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A Century-plus Partnership That’s Still Going Strong

An integrated team approach to marketing is a recipe for success

More than 130 years ago, a small bank in Texas founded in 1868 began doing business with the Maverick-Clarke Lithograph Co., a small check printer that opened its doors in 1874. Both companies were based in San Antonio. The partnership continues to this day. In fact, the alliance between Frost Bank, now a $16 billion financial institution with some 112 branches throughout Texas, and the check printer, now the $1.3 billion provider of payment, marketing and security solutions known as Harland Clarke, is stronger than ever. Both companies still share deep roots in San Antonio and value their strong commitment to customers.

“We have a common goal of taking care of our customers and doing what’s right by them,” says Pam Thomas, executive vice president of marketing at Frost Bank. “That is one of the reasons our relationship has lasted so long.”

Shelly Whitman, director of marketing services for Harland Clarke, adds that what makes the partnership unique is the intense level of collaboration. “We are fully integrated with Frost Bank and its partner agencies, from strategic planning and development through daily program execution and performance measurement,” she says. “Frost is unique in the way it brings together its team of service providers. It’s a recipe for success that has helped the bank achieve its growth objectives while maintaining its unique focus on customers’ needs.”

The most recent example of this team approach is a new customer cross-sell program launched last year called D3 (short for Data-Driven Dialog), which utilizes Harland Clarke’s proprietary predictive modeling intelligence tool, Stratics™, to evaluate the bank’s portfolio across two key indicators: attrition and purchase propensity.

“It’s a complex, customized and powerful ‘decisioning engine’ that strengthens our relationship with account holders,” says Ericka Pullin, Frost Bank’s senior vice president of marketing. “Our bankers tell us we’re doing a better job picking the right customers for a given offer. There is no disconnect between the marketing department and the sales force.”

Frost Bank’s marketing collaboration team includes longtime marketing partner McGarrah-Jessee, an Austin-based branding and advertising agency that provides creative execution. Harland Clarke delivers business intelligence (including analysis and results measurement), implementation of customer communications and comprehensive strategic consultation.

What Thomas appreciates is the fact that Harland Clarke is willing to take risks. “The company has grown with us,” she says. “Harland Clarke demonstrates thought leadership and recognizes the value of initiating smarter conversations with our customers.” Indeed, Frost Bank’s account retention rate is 97 percent, one of the highest in an industry where the average is around 80 to 85 percent.frost2

Whitman notes that this integrated approach represents a differentiating strength for Harland Clarke. “Our financial institution partners are looking for us to engage in an ongoing, customized strategic alliance on many levels. With Frost Bank, we’ve forged a successful, enduring partnership geared toward long-term growth for our client.”

To learn more about engaging Harland Clarke in a strategic marketing alliance, contact your Harland Clarke account executive or visit