Case Study: A northern Maine bank invests in its reputation as commercial lender in southern Maine
As a community bank with a 150-year history in Maine, Machias Savings Bank is the fifth largest bank in Maine. While MSB has a very strong brand reputation and 60% market share in Washington County, its southern Maine presence is only a few years old. Research indicated that southern Maine audiences viewed MSB as a small town bank and many weren’t aware of its presence or capacity in the southern Maine commercial lending market.
The Machias Savings Bank marketing team engaged Fluent IMC to provide strategy, public relations and advertising/media planning support with a focus on building its brand awareness and reinforcing its reputation as a business banking partner south of Rockland.
We began by outlining key messages and building a strategy around messaging goals and communications objectives for the year. Recognizing that MSB wanted to raise awareness of its capacity to meet the lending and deposit needs of large customers and help small Maine businesses grow, we developed a multi-channel plan to reach Southern Maine’s business audience of prospective clients, Centers of Influence and other small to mid-size business decision makers.
To provide the bank with opportunities to showcase their expertise in the southern Maine market, we identified and pitched speaking engagements for business banking employees to engage directly with a target audience of small business owners and entrepreneurs. Further showcasing the bank’s lending capacity, we partnered with a high profile real estate client in our earned media outreach to demonstrate credibility.
Beyond its emphasis on southern Maine, MSB is focused on ongoing rural revitalization and driving economic impact across the state of Maine. We secured an interview for MSB’s CEO that resulted in a cover story in Maine’s premier statewide business news publication.
In addition to earned media, Fluent developed a year-long paid media plan comprised of TV, radio, print, and digital advertising. To further align the brand with its target markets, we recommended specific industry sponsorships to raise brand awareness in the southern Maine commercial market.
In Fluent’s first year of working with Machias Savings Bank, projects and opportunities included:
- Feature in an article on digital video ads in Mainebiz
- A speaking engagement at the Maine Association of Nonprofits Charting Change: 2019 Nonprofit Finance Conference
- Mainebiz cover story: “Machias makes a comeback, after decades of decline”
- Holiday fraud prevention segment on Good Day Maine
- A bylined article in Mainebiz: “How to find the best lending partner for your business”
- Scriptwriting, creative direction, and media buying for ads across platforms