Financial Services Adjust their Sponsorship Marketing Strategies

The shake up in financial services may take some time to reach the marketing departments, but the credit crunch and implosion of Bear Stearns will surely affect how financial services companies brand themselves. As marketing departments move into their planning season for 2009-10, look for some trends in decision making that will affect your proposal:
1. Big will stick with big. Don’t expect a major institution like Bank America to take lots of risks at the local level. They’ll park their dollars where they figure it will be safe: in big institutions such as museums and performing arts venues. Film festivals and alternative, mixed-media collaborations will have to fight hard to make their case.
2. More accounts will go into review. Wachovia recently announced it is putting its account into review as it welcomes pitches from large and mid-sized ad agencies. This means lots of decisions will be put on hold until an agency and strategy can be developed.
3. Big chill from big brother. Recent changes in regulations surrounding how banks can market to consumers through its affiliates and partnering organizations creates a chill in marketing departments at banks. More regulation is expected to protect consumers from predatory marketing practices. This will put decision-making in slo-mo. Prepare for long courtship cycles.

Check back next week when I flip the coin and give you some concrete action steps to turn the economic climate into one that can work for you.