How we helped a giant bank become your local bank.

PNC Bank

How big is PNC Bank? They operate more than 2,500 branches in 15 states and serve more than five-million customers. But, to reach their profitability goals, they needed to grow. And in a short amount of time.


In order for a bank branch to be successful, it has to attain a deep knowledge of the community and be proactive in developing relationships. After all, most people already have relationships with other banks. So when a branch opens, you need to do more than create awareness. You need to change minds.

Princeton Partners’ challenge was to quickly make PNC branches part of their communities.


Princeton Partners developed PNC’s Retail Banking UBI – “Community Leadership,” which we used as a foundation for a grassroots marketing approach.We started by assembling a ‘Roots of the Community Guide’ for each new branch location – a detailed reference guide that branch staff used to learn about their local leaders, upcoming concerts, festivals and events, regional businesses, civic groups and non-profit organizations, and local media outlets. We used the guide as a basis for developing customized marketing, media and special events plans.For every branch, we created a pre-opening plan, a Grand Opening Celebration, and a sustaining promotion program. Pre-opening activities included local media programs and street teams distributing promotional flyers and promoting special product offers. The Grand Opening Celebrations invited community groups to participate and provided space and forums for fun interaction with families.Following the Grand Opening, a mix
 of promotional events, corporate sponsorships and sweepstakes packages helped establish and sustain interest in the branch over time. These tactics were promoted through in-branch materials, media, and direct marketing, ensuring that PNC’s presence was noticed throughout the local community.

With more than 70 successful branch openings to its credit, Princeton Partners helped PNC build, track, and sustain new business relationships in each market.


Each opening drove toward the bank’s main goal 
of increasing branch profitability. But the biggest feat of all was this: Princeton Partners only marketed and managed 8% of PNC’s total branches. Yet these 8% resulted in over 80% of the entire bank’s new Demand Deposit Accounts.

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