A few months after its launch, Tymebank was considered one of the fastest-growing banks in terms of digital banking. The bank's launch was a success and maintaining this success is a challenge. In August 2019, the CMO of TymeBank, Luisa Mazinter, was assigned to ensure that the bank's client acquisition rate was maintained and heighten the customers' usage of existing customers' accounts. With TymeBank's success, competitor banks are targeting the same customers, reducing their banking fees, and strengthening their digital services. This case study provides an analysis of the marketing choices of the bank's CMO and provides a proposal for TymeBank to improve its marketing activities.
Michael M. Goldman, Nicola Kleyn, Luisa Mazinter
Harvard Business Review (NA0712-PDF-ENG)
December 31, 2021
Case questions answered:
- Describe the marketing environment that TymeBank found themselves in when they entered the market?
- What allowed TymeBank to compete successfully in its first year?
- Critique TymeBank’s brand and marketing communication activities between November 2018 and August 2019.
- What were the main marketing priorities that Mazinter needed to address in August 2019? What options were at her disposal to address these? How could she invest her marketing budget?
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TymeBank in 2019: Chasing the millions Case Answers
1. Describe the marketing environment that TymeBank found themselves in when they entered the market?
The marketing environment for TymeBank can be analyzed and described in terms of the 5C model (Dolan, 2014; Steenburgh & Avery, 2010).
The following table provides an analysis of the marketing environment at the time of TymeBank’s launch, which would need to be taken into account by Mazinter in her marketing priorities in August 2019.
Table IM-1: Marketing environment of TymeBank launch
An average answer to this question would map out some/all of the descriptors presented in Table IM-1.
An A-grade answer would consolidate these findings and provide insights for further action. The A- grade response might indicate that the marketing environment is ripe for disruption by a different model of banking that can overcome substantial financial inclusion and access barriers. The response might also conclude that the lower-income market in South Africa was substantial but underserved.
2. What allowed TymeBank to compete successfully in its first year?
TymeBank believed that they had “cracked the code” of financial services inclusion by building a model with proprietary kiosks in the retail, low-cost fintech infrastructure, a simple product, and a trustworthy brand.
This model effectively combined the nine elements of the business model canvas (Osterwalder et al., 2010).
Table IM-2: Business model canvas elements
Importantly, the business model canvas analysis suggests that TymeBank’s success was based not only on superior marketing communication and media activities but also on a reinforcing business model that included an integrated marketing communications campaign.
The analysis also demonstrates that TymeBank’s early success was due to an elegant combination or integration of strategy choices, not just low pricing.
For example, the retail and ATM channel provided immediate reach and scale, supported by physical kiosks and ambassadors and digital KYC systems, activated by substantial performance marketing and customer lifecycle communications, amplified by a big brand feel ATL campaign.
In this way, TymeBank effectively used points-of-parity, such as the Visa card, ATM network, and ATL spending, to demonstrate membership in the retail banking category and build trust.
In addition, TymeBank used points-of-difference, such as the
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