You, Sir, are no Don Draper. (I am going to vent a little on this one.)

Have you seen the show Mad Men?  It’s great isn’t it?  Don Draper is an awesome character.

While there are many good business lessons to be learned on that show, I am not going into that today.  I am also not going to dive into the large topic of big business image advertising vs small business direct marketing (although it’s a great topic and we’ll get into it another day).

I am mainly going to tear this company a new one for this awful ad I saw (pic above).  I saw it earlier this week while walking into lunch in Columbia, MD with the HMB crew.  Being a small business owner and a marketing enthusiast, it struck a chord with me.


Where to start?  There are a number of things I would like to touch on so I think it’s best I organize it into a list.  This is going to be fun.

  1. That’s it?  Really?  That’s all you got for me?  Put a little effort into it please.  A sign like that makes me think everyone working in your bank is either lazy or just doesn’t care.
  2. No one cares about what you do.  We (consumers) want to know what’s in it for me.
  3. For the most part, mortgage customers are looking for 2 things-  Low rates and good customer service.  This mentions neither.
  4. You are breaking marketing Rule #1-  There will be an offer.  No offer here.
  5. You are breaking marketing Rule #2-  There will be a “call to action.”  Tell me to do something, like buy your product or service.
  6. Do you see large, successful banks with an ad like this?  No chance.  If you would like to grow your bank larger than 3 branches, you are going to need to step up your game.
  7. Times are tough out there for many businesses, especially banks.  I don’t know what your balance sheet is like but if you guys are hurting I suggest you put a little more effort into bringing new customers to the bank.
  8. It’s noon on a weekday and there are no customers in either drive thru.  Shocker.

Sorry if I came off a little harsh.  I don’t mean to talk bad about any company but I wanted to make one main point:

If you are a business owner, you are a marketer.  Period.  Many people don’t want to believe that, but it’s true.  Yes, your job is to do the basic function of your business (accountants do accounting, plumbers do plumbing, etc.) but your real mission is to bring in business.  And lots of it.

Good luck and feel free to comment below.  More posts on marketing will be coming in the future.



  • M. Barber

    I agree. That ad is very poorly executed. A little professionalism goes a long way.

  • Raymond Weston

    I completely agree with your assessment of this poorly executed attempt at “marketing” by this bank (if you want to call them that). They need to have someone in their employment, who understands the grit and determination of a true entrepreneur. Not just someone who is going to play it safe and conventional. Risks have to be taken, in order to branch out and make it beyond the front door. When they can look past their being risk adverse, and invest money into a proper marketing campaign, then the clients who fit their criteria will beat a path right through their front door (and drive-thru). Just a thought.

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