The second type of advertising, promotion, or campaign is ‘maintenance’. This differs from launch advertising, where the advertiser wants a high level of frequency to create awareness of something new, innovative, or unknown.

Maintenance advertising has the goal of maintaining the awareness level generated by launch advertising. The bank will still want high coverage but may aim for lower frequency of around three to four times. This means that the target market will watch and experience the message around three to four times in only three weeks, as they should have already seen the launch campaign. Maintenance campaigns can cost a fraction of a launch campaign, as the intensity is at least half of the launch. The bank can also use creative ways to keep the awareness and reinforce it in specific geographies or groups of people that the launch campaign did not achieve the desired result.

One very important point when planning and executing campaigns, promotions, and advertising is to be careful on the frequency level: too much frequency is a waste of money as the message becomes a distraction, people see and do not react to it, or become annoyed at it. It is very important to refresh the creative ideas of any communication or promotional effort from time to time. The same advert aired repeatedly is useless. The same applies with always giving promotional gifts. Using the same creative repeatedly will work against the brand.

The same message or experience executed over and over with different approaches, images, or creative direction will resonate with the target audience. It will bring new curiosity from the target market, so people will invest time to listen, watch or experience the advert.

An outstanding example is the Mastercard campaign called ‘Priceless’ that used the tag line, “There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s Mastercard.” Over many years, Mastercard presented different stories and formats, always using the same tag line. It is probably one of the most effective international brand campaigns of all time.

Normally an ideal media plan is to have:

  • a launch campaign for three weeks, then;
  • a break of one to two weeks off air;
  • followed by the same basic creative (message and images) using a maintenance campaign for three weeks;
  • followed by another two weeks break before repeating any maintenance campaign.

If there are new creatives (these are the people or original ideas behind the adverts and marketing media), messages, or the original creatives have not worn out and lost their attraction, then the bank can start over again, treating it as a launch campaign with high coverage and frequency, followed by a maintenance campaign.

The bank can also use complementary media and creative ways to keep the awareness going, such as outdoor billboards, merchandising efforts, consumer sampling, event sponsorship, and digital media.

If the bank has a small budget, following the launch campaign it can use what advertising professionals call a ‘drip-drip’ campaign, which is a constant maintenance campaign that aims a coverage above 75 percent and a frequency of two to three. This can keep the brand, product, service, or solution in the target market’s mind. We must recognise that ‘drip-drip’ campaigns will not gain any new share of mind; at best, it will keep the share the brand has.

Share of Mind

Share of mind is the first brand that a consumer recalls when they think of a particular product or service. It is measured by field research that asks a very simple question, such as “when you think of a credit card, which brand comes to your mind first?”. In place of a credit card, it can be a bank or insurance company. It is collected using a statistically valid method to define, for a particular market, which brand has the number one of share of mind, which has the second, and so on.

Delivering on the Brand Promise

Marketing the bank’s brand, products and services involves the entire company, but even the best advertising or promotional campaign will not survive a bad delivery of the promise or message in the campaign. This is the reason Operations, Channels, Products, and others must deliver what they promised in any message. If the bank cannot deliver on the message, do not talk about it.

It is important to mention that any launch or maintenance campaign must be complemented by a mix of other media, not only digital but also outdoors, sponsorships, merchandising and consumer sampling as an example. It is not just all about budget and creativity, but being driven by an understanding of the target market, otherwise it is a waste of money.

Below the line advertising

Below the line campaigns use the following personalised methods to existing customers:

  • Telephone calls to the customer;
  • Direct email campaigns;
  • Invitations to webinars;
  • Invitations to events;
  • Text (SMS) messages;
  • Secure messages via WhatsApp and Telegram;
  • Direct paper-based mailings.

It is important that any communication to be used is personalised, because it is about existing customers. Personalising is not just a matter of using the name of the addressee instead of ‘Dear customer’, it is about using the best media, and the tone of voice and message that is in line with the bank’s knowledge of each customer.

Below the line campaigns are much cheaper than those above the line, as normally a bank can use its normal customer communication channels to deliver messages. As with any campaign, the bank can use additional methods to communicate, reward, or provide experiences to its customers – such as product trials, free samples, and gifts. The important thing here is to deliver a message that synchronises with what the bank knows about its customer.

Below the line marketing will primarily establish ongoing communications with existing customers, helping to anticipate their issues, to reinforce the relationship, present timely offers, and solutions, avoid attrition, and gather insights to improve solutions. It needs to make the right offer at the right moment, as well as taking opportunity of one-off interaction moments, like enquiries, questions, or special life-cycle events.

To use above the line campaigns to communicate to existing customers is a waste of money.