Featured blog imageThis post was originally written by ComBlu’s Kathy Baughman and featured in FPS’ newsletter, Banking on Content.

Kathy is the president and founder at ComBlu. ComBlu specializes in content strategy, influencer marketing and thought leadership programs.

A CFO, a treasurer and a financial analyst all walk into a bar. All three are thirsty but want something different to drink. Their preferences are based on the time of day, their past history, the degree of their thirst and how much time they have to get a drink …

The beginning of a hilarious joke? No, actually, for my purpose of making a few points about content strategy in financial services marketing, this passage provides an apt analogy to the journey that customers take in their search for solutions, resources and partners.

All three people in the passage are in search of the same thing: a drink. And they came to the same place to get it: the bar. In this analogy, let’s say the bar is Google and the drink is the information they want. Google is almost always the first stop for decision-makers when they’re searching for information. Just as the bar offers every type of liquor, Google serves up a limitless supply of information.

Our three decision-makers are no different. Each uses different search terms and wants different levels of information. The CFO is looking for high-level solutions. The treasurer wants to find three to five solutions and background on the organizations behind them with a preference for existing banking partners. The analyst wants help comparing the solutions and needs far more detail and granular data than either of the other two.

Our decision-makers are all looking for the same thing — information to help them select options, establish a preference set and uncover the right information that will ultimately support their buying decision. Each has different needs at each point of the decision journey and different preferences for content format and viewing channel. The CFO tends to view videos or article briefs on her phone while commuting and then sends content to others to do a deeper dive. The treasurer may prefer reading longer articles or perusing a briefing document from the analyst. The latter wants white papers, product guides and tools that make it easy to compare solutions and create a report for the treasurer, who in turn will brief the CFO.

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Cheryl Treleaven

Cheryl Treleaven


Engaging your customers is at the heart of successful marketing programs. For more than 20 years, Cheryl has been building and executing content and thought leadership strategies designed to do just that. She is excited to be applying that well-honed skill to a help companies like Microsoft, Cisco, 3M, Intel, Capital One and Barclaycard tap into their stakeholder communities and build sophisticated content strategies.

Her experience base spans a range of industries – from technology and financial services to retail, travel, consumer products and healthcare. Cheryl has served as an integral member of her clients’ marketing teams, providing counsel on marketing and brand strategy, thought leadership, media relations, product introductions, and event management.

Prior to joining ComBlu, Cheryl spent 10 years leading corporate marketing for large, complex organizations.