American Bankers Association Promotional Campaign Gets a Refresh

America’s Banks, launched last year to highlight the strength of banking industry, has a new look, plus more research and video, to maintain momentum in a more favorable political environment.

Last year, the American Bankers Association launched America’s Banks, a campaign showcasing the economic might and innovation in the industry. With legislation relaxing regulation on banks now making its way through Congress, ABA has infused the site with improvements to improve its look and provide more usable data for members.

The site revamp, announced last week, was inspired by member feedback from its first iteration, according to ABA president and CEO Rob Nichols. Members were encouraged to submit videos of the work they’re doing, he said, and “banks all across the U.S. were sending us video left and right to tell their stories, or something that they’re doing in a unique or compelling way to serve their local customers, clients, or community.”

Banks all across the U.S. were sending us video left and right.

Many of those videos have made their way on to the new site. Philanthropy and innovation in the industry get spotlights, but the prevailing theme is growth at the local level, with videos showing how banks have spurred economic activity in Denver, Detroit, and Edmond, Okla.

At the same time ABA was soliciting feedback from members, it was also gathering more quantifiable information about them. That data feeds an interactive map on the America’s Banks site that gives state-by-state information about customers, loans, and banking-related employment. Peter Cook, ABA chief communications officer, said the association’s research department used available data as well as direct surveys of members to compile that information. “All of our members have an incredible amount of data about their own operations, and even many of our states and the state associations have information on their individual states,” Cook said. “But what we found was that there really hadn’t been an effort to aggregate these numbers nationally in a really user-friendly and interactive way.”

The new site arrives at a busy time for banking regulation reform in Congress: A bill relaxing regulation on dozens of banks that was instituted under the Dodd-Frank Act in 2010 has passed the Senate and is expected to pass the house. America’s Banks was conceived with an awareness of a more favorable environment for its members, Nichols said. “Coincident with the new administration coming in and a new group of regulators, we thought we’d put some focus and emphasis on telling this very compelling economic narrative about what the U.S. banking sector does,” he said.

While the new site doesn’t have a specific call to action, Nichols said, it does empower members with more information to use to communicate with policymakers and legislators in the future. “This is not really designed to push lawmakers to a particular public policy outcome,” Nichols said. “But I think as an overlay, legislators and regulators will really be able to see concretely in a data-focused way the important role the U.S. banking system plays with regard to jobs and growth.”


Mark Athitakis

By Mark Athitakis

Mark Athitakis, a contributing editor for Associations Now, has written on nonprofits, the arts, and leadership for a variety of publications. He is a coauthor of The Dumbest Moments in Business History and hopes you never qualify for the sequel. MORE

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