I was in a recent conversation with an owner of a local advertising firm in Indianapolis and we were discussing the merits of social media with banks. In my mind, any business can benefit in some way from using social tools on the Internet. Even if the only strategy is to listen and respond… that is better than not listening at all… right?

Nielsen recently partnered with NeuroFocus, the global leader in neuro-marketing, and released a study focused on the banking industry. There were some startling facts. You can find the entire study (here).

I read the report and here is what I walked away with:

  • Feelings of stability, solidity, partnership, empathy, and understanding scored highest.
  • Clutter free, humanized web interaction that was different from everything seen earlier scored the highest – time to invest in web site redesign
  • Empathy is most important: Consumers want to hear that banks understand their pain. Claims of “sacrifices” and applying “hard work” did not resonate as well.
  • Blogs work: Blog postings – even those written by parties with a vested interest in the subject – were deemed to be the most effective form of written advocacy among consumers.

If you needed any more evidence that now is the time to step up in the banking industry and take advantage of social media… there it is.. easy to read and right in front of you.

Partnership and human interaction can be accomplished by using social media as a form of communication with your clients. We want to know you CARE about what we are experiencing.

Take that cold outward demeanor and turn it into a loving embrace… and it will be welcomed.

“The strongest message consumers want to hear from banks is how much their bank empathizes with their pain. These are neurological insights that banks cannot afford to ignore right now,” said A.K. Pradeep, CEO of NeuroFocus.  Nielsen, 3/31/09

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