Marketing banks: Target new, not loyal customers

Thomas Bayne, Bernice Samuels and Byron Sharp
Mountainview Learning, First National Bank and University of South Australia

South Africa's First National Bank used marketing science and changed its strategy to focus on gaining new customers rather than selling more products to existing customers and reaped the rewards.

This is a story of a strategy turnaround, a switch from loyalty marketing to sophisticated mass marketing, and the evidence and training that gave management both the confidence and ability to implement the new strategy.

First National Bank (FNB) has increased its customer base by 29% over five years, with healthy profit increases during all of the years of the global financial crisis. It has been publicly recognised as one of the most admired brands in the region. FNB achieved this partly by pioneering the application of insights from behavioural science.