ORLANDO, Florida – What do llamas know about banking? Probably not much, but Bank of America is more concerned with being where its customers are, hence the financial giant’s quirky llama-with-red-scarf lens on Snapchat.
“You wouldn’t expect to see us” on Snapchat, says Meredith Verdone, SVP Enterprise, Consumer & Wealth Management at BOA. Nonetheless, its llama lens—part of the bank’s mobile banking promotion—has garnered some two million views.
“What we’re seeing today to grow a modern brand is it’s more about the experience. We say it’s about 25 percent story, 75 percent experience,” Verdone says in an interview with Beet.TV at the annual Masters of Marketing Conference of the Association of National Advertisers.
BOA and other iconic brands are all grappling with the challenge of maintaining relevance in a world with more than enough brands and brand messages competing for consumer attention and engagement.
“We focus so much of our effort to say how is our brand resonating through the experience our customers have with us across every channel and how do we make sure it’s really a connected experience,” says Verdone. “For us, what happens at the ATM, what happens at the banking center, it all needs to be one connected experience.”
Verdone notes that contrary to some thinking, the millennial cohort cares very much about money. “They’re pretty sophisticated individuals. What they want to do is have enough money to live their lives,” she says.
With some 16 million millennials as customers, BOA has made “a dramatic shift” in its media mix. While channels like outdoor and television are still part of the mix, “We continue to try to learn and understand where our customers are and how can we be relevant on their terms,” Verdone says.
Hence the Snapchat llama and BOA’s partnership with VICE News, the latter of which falls under the Better Money Habits marketing umbrella. “We’re seeing tremendous engagement” with millennials, Verdone adds.
We interviewed her at the ANA Masters of Marketing annual meeting in Orlando. This video is part of a series produced at the conference. Beet’s coverage is sponsored by Cadent. For more videos from the series, please visit this page.