Citizens National Bank

A Baker Hill Client Success Story

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Citizens National Bank sought increased competitiveness in growth markets and deeper customer relationships. To move the needle, cobbled-together analytics required a technology update and an infusion of expertise.

Since 1888, Citizens National Bank (CNB) has been committed to preserving community banking and helping the citizens of Mississippi finance their dreams. Seeing the loss of locally-owned and managed community banks as a threat to an already fragile economy, CNB executives sought a strategic partner to increase competitiveness in growth markets and deepen customer relationships in mature, rural markets where the bank had a strong base.

The Challenge

While committed to the local community, bank leadership realized that a broader perspective could help them strategically. CMO Scott Sills explains, “We were looking to acquire some expertise to review the data and make recommendations for very specific strategies, products and product pricing. We also wanted to remove the biases of our own judgment and make decisions based on the data, because the data doesn’t lie.”

With an awkward combination of systems, pulling accurate, usable data proved to be a challenge. As Sills describes, “We had an inefficient three-pronged approach to data analytics.” The bank needed a comprehensive, streamlined analytics capability to gain an accurate view of customer and product profitability.

In order to survive and prosper as an independent community bank in a climate of mergers and large regional banking institutions, CNB had to become more competitive. “We are not up for sale,” stated Sills. “The way we grow is organically.” To do that more effectively, CNB required precisely-targeted campaigns to bring clients in the door and cross-sell services and accounts.

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The Solution

Baker Hill NextGen® Analytics

In 2013, CNB replaced two existing systems with a customized Baker Hill analytics solution, supported by ongoing consulting, to generate key growth strategies.

From the beginning, CNB executives held quarterly reviews with their consultants at Baker Hill. The Baker Hill consultants’ nationwide industry perspective helped CNB to identify money market accounts and consumer auto loans as areas with significant growth potential.

“Our quarterly strategic reviews have been instrumental in looking back to see what we’ve done right and what we need to improve,” Sills reported. “Some of the initial recommendations out of that have been tremendously successful.”

With the Baker Hill solution providing greatly-improved reporting capabilities, CNB generates monthly and ad hoc intelligent customer lists using region-specific criteria.

Baker Hill's analytics solution has given us intelligent data that we can push out to regional and branch managers to drive customer product profitability,” stated Sills. “Regional executives use these lists to more effectively cross-sell accounts and services with targeted campaigns.”

Taking full advantage of Baker Hill NextGen® Analytics with the addition of matrix marketing, CNB also implemented a targeted program of postcards, emails and letters to maintain top of mind awareness. “It’s a very in-depth program,” related Sills.

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The Results

The strategies and campaigns derived from Baker Hill's analytics solution have generated substantial growth in new customers, deposits and loans.

Judy Brand, SVP and Product Manager at CNB, reports of its money market campaign, “We've opened 1,243 accounts totaling $125 million, with an average cross-sell services ratio of 3.29 percent. It's been very successful.”

A consumer auto loan campaign also yielded significant results, generating a return on investment of 435% in the first year and 2,434% projected over four years.

Supporting CNB’s commitment to deeper customer relationships, targeted campaigns generated with Baker Hill’s matrix marketing solution are increasing awareness with thousands of touches per year.

“It’s moved us into that upper level of touches with our clients,” stated Sills. “The matrix program was very good for us.”


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The Next Phase

Baker Hill Nextgen® Omni-Channel Marketing

Because of the high level of success with Baker Hill NextGen® Analytics and Baker Hill’s Matrix Marketing Program, CNB decided to expand its partnership and added Baker Hill NextGen® Omni-Channel Marketing in 2017 to better support its marketing initiatives across all channels. 

With Baker Hill NextGen® Omni-Channel, CNB has added power, flexibility and accountability to its ongoing communications with an automated, closed-loop approach to lead generation. 

Baker Hill’s modeling technologies help CNB target prospects and retain the most profitable account holders. Now, CNB not only markets through direct mail, but it can follow up through email and other digital channels, increasing the impact and result of its marketing of deposit products.

“With both digital and direct marketing capabilities, we can make smart business decisions and maintain a competitive advantage by building methodical, datamining-based marketing efforts,” said Sills. 

In 2018, CNB’s cross-sell campaigns produced a total of 177 response accounts with balances of $9.5 million. Additionally, campaigns yielded 314,868 digital ad impressions, producing 625 clicks (or the number of potential customers who viewed the ad). 

The combination of Baker Hill’s expertise and data-driven strategies has allowed CNB to realize growth across the organization while strengthening its commitment to the community. By focusing on underperforming areas and targeting marketing efforts to its most profitable customers, the bank has seen steady, and in some cases, dramatic growth.

“Whatever we focus on, we get results, and that’s been very true with this effort, including our cross-sell ratios,” concluded Sills. “It’s monumental to move the needle of the system-wide bank on that volume of accounts and relationships.

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“Baker Hill generates the data we need to support our strategic decisions. Our targeted money market campaign has been tremendously successful. And, the emphasis on cross-sale ratios has deepened our client relationships. Wherever we have focused our efforts, we have gotten results with Baker Hill’s support.”

– Scott Sills
Chief Marketing Officer, Citizens National Bank | Learn more

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