Background: A major bank in New York State partnered with Research & Marketing Strategies (RMS) to understand the awareness of one specific under-performing bank branch compared to competitive banks and credit unions in the market area as well as identify why local residents may not be choosing the branch for their business. Specific objectives of the market research included:
- Awareness of the bank’s branch location;
- Awareness of advertising for the bank;
- Knowledge of the bank’s services (savings, lending, etc.);
- Convenience of the branch location; and
- Key drivers for becoming a bank customer.
Methodology: The RMS Analytics team managed all the activities related to the Quick Pulse (five-minute) telephone survey on behalf of the bank. The market research approach was broken down into four key steps: defining the primary research needs through a kickoff meeting; developing a customized survey script; conducting the survey calls; and analyzing and reporting on the results. RMS collected a statistically reliable number of completes from households within an agreed upon radius of the branch. RMS utilized its in-house call center (QualiSight) and experienced telesurveyors to administer the survey. Once fieldwork was completed, the RMS Analytics team prepared a PowerPoint report, which included both a full deck of question-by-question results and a dashboard of key findings. RMS also consulted with the bank to develop recommendations and action items from the results.
Results: These were some high-level findings from the quick pulse telephone survey:
- Awareness of the bank was low. Top-of-mind awareness for the bank was 4%. The top-of-mind awareness ranked lower than 16 other banks and credit unions with local branches in the area. This localized area was highly saturated with other competitors who had better awareness and attracted more customers/members as users. With the branch being a late entry to the market, the adoption rate was low.
- When aided, 44% of respondents said they were aware of the specific branch location.
- The mindset of many respondents’ banking was best described as “hyper-local.” A significant number of respondents expressed the idea that the branch location wasn’t in their “area” despite the fact that they lived only a few miles from it.
Locational factors (e.g., visibility from the road, accessibility of the location, convenience of the location, and parking availability close to branch) seem to be minor barriers to usage. Respondents aware of the location thought these factors were very good at the branch. Of those four, convenience of the location was rated the poorest with 24% mentioning the ‘convenience of the location’ was a 7 or lower on the 1-10 scale. Open-ends attributed the poor convenience to the traffic and congestion of the location.