Bank of America’s Bad Marketing

Do they even come close to knowing what’s going on?

Today I mailed the letter below to Barbara Desoer, President of Bank of America Home Loans, in Charlotte, NC. According to Money magazine, she received $9.6 million in compensation in  2007, and was one of the 25 highest-paid women in America.

Dear Barbara:

I begin this letter with an intimate salutation, taking a cue from the letter I received from you today, addressed to me and my wife (Stephen and Ann).

I, a Bank of America retiree, was intrigued by the outside of the bright red envelope that contained your letter. “Welcome to Bank of America/Look inside for your new opportunities” it said. At first I thought it had something to do with my previous employment, but the letter’s opening sentence (“We’re pleased to welcome you to Bank of America and Bank of America Home Loans.”) belied that assumption.

I tossed it out. Another bothersome solicitation from a company seeking to sell me a mortgage product. I get at least one such every week.

Then I recalled that that my home mortgage company, Countrywide Financial, had been acquired by Bank of America, so I retrieved the material from the trash and looked for some indication that the contents of your envelope related to my loan. The name “Countrywide” did not appear once in your letter. I set the letter aside and looked through the many glossy inserts. Countrywide was missing there, as well. It was only when I came back to the other, non-glossy page (headlined in red “Important things you should know”) that I found it. Five paragraphs down.

Wouldn’t it have been better customer communication to start out with an explanation of why this letter was coming to former Countrywide clients?

Barbara Desoer

And even more importantly, as a former employee and former stockholder, I shake my head at the cost of your glossy mailing. With the public’s image of bankers rivaling that of used car salesmen, there are better choices. Countrywide has my email address. People throw out junk mail (which is what this looked like). They read email from their lenders.

You have a huge job to do, Barbara. From what I have read of your career, you are extraordinarily talented. Your marketing department is letting you down.

Indebted to you for another nine years, I offer my wish for your success.


*     *     *     *     *

It’s a hot night. My wife is asleep. It was either save the banking industry or tidy up my desk. I chose the hero’s journey.

If I get other than a form letter reply, I shall post it here.

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2 Comments on “Bank of America’s Bad Marketing

  1. Form letter reply received…

    “Thank you for taking the time to express your feelings…We take any feedback from our customers very seriously…”

    I would have been surprised if there were more.

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