I understand the constraints that banks face when trying to embrace different aspects of social media - the regulatory concerns - all the organisational and cultural issues they have to overcome... but even then, even after accepting all those issues, I
am amazed more banks haven't stepped up to this challenge.
Social media offers huge opportunities to banks' marketing departments. Particularly if budgets are becoming, or will soon become, constrained.
This story about Scotiabank sounds like the ideal route forward, its seems like a measured experiment in understanding the nature of the new medium. In this case to an internal audience first. A platform from which to learn and grow, not just in terms of the
requirements of the underlying technical solutions, but also in terms of the implications for internal organisation and the skillsets of the marketing, HR or communications teams involved.
I'm not surprised that the vendor working with Scotiabank was Microsoft. Microsoft has experienced the benefits of social media at firsthand. The company which has several thousand active bloggers (4,000 or so, I think from memory) and has pioneered innovations
like the excellent and authentic Channel9. An organization that was supposedly very controlling, has in fact been very liberal in its approach to social media.
(And no, I don't think the Microsoft model directly transfers to the average bank. Banks need to find a model that works for their environment and audiences).
Recently I had lunch with Chris Skinner, who is much closer to these matters than I am (most of my own clients are not banks but the technology vendors, who we have been working with on social media for years in some cases). When I asked Chris, who among
the banks really 'got it'? Who was doing interesting things? He managed to name just three or four banks. Surely, there are more?
I'd love to hear more from those innovators inside banks (I know you are out there), who are exploring the new avenues and opportunities offered by social media.
Disclosure: Microsoft is a customer, although I have no connection to this particular story