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Success Stories

Banks/Trust Companies

Company Profile #1
This is a 150 year-old Greater Boston savings bank with $1 billion in assets and 12 branches throughout the Boston suburbs. This is a profitable, well-respected, old-line mutual bank with over 100,000 depositors. The bank has retail banking, residential lending and commercial lending divisions and product lines.

The Situation
Chairman of the Board of Trustees, along with the Board, felt that the bank was not well positioned in a changing marketplace to compete for deposits, mortgages, real estate financing, corporate financing and related services. Senior management was concerned that the bank’s marketing strategy and resulting marketing program was not effectively presenting the bank in the marketplace.

The Alpha Program
Our three and one-half year engagement involved a multidimensional marketing program that addressed all major marketing issues for all divisions of the bank. Program elements included:

  • Review of all marketing plans, programs, literature, website and other materials.
  • Competitive study of banks in client coverage area.
  • Creation of marketing strategy and annual marketing plan with senior management and marketing management.
  • Assistance in hiring new Senior Vice President of Marketing and development of in-house marketing department.
  • Engagement of a full-service advertising agency.
  • Engagement of a full-service direct marketing agency.
  • Development and implementation of an annual promotion program.
  • Completion of study of small business marketplace.
  • Implementation of relationship sales training program for branch managers to sell small business market.
  • Integration of marketing/sales model throughout all bank divisions.
  • Assistance in implementation of all marketing and sales programs.

Results
This bank is today very well positioned in the marketplace and competing successfully. It has an in-house sales group managed by a senior sales manager and a professional marketing department managed by a senior vice president of marketing. Alpha Associates provided a needed transitional program at the appropriate time.

Company Profile #2

A 150 year-old mutual bank and a 25 year-old investment firm in Greater Boston wanted to create a new investment company using the bank's trust powers and the investment management capabilities of the investment firm. The new entity would target small accounts starting at $150,000 and provide private banking services to larger clients of the existing Investment firm.

The Situation

This new vehicle had to be approved and licensed by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The approval process took one and one-half years. This provided the time for recruiting new management for the start-up firm and appropriate planning to launch and operate the new firm. The bank and investment firm provided funding for the third vehicle. Alpha Associates was engaged to assist management in planning and managing the implementation of the start-up phase of this unique new vehicle.

The Alpha Program

Our two-year engagement involved both marketing and sales disciplines to provide a smooth and effective start-up. Program elements included:

  • Completion of a marketing strategy program with senior management.
  • Study and profiling of the client bases of the bank and the investment firm.
  • Study of the market for investment services.
  • Analysis of competitive environment for the new firm.
  • Orientation program for management to introduce and implement
    marketing strategy.
  • Engagement of a full-service advertising firm.
  • Implementation of a sales program to generate new clients.
  • Sales training for bank management personnel.
  • Creation and implementation of a sales incentive program.
  • Weekly sales meetings for evaluation of prospects and relationship management.
  • Assistance in implementation of all marketing and sales activities.

Results

The new trust company has achieved steady growth and success. After ten years, it has
$500 million in small accounts under management, and the investment firm has achieved significant growth to over $4 billion under management for more substantial clients. The ability to provide private banking services has been valuable for all investment clients and very profitable for the mutual bank.

Company Profile #3
This is a Greater Boston 106 year-old cooperative bank located in one of the prominent neighborhoods of Boston. An experienced bank president with senior staff provided management of the bank. There was also a thirteen member, long-standing Board of Trustees. The bank operated from a single, well located bank building that it owned. The building was somewhat dated, which made it difficult to meet customer service requirements.

The Situation
This cooperative bank had aggressively competed in the home mortgage market in Greater Boston, and this activity resulted in the bank’s management losing touch with changing banking needs in its own community. The bank’s products were no longer competitive. They were losing deposits and with an impending FDIC audit, was an institution at risk.

The Alpha Program
Initial activities by Alpha Associates Consultants were:

  • A study of the demographic makeup of the community.
  • Bank products and services review.
  • Market study of competition.
  • Review of bank’s service policies.
  • Review of all bank promotional materials and programs.
  • Organization review.

A marketing program was created with bank management that had the following components:

  • Marketing strategy and program.
  • New competitive products and services.
  • Change/Increase in bank service hours.
  • New bank layout for increased convenience.
  • New literature printed in two languages.
  • First dual language ATM in Greater Boston.
  • Direct marketing and promotion program to reconnect with the community.
  • Annual marketing program.

Results
This cooperative bank, through a sustained three and one-half year Alpha program, was reconnected to its natural market, the surrounding community. Services and products were now appropriate to meet community banking needs and the bank returned to profitability and attracted new depositors. The bank has sustained this success and is today, a prominent and profitable bank in the community.