Interview: The State Bank

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The State Bank continues to differentiate with a mobile perks program powered by Larky.

Perks + is was launched in December of 2014. We recently had a chance to sit down with Stacey Webb, Senior Vice President of Retail Banking to discuss the program.

You’ve had Larky for a while now and were one of the first community banks in Michigan. How has the program been so far?

We’ve been quite pleased with the value of the program. We don’t just look at Perks + from an ROI perspective, but from an account relationships perspective and the value is quite clear. With rewards going away for many of the larger institutions, we’re able to give something to our customers for FREE. It has been great way for us to enhance the value of their relationship with our bank.

The response in the community has been nice as well. We’ve received great feedback from the original merchants and had additional small business owners approach us about being part of the program. They see it as a great marketing option in the community and it’s nice to have customers coming to us about their small business needs.

We also took the step to go out to the merchants and talk to them once they signed up and made that contact in person. We used the door that your team opened when building the perks program as a sales tool after the program launched.

What generated the interest on behalf of State Bank in a mobile alert/discount program like Larky?

We like to be on the leading edge and provide options for our customers. Having the ability to personalize that with the perk offerings, a custom landing page and branding has been great. It’s completely a branded offering with perks in our community.  That made the decision quite easy.

Has anything changed since the launch?

The new landing is a great example of Larky being responsive and adaptive – listening to us. Your team has been great when looking towards the future, providing us metrics and tailoring to our unique requests have allowed us to measure our teams success and shows that your responsive to what we’re looking to do with the program.

How was the launch process?

The launch process was easy. We set a tight timeline and Larky was able to deliver. It was less than a month from contract signing to launch and approaching the holiday season. Our in-house marketing person was able to create the graphics from the step-by-step guide that was provided so that everything could be created to our standards and yours. It was quite an easy process. Also with the guidance and training that we received with Larky we were able to quickly get our team on board easily.

What things did you do to launch Perks + to your customers? What has been the biggest success in driving adoption?

We had three critical steps early on to gain momentum and has allowed to make the program a success:

  1. Making it a sales goal for our team and not really changing their behaviors regarding how they interact with our customers
  2. Getting the staff to adapt and use it
  3. Supporting with in branch materials – talking items within each branch for the team to point to when discussing the program.

What have you done to get staff excited in the program?

We did a few different things early on to generate excitement for the program. We had a teller incentive program to see who could get the most downloads and create a fun contest for them.

We have a Community Expo show each year in Fenton put on by the Chamber of Commerce that is widely attended.  We had Larky as our lead product at the show and it was quite a success that got the team and community excited.

Everyone has traditional banking products and this is something new and innovative. We planned an entire campaign around it to really push it forward and generate excitement amongst the team.


How do you feel about the value of the program vs. other marketing efforts? (billboards, radio, etc.)

It’s a very good value. We’ve tried all different types of marketing over the past few years. We’ve done print, direct mail, newspapers, billboard – we’ve done it all and you don’t always see a direct result. This is something measurable because you can see the downloads that are happening each month. When you compare it to a newspaper advertisement in some of our markets it provides much greater value. One add on a Sunday will cost 50% of the monthly cost of this program and we’re directly impacting a lot more customers with Larky.

How has your experience with the Larky team or whole process been so far?

We have a great relationship with the Larky team. If we have an issue or a question it is responded to immediately. We’ve never been left wondering or have had a problem that was not resolved.

What is your strategy to utilize Perks Plus going into the Holiday season?

We’re preparing for a “Fall into Savings” program. We’re going to promote some of the merchants – specifically cross branding with them to promote each individually and keep them excited. It’s free advertising for them – we’re not just reaching our customers we’re reaching theirs as well.

What advice would you have for a community bank considering Larky?

It’s a win-win. The costs is minimal when you think of all the benefits and opportunities it presents to get in front of your customers. It is unique for what’s being offered in the market place while providing our customers a reward for free.

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