NEWS AND INFORMATION FOR TODAY’S BUSINESS OWNER Volume 3, number 2 Inside: Winning With RPM T he biggest mistake in marketing is doing nothing. To fuel sustain- able business growth and to avoid large swings in demand (feast or famine), businesses need to follow through with the strategies and tactics identified as most relevant to their target audience(s). Effective marketing initiatives almost universally are built on insights gleaned from studying the preferences of current clients and target customers, as well as the actions of competitors. Shots in the dark rarely are successful. Happily, the Internet has made some market research significantly more affordable — especially since many 360-degree reporting initiatives provide immediate and client-specific feedback in the form of qualified sales leads. Companies are enjoying 4 to more than 20 percent response rates with well designed 360-degree reporting initiatives, so in addition to harvesting significant client-specific data for the customer relationship management (CRM) programs, they are increasingly pre-qualifying clients for repeat sales and closing more transactions. In many instances, 2 premium-based market research is allowing sales executives to President's Message continued on page 4 3 Beyond Mystique Blog On! F ire up a Harley-Davidson motorcycle and give the throttle some gas. Everyone on the 4-5 block will know you are passionate about Winning With RPM your transportation choice. Few of the drivers and (continued) pedestrians you encounter during your ride will ever consider your destination. They will hear the 6 throaty rumble. They will see the polished chrome Beyond Mystique and notice you are dressed in black. Then, many (continued) will envy the freedom you exhibit while riding, without ever considering your destination. Mystique is a sales executive’s dream, regardless of industry. Think green We're Lending! Toyota Prius. Consider Apple Mac, iPod, iTunes or iPhone. Embrace the Wii. Commercial + SBA Wear designer clothing. Swing a golf club endorsed by Tiger Woods. Listen to the cute gecko and get an insurance quote from GEICO. Eat at in-Vogue res- Details Inside taurants. Time and again people are willing pursue products and services they perceive to be hot, or the best. continued on page 6 President's Message T he first quarter of 2008 has just concluded, and what a roller coaster ride it has been! Concerns relative to the economy and the financial services industry in light of the subprime mortgage meltdown didn’t get any better with word of Bear Stearns liquidity problems and the subse- quent bailout by the Federal Government. The Federal Reserve has taken proactive and preemptive actions to fend off the liquidity issue in the marketplace. We are likely in a recession and a period of credit tightening. While community banks, including F&M Trust, have avoid- ed subprime residential mortgage loans and investments, it appears that most of the industry is dealing with this stigma. Despite many of the national trends, our experience indicates that that local economy remains solid. We are optimistic about the prospects for 2008. The strong loan growth we experienced in 2007 has continued through the first quar- ter. Commercial and small business borrowings continue to rise, including sev- eral in our new SBA guaranty program loans. We continue to focus on making it convenient for consumers, small business, and commercial customers to bank with us. Construction on our 25th commu- nity office, this one on norland Avenue in Chambersburg, is underway with an anticipated completion time of late July. We recently introduced online check images and online deposit applications. We also expect to introduce remote deposit capture to business customers in the third quarter. We thank you for being part of our success. We appreciate your business and look forward to the opportunity for us to grow together. If we can be of assis- tance to you or your company, give us a call or just stop by for a visit. We’re ready to deliver Financial Solutions . . . from people you know. Sincerely, William E. Snell, Jr. President and Chief Executive Officer A quarterly publication for the valued customers and friends of F&M Trust F&M Trust Commercial Services and Small Business Banking Michael E. Kugler, Senior Vice President, Commercial Services Market Manager Dianne L. Cornman, CTP, Vice President, Cash Management Specialist Ronald R. Froeschle, QPA, QKA, Vice President, Employee Benefits Officer Debra K. Michael, Vice President Brian E. Weikert, Vice President Kenneth W. Brookens, Assistant Vice President Donald L. Trego, Assistant Vice President, Small Business Relationship Manager Philip A. Pantano, Commercial Services Relationship Manager David S. Campbell, Small Business Relationship Manager Lynn Waite, Small Business Relationship Manager 2 News from F&M Trust • Volume 3, Number 2 Blog On! T oday, 112.8 million blogs (Web logs) and over 250 mil- lion pieces of tagged social media are part of the Live Web experience of which almost 40 percent of world- wide Internet users are aware. According to Technorati — the tracking authority for blogs and social media Web sites includ- ing FaceBook, MySpace, and LinkedIn — the Live Web is incredibly active. Bloggers update existing sites with more than 1.6 million posts per day. That’s 18 blog updates per second, and there are more than 175,000 new blogs added every day. While most of the blogging and tagged social media activity is personal, the past few years have seen a mushroom of blog and social media introductions by company’s interested in bolstering on-line presence to drive additional traffic to their Web sites. no surprise, since the cost of these on-line promotions are incred- ibly low, particularly if a company can free up one or more staff experts to provide on-line commentary in a subject area closely aligned with business objectives. Before your business starts in own blog, ask a few key executives to visit some of the world’s most popular blogs, particularly those in which commentary likely will have great relevance to your industry. Many of these Web sites enjoy hun- dreds of thousands of unique visitors every month, each of whom is interested in the subject on which the blog is focused. So, having your executives posting thoughtful insights on these blogs (each noting your Web site address), means more of your target audience will visit your Web site more often. Finding top sites is as easy as visiting Bloglines.com where the world’s 1,000 most popular blogs are catalogued in groups of 100. After seeing the benefit of frequent posts on the most relevant high-traffic blogs serving your industry, you also may want to become a paid sponsor of a top blog. More visibility should 8099FMT equal more qualified traffic to your 2/19/08 9:25 AM Page 1 BusFocThirdpage_Measure01final:Layout 1 Web site. q For good measure. Could you be managing growth better? As one of the leading commercial resources in the region, F&M Trust knows just what you need to position your business for maximum growth and productivity – better financial options: � Commercial Real Estate Loan � Business Line of Credit � Term Loan � Business Equipment Leasing � Letter of Credit � F&M Trust Productivity MasterCard® For Business SM Which of these options will help you achieve a greater measure of success? Your F&M Trust business lending expert has the answer. fmtrustonline.com Equal Opportunity Lender • Member FDIC Volume 3, Number 2 • News from F&M Trust 3 Winning With RPM . . . continued from page 1 close enough business to more than cover the cost of that relationship-building research. What a concept! Reinforced by orchestrating a series of conversations in customer focus groups of five to 10 people, companies can quickly gain in-depth feedback from about 100 representative clients on what kinds of products they want, on how they want them delivered, on what could improve them and on how much they are willing to pay. Then, these businesses can focus resources where returns are likely to be the greatest. A short-hand way to remember the steps just outlined is to think RPM. Cyclists keep track of RPM counts when racing, because when RPM is main- tained at a high level, it translates into the speed necessary to gradually break away from competitors. Similarly, companies interested in breaking away from competitors should be vigilant about RPM. Recognize what needs to be done. Prioritize activity. Mobilize resources. That’s it! Recognize The US economy is slowing. Some companies may react by concentrating on work already in house, focusing energy on fulfilling and com- pleting projects on time to maintain cash flow. Indeed they could be avoiding short-term market- ing expense, but at what long-term cost? Cutting direct mail and other marketing expenses could eliminate the very activities able to bring in new customers to turn business around. Keep client communications going year-round. Market con- ditions may or may not improve quickly to buoy business volume to levels previously enjoyed. Prioritize Since niche market opportunities are still present in a tightening economy, and funding is available from F&M Trust, it is prudent for companies to focus on narrow target audiences. Learn whatever you can about potential customers in the niche you’ve identified. Determine what would make them want to buy the new product or service you want to provide. Calculate how, what and why they buy from competitors in this niche. Discover what you could offer to make your offerings the most attractive, and make sure there aren’t too many competitors serving the market segment to make entry less than profitable for your company. Then, identify the best way to reach the greatest percentage of the target audience you want to reach with your messaging. When creating advertising, direct mail, telemarketing, or E-marketing campaigns to reach the audience make sure to factor in ways to measure results. Have you considered coded coupons, in-store response cards, or special incentives to reward customer loyalty? Are you firing before you take aim? Establish a specific promotion budget for the niche market, being sure to plan marketing activity concretely for a minimum of 6 to 12 months. Leverage multiple advertising insertions and test 4 News from F&M Trust • Volume 3, Number 2 more than one delivery channel. Eliminate rush charges and prevent unwise purchasing decisions. Mobilize Get the help you need to promote the niche business that could diversify and grow business revenue streams. Don’t fix programs that aren’t broken. But do engage professionals for the public relations campaigns and advertising creative to make sure you are getting out the exact message you need to drive business. With the help of these professionals, your messages should showcase product benefits often enough to make the “What’s In It For Me?” resonate with your target audience. Equally important, engaging marketing and communications professionals could be the difference in getting sufficient traction in a new market requiring new strategies and tactics. new markets often require new marketing messages, refined packaging, different value propositions and new product names. Be pre- pared to test marketing pitches before full-scale rollouts so messages are relevant and proven for their ability to deliver traffic. Your experts should help you build budgets and concentrate precious resourc- es on what works. After all, it is vital for your company to avoid the message dilution that comes from trying a little bit of everything. Your “hired guns” should help you zero in on only the most promising promotion opportuni- ties. Some may be “outside the box” or guerilla marketing efforts that could produce surprisingly positive returns. But, the majority should be tried-and- true promotion solutions representing clear pathways to the target audience, using proven techniques. For example, decades of advertising research shows that bigger advertisements are better, provided they run frequently and reach the target audience when many are ready to make buy decisions. Make your mes- sages large. Make them frequent. Make them relevant to your target audience. It’s that simple. Seasoned marketers also should help you establish realistic sales expectations from each campaign; provide measurable results so you can calculate campaign- specific returns on investment; and sharpen messaging so your appeals increas- ingly sensitize target customers to the perceptions of your business, your prod- ucts and your services that you want to engender. One need only look to the constant refining of messaging by both Democratic and Republican candidates working to become the next President of the United States to understand the importance of clear communication to address issues voter by voter. For business, the gold standard for communication is client-spe- cific message relevance. q Volume 3, Number 2 • News from F&M Trust 5 Mystique . . . continued from page 1 Clever marketing is part of what gives a product or company mystique as a competitive advantage. But even the best marketing effort is trumped by improved employee-customer interaction, which can increase or flatten demand as prospective buyers interact with your sales and fulfillment teams. Emotions play a key role in purchasing decisions, so every employee touching clients must have confidence in, pride and passion about your company’s offerings. Many businesses assess performance holistically, using random customer sur- veys and annual employee satisfaction surveys. They ignore what’s happening to clients touch-point by touch-point, and neglect to measure employee-customer encounters by location or at work group levels. For example, just think what would happen to company mystique if only a fraction of call center or technical support employees consistently facilitated positive client interactions. Further diluting performance assessments, some companies keep key data in separate departmental silos. Financial data resides in finance. Customer data stays in marketing. Employee satisfaction data stays in human resources. no senior executive or leadership team is asked to get beyond the silo mentality, ana- lyzing data harvested collectively to champion steps to improve client touch points throughout the organization. Getting granular to enhance client relations means accounting for a variety of factors, including the quality of local managers who undoubtedly influence employee engagement + employee satisfaction + employee retention = employee performance. Take a look at how employee incentives, recognizing that they are tricky.. You could motivate one employee with an incentive that discourages another. A sales executive might be encouraged by cash bonus potential. But, since cash has less story-telling value than a travel or notable merchandise award, leader- ship teams need to carefully evaluate incentive plans to maximize value. Flexible options include gift cards or on-line currency that can be redeemed with a variety of retailers. Since additional time off also could spark high perceptions of value among hardworking employees, flextime, home-based work, paid overtime, three and four-day weekends, could prove valuable at mid-sized to large companies. At small firms, however, this type of time off could flatten growth because there likely is not enough depth on the bench to cover key staff absences. Before your company rolls out an incentive program: 1. Identify clear goals that can be better accomplished with a specific incentives 2. Zero in on a specific product or transaction type so success is easier to track 3. Feature both individual and group incentives to advance teamwork as well as personal achievement excellence simultaneously 4. Make it understandable so employees can help with program sell in 5. Consider only programs that are easy to administer or to outsource Since studies consistently show that it’s significantly easier for businesses to sell additional goods and services to current clients than to attract new clients, custom- er-oriented companies often introduce frequent-buyer incentive programs. Another proven new-business approach is launching a client-referral initiative with frequent promotions designed to transform customers into vocal fans. Some of these pro- grams feature chance-to-win great prizes. Others showcase defined benefits where customers making referrals receive immediate rewards. q 6 News from F&M Trust • Volume 3, Number 2 You mean business. We mean better business. Just ask Tessie Guyer, owner of Touch of Paradise Salon and Spa. Thanks to dedicated assistance from the Shippensburg University Small Business Development Center and the business experts at F&M Trust, Tessie has realized her dream of owning her own business. By supporting a great idea with solid planning and smart financial tools like Better Business Checking, you just might be able to create your own touch of paradise, too. Better Business Checking > No minimum monthly balance requirements > No monthly maintenance fees > No-annual-fee business debit card > Up to 400 items per statement cycle > Free Online Banking & Online Bill Pay fmtrustonline.com Equal Opportunity Lender • Member FDIC FINANCIAL SOLuTIONS…FROM PeOPLe yOu KNOW 24 convenient locations in: Franklin, Cumberland, Fulton and Huntington Counties 888-264-6116 (toll free) www.FMTrustOnline.com Commercial and Business Services Mike Kugler 261-3518 Phil Pantano 261-3669 Ken Brookens 261-3523 Debbie Michael 597-2384 Lynn Waite 597-2384 Dianne Cornman 261-3536 Brian Weikert 243-1283 Paul Johnston 485-3144 Don Trego 485-6944 Dave Campbell 261-3561 6448FMT Masthead FINAL 12/14/06 4:21 PM Page 1 NEWS AND INFORMATION FOR TODAY’S BUSINESS OWNER RPM Wins. The economy is slowing. Yet niche marketing opportunities exist for virtually every company, and F&M Trust offers the competitive funding Pennsylvania businesses need to keep moving at the speed of business. Recognize what needs to be done. Prioritize activity. Mobilize resources to speed past competitors. Beyond Mystique. It's hard work to nurture client loyalty, let alone the mystique that supercharges sales for some brands. Take a hard look at employee-client interaction at every touch point so your company can keep improving the buyer experience — at the time of the sale and when customer service is needed. Business Focus is a Net Worth Journal Publication Blog On! Consider sponsoring some of the 112.8 Jim Brown, Editor-In-Chief million blogs and over 250 million pieces of tagged JBrown@netWorthJournal.com social media being tracked by Technorati. The best 888-nET-WRTH could drive large numbers of target customers to your www.netWorthJournal.com company Web site.
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