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We've Walked in Your Shoes

Here at MKP, we know how to serve our financial institution clients because we’ve walked many miles in their shoes.

We recently interviewed three members of the MKP team to hear what they had to say about their experiences working on the “client side” before coming to work at MKP, and what their experience means for our clients.

How did working at a bank prepare you to work at an agency like MKP?

Pam Reich: My banking experience was primarily in retail marketing. I handled product management, market development, sales, sales training, systems conversions and bank mergers. I can relate to all of the clients we do business with because I’ve had their jobs. I hope that gives our clients a level of comfort. While the industry has changed over the years, just having that basic knowledge of how things work helps me successfully support our clients.

Max Chalkin: As Marketing Manager, and later on, Senior Marketing Manager, I managed the digital delivery of marketing and communications efforts. I was responsible for everything from the website, to how the bank’s brand appeared across our third-party applications to public relations.

I worked with all the different business lines and departments. I was exposed to people from across the bank and the various systems and technologies with which they worked. I gained the perspective of what marketing managers have to do to get approvals from their bank’s management, legal and compliance teams.

The number one thing I took away from my experience was learning the nuts and bolts of banking. I learned all the different types of products and services banks make available to their customers and how they turn a profit.

I frequently draw on my experience as a model for understanding what our clients and their stakeholders expect.

Laura DeLaCruz: I began my career right out of college and started in a branch management training program. During my banking career, I have been a Branch Manager, Operations Manager and Product Marketing Manager at different banks. My work history has given me varied perspectives on how products and campaigns are created, supported in the ‘back office’ and sold to the public. As a Branch Manager, it was very interesting to see how bank customers respond to marketing materials, account change information, and merger communications via the branch channel. And as a Product Marketing Manager, I fine-tuned my project management and multi-tasking skills. Gaining real, in-depth knowledge of the many products offered and an understanding of how front-line staff interacts with customers as well as learning how to get internal consensus from various stakeholders and keeping many balls in the air at the same time prepared me well for working here at MKP.

When you worked at a bank, how do you think having a marketing partner who really understood your business might have helped you?

Pam: While I worked with many agencies and partners when I was the client, I most appreciated the partnerships I established with those who understood my challenges, and were able to make my job easier with solutions that achieved our business goals. I learned a lot about everything from strategy and messaging to data and production from these partners, and that education made me feel more connected to them. Now that I am on the agency side, I can be a better partner to my clients because I’ve been in their shoes and I understand.

Max: When I was on the client side, I appreciated when an agency thought critically about our brand and surfaced a fresh perspective. They look at the bank’s brand from a distance and help bring it to life in different ways.

At the bank, I actually worked with MKP as a partner on several initiatives. The fact that they have such a long tenure in the industry, having worked with many different clients, and with many team members coming from banking backgrounds, gave me confidence. It put me at ease knowing we had found a team of experts that could handle the challenges, whatever they may be.

Laura: It would have been great to work with an agency like MKP, which has a singular concentration in financial services. We could have relied on their deep understanding of bank products and services to craft messages with customer-friendly language. And we could have rested easy because we both knew what’s at stake: personalized customer account information needs to be correct 100% of the time and legal deadlines can’t be missed.

How does your bank experience make you a better partner?

Pam: Now at MKP, I am keenly aware that my experience helps build trust with our clients. It solidifies our relationships with them because they know we’re on their side.

Max: At MKP, our past experience working at banks gives us a unique perspective. We see ourselves as being a part of your team; we’re supplementing the resources you have. We get the need for compliance reviews. We know the deadlines you face. We understand the products you sell.

Laura: Our collaborative nature and the depth of our experience helps us help you.

MKP communications inc. is a New York City-based communications company that delivers spot-on strategy, smart, fresh creative, and flawless execution, exclusively for financial services clients.

Photo credit: Charlie Chalkin