Restoring the holy grail of trust to the banking sector
Ulster Bank's Head of Marketing Tony Boylan talks about the need to replenish the public's faith in Irish institutions
'If there's a holy grail for the Irish banking sector, it's trust - and it's high on every company's agenda. All the country's pillar banks have to go above and beyond to engage with consumers in a meaningful and genuine way. Achieving this requires a different approach to communications.
"For Ulster Bank, that is a multi-faceted but integrated approach that is much more than just advertising. It's about aligning product and service with innovation, and building the company's reputation with both substance and integrity in equal measure.
"Commitment cannot be cosmetic, but rather must be lived by the brand and evident in all its narrative and interactions - with customers and potential customers. This is as much about what we do as what we say, and Ulster Bank's long-standing Corporate Social Responsibility programme, with its community focus, is testament to our commitment to the Irish market and to Irish consumers.
"The shift in our approach to advertising means we view our communication through the consumer lens, and focus on service and the bank's role in people's lives rather than solely on our products. Of course products are still a key factor, but the importance of recognising what matters to people and the role a product can play in this regard is even more vital in the current climate. We want people to know that we're listening - that we're taking the feedback that consumers have been giving us to heart.
"The bank's ongoing #WhatMatters campaign is underpinned by this ethos as it takes Ulster Bank in a new direction, with a new conversation, and allows us to build even further on the trust placed in us by our customers.
"This is not a short-term marketing exercise. Arguably, it is only the first part of the strategy, because converting trust into advocacy is what we're aiming to do."
Sunday Indo Business