Determinants of Bank Profitability in South Africa
Dissertation Title: Determinants of Bank Profitability in South Africa. The prime rationale for conducting the research is to find the factors that affect the bank’s profitability in the South African region so that appropriate measures can be taken to improve the financial performance. This research provides empirical evidence based on the analysis of the bank’s real financial data in support of the determinants of the bank’s profitability. Thus, this research is considered to be useful in enhancing the knowledge of the bank professionals, as well as the students pursuing higher studies in finance and banking.
The banking sector has been blamed the most for the financial crisis that happened in the recent past. Therefore, it has been perceived to be very important to research and find the factors that affect the bank’s profitability so that the situation could be controlled in the cases of the financial crisis. In this context, this research explores the relationship of the factors such as liquidity, management efficiency, capital adequacy, the scale of operations, productivity of assets, growth in gross domestic product, and inflation with the return on equity.
The primary aim of this dissertation is to explore the determinants of bank’s profitability in the South African region. For this purpose, the research is aimed to find the crucial factors that affect the bank’s profitability in the South African region. Further, in this regards, the degree of influence of the factors on the bank’s profitability has also been evaluated in this dissertation. With regards to the research aim, the following objectives have been developed, which are to be addressed in this research:
To review, research, and understand the regulatory framework prevailing in the South African region
To study the bank system in South Africa through developed models and evaluate the factors, which contribute to the bank’s profitability
To explore the determinants of bank’s profitability in the South African region
Background of the Research
Rationale for Doing the Research
Aim and Objectives
Significance of the Research
Organisation of the Research
Bank Specific Factors Affecting the Profitability
Size of the Bank
Credit Risk Management
Product and Service Portfolio
Efficient Management Team
Industry or Sector Specific Factors
Banking Regulation in South Africa
Gross Domestic Product
Prime Lending Rates
Taxation and Foreign Trade
Data Collection Method
Selection and Justification
Sample Size and Sampling Strategy
Data Analysis Process and Tools
Limitations of the Research
Analysis of the CAMEL Ratios
Net Interest Margin
Productive Asset Ratio
Advance and Loans to Deposit Ratio
Analysis of the Gross Domestic Product
Analysis of the Inflation
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The mixed method approach to evaluating research data may be applicable to studies that are designed to gather both qualitative and quantitative information. This technique is often used in disciplines such as psychology, sociology or certain types of medicine. The continued development of these fields may depend on data that is derived from standardized scales or rating systems in addition to that gleaned from interviews, ‘focus group’ sessions and other similar tools. Therefore, the mixed method may be appropriate in a new project on a complex issue or situation that generates complex and highly individualized answers to research questions. Examples of these may include the societal impact of homelessness or the treatment of a lost or diminished sense. The data here may need to cover detailed and varied feedback (or ‘self-reports’) on the effect(s) of these target variables, as well as scores from formal quantitative tools typically used within the research community in question. One data type does not give a complete ‘picture’ of the outcome(s) without the other. Therefore, a methodology that incorporates both to analyse the data set as a whole is necessary.
The mixed method may combine and synthesize this data through a process called triangulation. This may involve the conversion of qualitative data into quantitative data. Such a form of triangulation is most applicable to data resulting from the administration of structured interviews or surveys, provided that data is sufficiently standard or homogeneous across respondents to be coded or scored effectively (i.e. without bias or other forms or statistical inadequacy). In this way, it may be converted to quantitative data, and compared or analysed in accordance with the requirements of the study design (e.g. subjected to a form of analysis such as a paired t-test). On the other hand, the qualitative data may be too individualized and/or complex to be coded. In this case, a thematic analytical technique may be used, incorporating findings such as significant differences among the quantitative data points as a theme or concept.
The aim of triangulation is the full integration of both data types to generate contiguous concepts or conclusions. This leads to another advantage of the mixed method: i.e. that it can address research aims that do not stem from standard null hypotheses. Questions, in other words, along the lines of ‘Does this novel treatment result in an improvement in the life quality of patients with hearing loss?’ rather than statements such as ‘This treatment improves hearing loss [in comparison to an existing alternative]’ to be confirmed or denied.
The mixed method is not, however, without disadvantages or detractors. Critics of this methodology often cite the risk of the ‘incompatibility paradox’; the probability that one data type will be inadequately analysed compared to the other. A prominent example of this risk is known as ‘pragmatism’, or the perception that researchers who use the mixed method value ‘experiential data’ (i.e. self-reports recorded from respondents) at the expense of quantitative data. The use of the mixed method may also be subject to preconceptions, judgement or other forms of observer bias that a researcher may impose on qualitative data in the course of its collection. These risks can be ameliorated, mainly through the skill and training of the individual researcher. Under these conditions, the mixed-method technique can be applied to generating full, comprehensive conclusions for non-standard research questions.
Brown RA, Kennedy DP, Tucker JS, Golinelli D, Wenzel SL. Monogamy on the Street: A Mixed Methods Study of Homeless Men. Journal of Mixed Methods Research. 2013;7(4):328-346
Windsor LC. Using Concept Mapping in Community-Based Participatory Research A Mixed Methods Approach. Journal of mixed methods research. 2013;7(3):274-293
Robson C. Real World Research. 2 ed. Oxford: Blackwell; 2002
Mertens DM, Hesse-Biber S. Triangulation and Mixed Methods Research: Provocative Positions. Journal of Mixed Methods Research. 2012;6(2):75-79
Lieber E, Weisner TS. Meeting the practical challenges of mixed methods research. SAGE handbook of mixed methods in social and behavioral research. 2010;2:559-579
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Different Brand Advertising Campaign: Case Study of P&G
P&G Brand Advertising Campaign: As prescribed by different researchers and organizations, the cost of doing business is in the recent years is increasing (Amyx 2005; Williams and Page 2009). This is as a result of increasing competition within the market environment, where different businesses are doing everything possible to woo as many customers as possible. As a result of this, consumers of different products are the beneficially since all the extensive researches conducted are geared toward improving the quality of different products; hence, enhance consumer satisfaction. To achieve such objective, while still remaining relevant and competitive, the organizations need to formulate resilient strategies that build on distinctive competencies and provide a lasting competitive advantage.
On the same right, the said strategies ought to be sensitive and dynamic so as to encompass any eminent changes that are inevitable in any competitive market. Among the market strategies that different organizations are engaging in is the different brand advertising campaign. Advertising, as different researchers have claimed plays a key role in determining the success of a given product in the market. In regard to a different brand advertising campaign, the emphasis is on product differentiation, where the company tries to convince their customers, and other potential ones that their products are superior to similar products offered by their competitors. This is specifically done, in a bid to increase sales, command the market share and win new customers for increased profitability. Nevertheless, adopting a different brand advertising campaign is not a smooth ride but there a variety of handles that the marketers need to contend with at different levels. This is even true when a firm is facing competing rivals who also keep strengthening their advertising and product strategies with an aim of dominating the market (Brewster and Palmer 2001).
The study work at hand intends to explore some of the potential problems that a marketer may experience in his/her bid of using a different brand advertising campaign as his/her ultimate marketing strategy. To achieve the intended objective, the study will use P&G as its case study and will explore some of the challenges, and benefits it has achieved by employing the said marketing strategy instead of using the conventional advertising strategy. In addition, the research will propose some of the methods that can be employed to override those problems.
Brief description of P&G
William Procter and James Gamble are credited as the founders of Procter and Gamble (P&G) business that has in the recent past expanded to the international market; both in developed and developing countries. It has been regarded as one of the Fortune 500 American multinational corporations that have established its roots far and beyond its boundaries of Cincinnati where it was first established. The industry is supposedly the American biggest producer of household products and pharmaceutical goods. In particular, company is credited for providing over 250 brands that are grouped into six distinct categories. These groups include laundry and detergents, paper products like toilet papers, beauty care, food and beverages, sanitary towels and health care products.
In addition, the company also makes other products like pet food and PUR water filters and chemicals that are used internally and also by other chemical processing companies. As a way of attracting and retaining new clients, especially female consumers, the P&G also engages in production and sponsoring of Soap Operas that serves to distinguish its brand advertising strategies (A Company History: 1837- Today 2006). In fact, P&G is among business that have been credit with successful business innovations especially on brand management such as Connect and Develop innovation. According to Nielsen Company, P&G business is also among those companies that spend a fortune in advertisements alone. It is said to have had the highest advertising budget of all companies listed in United States by 2007 (Johnson 2012).
Despite all these positive aspects, the company also faces some challenges that demand prompt actions. Among such challenges is the continuous demand for new innovative and brands differentiation. The pressure originates from stiff competition that is posed by other small and larger competing companies. In addition, advancement in technology and new demands for new brands, the company is in a dilemma in deciding which brands to retain and those to discard. For instance, though soap and candle were the main products that the company produced in its initiation stages, candles have become obsolete due to the invention of electric lights among other products that rendered it irrelevant. Attracting, retaining and satisfying the clients are the main challenge that the company contend with all the time.
To handle this challenge effectively, the company has come up with different strategies that are also sensitive to the increasing cost of production in the company. In regard to this fact, as was observed by Jeff Neff of Ad Age, the company had even lost its usual top post in shopper magazine ranking. The failure to retain the top slot went on for three years making shareholders wary. The challenge is thought to have been as a result of effective advertising by its competitors like Unilever (Neff 2013).
In regard to its budget, as per its 2010 annual report indication, P&G is said to be spending cash amounting to over $10 billion in advertisements alone. According to the report, the percentage of Ads as a portion of sales for the said years was approximately 11.3%. This is an increase from the previous years’ where the same ratio was 10.9% and 9.8% in 2010 and 2009 respectively (Johnson 2012). Such increasing figures in advertising is said to have its toll on company’s inability to reward its faithful shareholders effectively (Edwards 2011).
Psychology of advertising
Advertising, since time in memorial, has been used in different circumstances by business to build powerful business force. In definition, as proposed by Brewster & Palmer, 2001, advertising may be referred to the purchased publicity conducted in a pre-planned way to seduce potential clients to act, think or behave as per the advertisers’ desires. According to Robert Hearth, advertisement is a tool that is most effective in persuading any potential and existing consumers to consumer certain products. According to him, companies that use advertising are amongst the most successful ones in the world (Heath 2012).
The same claim is echoed by Krugman’s idea who asserted that TV advertising has a direct influence on individuals even when processed inattentively. This is what is supposedly referred to by a number of individuals as subconscious seduction. Advertisers take advantage of this fact, first, to influence individuals’ mind and secondly, to influence their decision making in regard to certain products. Some psychologist believes that advertisements have both negative effects and positive effect on different individuals of a society. They also believe that the presence of advertisements on available media; whether television, newspapers, magazines, journals, radio and internet among others make all individuals target. They thus believe that advertisements have subliminally stimulated the way different individuals react in different situations (Amoto and Laudati 2001).
Richard Pollay, in his book, The Distorted Mirror: Reflection on the Unintended Consequences of Advertising claim that advertising seem to pop up in every part of the society, include the intimate space of customers’ homes. According to him, advertisements are created to attract attention, cause a change of attitude and influence consumer behavior toward certain ways (Pollay 1986). Nevertheless, some researchers still hold the idea that, though, advertisements has almost direct influence on individuals viewing them, businesses and individual marketers need to formulate their advertisement perfectly so as to inform customers of their products; hence, woo them toward buying (Hansotia and Wang 1997).
According to researchers, customers are highly responsive to advertisements, especially those that are aimed at informing them of new products in the market. Such advertisements are said to carry information persuading the customers to purchase a certain brand of products due to their superiority in quality and customer friendly prices. Depending on the response of the customers on product differentiation message contained in the adverts, firms are said to take appropriate actions; whether to increase or decrease their sizes. In cases where the customers’ responses are deemed positive, firms are said to increase their market size appropriately as they also adjust the prices of their products accordingly (Ferguson 20012).
Possible problems associated with advertising
As describe above, advertising is one of the strongest and most effective tool that businesses can adopt to reach their targeted customers. Nevertheless, in the process of designing, formulating, implementation and monitoring a myriad of potential problems may haunt the business. Such challenges are the center of interest in the succeeding discussion. The problems may include, but not limited to cost implication, consumer attitude, stiff competition from competing businesses, and product differentiation among others.
According to a discussion paper prepared by Kyle Bagwell of University of Columbia, Department of Economics on The Economic Analysis of Advertising, advertising is a sizeable business. According to him, in the year 2003, major companies like General Motors $3.43 billion, Procter and Gamble $3.32 billion and Pfizer $2.84 billion among other companies experienced such greater advertising expenses (Bagwell 2005). The high costs of advertising are to some extent influenced by the stiff competitions that exist in the market. In the case of P&G, though the company was the pioneer of so many products like cleaning detergents, health care products like shampoos and chemicals, a large number of potential competitors like Unilever have come up with similar products. In some instances, such competitors are said to outdo P&G Company in terms of quality of some products. They also do well in reaching out for consumers through their effective advertising and rebranding strategies.
In regard to adopting a different brand advertising campaign like it has been done by P&G, the cost of selling the idea would mean adjusting the advertisement budget upward. In a conventional advertising budget, the cost would be influenced by a number of factors such as the frequency of advertising, competition and clutter, market share of the brand being advertised and the product life cycle stage. In regard to frequency of advertisement, advocating for a different brand would mean that the cost would be relatively higher than that of already established products. The need for increasing the frequency of advertising is to try and ensure that the target consumers are convinced that the target product is superior to the ones being offered in the market (Brewster and Palmer 2001).
A company using a different brand advertising campaign is also expected to bear more financial burden in regard to competition and clutter. Clutter in this case refers to number advertisements that are run in a given media. P&G is expected to incur extra cost since it requires having more clutter than its competitors. In addition, the cost of designing such advertisement would cost them more than that of an already established product that have already been accepted widely and can still dominate the market even without the need for an advert.
Selling a different brand will also require the company to emphasis on the quality of the product it is selling. According to psychologists, consumers are always looking for a product that would not only satisfy them in terms of financial implication, but also one that meet their quality expectation. This will auger well with how well the product has gained ground in terms of market share. In addition, a new brand will demand that the advertisement be of high quality and eye catching and unique. To achieve all these, the company will require engaging experts in its production lines who will ensure that the quality of the product is not compromised. They should also ensure that their packaging line is managed by individuals who are experienced and understand how the markets work. The packaging material should also be appealing and unique so that it can stand-out amid competition. All the above objectives are only achieved if the company’s advertising budget is relative higher than that of the competitor.
In some instances, companies, including P&G are bound to rebrand their products in the form of product differentiation. This will mean that even an existing product, which has undergone such changes, would look as new product. To convince the existing consumers and also the potential consumers that the products are the same or relatively better will call for serious and extensive campaign. In order to reach all the clients, the company would not trust only one form of media, but would opt for a number of them that would be accessible by the target clients. For instance, in a bid to remain relevant and competitive in the sale of women product, P&G is said to be producing and supporting some soap operas both in TV and Radio. This means that its advertisement budget is higher than that of its competitors. With increased advertising budget together with other running expenses that companies incur in their bid remain competitive and attract to both customers and potential and existing investors, the company may fail to meet its long-term objectives.
For instance, it is said that P&G had in some years failed to provide substantial returns to its shareholders due to increasing cost of production and running costs. Here, with a quick glance at the 2012 P&G annual report, the company’s net earnings reduced from $ 15,495 to $13, 292 despite an increase in net sale to $83, 680 from $81,104 in the year 2011 and 2012 respectively. This led to a decrease of $ 0.73 in net earnings per common share from continuing operations (P&G 2012; Johnson 2012). The increase in sales may be attributed to the progressive and active advertisement, but this lead to increased operation costs that have lead to reduction in net earnings. With the company failing to satisfy its shareholders, some are bound to withdraw their support while others may invest in competing companies. Such a move would be detrimental to the company and its products.
Consumer attitude and perception
Psychologically, individuals are said to react with a lag of diverse period in terms of changing their decision due to changes in certain issues (Gujarati 2007). In regard to the question at hand, individuals would also be cautious to jumping into buying new or rebranded products due to the natural nature of human being of the fear of unknown. In addition, as expressed in the previous section, customers are subjective to seduction borne in different advertisements. In cheer realization that other competing companies are as well striving toward winning more consumers, such companies are bound to benefit more when a company decide to go beyond the usual products. In addition, some researchers have argued that, the relevance and importance of a certain ad would be determined highly with how the consumer has interacted with ads In cases where the consumer do not have access to the ad, it would mean that they would be blind to the product being targeted (Rubin 1981). On the same note, the different brand advertising campaign may not encompass enough information to change the decision of the clients as Fernandez and Rosen (2000) found out in his research on goal-oriented consumer’s response.
Effect of competition on advertisement
According to economists, companies come up with advertisements for various reasons that are all directed to customers. On the same note, economists believe that marketers and advertisers retain ultimate right to decide on the content of advertisements, and customers have no option but to take the information carried by the ads. For this reason, consumers do not all the time openly accept the information. Instead, they are said to interpret advertisements differently. Therefore, adopting a different brand advertising campaign is bound to experience more challenges than the conventional way. In addition, since advertisements are bound to affect pricing of different products before consumers are fully persuaded that the different products are superior and selling at fair prices, the company may experience low growth as consumers opt to buy from their competitors (Kirmani 1990). Similar assertion are echoed by Sutton (1991) who said that though advertising is bound to improve customer perception toward a certain brand; hence, creating some barrier to entry, it is bound to increase competition; thus, forcing some firms to reduce their expenditure to avoid the ultimate effects of fierce price competition.
Economists, to some extent, agree that advertising is majorly adopted by monopolistic firms, to gain product differentiation and achieve market control. With product differentiation objective achieved, the firm is as well said to have gained some ground in controlling the market. In the study’s case scenario, P&G Company is not a monopolistic but is surrounded by able rivals and even potential entrant. For this reason, convincing the customers that their products are superior would mean increasing its advertisement clutters; adopt alternative campaign strategies among other ways. Different brand advertising campaign may also, instead of increasing awareness of the product increase the demand for a rival company’s product at the expense of the marketer.
On the same right, such advertising strategy would reversely lead to a decline in consumer value especially in developed market due to increased commodity prices to counter the extra financial experiences trigger by the ads. For instance, P&G sponsored the US Olympic Team and had an advert dubbed ‘Thank you Mom’. Inasmuch as the ad had gained popularity in the US, P&G Company may have not scored properly due to the high cost of running the advert. According to a report released by the company in 2012, the ‘Thank you Mom’ advertisement required the company to think globally. This would involve formulating a communication objective that would cut across board; hence, requiring an expansive and expensive plan to articulate (P&G 2012).
One of the key pillars toward a successful advertisement campaign is price differentiation. Firms and companies that have successfully managed to persuade their customers that their products are overly different from others in terms of quality, outcomes and costs are said to have been rewarded with unequivocal market share and dominance. In regard to product differentiation, a firm opting to conduct a different brand advertisement campaign is bound to employ either the horizontal or vertical differentiation. In definition, horizontal differentiation consumers are said to differ in what they prefer in a product. That is; the characteristics like color, taste, and sources bestowed on a given product. On the other hand, in regard to vertical differentiation, the emphasis is on product characteristics that make consumer go for quality. Therefore, a problem of ensuring that the products under scrutiny in different brand advertising campaign are purely different from other may arise.
In regard to P&G, as documented in its 2012 annual report, its main objectives is to have brands with strong equities in the minds of consumers, those that retailers are demanding and those that are platforms for innovation. Achieving such objectives is not a significant challenge to P&G since it has financial, technological and manpower strength. Nevertheless, the same notion is sure in its rival competitors’ agenda. The only sure way to ensure that its product retain their reputation is to ensure total differentiation, which in part is supported by effective and extensive advertisement (Barroso and Llobet 2011).
In this right, Roberts and Lattin (1991) found out consumers reaction toward consuming a certain brand is more influenced by their choice sets later than their awareness sets. According to them, the consumers’ awareness is highly influenced by such things like advertisements while the choice set is determined by the consumers purchasing decisions. Therefore, a firm that is determined to employ a different brand advertisement strategy should emphasis on influencing both awareness and choice set factors, something that may be problematic to balance and achieve as (Goeree 2008) found out.
Shon Ferguson (2012), in his study on Endogenous product differentiation, market size and price stated that consumer love for diversified brands leads them to becoming more sensitive to product differentiation efforts by different firms; hence, uncontrollable increase of differentiated products in the larger market. In respect to this, he argued that expansion of market base by firms through product differentiation and advertisement may eventually lead to higher prices of such products. If this does happen, consumers are then said to divert their attentions to other similar commodities that are offered at lower prices. This is because, with polarized market, consumers have a wide variety of commodities that they can choose from; hence, the notion of consumer loyalty does not hold (Ferguson 20012).
This is true even to the case of P&G Company that, though having been among the market pioneer is competing with so many other late entrants. In addition, as some researchers have argued, so much concentration on the need for price differentiation would eventually lead to a compromise in terms of prices or quality (P&G 2012). Therefore, the most appropriate advice that researchers have offered is for firms to remain cognizant of the consumers’ need and marshal toward satisfying them by and large.
Grossman and Shapiro while investigating the effect of informative advertising realized that advertising help the elasticity of demand faced by each participating firm. According to them, the lower the cost of advertising, the more the advertisement clutter will increase and the better informed the consumer will become (Amoto and Laudati 2001). In such instances, where the customers are well informed, and more firms are engaged in advertisements, a firm that spend more money in advertisements is bound to suffer since advertising in a market where consumers have full knowledge of the market does not necessary mean increasing your customers.
To avoid the potential problems that are associated with different brand advertising campaign effectively, marketers would need to take a number strategic measure. First, as it has extensively been discussed in the previous section, the marketers should constrain their budgets in such a way that they adhere to the company’s objective. This can be done by ensuring that the advertisements are perfectly formulated to reach the target group effectively while at the same time, minimizing the cost of running those adverts in different media.
In regard to consumer perception and attitude, the adverts should carry exceptionally, convincing and persuasive messages that reflect, if possible, the actual reality of the brand being advertised. This would auger well since customers who have had the potential to purchase the product can pass the same information to them that are aware of the brand but have not made a positive choice of purchasing them. In addition, this would give the company a competing edge against its potential rivals and potential entrants.
The company should also formulate its advertisement with cheer realization that the advert can have an anti-competing outcome, where it promotes the products of the competing firms. The company should also have its shareholders and investors in mind; hence, it would continually receive financial and other forms of supports even in times of turmoil.
P&G Company, like many other large and small companies, engages in intensive advertisement in a bid to weather down any potential competition. In fact, Procter and Gamble is said to be the leading company in terms of advertisement. This is true even with the fact that it is always in the top three of the most profitable multinational company. The need for regular advertising, where it is reported to collaborate with other firms and sponsor is said to emanate from the need to inform its customers regularly of its superior brands that have dominated the market. In a bid to advertise, like any other companies, it faces challenges that drag down its objectives.
Among the advertising strategies that a company adopts, different brand advertising campaign is one that can lead to greater success in reaching customers. Nevertheless, there are a myriad of challenges that are attached to the strategy as discussed in the previous section. In particular, the campaign would be more expensive than the conventional methods employed by many companies. It requires maximum time to convince the customers that truly, the brand the company is selling is superior and better than the similar ones in the market. Again, the customers may not be fully convinced; hence, though having the awareness of the product may opt to consume those offered by competitors. The strategy is also said, sometime, to work against the company where it indirectly promotes the products of its competitors. Therefore, as much as the company would love to use this strategy, it should be wary of the challenges; hence, plan appropriately. The advert should be formulated in such a way that all the unnecessary costs are avoided while at the same time, targeting to reach all the potential customers.
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Marketing Banking: Identifying the Insightful Marketing Mix in Banking
Marketing banking services has assumed a new dimension as new ideas and innovations continues to drive the competition. Today, marketing has occupied a prime place in the business of banks and different services and products are being created and directed towards meeting the needs of the customer. While the traditional methods of marketing banking remain effective, there is the need for banks to apply more insightful marketing mix in marketing financial products and services. This paper identifies email marketing, rather than social media networking, as a very effective means of marketing to the Gen Y among other insightful approaches to marketing banking nowadays.
The evolution of marketing banking started in the West in the late 1950’s (Muraleedharan, 14). Prior to this period, marketing was alien to banks. At the early stage of its emergence in the banking industry, marketing banking was mainly practiced in the form of advertising and promotional strategies. It was not until the 1970’s before marketing was fully grafted into the banking industry as an integral part of managing banking business.
Effective marketing of banking services is important particularly during a period when banks are confronted with tough competition from other local and foreign banking and non-banking financial agencies that offer value added services to their customers. Competition in the financial service industry is not limited to resource mobilization and lending to customers; it extends to the core areas of revenue generation services offered by banks and which also form the core aspect of banking. The cumulative effects of stiff competition in business and the continual change in the banking operational environment, engendered by the process of economic reforms, has made marketing of banking services imperative for all categories of banks in the private and public sectors of the economy.
Marketing banking services has assumed a new dimension as new ideas and innovations continues to drive the competition. Today, marketing has occupied a prime place in the business of banks as different services and products are being created and directed towards meeting the needs of the customer.
What is Marketing Banking?
Hartley (Jha, 49) referred to marketing banking simply as ‘’responsive marketing’’ suggesting that it is an attempt at responding to the changing needs of the customer, the society and the environment. Kuppuswami defined marketing banking as ‘’the creation and delivery of financial services suitable to meet the needs of the customer at a profit to the bank’’(Kuppuswami, 20). Kuppuswami’s definition shows that marketing banking aims at satisfying the need of the customer with an underlying intention for making profit. Deryk Meyer, a former United Kingdom Chairman of the Barclays Bank, defined Marketing banking as ‘’consisting of the process of identifying the most profitable markets now and in future, setting business development goals, making plans to meet the goals and managing or promoting the various services to achieve the set plans in a rapidly changing market environment’’ (Muraleedharan, 27).
Deryk Meyer’s definition has been considered as comprehensive because it highlights a process of marketing bank services consisting of the following three layers:
Identifying the present and future markets that offer the most profit margins.
Assessing the present and the future needs of the customers.
Setting aims and objectives, managing and developing banking products and services that satisfies and meets the needs of customers in a changing market environment.
Brent (1995, 45-54) and Holmlund & Kock (1996, 287-297) identified the ability of banks to implement marketing strategies based on the needs and preferences of customers as a key factor for successful marketing banking.
Marketing banking goes beyond selling bank products and services to existing and prospective bank customers. Effective marketing of banking products and services includes creating a strong and worthy brand image of a bank on the mind of its customers. The present day bank customers are looking for a bank which can meet all their present and future needs, therefore, understanding the key elements that makes marketing banking effective is crucial to the successful implementation of marketing orientation in banking because banks now operate in a buyer’s market.
How to Identify the Needs of Bank Customers
Market Segmentation and its Importance
Marketing banking has two key elements which are: an understanding of the needs of the customer and the willingness to satisfy the identified needs. It involves learning what a customer takes into consideration when making choices from specific banking products and services. Existing and potential bank customers are increasingly becoming quality conscious clients and since no two groups of customers are the same, there is the need to do market segmentation of bank customers within each branch or geographical area in a bid to identify the needs of each group of customers.
Meaning of Market Segmentation in Banking
Market segmentation is a common marketing practice where a larger target market is broken down into smaller market segments for efficient and effective marketing. Alan Roberts refers to marketing segmentation as a means of conquering a larger market by dividing it into smaller segments. The classification of banking products and benefits is often the best way of defining bank market segments where many products are available on offer to customers.
The parameters for the segmentation of bank customers include the use of one or a combination of two or more of the following: geographical location, demographics, volume of transactions, psychographic or personality traits, and benefits (Rajeev, 119).
Geographic Market Segmentation
In the context of banking, geographic segmentation may be done on the basis of different variations like north, south, east and west or on the basis of population like town, small city and large city or it could be done simply by classifying the market into rural, urban and metropolitan. Geographic segmentation appears to be the easiest form of market segmentation as each segment has a well-defined demarcation.
Demographic Market Segmentation
Usually, demographic parameters include sex, age, income, occupation, education and social class among others. Literature is replete with the suggestion that extending geographic segmentation to include demographics may produce banking market segments with more homogenous characteristics than either of the two taken on individual basis (Muraleedharan, 31).
Psychographic Benefit Segmentation
Psychographic benefits such as parameters that portray personality traits are another set of useful criteria for segmenting banking market. However, psychographic benefit parameters are rather sophisticated and their effective use for market segmentation requires a deep understanding of the psychology of the customer. Examples of psychographic benefit traits are leader-follower traits, conservative-liberal traits, and introvert-extrovert traits. However, the extent to which psychographic traits could help in segmenting bank customers based on needs and behavior remain rather uncertain and it is, therefore, difficult to implement in bank market segmentation.
Product Benefit Segmentation
Product benefits as a tool for segmenting bank customers refer to the use of parameters like status, economy and convenience. A bank customer who longs for a bank loan is looking to enjoy the benefit of better economy and another customer who craves for prompt and efficient bank service is looking to enjoy the benefit of convenience and would be willing to pay a price for convenience. The most common banking benefit segments are categorized as follows:
Standard Banking Benefits
Standard checking and savings banking products form one of the largest segments of banking benefits commonly offered by banks. Though banks usually market checking and savings accounts separately, yet many banks now attempt to create a bonding relationship with their regular customers by introducing banking packages that gives additional value to customers when they add savings accounts to their checking accounts. Often, the incentives used by banks include offering higher interest rates on savings deposits and seamless transfer of funds from checking to savings accounts and vice-versa. Marketing of this category of banking benefits to target customers could be done through electronic and print media like television, radio, newspapers and magazines.
High-end Special Savings Benefit
The special savings benefit segment is a step ahead of the standard banking benefit for checking and savings customers. High-end special bank savings may include high interest rate savings accounts, money market, certificates of deposits and other packages that give great dollar value to customers. It is easy to market this category of benefit segment to existing customers already running standard checking and savings accounts but the product can be marketed through the media.
Bank loans form a huge segment of banking benefits which most banks offer their customers as part of banking operations and a strategy for marketing banking. Typical examples of bank loans include home and auto loans which often form a significant part of bank loan portfolio. Other available banking loans are student loans, equity loans and personal loans. Marketing bank loans are usually done separately from marketing of other banking products. Home loans are better marketed through real estate resources or media-like publications and auto loans would reach the right target customers if marketed in auto publications. Banks can also cross promote consumer banking loans by marketing to existing customers at attractive rates or as part of a package with other products.
The investment benefit segment of banking operation is fast becoming popular among traditional banks. Bank customers who have been managing their stock, bond and other niche investments on their own through separate bank accounts could be targeted for this product. Banks can also market investment benefits to existing customers together with attractive benefits. Banks could also market investment solutions through investment related media and investment publications.
It is expected that customers within the same classification or segment would show similarity or homogeneity in their banking needs. However, each segment should be tested for validity using measurability, accessibility and profitability as measuring tools before any group is accepted as a segment.
The factors that influence a customer’s choice of bank products are both internal and external factors. The internal factors include needs, attitudes, motives and perceptions while the external factors include influence of culture, economics, business, family and the influence of social group.
Household Segment versus Corporate Segment
In most markets, market segments within the banking industry could be classified as either household or corporate segments. The degree of bank marketing efforts required in each case differ because the two major segments have characteristics which are distinct and opposite to each other. Marketing banking to the household segment requires the application of consumer marketing principles while the principles of industrial marketing has been considered by experts as the most appropriate technique for marketing banking to the corporate market segment. Some of the recognized and leading household marketing banking segments are students, senior citizens, housewives, working women, young working men, working women and defence personnel among others.
Benefits of Market Segmentation to the Banking Industry
Market segmentation of bank customers has its distinctive advantages. It helps a bank to differentiate customers with dissimilar needs from those with similar needs. Market segmentation of bank customers provides a solid foundation for building enduring bank marketing strategies. Market segmentation also helps banks to create special marketing packages for each group of customers based on their distinctive needs. In turn, bank customers could easily create the mental feelings that specific bank products have been specially designed for them. Such psychological feelings will improve customer satisfaction and also make the work of the bank marketer easier. The overall positive effect of proper segmentation of bank customers is bound to gain a higher return for every dollar spent on marketing banking services.
The Importance of Marketing Banking
Banking is a service industry and bank customers have become sophisticated. Technological advancement has produced more sophisticated consumer tastes. Bank customers now expect that their bank will offer them quality services and products tailored to meet their specific needs. Financial needs of bank customers have become rather complex because of the global modern trend. Bank customers now compare products and services offered by both local and foreign financial agencies and demand improved quality services with variety or a range of choices. Nowadays, customers of banks want access to instant cash, appropriate financial advice; Internet based banking services, deferred payments, asset security, reduced interest rates, personalized services and financial products with flexible terms among others. Identifying the needs of the existing and potential bank customers and providing quality financial products and services that match their demands is the key strategy of marketing banking. Marketing banking creates awareness of banking products and services among customers and it helps banks to focus on offering quality products and services as a key factor towards running a successful banking venture in a competitive world.
The stiff competition the banking industry face nowadays cannot be overemphasized. In a recent report published on May 7, 2012, Grind Kirsten analysed the new banking services which brokerage and mutual-fund firms have been rolling out to excite existing customers and also grab a lot of the new customers who are already getting frustrated with the sloppy services of the big banks. Experts suggest that some of the new incentives might worth a look because the new offerings seem to be paying off for the firms. The brokerage and mutual-funds firms have started to record increases in the number of accounts opened and the deposits made by their customers ostensibly influenced by the thoughtful offerings and incentives offered.
TD Ameritrade, a brokerage firm is now offering online bill pay, ATM rebates, free checking accounts and increased return on savings accounts which now pays 1.25 percent per annum to their brokerage customers. Also, Charles Schwab Corporation is offering all their existing brokerage and prospective customers free checking accounts and a lot more incentives like reimbursed ATM fees.
In Fidelity Investments, the new offerings being made to their customers seems to be yielding good results as the brokerage firm saw an increase of 40 percent in their Fidelity Cash Management Accounts in 2011. The Fidelity Cash Management Accounts don’t pay a fee on checking and there is no minimum balance restriction. Fidelity Investments rewards customers for higher deposit levels with such incentives as free trades, Apple gift cards and airline tickets. Charles Schwab recorded a $61 billion increase in bank deposits last year which translates to a 20 percent increase in deposits according to the report. Overall, the report says the deposits of 10 US banks run by brokerage firms increased by 16 percent in 2011 to $263 billion.
In comparison to traditional banks, financial advisers say that some offerings by brokerage firms stack up well which is why marketing banking is a very important concept to the present day banking industry.
Approaches to Marketing Banking
The banking industry has approached marketing banking in various ways over the decades using a combination of such methods as:
Identifying and analyzing the needs and wants of existing and potential customers.
Crafting banking products and services to match the needs and wants of customers
Setting appropriate pricing for banking products and services
Using appropriate advertising channels to promote products and services to the existing and prospective customers
‘’Top to Bottom’’ Approach to Marketing Banking
There have been many traditional approaches to marketing banking products or services over the decades. One of the traditional methods is the ‘’top to bottom’’ technique. Banks have generally been occupied with the development and release of various banking products and services on the basis of ‘’top to bottom’’ approach. The ‘’top to bottom’’ approach of marketing banking is a scenario where the headquarters of a bank designs and develop banking products and services solely and then trade these products through their retail outlets, which are often called branches, to the different segments of their teeming customers.
While this approach could have been effective at some points, the present challenges of bank management requires a shift from this traditional approach and focus on developing banking products from the grassroots level up to the top. The ‘’bottom to top’’ approach promises to help banks design and develop products and services that suits the needs of the different homogenous segments of bank customers.
Besides the traditional approaches to marketing banking, experts have proffered new strategies and ideas to facilitate marketing success in the banking industry. Jim Marous, a marketing services expert recently tweeted ‘’50%+ of bank customers aren’t on banks email lists. Need multi-channel integration.’’ In response to Jim Marous, Bob William, a Director of Marketing Technologies at Harland Clark and author of the blog ‘’The Merchant Stand’’ wrote a guest article on Jim’s blog, ‘’Bank Marketing Strategy,’’ and suggests the need for banks to collect more insights and use mobile device applications to improve proactive multi-channel communications and integration with their customers. Banks are simply not using the mobile channel for effective communication with their clients according to Bob’s article ‘’Banks Need to Collect Insights to Communicate Effectively.’’
Neal Reynolds, a bank marketing and advertising strategist, suggests that banks should offer more than the traditional banking services if they elect to succeed in banking. Neal says banks need to ‘’become the go-to place before anyone invests in anything.’’ Maybe banks need to offer their customers insights on how to invest in stocks, real estate and even how to choose insurance packages and retirement plans. In addition, Neal suggests that banks should embrace the Internet more and offer internet related banking services; remote capture and online bill pay services as creative means of attracting new prospects and keeping their existing customers.
In analysing the strategy for marketing banking to the Millennials, that is, the Gen Y population group or the Internet Generation in the USA, Damian Davila, in his article ‘’How to Market Banking to Gen Y’’ published in July 2010, says that email is the one and only effective means of marketing banking to the Gen Y in this contemporary times rather than online social networking sites – Davila reached this conclusion after analyzing a series of data on Gen Y. People within the Gen Y led the pack of online banking customers with 80 percent and it is reported that they are comfortable performing financial transactions of various types on the Internet.
Martha Bush, the SVP of Strategy & Solutions at SIGMA Marketing Group, suggested the following key strategies bank marketers can use to improve bank marketing experience:
Identify the behavior triggers of your customers that show their readiness to buy new banking products by setting powerful predictive software models to run against your customers’ database or files. This is a good strategy for monitoring customer growth initiatives and it is a novel approach for cross-sell and up-sell bank marketing techniques. Bank marketers can identify the real time to sell specific products or simply suggest the use of new banking services to the customer through this marketing strategy.
Use hunt-and-peck method of marketing to consistently find high net worth persons looking for new banking experience.
Reduce the rate of customer attrition while working to build stronger relationships by spotting the early warning signs of customer dissatisfaction. The point at which each customer becomes dissatisfied can be known early and you will have the best chances to apply retention strategies if powerful predictive models and automated messaging techniques are used.
Use timely and relevant communications to improve customer satisfaction. Bank customers now expect real-time exciting relationships with their bank everyday.
Effective communications requires that the bank marketer has in-depth insights of the customer each moment of interaction. Customer insights should include banking behaviour and lifestyle so that the bank marketer will be able to deliberately create smart interactions with the customer while adding value at the same time.
Effective marketing of bank services and products increasingly requires creative strategies if banks hopes to continue to successfully compete with other financial agencies in the market place. Though marketing banking has now occupied a prime place in the business of banks yet banks need to continue to develop different services and products and direct the variety towards meeting the needs of the customer. Considering that there is a great shift in the way banks succeeded in the past compared to the prevailing new competition, banks will have to continue to develop insightful ideas and strategies to retain existing customers and attract new clients.
Banks needs to lay less emphasize on location but concentrate more on delivering quality services through the Internet and endeavor to create a bond with their valued customers by using varied and proven marketing strategies together with mobile device applications more proactively. Also, it is imperative that bank marketers will have to incorporate powerful models and analytics into managing their customers’ database to improve predictions of customer behavior.
Brent, K (1995). Relationship Banking and Competitive Advantage: Evidence from U.S. and Germany. California Management Review 37, 45-64.
Bush, Martha. Five Engagement Strategies for Bank Marketers in 2015
Davila, Damian. How to Market Banking to Gen Y, 2012
Grind, Kirsten. Funds Firms Challenge Banks, 2012
Holmlund, M and Kock. S (1996). Relationship Marketing: The Importance of Customer-Perceived Quality in Retail Banking. The Service Industries Journal 16, 287-297.
Jha, S.M. Service hdarketing, Himalaya Publishing House, Mumbai, 2000. p.49.
Ksajitha. Marketing of Banking Services.
Kuppuaswami, S. The Banker November 1986, p. 22.
Marous, Jim. Bank Marketing Strategy, 2012. Web
Muraleedharan, K.K. Marketing Strategies of the Banking Industry, 2010.
Rajeev K. Seth. Marketing of Banking Services, Macmillan India Ltd. Neu Delhi, 1997. p.119.
Reynolds, Neal. Sticks and Bricks or in the Clouds: Bank Marketing Strategies + Ideas, 2012
William, Bob. Banks Needs to Collect Insights to Communicate Effectively. Bank Marketing Strategy, 2012
I hope you enjoyed reading this post on Marketing Banking.. There are many other titles available in the Marketing Dissertation Collectionthat should be of interest to marketing students and practitioners. There are many dissertation titles that relate to other aspects of marketing such as branding, corporate advertising, marketing strategy and consumerism to name a few. I would be grateful if you could share this post via Facebook and Twitter. Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments section. Thank you.
Construction Management Dissertation – Existing Barriers to Sustainable Construction in Abu Dhabi
Dissertation Title: Existing Barriers to Sustainable Construction in Abu Dhabi. The construction industry has very close links with environmental, social and economic development or destruction of the world. Currently, construction industry has impacted very badly on the global environment and natural resources. Now, the ecological crises are universally acknowledged, people are moving towards sustainable construction.
Sustainable buildings or they are sometimes called green buildings or high performance buildings, the objective of these buildings to fulfill the occupant’s needs in an efficient manner of energy, water and other resources consumption. These constructions improve the lives of the people by less waste generation, reduction of pollution and environmental impact. Abu Dhabi construction industry is pursuing gradually towards the sustainable construction. UAE was on 8th ranking in term of green buildings certifications by LEED in 2014. Abu Dhabi has the first carbon free city (Masdar city) of the world. Estidama has seen significant contribution in the development and promotion of sustainable culture in the Abu Dhabi.
The existing trends are discussed here and mentioned the benefits in term of social, economic and environmental aspects of sustainability by literature review and survey of the market professionals. However, some barriers of sustainable construction hindering the growth of this culture. The main obstacles are the lack of awareness about its importance, unavailability of green consultants and risk of adoption of new technologies.
To understand the benefits of sustainable construction
To realize the importance of sustainable construction for the future
To examine the existence trends of sustainability in Abu Dhabi
To find out the potential barriers against the sustainable construction in Abu Dhabi
How to promote the culture of green buildings in the region
1 – Introduction
Background and rational of the study
Main hypothesis of the study
Structure of the study
2 – Literature Review
Sustainability and green buildings in general
Background of sustainable construction
Main aspects of sustainable construction
Concept of green buildings
Assessment techniques for green buildings
Benefits of sustainable construction and green buildings
Indoor air quality and environment
Improved employee attendance and productivity
Higher property value
Barriers for the sustainable construction
Lack of interest from the client
Lack of training / knowledge of sustainable construction
Higher initial cost Lack of government initiatives and regulations
Lack of understanding and coordination of project team
Deficiency of green product suppliers
Lack of government initiatives and regulations
3 Sustainability in Abu Dhabi
Overall view UAE
Overall view of Abu Dhabi
Economy of UAE
Economy of Abu Dhabi
Construction in UAE
Trends of sustainable construction in Abu Dhabi
Assessment tools of sustainable construction in Abu Dhabi
LEED in Abu Dhabi
Barriers of Sustainable construction in Abu Dhabi
4 – Research Methodology
Methodology of research
Aim and objective of the research
Main approaches of research methodology
Qualitative research method
Quantitative research method
Pilot test of the survey
Structure of the survey
5 – Research analysis and findings
Result and analysis of the survey
6 – Conclusion
Conclusion and recommendation for aim, objectives and research hypothesis
Limitation of the study
Future research recommendation
For more tips on how to write your own construction management dissertation check out the Construction Management Dissertationcollection today. It contains many dissertation topics and dissertation titles. I would very grateful if you can share this post on Twitter or Facebook. Thank you.