In this present age and time, almost all banks have active social media channels and some run active online TV channels.
Most banks are now (or claim to be) Digital banks with or without physical structures. However, banks’ product offerings are the same, and as much as possible, most people try to avoid going to the banking hall if they can. And it is believed that, products are impersonal, services are personal. A service relationship touches our essence (as humans) as it reveals: provider and customer.
It is also believed that most people usually patronise products and services based on emotions.
So the key question for a poet is, why would I want to open and run account with your bank?
The key selling point would have to be that the bank is strumming my heart through my area of passion.
For a bank, its mainly about, making profit, increasing customer/ deposit base, customer retention, deepen brand equity, as well as, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
So how can poetry help banking?
Let’s look at it from a semi-long term perspective I.e. 3 to 5 years.
Act 1, Scene 1 in Year 1:
The bank starts a poetry competition initiative, stating that the winner (or winners per stage) will win mouth watering cash prize(s).
The requirements will involve:
1. Writing/ performing a poem on a theme provided by the bank, which will serve as entries for the competition and the bank’s social media channels must be tagged in all entries. This leads to active online engagement with the bank’s brand. And also provides content for banks with an online TV channel.
Since the entries will be seen by different people in different regions and countries, product placement can also be done in the entries.
2. Getting the winners per each stage, and overall winner would also be via online voting. This also ensure active online engagement of the bank’s brand.
3. The cash prize will be paid into the poets’ account. So all the poets must open a (virtual/ online/ digital) bank account with a minimum deposit of N3,000. The bank issues customised debit cards at cost to the poets, as well as, other charges.
The poetry competition run its course and the winners get credited.
This initial/ first event sets the stage for an increased patronage by poets for subsequent editions.
Based on the poetry initiative, the bank increases its customers base, gets cheap deposits, earn income from charges and grows its brand equity within and outside Nigeria to wherever the poetry entry is viewed.
The poets get recognition, appreciation and reward for their craft.
Hence, a relationship is built and this deepens over time based on trust and loyalty.
The angle of CSR is also there, given that poetry can help improve the literacy level of people and reduce the rate of unemployment. Thus, the bank plays a key role that is also beneficial to other individuals (who are not poets) and the society as a whole.
aka King Olulu, not from Zulu