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Connecting with a Distrusting TargetPNB Logo


The Challenge:

Park National Bank, once a $1.4B community bank in Chicago and suburbs, was committed to helping all customers make responsible and informed financial decisions. While introducing Low Income Adjustable Rate Mortgages, PNB faced the challenge that some of the target audience did not use a bank, were not comfortable using a bank and distrustful of financial organizations in general.


PNB Print AdThe Solution:

NorthStar Strategies recognized that traditional marketing messages and approaches would not be effective with this target audience. A “real-life” strategy was employed using customer testimonials to tell the inspiring stories of low-income people who had achieved their dream of home ownership, thanks to the Park National Bank program. Copywriting and graphic design were purposely under-utilized to give the materials a simple, straightforward and honest appeal.

These detailed testimonials gave prospective buyers an appreciation for the personal pride that people like themselves can feel from home ownership. Grass roots distribution through churches, home buyers’ seminars and other community gathering places was employed to reach prospective customers in their neighborhood environment.

The Results:

This marketing strategy reinforced the community focus and approachable style of Park National Bank.

Smart Words

"Marketing isn't magic.  There is a science to it."

Dan Zarrella, Social Media Scientist, Hubspot