First Niagara Bank, Catalyst Win Website Award from Web Marketing Association

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First Niagara Bank’s “humanizing” website, designed by Catalyst (Rochester, New York), the bank’s digital marketing agency, wins Standard of Excellence Award from the Web Marketing Association for Outstanding Achievement in Web Development.

Damir Saracevic, Director of Digital Marketing, Catalyst

Damir Saracevic, Director of Digital Marketing, Catalyst

"We humanized the banking experience. We eliminated the 'bankerese.' We made it readable without a magnifying glass or a legal dictionary."

The Web Marketing Association has presented Catalyst (Rochester, New York) with a Standard of Excellence Award for Outstanding Achievement in Web Development for the agency’s First Niagara Bank website. The site features simplified design and navigation, more discoverable content, quicker and more engaging ways to match products and services with lifestyle and life stage, easy-to-understand copy, and localized features to yield a more personal and human experience.

According to Damir Saracevic, Catalyst’s director of digital strategy, the site “humanizes” the banking experience by aligning site design with the customer’s desire for easy-to-find, easy-to-understand content with functions most relevant to their needs. Product offerings are grouped according to customer priorities vs. bank priorities. Product options map directly to the customer’s chosen persona -- for example, students, young families with children and retirees. Customized content, menus and links appear only if relevant to the individual customer’s preferences. Throughout the site, the customer’s needs take center stage, not the bank’s.

And because First Niagara is a regional bank, closely tied to the communities it serves, the customized experience was further enhanced by offering access to local branches, local rates and even local staff.

“In addition to the simpler interface, one of the most important things we did was to eliminate the ‘bankerese.’ We used clear, human language to describe products and services,” said Saracevic. “To the greatest extent possible, we blew up the fine print and made it readable without a magnifying glass or a legal dictionary. We also placed content where the customer would expect it to be, such as CDs under Savings Accounts vs. Investments.

“First Niagara set a high bar for us: Deliver the same high-quality, personal experience online that a customer experiences in-branch,” Saracevic added.

About the Web Marketing Association

The Web Marketing Association, producer of the Web Award Competition, was founded in 1997 to help set a high standard for Internet marketing and development of the best websites on the World Wide Web. Now in its 16th year, the Web Award program is the longest-running annual website award competition dedicated to naming the best websites in 96 industries, while setting the standard of excellence for all website development.

About Catalyst

Catalyst is a direct and digital marketing agency that helps clients acquire, retain and develop long-term relationships with their customers. The agency takes the guesswork out of marketing decisions by combining intellectual curiosity and inquisitiveness with hardcore analytics, deep customer insight and a measurement mindset. We call it Science + Soul. Headquartered in Rochester, NY, our clients include AAA, AMC Theatres, Eastman Kodak Company, Embrace Home Loans Inc., First Niagara Financial Group, GE Capital Retail Bank, Heraeus Kulzer, Neff Motivation Inc., Oreck, and Valvoline, among others.

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Robyn Kahn Federman
Catalyst
585-453-8358
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