What was the scope of their involvement?
Their work has been from soup to nuts. It involved a lot of research, which was very helpful. They did market analysis, focus groups, interviewing, and a lot of data analysis. Using all that information, they helped us understand what the results meant, then interpreted that into a new look and feel for the new bank. We ultimately became Coastal Heritage Bank.
After the research was completed and agreed upon, we utilized them on the creative side to develop the name, colors, logo, guidelines, websites. They did all the creative that goes along with it, including digital, radio, television, and print advertising, direct mail, and branch merchandising. They even helped us coordinate the brand kickoff party. They’ve been involved from the second we hired them to this day. They’ve done it all for us.
For the creative work, they usually provide us with a variety of options. As they’ve gotten to know us better over the years, they have a pretty good idea of what we’re looking for. In the early days, they provided more options. Some of them were more “out there” than we liked, but they take chances like that. They do push the envelope and try to present us with different things. It’s not all spoon-fed to us. The decision is ours, and if we don’t like something, they go back and do it over.
Their work is mostly on the creative side, but they also contribute to strategy. When it comes to budget time, we determine the marketing budget for the year internally. We determine how to maximize the presence of Coastal Heritage in our market area with a given amount of money. That’s where Davis really sharpens their pencil and gives us ideas of what we need to do and how we can effectively message while staying within our budget. They also provide media buying services.
How did you come to work with Davis Advertising?
I did a search through contacts I had within the banking industry and what I knew of different agencies. I was familiar with Davis from other work they’ve done in the industry, but I also reached out to two or three other agencies. We requested proposals from all four of them and went through a formal review process. Each agency had an opportunity to come in and present to me, a subcommittee of the board, and other senior managers in the bank as to how they saw things going through the merger.
When we boiled it all down, Davis was selected as the agency of choice. The deciding factor was their track record. They’ve been around for a while, and they have very strong internal departments. They wouldn’t have to farm anything out. They’re very strong in their art department, media buying, account support—they have it all. It was really the feel we got from meeting with them as well. They were more like us, a community business, than some of the other agencies.
How much have you invested with Davis Advertising?
We’ve invested between $300,000 and $400,000 over the course of the engagement.
What is the status of this engagement?
We started working together in June of 2015, and the relationship is ongoing.