Vantage Point

Business collaboration as a new competitive paradigm By Lisa Renner Almost all of today’s business leaders are facing the reality that they must do more with less, and the strategies that have worked for them in the past are falling short. Many are deciding they can no longer go it alone. Survival in today’s new […]

Informed Decisions

Data analysis drives right-product, right-price, right-time strategies By Shazia Manus Community banks know their customers better than the larger banks against which they compete. This comes from a longstanding tradition of over-and-above service and the building of personal relationships whenever possible. However, as consumer preferences evolve and as customers spend far more hours driving by […]

Back to Basics

Looking past the hype of fee income By Dan Shannon Recent regulatory changes, such as the Durbin Amendment and Regulation E, have caused financial institutions to re-evaluate their practices for sustaining revenue growth. While many community banks have addressed the challenge of maintaining their revenue streams by relying on noninterest fee income, they also have […]

No Magic Necessary

Research shows combining strong relationship banking with cost-efficient management creates a powerful business model By Joseph H. Cady Community bank CEOs and directors today are thinking a lot about their institutions’ business models. According to a recent study by KPMG LLP, the professional assurance services firm, 90 percent of banks are re-evaluating their business models. […]

Tires, Coffee and Computers

Eight lessons community banks can learn from Les Schwab, Starbucks and Apple By Donald H. Wood Arriving in Oregon a few years ago, I pulled into a Les Schwab tire store after realizing I had a flat tire. I was greeted by an enthusiastic young man who stated that they would repair the tire, and […]

Ask a Socia Media Guru – part II

  By Ann Chen This interview with Michelle Shangraw, senior vice president, retail banking director and social media coordinator with Mercantile Bank in Grand Rapids, Mich., is the second of two parts. Read the first part here. Q: What is Mercantile Bank’s most successful Facebook campaign? A: We were very happy with the success of […]

Ask a Social Media Guru – Part 1

The following is the first part of a two-part interview with Michelle Shangraw, senior vice president and retail banking director at Mercantile Bank in Grand Rapids, Mich. Q: Tell me a little bit about how Mercantile bank got started on Facebook. A: We started our Facebook page on March 8, 2009. It is a group […]