A case study from the Greek banking sector: Idea screening

The bank’s business units use a variety of screening criteria, the most frequently used are the feasibility, technological, time, financial, compatibility, consumer and market criteria. The choice of which criteria to use depends largely on the individual business unit that is responsible for the development of a new service. The most common screening methods used by the bank are presented in Table 2.

Concept development

In this stage, there seems to be an effort to ‘augment’ the core attributes of a new service by taking into consideration some supplementary services that could also be offered. This is consistent with previous studies that have highlighted the importance of giving attention not only to the ‘core’ attributes of a service, but also to supplementary variables when introducing new services.

Few decisions are made on the marketing mix in this stage and most of them refer to pricing and promotional or advertising issues, while little emphasis is given to distribution matters. However, it should be mentioned again that the choice of decision depends on each business unit. Thus, one of the products that the investment banking unit had developed three years ago did not contain elements of the marketing mix at this stage.

Concept testing

The research that is undertaken in this stage is again qualitative in its nature. However, the type of research that will be used and the people that will participate depend on the business sector of the bank.

Table 2 Screening methods used by the bank under study

Ranking

Placement of the proposed new service ideas on the basis of the
screening criteria that are employed

Checklists

List of the proposed service ideas to be marked as present or having
been dealt with

Scoring models

Each proposed service idea is given a certain number of points
according to the extent to which it satisfies the screening criteria
used

Numerical weighting models

Use of computer techniques or models in order to distribute a
certain number of points to each proposed service idea

The retail banking sector usually undertakes seven to ten focus groups with non-customers instead of customers. However, previous authors have suggested that most of the research in this stage is conducted with the bank’s customers. These focus groups take place with the market research agency with which the bank collaborates. On the other hand, the research of the corporate and investment sectors of the bank along with the private banking unit is based on in-depth interviews that are conducted with large customers who have transactions with the bank of more than C295,000.

This stage requires approximately one to two months to be completed and at the end of it two or three ideas will proceed to the business analysis stage.