Articles and Speeches

Onboarding New Customers to Maximize Engagement and Build Relationships
Deluxe Exchange 2018, by Mary Beth Sullivan. (Deluxe Exchange 2018)

Getting Marketing and Sales on the same 2018 Page
There is a straight-forward “six point plan” for getting Sales and Marketing to collaborate effectively. February 8, 2018, by Mary Beth Sullivan and Mark Gibson. (St. Meyer & Hubbard Conversations)

Excellent Executive Execution: How to save retail banking
Most bank CEOs appreciate that significant changes are needed to assure the long-term viability of their retail franchises. And so increasingly they ask, “Is it worth it?” January 25, 2018, by Rolland Johannsen. (BAI Banking Strategies)

A Marketer’s Guide to Branch Planning
If you can’t remember the last time you visited a branch or talked with a branch manager, you’ll want to read this article and make an appointment to visit a branch as soon as possible. January 24, 2018, by Mary Ellen Georgas-Tellefsen. (ABA Bank Marketing)

Why is Bank of America discontinuing free checking for it’s online-only users
As customers become more tech-savvy, the nation’s second-largest bank no longer needs to offer discounts to encourage the adoption of e-banking. January 22, 2018, by Kevin Wack featuring Mary Beth Sullivan. (American Banker)

BankThink: Credit Score Changes Would Saddle Banks with Risk to Help Nonbanks
The VantageScore model has the potential to reduce the credit quality of the loans purchased by Fannie and Freddie, increasing overall systemic risk. January 16, 2018 by Rolland Johannsen. (American Bank BankThink)

The Five Pitfalls of Digital Marketing Banks and Credit Unions Must Avoid
Financial institutions that load up on digital and put their faith in Google, Facebook and other ad networks could be making a huge mistake. January 15, 2018 by Mark Gibson. (The Financial Brand)

Take Your Seat at the Executive Table
More and more marketers are joining the ranks of senior management, better positioned to contribute to their banks’ strategic direction and success. As a result, the entire industry is benefiting. January 12, 2018 by Mark Gibson. (ABA Bank Marketing)

Top Ten Retail Banking Trends and Predictions for 2018
Financial institutions struggle with complex regulations, legacy systems, new technologies and competitors, and an increasingly demanding customer base. Insights from a crowdsourced panel of 100 financial services influencers, industry analysts and banking providers combined with the results from a global research study helps identify future trends and strategies for long-term growth. December 18, 2017, featuring Mary Beth Sullivan. (The Financial Brand)

Better Service as a Differentiator
Ask a community banker why clients choose his or her bank, and the answer inevitably points to superior personal service. This is understandable, given that national banks often claim the honor of best technology or greatest convenience. But do community banks really outperform in the service category? If not, how can they get there? December 12, 2017, by Mark Gibson. (ABA Bank Marketing)

The Win-Win of Sustainable Banking
Companies with sound sustainability practices also have superior access to capital and pay less for it. And studies show that stock price performance is positively influenced by good sustainability practices. November 14, 2017, by Mark Gibson. (ABA Bank Marketing)

How to Leverage Buyer Behavior
Marketing and advertising techniques have been rapidly evolving away from demographic and attitudinal segmentation—and towards behavioral segmentation. October 3, 2017, by Mark Gibson. (ABA Bank Marketing)

Winning Through Advanced Product Design
ABA Bank Marketing Conference, September 24, 2017, by Mary Beth Sullivan, Mark Gibson, and Shon Aguero (Landmark Bank). (ABA Bank Marketing Conference)

How to Build Remarkable Bank Products
Carefully researched, crafted, and marketed “remarkable products” can attract attention and generate superior household growth in an increasingly competitive market. September 15, 2017, by Mark Gibson & Kevin Halsey. (ABA Bank Marketing)

BankThink: Equifax breach threatens bank reputations, too
Clearly, if you are a banker, you can rest assured that the data breach at Equifax was not your fault. So why do you have a dog in this fight? The problem for banks is not what they did, or what they did not do, but rather what steps they might neglect in dealing with the aftermath of the Equifax breach. September 12, 2017, by Rolland Johannsen. (American Banker BankThink – subscription required)

Gen Xers Get No Respect!
Are you missing the opportunity with the Rodney Dangerfield of generations? Gen Xers are resilient, successful, and deserving of more focus. August 18, 2o17, by Mary Ellen Georgas. (ABA Bank Marketing)

Can banks afford to remain on the political sidelines?
The Bill of Rights does not require that companies support, encourage, or tolerate ignorance and hate. August 17, 2017, by Rolland Johannsen. (American Banker BankThink – subscription required)

Know Your Community’s Triangle
Ask a community bank leader what makes his or her organization special, and you will often hear: “We deliver great personal service, we take care of our customers, and we are committed to our local communities.” Are they living up to this promise? August 4, 2017, by Mark Gibson. (ABA Bank Marketing)

The One Bank Metric that Matters Most Now
Some regional banks became top performers by out-pacing their peers on loan growth, others by pursuing diverse sources of fee income. But core deposit growth might be the best indicator of which banks will have true staying power in the years ahead. August 1, 2017, by Laura Alix, featuring Kevin Halsey. (American Banker – subscription required)

Winning the New Deposit War
For the past decade, banks have taken for granted the abundance of low-cost deposits. Customers flocked to banks for safety during the crisis, and didn’t see any attractive investments for that money long after the crisis ended. However, there is ample evidence this period of easy deposit growth has come to an end. July 13, 2016, by Mark Gibson. (ABA Bank Marketing)

Your Yin Broke My Yang – it’s time to restore industry/regulatory balance
Relationships between bankers and their prudential regulators have always been complex and complicated. However, over the last decade the appropriate balance between banks and their regulations has become seriously distorted. June-July 2017, by Rolland Johannsen. (The European Financial Review)

ABA Payments Survey 2017
ABA Payment Forum, June 22-23 in Washington, DC. Mary Beth Sullivan presented the results of ABA’s Payment Survey 2017 and Claude Hanley moderated an executive panel. CPG worked closely with the ABA on its new Payment Forum and its new 2017-Payments-Strategy-Survey.

Hey big spenders, way to go: Our 2017 ranking of midtier banks
The top-performing banks in the $2 billion-to-$10 billion asset class are a diverse group made up of traditional commercial lenders, mortgage powerhouses, serial acquirers and fee generators. But one common characteristic is that they are unafraid to invest in their growth. This is especially striking given the pressure all banks are under to control expenses these days. May 31, 2017, by Alan Kline, featuring Kevin Halsey. (American Banker – subscription required)

BankThink: Three pathways to high performance for banks
How do the top-performing banks continue to post double-digit returns, despite having the same serious profit-dampening challenges as their peers? The answer isn’t exactly straightforward. May 31, 2017, by Kevin Halsey. (American Banker BankThink – subscription required)

The June issue of American Banker Magazine features full ranking and both articles above.

Emotional Banking in the Digital Age
With customers turning more and more to self-service tools, how can banks establish and maintain positive emotional connections with customers who visit the branch much less frequently? May 30, 2017, by Mark Gibson. (ABA Bank Marketing)

Product Design for Acquisition and Relationship Results
Massachusetts Bankers Annual Technology & Retail Banking Conference, May 19, 2017, presented by Mary Ellen Georgas.

Enduring as a Pillar of Your Community
Our industry is still trying to regain the trust and shine it lost during the financial crisis. Even our community banks have been tarnished by the perceived greed and callousness of the giant few. April 28, 2017, by Mark Gibson. (ABA Bank Marketing)

Getting Big Results with Small Data Analytics
AMIfs Annual Conference – Financial Performance & Risk Management, April 26-28, 2017, presented by Claude Hanley. (Conference website)

All about scale: The top 200 publicly traded community banks
The combination of low interest rates and increased regulatory expenses leaves banks with few options for improving their performance. But one effective strategy — to at least offset the dampening effect — is to bulk up. April 26, 2017, by Bonnie McGeer, featuring Kevin Halsey. (American Banker)

United Airlines debacle has lessons for bank culture
While overbooking is a unique issue for the airline industry — and this may be an extreme example — there are many company culture lessons to be learned from how this was handled for any service industry, including banks. April 24, 2017, by Rolland Johannsen. (American Banker BankThink)

Winning Strategies for Community Banks
Community banks are under pressure to grow and remain relevant – to attract new customers as their customer base ages. April 14, 2017, by Mark Gibson. (ABA Bank Marketing)

Skills Gap
As banks transform, employee skills don’t always keep up. Banking Exchange, April-May 2017, featuring Mary Beth Sullivan. (Banking Exchange)

Ahoy! Onboard Customers for Life
What if you could improve new customer retention rates 25% – 50%? What if you could lift cross-sell campaign responses 1.5 – 2.0 times within the first 90 days of new account opening?  What if you could increase revenue from new customers 35% – 40%? April 5, 2017, by Mary Ellen Georgas. (ABA Bank Marketing)

The Battle for Mass Affluent Gen Xers
NYBA Small Business & Retail Banking Conference, April 4-6, 2017. (Conference website)

Driving Value Through the Branch – panel discussion
NYBA Small Business & Retail Banking Conference, April 4-6, 2017. (Conference website)

Reputational Risks are Heightened by Tense Political Climate
The newest reputational threat has nothing to do with violations of regulations or ethical norms, but rather with the extreme polarization and activism spreading through the country. February 22, 2017, by Rolland Johannsen. (American Banker BankThink – subscription required)

ABA National Conference for Community Bankers
Rolland Johannsen facilitated the CEO Peer Exchange for banks with assets of $2B+.

How to Use Measurement & ROI to Increase Your Marketing Budget
Deluxe Exchange, February 6-8, 2017, by Mark Gibson.

Payments Disruption: You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet
A whole host of industries have been altered dramatically by the entrance of technology-based category disruptors that have changed the competitive landscape and left once-powerful companies to either wither or die. Retail, media, news, entertainment and transportation are just a few industries that have experienced painful (for some) transformations. The question remains, “Is the banking industry next?” We believe the answer is “yes!”  November 9, 2016, by Rolland Johannsen. (American Banker, subscription required)

“We’re Not Wells Fargo” Won’t Cut It With Regulators
In the wake of the Wells Fargo scandal, many inside and outside the industry are asking a very simple question: “Are the unethical sales practices unique to Wells Fargo or do they have broader industry implications?” October 21, 2016, by Rolland Johannsen. (American Banker BankThink – subscription required)

Meet the ROI Challenge Head On
NEFMA Fall Conference, October 14, 2016.

Building a Data-Driven Marketing Organization
NEFMA Fall Conference, October 14, 2016.

Getting Big Results from Small Data Analytics
ABA CFO Exchange, September 20, 2016.

Fighting the Talent Battle in Bank Marketing
Chief marketing officers tell us they have two huge challenges today: shifting their existing staff to the digital world; and finding enough analytical talent to inform and measure successful campaigns. August 29, 2016, by Mark Gibson. (BAI Banking Strategies)

Is Size an Advantage? Not Always, Our Ranking of Regional Banks Shows
The combination of higher regulatory expenses and reduced income from interchange fees is taking a toll on the profitability of banks with $10B to $50B. July 27, 2016, by Andy Peters, featuring Kevin Halsey. (American Banker – subscription required)

Leveraging Digital Advertising
Marketing has changed more in the past three years than in the previous thirty as new media channels, including social, have proliferated. Bank marketers know they need to move an increasing portion of their ad budget to digital. The questions are: how much and to what? July 5, 2016, by Mark Gibson. (BAI Banking Strategies)

How Bankers Can Address Growing Budgeting Headaches
Budgeting at banks is a tricky balancing act that gets more challenging each year. June 8, 2016, by Jackie Stewart, featuring Claude Hanley. (American Banker – subscription required)

Lessons from the Top-Performing Banks
High-performing banks still managed to deliver double-digit returns on equity capital last year. June 1, 2016, by Mary Beth Sullivan. (American Banker’s BankThink – subscription required)

Why Midsize Banks Rule Right Now
Large enough to meet customer needs yet small enough to escape some of the Dodd-Frank Act’s most onerous compliance expenses, banks with assets of $2B to $10B are more profitable, as a group, than their smaller and larger counterparts. May 26, 2016, by Alan Kline, featuring Kevin Halsey. (American Banker – subscription required)

The C-Suite-Savvy Marketing Plan
The Financial Brand Forum 2016, May 17, 2016.

Leadership Lessons from High Performing Banks
Pennsylvania Bankers Annual Convention, May 12, 2016.

Fighting the Talent Battle in Bank Marketing
Bank chief marketing officers need to be proactive in building teams that can operate effectively in today’s digital world. May 2016, by Mark Gibson.  (website link)

Building a C-Suite Savvy Digital Marketing Plan
If financial marketers hope to get the resources and budgets they want, they must first build a digital marketing roadmap and get the the C-suite on board. May 3, 2016. (The Financial Brand)

Which Small Bank Has the Biggest ROAE?
CPG is proud to partner again with the American Banker to rank 2015’s Top Performing Banks. Part 1: Publicly traded banks and thrifts with less than $2 billion in assets. April 25, 2016. (American Banker – subscription required)

Strategic & Long Term Capital Planning
Missouri Bankers Association Bank Finance & Accounting Forum, April 14, 2016.

Marketing ROI in Banking: A Big Black Hole?
How can anyone figure out how much should be spent on marketing if they can’t calculate ROI? Marketers have to run the numbers and do the math. April 11, 2016, by Mark Gibson. (The Financial Brand)

Utilizing Branch Network Insights to Generate Better Branch Goals, Marketing Strategies, and Sales
Pennsylvania Bankers Branch Transformation Conference, March 30, 2016.

The Marketing Divide: How CMOs and The C-Suite Must Connect
In the financial industry, there are major disconnects between CMOs and their peers at the executive table. How does everyone get on the same page? March 8, 2016, by Mark Gibson. (The Financial Brand)

Creating Relevancy in the Age of the Millennials
Pennsylvania Bankers Association Women in Banking Conference, March 7, 2016.

Getting Big Results with Small Data
Rather than devoting huge resources to unproven Big Data programs, most banks are better off utilizing Small Data analytics in 5 key categories, February 12, 2016, by Claude Hanley and Rolland Johannsen. (BAI Banking Strategies)

Achieving Top Tier Performance
Massachusetts Bankers Association CEO/Senior Management Workshop, January 28, 2016.

Top 10 Banking Trends for 2015
BAI Banking Strategies, January 12, 2016, by Jim Marous featuring Mary Beth Sullivan. (BAI Banking Strategies – subscription required)

Getting The Most From Your Retail Network
NYBA Financial Services Forum. November 4, 2015, by Rolland Johannsen.

Translating Branch Network & Channel Insights into Actionable Marketing Strategies
American Banker – Banking Analytic Symposium. October 5, 2015, by Mary Beth Sullivan, Kevin Halsey, and Mark Gibson.

Comparative Analytics in Commercial Banking
As commercial banking becomes more important to institutional profitability, bankers need to develop comparative benchmarks in this area similar to those used in retail banking. August 21, 2015, by Claude Hanley. (BAI Banking Strategies – subscription required)

Innovation: The Quest for Better Solutions and New Revenue Sources
Innovation – enabled by technology – is transforming everything, and some aspects of financial services are being seriously disrupted. St. Meyer & Hubbard Sales Executive Forum, July 28, 2015, by Mary Beth Sullivan.

What a Retail Bank is Really Worth
At a time when the traditional business unit accounting unfairly discounts the value of deposits, and thus of the retail franchise itself, banks need to rethink their evaluation of institutional profitability.  July 20, 2015, by Rolland Johannsen. (BAI Banking Strategies – subscription required)

Where Banks Need to Focus If They Want to Outperform
A comparison of high performing banks with their overall peer group highlights important themes that should inform executives as they develop strategic priorities. May 26, 2015, by Kevin Halsey. (American Banker BankThink – subscription required)

Spotlight on the Best-Performing Banks
Articles and a slideshow of some key metrics of the best performing public and private banks with assets less than $2 billion. May 10, 2015. (American Banker – subscription required)

What the Top 200 Publicly Traded Community Banks Do Better Than Peers
CPG ranks the top 200 publicly traded community banks of 2014. April 27, 2015, by Bonnie McGeer, featuring Kevin Halsey. (American Banker – subscription required)

Community Bankers Cannot Be All Things To All People
SNL: Conference Chatter Blog, April 22, 2015, by Nathan Stovall, featuring Mary Beth Sullivan.

Optimizing Your Retail Network
Pennsylvania Bankers Association Branch Transformation Conference, March 31, 2015, by Mary Beth Sullivan.

Solving the Small Business Dilemma
BAI Banking Strategies, March 27, 2015, by Rolland Johannsen and Mary Beth Sullivan. (BAI Banking Strategies – subscription required)

How to Design and Defend Tomorrow’s Retail Bank Distribution Strategy
American Banker/SourceMedia Retail Banking 2015, March 10, 2015, Tim Quinn panelist.

Community Banks Need Sleeker Approach to Small-Business Lending
American Bank’s BankThink, February 24, 2015, by Claude Hanley. (BankThink – subscription required)

Webinar: Create the Plan, Set the Compass, Here We Go (Strategy and Marketing Planning and Execution in 2015)
St. Meyer and Hubbard’s Virtual Learning Lab, January 15, 2014, by Mary Beth Sullivan and Lance Kessler.

Does Strategy Drive Execution? Or Does Execution Define Strategy?
St. Meyer and Hubbard’s Coaching the Conversation Newslettter, January 8, 2015, by Mary Beth Sullivan a
nd Rolland Johannsen.

Upcoming Speaking Events

New York Bankers Association Women in Banking, March 5, 2018. Mary Ellen Georgas and Kevin Halsey to present two sessions: “Onboarding Customers for Lifetime Relationships” and “Evolving Branch Models: Keeping the Branch Relevant in a Digital Age”.

American Banker/Source Media Retail Banking 2018, April 9-11, 2018, Colorado Springs, CO. Mary Beth Sullivan and Mark Gibson to present “Creating a Customer Growth Engine”.

Pennsylvania Bankers Association Retail and Small Business Banking Conference, April 18-20, Mary Beth Sullivan to present “Leadership Lessons from the Nation’s Top Performing Banks”.