Big gain

Scotiabank's marketing team just got a little richer with the hire of Cynthia Stark to the newly created post of director, marketing planning.

Scotiabank’s marketing team just got a little richer with the hire of Cynthia Stark to the newly created post of director, marketing planning.

Stark, who was previously at Citibank running the brand and communications group of its credit cards division, says the need for her position emerged after Scotia’s marketing execs decided that a more ‘holistic approach’ was needed to ensure that all of the bank’s business lines were communicating.

Now, she’ll ensure all of Scotia’s departments that reach out to the consumer, including retail, DM and online, are exchanging ideas before campaigns are confirmed, ‘rather than: ‘Here’s the campaign. [Figure out] how it will fit in your channel’,’ she says.

Another key part of her position will be managing the bank’s ‘You’re richer than you think’ integrated campaign, created by Toronto’s Bensimon Byrne.

A new iteration is planned for fall, and while she offers few details, there are no plans for a revamp. ‘There’s no intention to move away from [the strategy]; it has been so successful.’

Stark says that the other big banks’ switch to a more personable approach to marketing has also fared well, and she cites the efforts of TD’s more service-centric focus and Royal Bank’s ‘First for you’ strategy.

And Scotia’s image? ‘We’re trying to be on the more human level, bringing the ideas of banking down to a very easy-to-understand level,’ she says. ‘[We want] to appeal to the more emotional mind-set of finances and managing money. We want to tell you about [our products] in the context of how it makes sense for you.’

Recently, Scotia’s quarterly earnings edged closer to the billion-dollar mark. In the second quarter of 2006, net income rose to $894 million dollars – over 8% growth compared to last year.

In addition to Citibank, Stark has also held key positions at epost, BMO and Mondex. Before finance, she was agency-side, working at Vickers & Benson, Doner Schur Peppler and Harrod & Mirlin on such accounts as Leon’s, Christie and Quaker.