“This was the single best and fastest business turnaround I have been involved in. It has made a huge difference to Rural Bank, its people and our channel partners - fantastic to be part of it!”
John Marshall, GM of Marketing
revenue growth within 5 months.
How ‘trust’ became the game changer for Australia’s Rural Bank.
Australian banks thought that what farmer wanted most of all was a bank that could be trusted. Farmers thought that was ridiculous,
“they are a bloody bank for heavens sake you would hope they can be trusted”.
What they – Australian farmers - wanted was to be trusted by their bank to be good businessmen.
Therein lay the opportunity for Rural Bank’s growth.
We had to work fast, Rural Bank’s market share was eroding quickly as was its revenue.
Customer insight showed trust was the game changer. A customer’s trust in a brand breeds loyalty and advocacy. Unlike mainstream banks Rural Bank had unique, innovative rural financial products that provided farmers with complete control over their cashflow and income. These products positioned Rural Bank as a rural specialist who trusted its customers implicitly.
Rural Bank did not have the budget or time to slowly build a brand that would compete with its big bank competitors.
We developed a strategy that built awareness of Rural Bank whilst selling innovative financial products all at the same time. For that to be successful Rural Banks marketing had to instantly resonate with farmers as well as creating farmer conversation and advocacy.
Brand+Product became Rural Banks marketing mantra.
Our strategy focused on empowering Rural Banks retail channels to acquire farmer customers. We used social media to spread Rural Banks message and farmer case study stories. We rebuilt the rural Bank website to be simple and easy to buy from and included a community messaging area for remote Australian farmers to connect with one another.
The result speak for themselves.
• Within 5 months The Rural Bank grew customer revenue by 94%
• Rural Bank went from a -8% decline in customer growth to a 13% increase.
• 26% increase in brand awareness and understanding.