Ulster Bank Group is one of Ireland’s largest banks and a subsidiary of RBS group. Across the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, Ulster Bank Group employs 5,800 staff and delivers a range of financial services to over 1.9 million customers through its branch, telephone and online channels.
Many of Ulster Bank’s most valued business clients are charities and social enterprises. We wanted to attract new business from this sector to grow our share of deposits and current accounts. Our research showed that charities face real challenges today, with reduced funding and increased demand for their services. They want a banking partner offering value for money and excellent customer service. Equally, they favour a bank which supports their strong community values.
In partnership with The Wheel, the representative body that supports Ireland’s Not-for-Profit sector, we co-created a new proposition tailored to meet the needs of their members. The proposition included:
In communicating these benefits we used a cause marketing approach – Enabling Social Impact – to differentiate ourselves as a values-led, socially conscious bank. Ulster Bank’s existing strong community heritage and generous Charitable Giving Schemes served to underpin our credentials as a banking partner of choice for the sector. The initiative was marketed using multiple channels of communication including media engagement and other PR opportunities, branding and face-to-face engagement at Wheel training events, and social media promotion through Skype, Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter. Enabling Social Impact is a strong example of how organisations with a social purpose can engage productively with private businesses to generate mutual and lasting business benefits.
The NFP sector is large and varied, and no ‘one size fits all’ approach will be successful.
Try to find an authentic space where social value meets business purpose. Use a thoughtful marketing approach. Ultimately, it’s about greater depth of engagement, mutual trust and collaboration and taking a long-term view rather than striving for the quick news headline or the product push.
Group Communications and Corporate Banking.
Pauline McKiernan, Sustainability & Community Affairs Manager. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org