Over the past two decades the banking environment has changed almost beyond recognition. The advent of interstate banking has opened up virtually every region of the nation to intense competition. Mergers and acquisitions are redrawing the banking map of America. The proliferation of financial products offered by banks and by their nonbank rivals threatens to overwhelm an institution's ability to distinguish itself in the marketplace.

These revolutionary changes have shaken many of the assumptions and conventions that once governed banking practice. Nowhere is this phenomenon more apparent than in marketing. The old verities that guided past marketing strategies are showing signs of wear. Some have proved too general to shape the precise strategies required by more competitive environments. Others are simply inaccurate or untrue.

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