. They always share the credit. They also report out to the colleagues who have offered advice, resources or support to the marketing efforts so everyone can share in the results and the accolades.

6. They don’t wait for opportunity.

They don’t wait to be asked, but work proactively. They seek out answers and find out what they need to know so they can be successful in their work. They raise their hands, invite themselves to meetings and jump in when they see an opportunity to bring a solution.

From "Cookies & Events" to Indispensable Strategist

By following these six principles, bank marketers can transform from being perceived as "cookies and events" specialists into indispensable strategists who drive measurable results, earn a well-deserved seat at the table and shape the future of the financial brand.


For more insights on bank marketing careers, see our article with advice from smart marketers across the country that also appeared in the American Bankers Association Marketing Journal: Savvy Bank Marketers are the CEOs of Their Own Careers.

If you need help from a bank branding agency, let's talk. Contact Martha Bartlett Piland at 785-969-6203 or by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

photo credit of elevator panel from Arisa Chattasa on Unsplash