Case Study: Chelsea State Bank


Larky talks with John Mann, President & CEO, Chelsea State Bank, Chelsea, Michigan, $270 million in assets about CSB Local Edge, powered by Larky.

John, you were an early adopter of Larky. What motivated you to move forward quickly?

After I met the Larky team at the Michigan Banker’s convention last summer, I was intrigued with the idea of engaging our customers to shop locally. With Larky’s mobile platform, our bank could send our customers discounts on their phones when they were near local stores, restaurants, and venues.
I discussed the idea of a local perks program with a focus group of our employees to determine their level of interest. Since the employees would be the ones promoting the program to our customers, I knew I needed their enthusiastic support, and that’s what we got during the focus group. People were really excited about it. That sold me.  

How does this fit in with your other marketing efforts?

Larky’s perks program is a double win for us as a marketing tool —it helps promote our “keeping it local” message, and it shows that we are forward thinking and mobile savvy.

Our message is “keeping it local,” so being able to provide local perks for our clients was very appealing to us.  Larky helped us recruit some great merchants to participate – like Chelsea Chevy & Buick, the Purple Rose Theater, Merkel Furniture & Carpet One, and Chelsea Alehouse Brewery. Those merchants are unique to our community and region, and we want to help them promote their businesses.

The mobile aspect of the program was also very appealing.  We see it as another way to promote our own mobile banking app, as well as a way to engage with young customers who take their mobile phones everywhere.  

Did Local Edge replace an existing rewards program?

No, we didn’t have a rewards or perks program.  This is our first one.

Any tips for banks considering launching their own local perks program?

If we were launching the program again, I’d have my bankers make personal contact with some of merchants that our locals prefer.  I think that if we had reached out to local businesses before Larky’s team took over, merchants would have been more willing or generous with their discounts. It also would have given our commercial bankers a reason to talk with local businesses (who do and don’t bank with us).  That said, we are still growing our list of merchants, and working on ways to drive customer downloads and usage of the platform.  

As with any marketing effort, we are learning and improving as we go. In the next three months, we plan to talk with local merchants to see how the program is helping them, create more awareness of the program among our customers and work with the Larky team to better understand how the program is being used.

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Posted on July 17, 2015 by AndrewB - No Comments

Topics: Financial Institutions, Loyalty, Case Study